Ball Joints

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by cao88c, May 19, 2008.

  1. cao88c

    cao88c Rockstar

    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.
  2. FireRed

    FireRed Rockstar 100 Posts

    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.

  3. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    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!
  4. zippy

    zippy Rockstar 100 Posts

    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.

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