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Old 02-13-2011, 09:16 PM
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nocoborn nocoborn is offline
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Location: St. Louis
Age: 42
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Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Ram 4x4 Qd Cab
Color: Silver
Engine: 2002-2007 287ci (4.7L) PowerTech V8 235hp 295lb/ft
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Ball joint replacement complete. If I wasn't in such poor shape, it would have been easy!!! I think the thing that killed me the most was all that squating down, standing a million times. I need to get one of those roll around seats. Anyway, a few highlights.

I did end up removing the steering knuckle. I originally wanted to leave the tie rod and half shaft connected to the knuckle and push the knuckle forward to access the ball joint. This was not possible as the shock absorber is in between the tie rod and the half shaft. So when I disconnected the tie rod, I just removed the whole knuckle to give myself some room.

The upper ball joint seperated easily with a pickle fork. Now, here's a good tip, DON'T USE A PICKLE FORK ON THE LOWER BALL JOINT!!! There is not enough room to jam it in for seperation. I think there is a special tool to seperate it with. What I ended up doing was putting a floor jack under the ball joint stud and wacking the knuckle with a 4 lb hammer. I put a nick in the steering knuckle trying to use the pickle fork.

I waited til the very end to put the zirc fittings on. This was a mistake for the lower. There is not much room between the lower ball joint and the half shaft. It took some really good concentration (and cussing) to get that thing threaded in.

All in all, it took me about 5 hours. This could have been shortened significantly if I had realized I was modifying my steering knuckle with a pickle fork and I wasn't trying to put that &%&%^ zirc fitting on. This is my first time doing this. I don't have a lot of special tools. I used the ball joint press from autozone. It worked very well. I did have to use a make shift adapter for the press when I was pushing the ball joint up the last half inch or so. I used a 24" breaker bar quite a bit. Also the big hammer came in handy.

I have a couple of pictures that I'll post tomorrow. Msg me if you have any questions.
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