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Ball Joint Replacement

Ball Joint Replacement

Postby My05Sierra [OP] » Jan 05 2011, 7:24pm

Hey I'm new to this whole thing and looking for a little help from some guys who have replaced their ball joints. Any help would be appriciated.

I currently have a 2005 GMC Sierra 1500 Z-71 with 101K. The rubber gasket on the lower balll joint has split and therefore needs replace. Like anyone would do sine the one is bad I was going to replace all of them. I went to my Father in Law who works at a local parts store and he informed me that there are both press in and bolt in ball joints available for the truck. I'm pretty sure that they are press in based on what i can see.

However my big issue comes with the upper ball joints. My father in law is showing that the upper ball joints can be pressed out and replaced. My cousin who works at a local GM dealership says that the whole A-Arm needs to be replaced and that the ball joint cannot be pressed out. I'm not sure who to believe as Moog shows that it can be replaced. Do dealerships do this to reduce labor or what is the deal?

Any information would be great help.

Thanks
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Re: Ball Joint Replacement

Postby adams99z71 » Jan 05 2011, 10:18pm

if a torn grease boot is the only reason you want to replace your ball joints dont. only difference would be that you would want to grease them a little more often. just fyi i have 190.000 on mine...altho i am getting ready to replace them due to slight tire tread cupping.
nbs99 z71 325ci v8, stock 4wheel disc brakes, no cats, flow master classic 40 series, rhino line, custom fog lights, cb, bully dog tunner, 4:10 locker, airbag load leveling, 205,000miles.
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Re: Ball Joint Replacement

Postby Pope08 » Jan 06 2011, 6:39am

Its setup for the uppers to replace the whole a-arm. It is an advantage though because when you get the new arm it has new bushings. it kills 2 birds with 1 stone so to say.
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Re: Ball Joint Replacement

Postby lzn197 » Jan 06 2011, 5:18pm

I'd leave the original joints in there and just step up your grease schedule.
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Re: Ball Joint Replacement

Postby My05Sierra [OP] » Jan 16 2011, 5:21pm

Just wanted to give everyone an update. I did have a ball joint that was bad and therefore did require replacement. I'm not one to skimp on my truck so if one was bad I wanted to replace them all so that I wouldn't be going back in a few months to fix another. I did a little more research on my question posed above as well as pulling of the tire and looking at what i was getting into.

Through my research I found that both the upper and lower ball joints are able to be pressed out and replaced. GM requires that the whole upper requires replacement which is almost 3 times more expensive than just replacing the ball joints. I just had an alignment done over the summer and that was completed without issue. I also looked into the shape of my bushings in the upper a-arm and found that they were in perfect condition still. Therefore the extra cost to replace a perfectly functioning system wasn't necessary.

So I went forward with replacement of the joints themselves. It went without a hitch and i just wanted to provide some insight/tips to help out anyone in the future who may tackle this same thing.

First of all I took the truck to my buddy's shop so we had access to a fair amount of tools to complete the job. However nothing more was required to complete the job other than some impact guns and an air chissel.

We completed both the upper and lowers on both sides without heating anything. The upper ball joints press up through the a-arm and what we found to work the best was to hit the edges with the air chissel just to ensure that it wasn't welded with rust or anything of that nature, then we cut the shaft of the ball joint as short as possible with a grinder and then pressed the ball joint out using the cassing around the joint. This proved to work great and pressed out first try.

For the lowers they push down through the a-arm so what we found worked the best was to hit the lip of the ball joint with the air chissel and simply hammer out the ball joint with a short sledge hammer and within a few hits it was out as well.

Installing the new joints involved just pressing the new ones in and putting everything together. The whole process only took us about 3 hrs and that was due to experimenting on the best way to get them out on the first side.

I hope this is some helpful info for someone going through this in the future.

Thanks
Brian
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