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DaSOB 08-07-2013 10:34 AM

Need advice - changing ball joints on 98 Ram RWD
I'm thinking I need to replace one or more ball joints on my truck. It's a 98 Ram RWD. They've been replaced once, but I'm fairly sure that at least one is going bad.

I sure would appreciate any advice, hints and/or suggestions on doing this myself.


KyleKirk 08-08-2013 03:07 AM

I would say to buy the best parts for the job. You DO NOT want to go cheap on suspension parts. If you change 1 then change them all as a set. You don't want to replace just the 1 bad ball joint then have the other go out a short time later. Get a small sledge hammer and a pickle fork and soak in pb blaster the day before you are going to do the work. Look on the bright side, if they have been replaced once before then you don't have to worry about the factory rivets to drill and punch out.

DaSOB 08-08-2013 08:48 AM

I changed out the lower left last night - didn't quite have the stamina to tackle the other lower one after that! Hardest part really was figuring out which adapters would work best. I found that one thing is indispensable - a cheater pipe. Turning the shaft on that clamp to press in the new joint takes some horsepower, even with a 12" Crescent wrench.

Yep, the fact that I've had them done before is what led me to go it on my own this time. I did not want to mess with the rivets on the OEM ball joints the first time.

I'll probably do the lower right this evening - should go more quickly now that I have the adapters all figured out. Both uppers are bad also, but I'm gonna just pay someone to do them because it looks like the upper control arm has to come off in order for you to have room to work on them. Rather let a pro do that and then align the thing.

Big Guy 08-08-2013 09:52 PM

I just replaced the upper and lower ball joints on both sides...they had been replaced before and the uppers were tack welded in place around the top. I did not think I needed to tack the new ones as I pressed the new Moogs in properly. I was wrong...the left one popped up the following day. I pressed the ball joint back in and tacked both uppers. I don't know if this is the way it is with all 99 Rams but it was necessary in this case. Who knows how this will affect the life of the ball joint. Thought you might like to know. Big Guy

DaSOB 08-08-2013 10:40 PM

I changed out upper and lower right side this evening - the upper was pressed in, no tack welds or brads. Hadn't moved since it was installed. I'll keep an eye on it, and if it tries to pop up I'll tack weld it.

I had done the lower left yesterday, but didn't have the time or stamina to finish the upper. I'm off tomorrow - I'll knock out the upper left in the morning and then be done with it.

Strange thing - both left side ones were loose as a goose, but the right side ones were still fairly stiff. Any ideas why that could be?

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