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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Within 2 weeks of installing my markmc spacers, I have shredded both upper ball joints. The rubber boots are completely torn. The one on the driver's side is even making squeaking noises. I will have to make calls for estimates.

How much am I looking at to get this repaired?

Are the aftermarket balljoints any better? Or is this going to be a continual problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm assuming that's just parts cost? How long do you think a shop would take to do it?


and needless to say I cannot be replacing these every 2-4 weeks! Is there not a part out there that will last 30k+? I want to get 3ish years out of them, and I wouldn't feel so bad...


But I figure it's a couple hours labor, at least.... So we're at $240 minimum, plus alignment... So I'd be lucky to get out of thus for under $300? I definitely can't do that regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't want to do this job myself. I know they can be a bitch. So I'll end up paying a shop. I have a preferred shop and they charge me $60 / hour. You think they can do both sides in under that?

I searched online and found Moog / Mevotech / CTR. The price difference between them is about $20 each step, with Moog being most, and CTR being least. Any differences between the parts? Any reason not to get the CTRs?

If I didn't align the TV right away, would that put additional wear on the ball joints? (I don't care about the tires).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In theory, you get what you pay for.

It's like getting a DeWalt drill or a Ryobi drill. You pay twice as much for the DeWalt, but it'll last much longer than the Ryobi.
funny story about that, because my Dad and I both have Ryobi drills, and they outlasted two of our friend's DeWalts. Batteries lasted longer between charges, too.

But I get the point. And I tend to agree. I've used moog on previous vehicles, and I know it's a quality part.

However, my concern isn't so much the joint, but the boot. I was wondering if anyone knew of specific differences between the parts that would make one better than the others?


And any idea how an alignment does (not) interact with the longevity of the balljoint boots?
 

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2004 gmc
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50 lifted trailvoys, and I don't hear of an epidemic of torn boots yet. You may be the pathfinder. That always costs money, at least for me. I've worn, damaged or replaced proactively almost everything in my suspension and I haven't done a ball joint yet. Four lifted years and lots of offroad miles.

That said, the OEM CV boots are way too stiff for being lifted, and we have seen the beginning of complaints about those. Mark's lift IS at the extreme end of the range of possibilities. The OEM ball joint boot may have a similar issue.

The upper ball joint is at the limit of its angle at full extension, and we don't have the benefit of aftermarket upper control arms like the lowered crowd have, to fix that angle.

The ball joint should not care if it's aligned or not. I wouldn't think it's related.

Only your shop could tell how fast they can do the job. If we guessed low, you'd be mad. If we guessed high, you'd be pleased, and think WE were goofs. No win.

Since nobody's been changing out ball joints here yet as a reaction to being lifted, I bet noboy's done a comparison. Somebody would have to buy a set of all possible ball joints, and feel them for comparison. You could do that for us.

How many miles do you have, and what kind of offroading were you doing before now that could have stressed them? How much before Mark's lift, and how much in the last couple of weeks after the lift?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Since nobody's been changing out ball joints here yet as a reaction to being lifted, I bet noboy's done a comparison. Somebody would have to buy a set of all possible ball joints, and feel them for comparison. You could do that for us.
If I were to buy online, that would be too expensive for me; otherwise I would. However, I will check some local shops and if I have the opportunity to handle a few in-person, I'll post my impressions of each.

How many miles do you have, and what kind of offroading were you doing before now that could have stressed them? How much before Mark's lift, and how much in the last couple of weeks after the lift?
I have 96k miles. Prior to the lift I had done my fair share of logging trails. I inspected the boots prior to installing the spacer and they were in-tact.

I have not done any offroading since I got the spacers installed. I haven't even been on a dirt road! It's simply been about 300 miles of city/highway driving for my normal commute. Both boots are completely torn. Some grease is still left in the passenger joint, but the drivers joint was bone-dry and squeaking badly.

I also looked at the CV boots. Interestingly enough, the driver side CV is fine, and no leaks. The passenger side CV has fresh grease that has been "flung" all over the lower control arm; however, I do not see any tears in the boot.

There's always the possibility that they were near their "time" and the lift was the straw that broke the camels back. I really hope that is the case! I don't want to have to replace these for at least several more years.
 

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Your ball joint bushings/boots may have become dry rotted. Does your state use alot of salt during the winter? It may have just dried out the rubber. Then a little up and down motion in the lifted state produced the stress cracks.

I believe some of the aftermarket ball joints have zerks fittings for regreasing. You may want to look into that to prevent squeaks. I don't think you'll be replacing your joints every 30k. I'm at 75k with 20k lifted and don't have any visible ball joint issues (knock on wood).

Someone still needs to contact DJM (http://www.djmsuspension.com/) and see if they can produce their control arm at a different angle for us lifted guys. Although they cater to the lowered crowd, there would be very minimal R&D costs for them.

Welcome to the lifted domino effect. :crazy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Has anyone talked to Total Chaos or Camburg? They both make great upper control arms for other lifted vehicles -- and they ditch the upper ball joint, all-together in favor of a bullet-proof uni-ball.


I'm hoping that they were already on their way out, and lift just was the final straw. I'd be completely happy to replace them and get 75k miles out of the new ones (assuming they'd last that long with some dirt trails).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I repacked the existing boots with new grease (they were bone-dry) and wrapped the boots with a liberal application of electrical tape. I know that will probably rip after the first bump but I figure it couldn't hurt anything. Hopefully I can get 50ish miles out of them so I can get to work tomorrow, and make an appointment for a shop to replace em.
 

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Has anyone talked to Total Chaos or Camburg?
I emailed them a couple of years ago with no response. Then I got off on other projects. You need steering knuckles to match the Uniball upgrade, IIRC.

What seems to work best is getting an offroad store's staff person to argue our case, and then at least they listen. Maybe no product comes out of it, but we can always hope. Good thing we have a sales guy like that on the forum now.
 

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I replaced both sides upper and lower after the lift, but they were shredded way before. I used the ones from autozone and they had zerks with them. Did the work with a buddy, so I don't know how much labor would be. Oooh I think 2005+ you have to replace the contol arm and the ball joint, like its welded in or something, If not sorry and someone will correct me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
every shop wanted too much for the parts, so I bought them at Shucks for $81.99 (moog). No one carries them in-stock, so I decided not to risk anything, and bought ones that I know will be decent.

Every shop quoted me 3 hours labor -- which I feel is grossly over-estimated, but no one will budge on that. Anyway, $200 labor was the best quote I could find.

I should have parts tomorrow, and I have an appointment thursday morning to get them installed.


I really really really really hope that these last for a few years. I'm gonna :cry: if these fail, again.
 

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I really really really really hope that these last for a few years. I'm gonna :cry: if these fail, again.
Just remember, your vehicle is getting old and you're doing things to it that it was not engineered to do. Parts will break and parts will need replacement... you could save yourself a lot of money by purchasing a $30 ball joint press and doing it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just remember, your vehicle is getting old and you're doing things to it that it was not engineered to do. Parts will break and parts will need replacement... you could save yourself a lot of money by purchasing a $30 ball joint press and doing it yourself.
even if I owned the press, I can't afford to replace $165 in balljoints every 2 weeks -- or even every month or six.
 

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even if I owned the press, I can't afford to replace $165 in balljoints every 2 weeks -- or even every month or six.
What gives you the impression that you will have to replace the balljoints that often? Your OEM set lasted 70 some thousand miles. Thats 6 years...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What gives you the impression that you will have to replace the balljoints that often? Your OEM set lasted 70 some thousand miles. Thats 6 years...
Sure... But I checked them when I installed the spacers and they were fine. On the lift they've only lasted 2 weeks.

I am HOPING that it's coincidence. I am HOPING that new joints will give me another 6 years.

But if the lift is actually the problem, then I'm ****ed.

I really hope things work out, that's all I'm saying.
 
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