NEED HELP UBJ won't take grease

Blckshdw

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Nov 20, 2011
10,682
Tampa Bay Area, FL
For a while now, I've been chasing an intermittent squeaking issue on the driver's side front wheel. It would only occur at low speeds, on sharp right turns, like pulling into a parking spot, or turning at an intersection. After spraying silicone spray around all the joints, the noise would eventually go away for weeks or months, and then come back.

Finally think I singled out the issue, when spraying the UBJ pinch bolt, the squeaking would go away after a few turns. Pulled out the grease gun and after a single squeeze, the grease came out BEFORE the fitting. Suspecting a clogged zirk, I pulled it to test, but grease flowed freely through it, so that means problem with the UBJ correct? Are there any options other than replacement?

20240203_111138_resize.jpg
 

Blckshdw

Original poster
Moderator
Nov 20, 2011
10,682
Tampa Bay Area, FL
For kicks, I lifted the control arm off the ball joint to get full access to the boot, did notice some cracking. Used a pick tool to reach in from the top and open up the boot enough to get the straw in, and spray some lube. Not only did the spray come out of the top as expected, I also found a pinhole leak in the side of the boot. :mad:

I know I can get one of those grease needles, and smear some RTV where the hole is to seal it, but I wish I could figure out why it won't take any grease through the hole in the joint. :confused:
 

mrrsm

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Oct 22, 2015
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Some Thoughts...

(1) Dis-assemble the Grease Gun Nozzle Fitting, Clean all the sub-fitting innards with Brake-KLEEN and re-assemble finger tight.

(2) Elevate the SUV on that side via Jack Stand to relieve the UBC of any additional pressure.

(3) Observe this Diagram of that location and while applying Grease Gun Pressure... Tap-Tap-Tap right on the point of the Red Arrow with a Brass Hammer on the Armature to induce enough Shock and Vibration to dislodge the inner UBC Ball and Socket.

trailblazersuspension1.jpg

(4) Consider getting this Lock-N-Lube "Hands-Free" Grease Nozzle as otherwise, performing the above actions might become something like "Rubbing your Stomach --- while Patting your Head".

51QiF3lyeKL._AC_SX679_-3791787408.jpg


 
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Blckshdw

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Nov 20, 2011
10,682
Tampa Bay Area, FL
Grease flows through the gun nozzle with ease. I did the other steps, except for hammering the side of the steering knuckle while pumping grease. Is that a reliable tactic, or a shot in the dark kinda thing?
 
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mrrsm

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Short of Pulling the Knuckle Armature and performing the UBC R&R ... as a Last Ditch Effort... Reasonable Brass Hammer Impacts will transmit a LOT of energy into that location as with using a Brass Hammer vs. Durable Cast Iron or Steel Components when any such items are Rusted Solidly Together. So... this technique might just do *The Trick*.

I'm trying to Think Outside of The Box here because quite often, "Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures..." and the Brass Hammer Face will deform well before damaging the UBC encirclement of the UBC Knuckle Armature. If you decide to employ this method, start with applying Light Hammer Strikes and gradually build up the force if necessary to increase the effect while trying to induce the Hydraulic Grease Pressure from underneath into the Zerk Fitting.
 

Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
25,335
Ottawa, ON
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Blckshdw

Original poster
Moderator
Nov 20, 2011
10,682
Tampa Bay Area, FL
Short of Pulling the Knuckle Armature and performing the UBC R&R ... as a Last Ditch Effort... Reasonable Brass Hammer Impacts will transmit a LOT of energy into that location as with using a Brass Hammer vs. Durable Cast Iron or Steel Components when any such items are Rusted Solidly Together. So... this technique might just do *The Trick*.

If it was rusted in place or seized up, I'd be fully on board, although I don't have a brass hammer :bonk: But when I disconnected the control arm to do the testing with the boot, I was able to move the ball joint easily by hand, it was smooth without any play, so doesn't have any problems other than lubricity.

I know there's a tool that can force grease or oil into a joint through the zerk however the cost of it may just tell you to just replace the BJ.

I watched a couple similar videos earlier. With the 90 degree zerk, something tells me the repeated impacts might break it. And if I replace it with a straight fitting, having the cylinder upside down would have all the oil spill out.

An annoying inconvenience all around. They're Delco joints, so I thought they'd be trouble free as long as the originals were. Hopefully the other one doesn't start doing the same thing soon. :no: I saw some of the grease needles that have a zerk fitting, so you can use them with the grease gun and not have to buy a syringe. That will likely be a new addition to the tool box in the coming weeks :undecided:
 

Ilikemy3s

Member
Dec 3, 2011
369
On related questions .. is there an interval on when to grease the fittings (every xxxx miles) or is there a way to tell when they should be greased ?
 
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mrrsm

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Apparently... Every 10,000 Kilometers or Yearly is the suggested interval... And this comes from the only references being made to "Suspension" or "Ball Joints" in the same breath in the entire Trailblazer Owner's Manual...with some dialogue stressing for the "Service SHOULD be done by the Dealership", etc:

TRAILBLAZER10KSERVICING.jpg

Since many of us also own Full Size 2007-2013 Trucks, this Haynes PDF excerpt covers a LOT of Service and Maintenance & Torque Spec Information, too with a mention to "Lube The Chassis Every 15,000 Miles or Yearly":
 

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  • 2007-13 Chevy Silverado_GMC Sierra Truck Routine Maintenance FAQ - Haynes Manuals.pdf
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Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
25,335
Ottawa, ON
I do it at the same time as the oil change, which is about the same interval.
 
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