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  #1  
Old 01-19-2009, 01:18 PM
Rob Rob is offline
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Ball Joints

So how do you know when they are worn and need replaced??? any noticeable noises while driving?? also, is this a job that a shop MUST do???
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:20 PM
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You'll get a knocking sound when moving. Jack up one wheel at a time and grab it on the top and bottom. Try to rock it/wiggle it back and forth. If they move, you need to replace them. If not, you're probably good to go. You can do it yourself if you have technical skills...and patience.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:25 PM
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Add one thing to the above... have someone do that while YOU watch the end of the axles... see if the ball joints are moving or the wheel bearings.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:25 PM
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do i need to jack it up at the frame???? i get this light knocking sound, but not sure where it is originating from... i notice it when i hit small bumps in the road.. most noticeable at low speeds....
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:28 PM
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You can do it at the axle. Also check your bushings on your sway bars, leaf springs (I didn't see if you had an 04 or older) and track bar. If your ball joints check out OK, try disconnecting each of the components listed above, one at a time, to isolate the problem.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:45 PM
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The way I check is to jack the truck up under the front axle like said before but I use a pry bar at the ball joints to see if there is any play in them. If you can get play by hand then they are really shot. Yes you can change them yourself. The hardest part is getting the old ones off. The most important thing to do is to measure the length of the tie rod you take off from center of joint to center of joint and and put the new one together at the exact same length. When I put mine together it still tracks straight as an arrow and never even bothered to get an alignment.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:58 PM
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ill have to get under there and check them out.. hopefully they arent bad... maybe i got something else loose or makin the noise..
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:15 PM
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A common problem that makes that clunk sound going over bumps is the sway bar end links have bad bushings. Not sure if you have the end links in your 04' though.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:22 PM
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+1 on jacking up and checking for play. +1 for doing it yourself. There is a good write-up with pics on here somewhere.
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