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Old 08-01-2010, 01:16 AM
wermbang wermbang is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 10,365
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2001 Dodge Ram 4X4 Quad Cab
Trim Level: Sport- Off Road
Color: Intense Blue
Engine: 1998-2001 360ci (5.9L) Magnum V8 245hp(standard), 250hp(Sport package)
Rep Power: 0
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I also have this in a pdf with photos
Replacing Ball Joints – 2nd Gen Ram 1500 4x4 (94-01)
The night before, soak all of the nuts, bolts, and the ball joints themselves with Seafoam Deep Creep or PB
You’ll need some specialty tools to replace the upper and lower ball joints on a 2nd Generation Ram:
1. Ball joint/U-joint service kit – this can be purchased/rented at the parts store (this one is from Advance
Auto Parts)
2. Gear puller kit (not necessary, but is handy for removing tie-rod end from knuckle)
3. 1 and 11/16” socket, 1 and 1/8th inch socket, 3/8 inch Allen-head socket
4. Air compressor and impact wrench (again, not necessary but extremely useful in replacing axle nut and
lower ball joint nut)
5. One of these or a very big screwdriver:
6. 4-foot section of pipe
Aside from the special tools, you’ll also need an assortment of standard tools
1. Big Friggin’ Hammer (3-4 lb. mini-sledgehammer)
2. Needlenose pliers for cotterpin removal
3. 6 point sockets: inch; 13/16 inch; 7/8 inch
4. 12 point socket: 9/16 inch
5. Ball-peen (or other) hammer
6. inch and inch breaker bars ( inch bar not necessary if using compressor and impact wrench)
7. Ratchets in same sizes as breakers
You’re now ready to begin – if you have all of the proper tools, the job can be completed in 3 – 4 hours.
1. Loosen lugnuts, but do not remove.
2. Jack up vehicle by the axle and place jack stand under axle. Remove lugnuts, then remove wheel.
3. If not using a compressor and impact wrench, disconnect drag link from pitman arm to avoid damage to
steering box seals.
* * Yes, my trackbar is shot – that’s a future write up ;-)
4. Remove axle nut with 1 and 11/16 inch socket with either the impact wrench or the inch breaker bar
and 4-foot pipe.
5. Remove brake caliper using the 3/8 inch allen-head socket – set the caliper on the lower control arm or
tie it up out of the way with wire or coat hanger. ** Take care not to damage the brake hose **
6. Remove brake rotor
7. Loosen the three 12-point bolts holding in the hub bearing using the 9/16 inch socket. Do not remove
the bolts yet – you only want the bolts out about inch. Using the ball peen hammer, carefully bang on
the three bolts to unseat the hub bearing. Repeat process until hub bearing is removable.
8. Remove the axle shaft. Support the shaft with one hand while pulling it out with the other:
9. Disconnect tie rod end from knuckle with socket (13/16 inch – passenger side; 7/8 driver side) and gear
puller. Support tie rod on spare jack stand or bungee cord it to the coil spring.
10. Remove cotter pin and loosen nut on upper ball joint (7/8 inch socket)
11. Loosen nut on lower ball joint (1 and 1/8 inch socket)
12. Break knuckle free by persuading it with the BFH.
13. Remove nuts and boots from ball joints. Remove knuckle.
14. Assemble ball joint tool on upper ball joint using the appropriate spacers and snug it up – don’t tighten
yet. Smack ear around joint (see second pic below) with BFH to loosen joint. Crank tool until
resistance is encountered. Smack with BFH, crank, repeat until ball joint is free.

Rod goes thru upper
ball joint hole
15. Install lower ball joint using proper spacers (threaded rod will go thru hole for upper ball joint)
16. Install upper ball joint using the angled spacer underneath (short side faces the in; fat side faces out) and
the appropriate spacers on top. The angled spacer insures proper alignment when pressing the joint in
17. Install zerk fittings and add a little grease to the joints (they’ll only need a pump; two at most).
18. Position knuckle and install nuts on ball joints. Place jack under knuckle and raise jack to properly seat
the knuckle.
19. Snug up the nuts, then torque to spec (consult manual – mine were 80 ft/lbs upper; 75 ft/lbs lower).
Install new cotter pin on upper ball joint.
20. Reinstall axle shaft, hub bearing, rotor, caliper, axle nut, and tie rod. Remember the cotter pins
(preferably new ones, but the old ones can be used if they’re in good shape).
21. Now, go do the other side ☺
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