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Old 10-14-2012, 06:33 PM
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Ball Joints Shot?

I was on my way home from work yesterday and got about 500ft from the house, pushed the brakes and heard a clunk and the front end shook pretty good. Not enough to throw it in the ditch, but like running over a possum. I checked all the driveline, suspension, and steering and everything was tight. the ball joints are the only thing I haven't checked and the symptoms sound like ball joints.

The question is, do you check these like all others, jack the front up and pull up and out on the wheel and if there is any movement, they are shot. If they are, I will do both sides. I have heard about taking the hub loose to do this, can the hub just be supported while the joints are swapped out?

Thanks in advance
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:26 PM
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Best way to check these from my experience. jack the front of the truck up and if you can find a long pipe or really long pry bar, pry up from under the tire and you will here and see movement and a clunk if there bad. As far as disassembling, the entire hub needs to be taken apart as well as removing the drive shaft to remove and install new joints. Hope thats helps a bit.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:40 PM
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I have done a bunch of SD ball joints. They aren't that hard. Jack it up and take a long bar and pry up on them. Some times you can tell by pulling top and bottom of the wheel. But the last one I did I couldn't get it to move by hand. When I got it apart both top ones were completely shot.

If you have to change them get the best ones you can find or you will be doing it over again, from my experience.

This guy explains it pretty well.

Good ole srmastertech. He really knows his $hit.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:58 PM
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I got out and checked them today and I think I seen a slight wiggle on the passenger side, I couldn't really tell. I used a pipe and rocked the wheels every which way possible, couldn't get it to clunk or give a definite answer. I gentle raised the bar, then rapidly raised the bar. Couldn't really get anything for sure.

I put the truck on a lift also and yanked on every suspension piece under there and everything felt tight. I am lost.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:43 PM
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If you have a bad ball-joint it may cause a vibration like a wheel imbalance, usually more noticeable when the tire has been disturbed by a bump or steering movement. If you let it run long enough, you will see cupping on the tire and possibly extra wear on one of the side treads. If braking caused a clunk, they would be worn severely! The shake tends to be more at a higher speed than 500' from your door.

If the road was wash-board or pot-holes, my vote would be the sway-bar bushings and the steering stabilizer. Of course, it could be all 3 as they have a tendency to all fail at some point around 60-100k, depending on your road conditions. I have had 2 SD trucks and have done these fixes on both of them.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:25 PM
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You should be able to see symptoms of a bad balljoint, the tire should be cambered in or leaning when the vehicle is parked on flat level ground. Check your tread wear as well.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:44 PM
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This Guys video was good, big help for my job.
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