Just to be clear, I don't HAVE TO remove the steering knuckle to replace UBJ, right?

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
822
Seems like replacing them with the knuckle still on would save a bunch of screwing around.

Mooseman's manuals say to remove the knuckle, but in a few threads here look like folks left them on.

Also looking to do upper control arms at the same time.

Thinking Mevotech. Parts would come in at about $150 from Rock Auto ... which is as much as the shop that quoted the work wanted for one ball joint, plus $180 labor.

Imagine I would rent the 21-piece from Advanced Auto, is that the best way to go?

Thoughts, tips, wisdom?

Thanks.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
I pulled my steering knuckles when I replaced my upper ball joints, but I was also replacing the lowers too and it was easier with the knuckle off the vehicle and in a vice. That said, it seems there would be enough room to do it with the knuckle still in the vehicle. It isn't too hard to remove it though, just remove the axle nut, unbolt the tie rod end, and disconnect the lower ball joint.
 

neelskit

Member
Dec 7, 2011
69
6716 said:
Seems like replacing them with the knuckle still on would save a bunch of screwing around.

Mooseman's manuals say to remove the knuckle, but in a few threads here look like folks left them on.

Also looking to do upper control arms at the same time.

Thinking Mevotech. Parts would come in at about $150 from Rock Auto ... which is as much as the shop that quoted the work wanted for one ball joint, plus $180 labor.

Imagine I would rent the 21-piece from Advanced Auto, is that the best way to go?

Thoughts, tips, wisdom?

Thanks.

I replaced my Upper Ball Joints last weekend- no need to disconnect tie-rod ends. You do need to disconnect the brake hose hold-down brackets and un-clip the ABS wiring from the steering knuckle to allow you enough room to swing the knuckle out to use the ball joint press. I don't know about the kit from Advance- I used the one from Auto Zone. I had to use a large deep socket (18MM?) to press the ball joint out as the press kept slipping off the ball joint stud. Here is the press I used:

OEM/Ball joint/U-Joint press set (27023) | | AutoZone.com

Took me about 30 minutes/side. Not very difficult at all and I used all hand tools.
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
Nope, you don't have to remove the knuckle to do the balljoint job.

Disconnect it from the upper control arm pull it. This is after you get the caliper off.

It would be easier if you took the tie rod ends off so the knuckle leans out further which makes pressing out and in easier. Easy way is to remove the nut and bonk it off with a sledge hammer (if you're comfy doing so).

The balljoint set from Advance Auto is the best I've used so far. It comes with every fitting possible. The one from AutoZone is a joke but it will work with some frustration. :hissyfit:

Are you planning on doing the lower ball joints also? Might as well since you're there? Just remember to get an alignment done afterwards. And if they tell you the caster and camber cannot be adjusted, tell them yeah-huuuhh (because they can).
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
822
seanpooh said:
Are you planning on doing the lower ball joints also? Might as well since you're there?.

I'm at 188,000 mi, so my plan is to swap out upper and lower control arms to get new bushings. You might call my ride quality in the corners "a little floaty."

I'll get the LCA ball joint with the arm.

I'm going to spread out my parts purchases, and go with the "lifetime" alignment at Firestone so I can chip away at the front end a couple hundred dollars at a time.
 

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