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Thread: Ball Joints

  1. #1

    Default Ball Joints

    Hey guys,

    Doing an oil change yesterday on the 'burb, I noticed the driver side upper ball joint boot is cracked. I cleaned all of the grease out, and put some duct tape over the hole and filled it up with grease. ( it was late and the auto parts store was closed)

    Does anyone have a writeup on swapping out the ball joints, also do you need to remove the spring?

    BTW its a 1999 Suburban 5.7 2wd.
    1972 chevy p/u - 454 engine - work in progress
    1999 'burb - wife's vehicle
    1976 Jeep CJ5- Dana 60 front and rear, locked, 350 engine, GM 3 spd, Atlas II T/C, 8" lift on 38's
    2003 Jeep TJ- Dana 44 rear Dana 30 front, ox lockers front and rear 3.5" lift on 33's - My DD


  2. #2


    Ball joints can be a bear requiring some tools most of us do not have on hand, not a great job in the drive way. If by chance something screws up you may have to have it towed to a shop, worse you could get hurt.

    Happy 2 Wheeler!

  3. #3


    Ball joints really aren't that bad comparativley. I've done it "on the trail" and at home. You need a pickle fork ball joint separator, pliers, perhaps a drill and drill bits, maybe a cold chisel and hammer, a wrench or two, and the replacement ball joint. Support both the vehicle and the lower control arm. From the factory the ball joints are riveted in place, so you have to drill them out. yank the cotter pin on the castle nut and back it off some. Now stick the ball joint separator between the ball joint and the steering knuckle and have a ball!! Once it loosenes you can back the castle nut off all the way. Drill the rivets out (if still with factory ball joints). Yank the old one out and bolt the new one in place with the supplied bolts and nylock nuts. Grease up the joint a little (it should have some in it, so you don't need the grease gun immediatley, but soon). Put the new castle nut on and torque it down, stick the cotter pin in and spread it. Drop the vehicle off the jackstands, and you're done... It should take 1-2 hours depending on how much trouble you have.. Good Luck!

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 265K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

    Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down- Adam Savage

  4. #4


    Short answer:
    No... You don't have to remove the springs to do the ball joints. Consult a service manual for the procedure. It will describe how to support the vehicle, to safely restrain the spring, while doing the ball joints.
    Are we having fun, yet?

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