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Changing Ball Joints


 
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sidecar
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Joined: 06 Nov 2004
Location: Victoria BC Canada

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 7:00 pm    Post subject: Changing Ball Joints Reply with quote

I have an 85 Cherokee and need to change the drivers side ball joints, just wondering if this is something that's not too hard to do at home or is it better to take it in to have done.
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ehirner
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did this on an HP D30 I swapped into my TJ. I don't want to do it again...ever. However, it's probably easier with the axle in the vehicle, as it shouldn't move on you.

To remove the ball joints, you need to pull the axle shafts and then remove the knuckles from the ball joints. Easy to say but probably a bit challenging if you don't know what you're doing. If you don't have a very large breaker bar, get one. I had to put a 3' long pipe over mine to get enough leverage to loosen the nuts on the ball joints. Then I used a 5lb hammer to drive the knuckles off the ball joints. There's nice, cast in spot at the top of the knuckle for doing this.

You can get the ball joints through Tellico4x4 using this link.

I suggest getting yourself a ball joint/u-joint tool like the one from Harbor Freight. You have a couple choices here. This will actually press out the old ball joints and press in the new ball joints.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=4065
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=42236
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=38335

You may also need a torch to heat up the outer C's on the axle which will loosen their grip on the old ball joints.

A little tip that was shared with me after I completed the repair...put the new ball joints in the freezer prior to starting the project. Heat up the outer C's with the torch. Once you have them good and hot, get the frozen ball joint from the freezer and it should drop right in. As the ball joint warms and the outer C cools, everything will tighten right up. Like I said, this was given to me post-repair, so I don't know how well it actually works.

Be sure to fully grease the lower ball joints prior to reinstalling the axle shafts as you won't be able to afterwards. There isn't enough clearance once the axle it reassembled.
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sidecar
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Joined: 06 Nov 2004
Location: Victoria BC Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, already have the ball joints in the freezer. I have rebuilt a motocros engine from the cases up so it was an absolute neccesity to have the bearings in the freezer and the cases in the oven. This is actually my boys jeep and he is a little hesitant to try it, any Idea how many hours we would be looking at for the job. These young adults just don't seem to have any drive these days.
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ehirner
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sidecar wrote:
This is actually my boys jeep and he is a little hesitant to try it, any Idea how many hours we would be looking at for the job. These young adults just don't seem to have any drive these days.

Hey...watch it. I'm 24. Smile

If everything goes well, I would estimate you should be done in 2 hours. If everything doesn't go well, and you have frequent cursing breaks, then I'd push it up to 6 hours.
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