WOW...new control arms and ball joints!!

floridafitz

Original poster
Member
Jan 2, 2012
151
Winter Springs FL
I'm painfully slow to excite and incredibly reserved....but WOW. Had new upper/lower control arms and ball joints installed today...still need a new alignment....and the difference is HUGE. Odometer is 168K and I have another 30K of 4-down towing behind a motorhome, so it's closer to 200K suspension miles with original parts other than struts/shocks and end links. Followed the advice of this forum and went with upper Dorman and lower Mevotech control arms. Used Mevotech ball joints all around. Purchased from RockAuto. Front end sloppiness is gone...no more groans and squeaks mounting curbs and road bumps. It has that new vehicle feel that impressed 9 years ago. I'm stoked :wootwoot:
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
Oh yeah, the new bushings on the control arms does make a nice difference along with the ball joints. When you get the alignment, it will be much much better. Just a suggestion, check the sway bar bushings and the end links for play and replace if needed. Other than that, you have a solid front end.
 

floridafitz

Original poster
Member
Jan 2, 2012
151
Winter Springs FL
Thanks....plan to do the front and rear links. May try Deeza.
 

envisionelec

Member
Jun 20, 2012
27
floridafitz said:
I'm painfully slow to excite and incredibly reserved....but WOW. Had new upper/lower control arms and ball joints installed today...still need a new alignment....and the difference is HUGE. Odometer is 168K and I have another 30K of 4-down towing behind a motorhome, so it's closer to 200K suspension miles with original parts other than struts/shocks and end links. Followed the advice of this forum and went with upper Dorman and lower Mevotech control arms. Used Mevotech ball joints all around. Purchased from RockAuto. Front end sloppiness is gone...no more groans and squeaks mounting curbs and road bumps. It has that new vehicle feel that impressed 9 years ago. I'm stoked :wootwoot:

Could you post the part numbers you purchased? I have the same strange squeaks in my 218k mile Bravada. Sounds like a stuck pig. But only sometimes. :wink:

Ah wait...I found that you can just buy the LCA brackets for a lot less...nice!
 

floridafitz

Original poster
Member
Jan 2, 2012
151
Winter Springs FL
If you are still in the market, check RockAuto for your 02 model. Not sure it calls for the same parts as the 03 Envoy 4.2. Noticed the Mevotech LCA's are about $10 each less than I paid a month ago :frown:
 

ieatglue

Member
Nov 20, 2011
152
I'm planning on changing out all the bushings! It's gonna be fun working on a 9 year old rusted suspension system, but I can't wait to get the truck feeling like new again!
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,561
Ottawa, ON
Same here. I have the bushings ready to install, just need to find the time to do it. I had already replaced three of the four balljoints so didn't want to pay extra for those again. And have access to a press if needed. And I also have 4 Bilsteins waiting to go in so the improvement should be dramatic.
 

ieatglue

Member
Nov 20, 2011
152
I started on this Yesterday, but I can't get the lower control arm bushings pressed in, or the lower ball joint to release!! Any input?
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
If the lower ball joints are stock, you have to knock in that lip that has the indentations or just grind it off. Then you can press it out.
If you're talking about about getting the knuckle off the threading of the ball joint, you need a pickle fork or use the ball joint clamp and force it off.

As for the lower control arm support bracket bushing, take a look at this... http://gmtnation.com/f77/rebuilding-front-suspension-896/. It sure did help me.
 

ieatglue

Member
Nov 20, 2011
152
I was talking about getting the ball joint off the steering knuckle. My fork wasn't wide enough to go around the ball joint shaft. I'll pass by the store and loan out the 5 piece fork set :smile:
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
Yeah, it is a pain. If you have the 23 piece balljoint set, somehow I used two sockets and the clamp with the impact wrench. I clamped it down so hard until it popped off with a big bang.
 

ieatglue

Member
Nov 20, 2011
152
I'll tackle it some more tomorrow. I just got a shower from this surprise thunder/lightening storm!
 

jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
i think i usually put a jack under the spindle, and hammer the snot out of the balljoint bolt
 

CRAZYDAVE

Member
Jul 22, 2012
10
They have a tool that wedges in the joint and you crank it with a1/2 in drive and she detonates off the steering knuckle. Can't remember what she's called but better than a pickle fork.Ball joint press rental works like a charm. just reposition the c-clamp everyother turn and she will creep right out. my favorite part is the rustbang! when she pops out. Which manufacturer are u using for ball joints? I used the moog problem solverrs and they are quite good. I chose to do all 4 ball joints. Another good tool for gettin'em out is an air chisel works very well on the uppers.Good Luck
 

ieatglue

Member
Nov 20, 2011
152
The thing is that I can't get the puller to grab on! Only 1/3rd of the metal around the ball joint is exposed. The dust shield covers the rest. I couldn't even take my CV axle out because the hub puller tool won't clear the threaded axle section. These tool rentals were made for a pruis, not for our trucks!

I went with AC Delco ball joints. All of them have zerk fittings

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04tbottawa

Member
Dec 7, 2011
10
ieatglue said:
I started on this Yesterday, but I can't get the lower control arm bushings pressed in, or the lower ball joint to release!! Any input?

for the lower balljoints all I ended up doing was bend in the tabs on the top of the balljoint, you will see the 3 tabs easily then held a ball peen hammer on it and used a 5lbs sledge, gave it a couple of good whacks and out it came.
 

CRAZYDAVE

Member
Jul 22, 2012
10
that'll do it. I prefer the press, but smashin' the crap out of it will work and it feels good too! Nice pics glue man
 

ieatglue

Member
Nov 20, 2011
152
My lower ball joint kept getting caught on the CV axle. I ended up unbolting the lower control arm and the whole thing just came out. Taking out the ball joint was a snap. After I buttoned everything up, my dad backed up and CLUNK!

Turns out the lower control arm bracket slipped outwards. The 3 bolts that hold it in place were pretty rusted, so I didn't want to over-tighten them! I'll jack it up tomorrow and bolt them back up. Still have the passenger side to do! :biggrin:

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jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
same thing happened to me. you can't be easy on those bolts. the k-member has to have enough pressure against bracket to hold it in.

according to alldata:
Tighten the front lower control arm bracket mounting bolt to 265 Nm (195 ft. lbs.) .
Tighten the rear lower control arm bracket mounting bolts to 240 Nm (177 ft. lbs.) .

i couldn't get enough leverage with my regular ratchet to get it in there, i was turning the bolt with my 24" breaker bar

if you can overtighten 195ftlbs on your back, then you've grown quite a bit since the i saw you at carlisle! lol
 

ieatglue

Member
Nov 20, 2011
152
I undid the support bolts, then the lower control arm bolts, smacked the support back in and torqued it down, WITH ONE ARM hahaha. I set my wrench to 150 ft-lb (max), then went an additional 1/16's of a turn. Then I got a strap and used it to pull my control arm back into the bushings. Saved myself the removal of the strut! :biggrin:

Thanks Jimmy. I have been working out though :rotfl:
 

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