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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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Discussion Starter #1
Let me know what you think. Add anything? Questions?

Disclaimer: This is by no means an exact how to guide. This is how “I” did it. Your open to do things my way or your own. This job was done on my 2002 TB. Im unaware if there are differences between the years or models of 360s.


Ok…. So you want a how too for the ball joints and sway bar end links you say… maybe you didn’t say it…..either way… here it is.

I just replaced my Upper and Lower Ball Joints, along with front and rear Sway Bar End Links. They were worn out looking and were making horrible clunking sounds. I had put 20K more miles on these parts and figured it was about time.

I replaced my parts with all Moog brand parts.

This is the “parts list” and my cost at O’Reilly Auto Parts



I also picked up one of the ball bearing clamp tools. O’Reillys could not seem to locate theirs so I ended up at Advance. It was around 160 bucks, totally refundable so…. FREE!!! Based on what I saw online, the set at O’Reillys seemed very small and limited. I ended up with a 23 piece set and that was a very good thing. Cant recommend any particular tools in the case to use. Just kinda trial and error to figure out whats going to get your ball joints out.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/offspringin/Clamp.jpg

My first thing was rolling the truck up on some ramps. This kept the truck more stable. I then broke the lugs loose on the right side, this was the side I started on. Next I jacked it up by the A-Arm. I did this so it could be lowered and raised easier if need be. You may can skip this step but it did hold everything tight.

So now your wheel is off. The upper is easy to unbolt. There is a long horizontal bolt there, both nut and bolt is 15mm.




After this bolt is out its possible the entire assembly will just kinda fall down (not all the way because the lower is still connected) At this point you are able to angle it out enough to work on it just fine with the clamp clearing the fender with a couple of inches.

This ball joint needs to be pressed down back through the arm. There is a clip on the topside. Mine was buried in dirt but it was under there. Clean that off, get the clip off using flat screw driver and needle nose pliers and now your ready for the clamp.
Figure out what tools you will need to push it down. Tried just smacking it with a small sledge but it didn’t want to budge. The clamp does a great job though. I recommend a long breaker bar or huge socket wrench to use on the clamp to get some good leverage on it.

So now lets hope you got your ball joint out. What comes next may vary from part to part. The Moog parts came with new bolt/nut, grease fittings, lock clip, and the ball joint itself. These were marked on the rubber boots which way it needs to face, in this case it told me to face it in. Again you choose the tools you need to press it up and back into the arm. This proved to be hard but very possible. MAKE SURE YOUR PUSHING IT IN STRAIGHT. I HAD TO BACK OFF AND RE-SITUATE A FEW TIMES. Once its pressed in. Put the clip on it, thread the grease fitting on it and set your nut/bolt to the side.

Note: Originally I reassembled the upper and tried to take apart the lower, this became a little bit of a hassle so it was decided that the upper should be disconnected.

Before starting on the lower ball joint. I recommend unclipping the ABS wire, and unbolting the bracket that holds the brake line (there are 2 small 10mm bolts facing in on the back side of the arm). When you take the brake line bracket off you now have a little hole which you can run some wire and use to support the arm as you take off the lower ball joint. I wired mine to something up in the wheel well. I don’t recall exactly what, you just want to keep it from falling to the ground pulling the cables/hoses with it and damaging your rotor.

Now to start on the lower. This is just 1 huge nut on the bottom, facing the ground. Im not certain the MM size as I used an adjustable wrench for this one. I know that a 15/16inch will work but I’m sure its mm so maybe a 24 or 25mm? Loosen this BUT NOT ALL THE WAY UNTIL YOUR READY. If you take it all the way off with the upper ball joint disconnected the entire assembly will fall. It is not light. This is really a job for 2 people. When you are ready to drop it one person should hold the brake/caliper/arm assembly while someone else finishes removing the nut.



This is an after shot (there is no cotter pin in the stock ones)


You may need to tighten your wire a little but you can also kinda get the whole assembly to just chill in the back half of the wheel well. You will not need to touch it until your ready to reassemble.

Now to get the lower ball joint out. Its pressed up from the bottom then they press the edges to hold it in place. I used a hammer and iron bar to smash these little tabs back in.


Once these are pressed in your ready for your clamp, again just find the set up that works to push it down and out.

Once its out your ready to put your new one in. My new one came with again a grease fitting, new nut, cotter pin, lock clip, and the ball joint itself. I pressed it UP into the arm and put the lock clip on. Then my grease fitting. Again it will help to have 2 people to remount the assembly. Undo the wire if you chose to use it, have them put it back up onto the bolt of the ball joint and screw the nut on the bottom. In my case I had to line up the bolt hole with the grooves in the nut for the cotter pin. Once that is nice and tight your free to re connect your upper ball joint with the bolt and nut you put to the side earlier. Just slide it up in there, and run the bolt in, tighten and your good to go.

I then greased all my new fittings. Use your judgement on how much.

Repeat in the same way on the other side

SWAY BAR END LINKS
You by no means have to replace these at the same time. But if your going to do them on the front then is an ideal time. These were just quick swap outs. Unbolt using a #6 allen in the end of the bolt , and an 18mm open ended wrench. My new ones bolted on using an 18mm open ended on the ball side, and an 18mm socket on the nut side. Again mine came with grease fittings so I greased them up, threw the tire back on and done with the front right.

The rear end links are about the same, they are kind of a pain to get too, the drivers side was the worst because of the gas tank.

Over all I would say this entire job took about 4 hours. 3 for the front end work, and about an hour for the rear sway bar end link replacements.

Before and After Pictures

These are the 2 Ball Joints, the left is the upper, and right lower

Upper Ball Joint Before

Upper Ball Joint After

Front Sway Bar End Link Before

Front Sway Bar End Link After

Rear Sway Bar End Link Before

Rear Sway Bar End Link After
 

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nice man, i could have used this about A YEAR AGO. LOL.
good work. keep it up.:thumbsup:
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_lt
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301 Posts
looks good man! how manny miles did you have i looking at doing this soon and im at about 86k now
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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thanks. this will be useful to many.
 

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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xl
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So how does it ride now? I just replaced my front swaybar end links with the same moog parts you have and its still having some clunking issues.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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Discussion Starter #7
looks good man! how manny miles did you have i looking at doing this soon and im at about 86k now
Mine had about that many when i bought the truck, and it had some mild clunking sounds then. I know i noticed the boots were busted a little while later. When i finally got around to changing them it was just under 108K

Dang.. where've you been driving at? looks like alot of debris on the frame. I dont even have that much on my frame.
Previous owner lived in Florida.... no clue where they drove it. Had alot of sand in it when i bought it and i know they lived across the street from a "sound". I have really only been on pavement/gravel. No offroading with a 2WD LTZ with running boards..... :D Its really not that dirty underneath. I actually thought it was pretty clean.....

So how does it ride now? I just replaced my front swaybar end links with the same moog parts you have and its still having some clunking issues.
It rides GREAT. Never better. Not sure your mileage but as i said i heard some clunking around 90K. Its very smooth now. I notice that it takes higher speeds a little smoother. Now when i hit a bump i just hear the tire noise *thump *thump. I thought about just doing the end links as well but i knew the ball joints needed attention too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another side note. Today was my first time driving it with all the parts replaced. Monday was just the front end which made a difference. I could still hear the clunking in the back end. I did feel that the steering was tighter and more responsive.

Today however was the total package. There is a curve on the interstate i drive daily. Its a fun curve to be certain, an on ramp from one interstate to another (any of you from this area its 675 north onto 285 west). Anyway in the past taking this corner at high speeds i felt the roll considerably. Today taking it was braced for the roll of the truck but it never really came. It was amazing. Much tighter back end as well.

Very pleased. At first felt like it was a nice chunk of change to put into the truck but well worth it....well worth it.....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE: I have seen other people mention it on here, to check the hardware after 50-100 miles. Mine took longer than that. BUT, after about a week or so of riding i started hearing a rattling, like an old school radio flyer wagon on asphalt, or a metal rack with metal laying on it shaking. In fact you cant hear it unless the windows were down, no radio.

Anyway. Turns out that 2 of the endlinks were loose, not so much that it would fall off or anything, just had worked loose. So i tightened it again. If this doesnt hold i may back them off more and through some loctite in the threads....

Just an FYI, make sure to listen for a light rattle after doing your endlinks.
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Rattling end links.

Hi, this is my first post on the forum.
I've been having an issue with my 05 Trailblazer LS (~65,000m); a front end passanger side rattle similar to what I have been reading through in some different threads regarding the sway bar links. Figured I didn't need to start a whole new thread on the topic.

I've read that I can remove the front links and drive around to see if the rattle disappears, thereby pinpointing the problem. With the front sway bar disconnected is it truly safe to drive for a couple of days?

If it is these links making the noise, can I just pack with grease or should I just replace the part?


Thanks in advance!
 

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If you have stock endlinks then you have to buy new ones since the OEM links don't have zerk fittings these are all sealed fittings i love the MOOG parts described above they work perfectly :thumbsup:
 

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holy cow, what a task.


I just did this install today
upper and lower

not real complicated, but man time consuming and rough on the tools

the hardest part was figuring out which adapters to use.

going to an xmas party tonight,
I'll update this post with some more info later.
-tool list
-prices
-procedure
-which adapters to use


I'm doing all my end links and tie rods tomorrow, shoulda done them all at the same time but I needed the truck tonight.
 

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2002 gmc envoy_slt
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holy cow, what a task.


I just did this install today
upper and lower

not real complicated, but man time consuming and rough on the tools

the hardest part was figuring out which adapters to use.

going to an xmas party tonight,
I'll update this post with some more info later.
-tool list
-prices
-procedure
-which adapters to use


I'm doing all my end links and tie rods tomorrow, shoulda done them all at the same time but I needed the truck tonight.
Norweegee, that would be awesome if you could post some information about the joint work you did. If you have any pics that would be even better. I plan on changing all of mine out in the spring and could definitely use the info.

Also, what kind of truck do you have and how many miles on it?
 

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This was an easy job, I takes take some muscle, but it was easy

I'm not that good at tutorials and most everything I needed to know was in the first post of this thread.

but heres my take on it.

my ball joints are shot
and I need quick replacements
So I ordered my parts from an Ebay company, I also needed end links and tie rods.

I dont drive the Voy too much anymore so I opted to put cheap parts on it, normally I only use the best but, I'm broke and now the Envoy is a second car.

I ordered:
4 ball joints (top/bottom)
4 endlinks (front/rear)
2 tierods (left/right)

Cost me about 235.00 with shipping from the ebay company World Suspension.

IF YOUR TRUCK IS A HEAVY USE OR HEAVY DUTY TRUCK, OR 4X4 I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND USING THESE PARTS.

although I was skeptical,
when the parts arrived they were in brand new condition, packed nice and every part has a grease fitting. and a thick rubber boot

I have replaced my endlinks once before with MOOG brand so I was familiar with how a new endlink should look and feel.

I'll have to admit the parts looked decent.
and they have a 15 month warranty.
Only time will tell.

and I'll take the risk on the part wearing out early, it saved me a ton of money right now.


I have replaced my wheel hub bearings and brakes before so disassembly of the wheel was easy.

Now would be a good time to do your front brakes and wheel bearings.
since it will all be disssembled.


tools required

- Powerbuilt ball joint press kit
- sockets ranging from 10mm to 24 mm
- wrenches ranging from 15mm to 24 mm
- long breaker bar or an iron pipe you can put on your wrenches
- impact gun, (optional)
- needle nose pliers
- torque wrench (optional although recommnede)
- grease gun
- flat head screwdrivers
- possibly a clamp to press the calipers back in
- small cup or box to put your bolts in
- new ball joints
- new wheel bearings (optional)
- Big hammer
- rags
- zip ties or wire

Dissasembly prep

1. break your lugs loose, jack up the car, support with jackstands and remove your wheel.

2. break the two bolts loose on the brake caliper, swing the caliper out of the way and remove the pads and shims, the caliper will still be attached by the brake line.

3. remove the 2 bolts on the the brake line clip. This holds the brake line to the suspension arm, removing this this will give you plenty of clearance to move the caliper out of the way. I used zip ties to tie it back into the wheel well.

4. remove the two bolts holding on the caliper mounting bracket, you can now remove this and the rotor.

5. on the rear of the suspension hub assembly there are 3 bolts,( in a triangle pattern) break these loose and the entire wheel hub should come off easily. Mine was a teesny bit tight so I tapped LIGHTLY with a hammer. it then fell right off

6. the wheel hub will still be attached by its cord, so undo the clips and just let it sit on the ground, or completely detach it.

now your suspension should be free of accessories and ready to remove ball joints

Ball Joints

I started on the top ball joint.

1. You will need the Powerbuilt ball joint removal kit, I got mine from Advance Auto parts as a 149.99 refundable rental. you have 45 days to get your deposit back..so no rush

2. this kit comes with a gazillion parts and it can be confusing
but in reality you only need about 6-7 of these cups

3. undo the bolt at the top of the ball joint that holds it to the suspension arm, after this bolt is out you can tap the arm with a hammer to get it to fall down, and swing out towards you, thus clearing the wheel well by a few inches. It will still be attached by the lower joint and the tie rod.

4. the removal of the top ball joint is easy once you get the right cup on there. you can now the install the bearing press and press the ball joint down and out. This takes a little muscle but it is not impossible.
put a towel or something on the hood of the car draping down into the wheel well so you dont bang the press against the body

5. Wipe clean both the hosing and ball joint ..Also I removed the rubber boot on the new joint and lubed both ball joint and housing.
Installation uses a different set of adapter cups and the bearing gets pressed up and in. I started to use my impact gun for this but found it faster to just use a big breaker bar with a 22mm socket on it. (22mm is what the bearing press is).

6. after the bearing is pressed in. Install the retaining ring (I used 90 degree needle nose pliers) and then wipe clean and put the rubber boot back on. you can now install the grease fitting if you like.

dont rebolt the top bearing into the top arm yet


lower ball joint

this is pretty much the same as the top

1. unbolt from the bottom, mine was held on by a 24 mm bolt
the suspension joint may just fall down mine was a little sticky and I hit it with a hammer a few times but it came loose rather easily.

now the whole suspension arm is loose and only attached by the tie rod. you can swing this up and out of they way of the lower ball joint area. I used zip ties to attach it up and out of the way.

2. use a chisel and hammer to bend the tabs in on the top of the lower ball joint,

3. using the ball joint press, press the bearing down and out, this took a little muscle but just when I though it wasnt going to budge, I heard a loud POP, and actually thought it was my breaker bar snapping, but it was the joint popping loose.

4. after I heard the "pop" I had to remove the press and put a different set of adpaters on to push it the rest of the way out.

5. now the ball joint is out ,wipe down the area, lube and get the new joint ready, I again removed the boot on mine and lubed the housing.

6. installation is the same, press the ball joint up and in. This also took a little muscle, but it went in smoothly.
I used the big breaker bar, you coul duse an impact if you have the torque on it, my impact is weak so it wouldnt budge.

7. install the retaining clip, boot and grease fitting

8. at this time it greased both the joints with some pumps from the grease gun, my grease gun filled the boots at about 8-10 pumps


Reassembly

1. bolt the upper and lower ball joint back in place, my lower joint came with a new bolt that had a cotter pin in it.

2. reassemble the wheel hub bearing and re-connect the wire if necc. these have a toque spec on them, make sure these are very tight, I dont remember what my torque wrench was set too.

3. put the rotor on and reassemble the caliper mounting bracket

4. install the pads and shims

5. install the caliper and the brake line bracket, my caliper did not need to be pressed back in

6. reinstall the wheel

go test drive
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
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You guys a lucky, you show see how these bolts are rusted in our neck of the woods. While taking out the end link, I put the allen wrench to hold while turning the nut, the area when the allen wrench fits split open. Now I have to chop it off.
 

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Any Pics

Hey, norwegee,
Do you have any pics..I need to get the ball joints done...You had a good write up..

thanks...
 

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Lower Ball Joint

what did you use to remove the old ball joint. I bought the ball joint tool but i could not get the ball joint out. I dont know if a air chisel will work or if i just need to use a bigger hammer. I have a 2003 Trailblazer.
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Did you remove the clip on the top of the ball joint first? Clean off the dirt and you will see it.
 
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