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  1. #1

    Default grease upper ball joint on 83 k20

    I've got a 83 chevy K20. My best research says it should be a Dana 44 front end, but please correct me if i'm wrong.

    How do i grease the upper ball joint?!?

    It appears that there is either a grease fitting or plug on the bottom of the ball joint directly above the u-joints, but it is completely inaccessable.

    i have thought about stabbing the boot with a needle and greasing it that way, but i'd prefer to do that only as a last resort.

    I have no wish to take it apart either. it probably never has been, and i don't think i have the fortitude nor the tools to break free almost 30 years of rust and neglect.

    just doing my pre-winter rounds before i have to hang the plow, or fix it in the snow because i neglected it too long.

    i appreciate any help!!!


  2. #2


    well, that makes me feel better.

    there's about 80 other people who don't know either.

    anyone?!? anyone?!?
    is this thing on?!?

  3. #3


    You should have a 10 bolt front end. Gm stopped using the Dana 44 in 1977 or 78. You can identify the 10 bolt by its roundish cover and there should be two little ears on the housing near the bottom. The Dana has a more angular cover and will have 44 cast into the housing usually on the lower right side(looking from the front). As for greasing the ball joint, if the joint has a fitting it will be where you said a plug is, the plug might be a needle grease fitting. Just stabbing the boot won't get any grease down into the joint, the grease will just puddle under the boot.

    97 Chevrolet Suburban K1500 5.7L
    78 GMC High Sierra K1500
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go thru life.

  4. #4


    thanks for the reply.

    i had thought about trying to get my grease needle in there to see if it is indeed a grease fitting, but there is no clearance at all to get at it. BTW if anyone reading was wondering about those grease needles, they are the absolute cat's meow for greasing u-joints.(not the sharp needle, just the regular grease needle adapter)

    i'm wondering if i could try and sneak out whatever fitting is installed, and try to put in a 90-degree grease fitting. my only concern is there is not much clearance at all, the ujoint is very close to the bottom of the ball joint.

    i might put some grease through the boot anyway, if nothing else it will keep the boot "inflated" and might help keep corrosion from getting to the joint from the outside. Course, then i got a hole in the boot ... kinda sunk either way it seems.

    kind of a stinker of a spot to try and grease.

    anyone else been down this road?

  5. #5


    You can't grease it. There is no room for a grease fitting between the bottom plate and the u-joint anyway (even a 90 gets hit).

    If there is a plug (usually not) and you really feel the need to grease it - ubolt the hub and pull the axle. Pull the plug out, screw a zerk/alemite fitting in, give it a few shots. Remove the fitting and replace the plug.

    BTW- those ball joints are adjustable. If they're sloppy, you can give the castellated nut (on the upper joint) a couple of flats even without pulling the axle. But since you have to pull the axle out anyway, you might as well tighten the bottom bearing.
    Last edited by chengny; 08-04-2012 at 07:56 AM.

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