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wpari798 02-24-2011 02:48 AM

New ball joints dont match old ones I pulled
Need help! I was changing out my lower ball joints on my 95 1500 and the lower joints I took out dont match the ones I bought at AutoZone. I went back to AutoZone to see if they gave me the wrong ones and the guy showed me the part number and it was the correct ball joint. We even put the old joint up to model years 94 to 99 and no luck. The originals I pulled are much longer thread then the new ones I just bought, and the same for the othe years we looked at. Is the old joint a modified joint? the wrong joint? or should I just put the new ones in even though they are shorter? Im stumped and I got no truck because its stuck on a lift until I come up with a solution. Please help...

GTyankee 02-24-2011 03:07 AM

I don't know about your particular truck

but, on some 2004 Ram 1500 2X4 drive, they used the front suspension from a 2500 4X4, even though no one knows why, no transfer case or anything else, just the A arms, spindle & bearings were off a 4X4
my buddies truck was like that, he had bought it new

wpari798 02-24-2011 06:34 PM

You might be right. I talked to the head mechanic at the shop and he said the front end was probable changed out before I bought the vehicle. Maybe a dodge ram VAN. Didnt think of the van because I was trying every other ram truck model. Keep ya posted. Worst case Im changing out the controls and this point...whatever.

wpari798 02-27-2011 01:32 AM

what do you do when no ball joints fit? Replace whole front chassis?

GTyankee 02-27-2011 01:54 AM

if i were you, i would go to another parts house, i don't think the people at Auto Zone have much experience
i bet a NAPA store employees would know & likely have the right parts in stock, they are better parts too, so cost a bit more

you might check to see if you can locate a number on the A arms, it may help with ID, they will look similar to this

sinned 02-27-2011 01:40 PM

The thread length of the ball joint stud is of little importance. As long as it extends through the spindle enough to engage the threads and properly secure it with a cotter pin, it doesn't matter how long the threads are. The importance is that the taper of the stud is the correct degree, the taper is the correct diameter and that the OD of the ball joint housing is the correct for the LCA boss.

Any part store with a dial caliper can answer all of the questions pretty easily...except the taper and if everything else matches, just slide it into the spindle and ensure it fits securely with no rocking at all on the spindle bore.

wpari798 03-04-2011 10:14 PM

thanks for the help. I was told you needed the nut to secure the ball joint thread. Autozone, NAPA, ORielys, Dodge Dealership didn't have the part and a couple of other parts places didn't carry it either. I found out the dodge no longer makes the part. AWESOME! I said F it im just gonna replace the control arms that fit proper ball joints. Let you know how it goes.

wpari798 04-07-2011 12:34 AM

Finally completed suspension ball joint problem
Finally completed suspension lower ball joint problem. I felt this could be educational to others that might encounter the same problem I have.
1. Buy your vehicles from a certified mechanic (or have it checked by one).
2. Not every mechanic is really a mechanic. The ones that are know what to look for and use pictures and books related to the vehicle.
3. Educate yourself. Youtube and other information sites helped a lot to figure out this problem.

My lower ball joints were put in stem up. Improper. Upper and lower ball joints have stems facing down. I believe this was done to give a lowered effect. (4. Stop lowering trucks). Next, the mechanics I worked with couldn't figure out why the issued ball joints wouldnt fit. They said control arm...wrong. they said ball joint was wrong size...half right...wrong ball joint all together. The real problem however was the Knuckle. When awesome jerky guy who owned truck before me decided to lower truck he changed out the knuckle with a car knuckle. Picture soon to come. Pulled Knuckles from salvage...whats this things are fitting correctly ??? how can this be? Big help pictures from other forum guys and a picture of full suspension from info truck websites. Thanks forum people. Biggest bitch of whole restore... passenger side was so wedge improperly it took 2 guys and 5 hours to knock it out with 3 hammers, multiple chizzles and a shit ton of wd 40.

Thanks to the forum people that contributed but I leaned a lot from dealing with this myself and the help of a fellow mechanic.

End note: leave suspension to the professionals. its a very important part of your vehicle and safety.

PS - F the dumb ass mechanics that said Im shit outta luck and this problem cant be fixed. Maybe next time instead of putting the problem back the same way you took it off you'll use a book with pictures like I did.

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