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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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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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Dragging up an old post... I have an odd shudder in steering wheel when turning slowly in the driveway backwards or forwards, stop to slow speed. Can this be ball joints. I plan to attack these anyway soon but want to know if I need to plan for more parts. I am thinking it could be my steering box as I have been re-tightening the box once in a while to tighten the steering.

Truck pulls to the right, but has for some time. Tire wear is fine.
 

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Trac bar ball joint will cause what you describe. I have done many trac and ball joint jobs. I can never get movement trying to pry the wheel, however I put the pry bar right at the ball joint and try to pry it "up" from the mount, if you get any movement they are shot. I've seen as much as 1/2" movement on the worst ones, and I got no movement at wheel. For wheel to move I guess both upper and lower would need play.
 
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is the truck lifted?

Ever since I lifted mine and put on bigger tires my abs sensor gets flaky when I turn at slow speeds and kicks in like the truck is sliding while braking.
 
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