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How-To: Lower Ball Joint Replacement

36308 Views 22 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Calion
This How-To will show you how to use the Alltrade Tools Kit 46 Ball Joint/U Joint Service Set to replace your lower ball joints. It is important to use this tool kit because it is the only one that I have found to have the correct pieces. I will only cover the steps on how to press the ball joint in and out of the lower control arm, since getting to the ball joint has been covered in other threads.

The first step was to remove the crimps that ensure the ball joint stays in the knuckle. I used a cold chisel and a hammer to remove the lip.



These are the pieces from the kit used to remove the old ball joint.

For some reason, GM decided to make the collar on the ball joint the same size as the outer radius of the lower control arm. This makes it impossible to use the 7 piece ball joint tool that most auto parts stores carry.

It's hard to see in the picture, but there are tabs on either side of the lower control arm that you place the receiver cup onto from the bottom.

Press the ball joint down as far as it will go.

Then, push it out the rest of the way with the C Clamp.

The ball joint pressed out.

I used these pieces to press the ball joint into the lower control arm. The way I used them was not the way they were intended to be used, but it worked.

Disclaimer: Don't come bitchin if something goes wrong or it doesn't work for you.

Install the snap ring.

Install grease fitting.

Lastly, enjoy saving hundred of dollars. :woot:
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What about when the lip the recieving cup sits on shears off?
Are you talking about the wings on either side of the ball joint?

These sheared off?? This is what the receiver cup sat on when I did this.

I don't know how badly they're sheared off, but you could take a grinder to them and make the bottom sides flat again so your receiver cup doesn't slip off.
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Cut right through one of the wings. I ended up finding an adaptor to stick the press on at a weird angle and get pressure then used a BFH after drilling some holes in the ball joint to relieve some side pressure. The BFH came in handy on extraction and install. Seemed that whenever the press got real tight, a whack of the hammer would straighten out any uneven pressure and allow me to crank some more. The 2nd side had no issue with the wings, so maybe it was a weak spot in the cast on mine.

Thanks for the pics and write-up. Really helped out.
Cut right through one of the wings.
Holy *****! That just goes to show how much pressure it takes to get these stupid ball joints out.

Glad to hear you got it done after all of that.
Prolly shoulda taken pics, but was pissed and it was spitting occasional sleet on me and I just wanted them done.
Make the job easier.

Great write-up. I just went through this last weekend on my '02 Bravada. I used the tools in a similar fashion. When i did the left side, it took a LOT of pressure to break that joint loose. When it finally went, it sounded like a 44 going off. It moved over half way out in one shot. Consequently, I soaked the right side with a product called Aero Kroil. This is a penetrating fluid used in the aviation industry. I allowed this to soak for about half an hour and then pressed the joint out. It came out very easily. Huge difference. I use this stuff on everything. :yes:
i borrowed the 21 piece power built kit and am going to attempt to change lower ball joints later this afternoon. im going to soak them with penetrating fluid for a couple of hours. im not sure if this will help tho. heres a lesson for any of you going to do any repairs on your vehicle that your not sure about-GO TO THE BEER STORE BEFORE STARTING! theres nothing worst than messing something up and getting pissed off and then finding out you have no beer in the fridge.
I wish you luck. Just remember that the hard part is getting the old ball joint out, at least in my case.
I wound up buying one of the HF kits and modified the receiver cup. Actually ground small notches in the underside of the wings, them ground a relief on the receiver cup. Worked like a charm, and saved mucho dinero.
i got my lowers changed out yesterday and in my case getting the ball joints out was the easiest part. when i went to install the new ones as soon as i got pressure the cup would slip to the side over the ball joint. it seemed like i needed a cup that would be 1/16 smaller in diameter. i ended up sliding an insert up the tapered shaft which snugged up just before the rubber boot and pressed it on this way using the tapered shaft instead of the body of the ball joint. and then to remove the insert from the tapered shaft of the ball joint (wich got wedged on) i installed the nut(to not damage threads) and raised a jack under ball joint shaft(to hold it tight) and tapped downward on insert with a hammer and flat nosed punch a few times and it popped right off. if possible id recomend doing it the proper way but this is the only way that seemed to work for me. and as i stated a few posts back-make sure you go to beer store before starting this.
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Just to be sure... You only removed the lower ball joint nut to gain access to it if I look at the pics. I'm I wrong ?

The how-to doesn't cover how to get access to the ball joints. There's a lot more to it than removing the ball joint nut. There's a really good thread that is stickied that covers that.
Is it possible to drill & tap a hole into the factory ball joints and install a grease fitting? My 2WD '03 has 90k on it but they still seem tight. Maybe one can extend the life with new grease fittings before they are worn out??
Thought maybe someone has tried it with some luck.
Great pics!

Man, wish I would have looked at these before today. I had to learn the hard way what those ears were for. After 10 years my Envoy's ball joints came out really really hard.

One thing I noticed was that my new joints had a grease fitting on the top and with that installed it was pretty difficult to re-install the lower control arm, the boot from the drive axle got in the way.

Anyway, this was a fun job, and saved a ton of dough to spend on beer. :crazy:
What happened to the pictures

Anybody have the pictures to this thread? They're not showing up:sadcry:
Anybody have the pictures to this thread? They're not showing up:sadcry:
Im not seeing he pictures either, too bad seemed like a helpful thread.
Anybody have the pictures to this thread? They're not showing up:sadcry:
Im not seeing he pictures either, too bad seemed like a helpful thread.
I just happen to know the OP destroyed the links to the pictures for a reason. The good news is that this how to is posted elsewhere on the internet.
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