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Ibreak4Change 05-21-2011 07:48 PM

Lower Ball Joint Replacement Help Needed!
Hello all. I have a 02 Ram 1500 2wd truck and I'm in the process of replacing worn lower ball joints. But I can't seem to figure out whether these ball joints are the (press in) type or is it replaced by removing the 4 rivet studs on the lower control arm and replacing with a (bolt-in) type.

I have tried the ball joint remover/installer tool from Advanced Auto, Autozone, and now Oreilly's and I have failed to even make the ball joint budge at all. So now I have removed the lower control arm and put it into my shop press and I have still failed to move it all in either direction. Also there is no visible snap ring that I see needs to be removed.

The lower ball joints that I ordered are Moogs and they appear to be the (press in) type. But I noticed that the older Rams like 2001 and older appear to have a bolt-in type ball joint but none seem to be offered for the 2002 and up model. I don't know but I'm at wits end. If anyone has any info or experience on this model if would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

Ibreak4Change 05-21-2011 09:31 PM

Here are some pics if they will help any.

bigdaddyII 05-22-2011 07:50 AM

If Im not mistaken, those rivets have to be grinded off and the replacements should come with bolts in place of the rivets.

CEM155 05-22-2011 08:52 AM

They are supposed to be pressed on as they are sold as a replacement part but, if you ask a Dodge technician at a dealer, even they would recommend to replace the control arm. I've tried in my shop press and couldn't get them to budge either. Technically, you could grind off the rivets but, in my opinion, that would be rigging stuff and I hate doing that. At the end of the day, I just purchased new arms. Probably the most expensive repair I've done to my truck as you can only get the part from a Dodge Dealer. Thankfully, I had a connection at the dealer and paid 10% above their cost. That helped.

RamTech 05-22-2011 08:55 AM

I'm a Dodge technician at a dealer and the only way I've replaced them was to grind off the rivets and install the new units with bolts. I fail to see how this is any type of "rigging" when the bolts perform the same function as rivets.

Ibreak4Change 05-22-2011 12:30 PM

Ok thanks for the feedback guys, I thought I was going insane, because I'm using a 20 ton shop press and the control arm ends up flying out of the thing and shooting sparks and I'm wondering why won't this thing budge?? We'll I guess I'll call the dealer Monday and see if their is some kind of replacement kit with bolts. Thanks again guys.

Ibreak4Change 05-23-2011 02:36 PM

Hey Randy you wouldn't happen to have a part number for that would you? I went to the dealer this morning and the parts guy showed me the ball joint and it looked identical to the one stuck in the control arm except without the little notches on top.
He told me there was no bolt in kit that he knew of and he priced the control arm itself at @ $450 each!!
So I decided to take both lower control arms to a front end specialty shop and even the old man there told me he had never seen that before,(no bolt in kit offered). So he said he will give me a call when they are done, hopefully he gets the moogs in, I'm crossing my fingers otherwise I don't know what else to do except order new lower control arms.

Ibreak4Change 05-24-2011 07:58 PM

UPDATE---- Got the control arms back from the front end shop this morning. Guy who did the job told me that you have to use an air hammer to knock back the lip on the top of the ball joint. Then he said he just used his "BFH", four pound mallet to knock it out. Then pressed in the new Moog and greased it for me. Hopefully this will help someone who plans on changing their lower ball joints, which they obviously don't last long. The truck maybe nine years old but just hit 43k this month and has sat mostly since it was bought new. I also changed out the upper control arms since the ball joints were rotted and gone also.
So change out lower control arms at @ $450 a piece?? Shiiii, forget that mess. Here's a pic of the new joint.

matt99 05-26-2011 11:39 AM

whew Im glad you didnt listen to those guys. There are a few different suppliers of the Ball Joints and some have caps and otherr have that nonremoveable cap like yours does. Like your mechanic said, you have to take an air chisel or a good big flathead and knock those indentions off. Then the thing just presses through the lower control arm down. I replaced my lower bjs with Moog, too. 65/each if I remember right.

Now, the upper control arms do have to be replaced as a whole. They are only $110/each I think

ramstenerson 06-14-2011 06:16 AM

I had those same OEM balljoints in my Dodge. Just replaced with moog. Don't need to worry about that cap. I borrowed the balljoint press kit from AAP and just pressed it down through the lower control arm.

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