Ball joints

Jon Blaze

Well-Known Member
#1
06 trailblazer 4/4 4.2 engine 67000 miles no front end work done except for alignment every year with state inspection
Now i watch may03lt video on bumps and clunks and saw there was play in the ball joint and uca bushings. I checked my lower ball joint and there is little play in my lower ball joints both sides. Also play in uca both sides. My question is can there be some play in the ball joints or no play in the ball joints? I priced out to have the work done and it will cost upwards of 1200.00 dollars for upper and lower ball joints. I just want to know about the play good or no good? I have owned this trailblazer since new.
 

Matt

Silver Supporter
#2
There should be no play in the ball joints. If you're even a little bit mechanically inclined, do the job yourself and save close to $800. It's easier to just replace the lower control arms rather than having the bearings pressed out. The lowers are about $100 a piece and the UCA + upper ball joints are about $80 for both sides from Detroit Axle.
 

gpking

Well-Known Member
#3
When they are past their expiration date they might begin making noise when turning or over bumps, in addition to noticeable play.
I had my ball joints done at around 70k miles (and granted I bought the parts myself) the shop charged me about $630 to replace them all and do an alignment. At that point, the OEM joints' boots had exploded and they were visibly ready to go and had started making noise, the play wasn't an issue.
Play in the control arms could be bad bushings, but I haven't had to have mine replaced yet (as of 95,000 miles).
I suppose the alignment shop could have left a bolt too lose too.

I'm sure someone more experienced will chime in soon.
(Someone beat me to it).
 

coolasice

Well-Known Member
#4
I replaced my lowers myself a few years ago,. They were a bitch to get out, had to drill relief holes and beat the hell outta it with a sledge. But, at $40 (moog) each vs $100 each for control arms it was a no brainier... (At the time control arms for the 08+ were hard to locate). Getting the old ones out is the hardest part. Installing new ones was a walk in the park. I haven't had to do uppers yet,. But when I do, I may just do the joints again instead of the whole arm... I like the challenge......
 
OP
OP
J

Jon Blaze

Well-Known Member
#5
06 trailblazer 4/4 4.2 engine 67000 miles no front end work done except for alignment every year with state inspection
Now i watch may03lt video on bumps and clunks and saw there was play in the ball joint and uca bushings. I checked my lower ball joint and there is little play in my lower ball joints both sides. Also play in uca both sides. My question is can there be some play in the ball joints or no play in the ball joints? I priced out to have the work done and it will cost upwards of 1200.00 dollars for upper and lower ball joints. I just want to know about the play good or no good? I have owned this trailblazer since new.
Also at the same time if i replace the uca or the lca should i replace the bolts to the frame
 
#6
No. Bolts are reusable. Another thing with replacing just the lower ball joints, most parts store ball joint tool sets don't have the special spacer necessary. I modified one of mine from the HF set to work.
 

coolasice

Well-Known Member
#7
No. Bolts are reusable. Another thing with replacing just the lower ball joints, most parts store ball joint tool sets don't have the special spacer necessary. I modified one of mine from the HF set to work.
You need to get the master ball joint set ($200+). It has everything you need. The cheap presses don't include the spacers needed. I rented a set from the local carquest (advanced auto parts now)
 
#8
I just did my UCA's on both sides, when you loosen the pinch bolt up top you can check your upper ball joints. If they are real loose or make a clicking when you push in they are bad. The UCA are pretty easy except the dirvers side you have to grind down some of the body so the bolt can come out. I am am about to replace my upper ball joint passenger side along with both lower control arms,,and ohh yeah my passenger side spring is cracked lol. Joy joy!
 
#12
You have to do the copy and paste thing with the links because they were posted during an old version of the forum software. I, or even Larry, can't edit the post because it gives a "too many images" error when I try to save the edited post.
 

jsinga

Active Member
#13
CrisFix has youtube vids on balljoint replacement. Like someone said not all kits have the adapters needed. Ended up using BFH on lowers. Made adapters out of pipe to fit uppers.
What about Lower Control arm bushings. Looks like just replace the bracket?
 
#14
That or just the bushings. That's why a lot replace the whole lower A-arm which includes the lower BJ and bushings without the hassle.
 

16vcabman

Well-Known Member
#15
I have done both ways and I now just replace lower control arms, and if needed upper control arms and then the ball joint on top, as it is connected to the steering knuckle. Also if you live in rust belt I usually replace lower bolts. A lot of torque on these bolts.
 

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