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zfinger
February 26th, 2006, 17:36
So this weekend or next I have to do upper and lower ball joints on the passanger side of my 97'. I've never done ball joints before, but I have a friend coming over to help me, and he has. I just bought this http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMPXNO=4514817&PMT4NO=5141444 through MSC Direct (my dad works for them), and I bought the fork for prying them out. Any words of wisdom or advise? Do I have all the specific tools I'll need? I have all the basic hand tools BTW. Are they a b*tch to do?

You know how at the end of some projects you look back and say "Damn, I should have just sent it to the garage, that sucked", is this one of those projects?

lilredwagn
February 26th, 2006, 18:00
You know how at the end of some projects you look back and say "Damn, I should have just sent it to the garage, that sucked", is this one of those projects?

Probably :D

You've got the press kit and it *should* have the right sleeves in it, but there's a possibility that you will need more sleeves of the right size. I used a socket I had, but that's a BIG nono because they can shatter and take out an eye or worse. So make sure you have safety goggles in any case.

You will also want a breaker bar to operate the press at certain points. You will be tugging on it fairly hard, so it is important that your jackstands are well placed.

The hardest part for me was getting the steering knuckle off. There is limited space to strike the knuckle, so you can't really just whack it with a hammer. I used a square-edged sledge like http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=46821 (but even more square) to rest a corner on the strike spot on the knuckle while hitting the back end with a 5lb sledge. Any old square chunk of steel would work, but for a couple bucks it comes with a handle, so it worked for well for that. Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time hammering futilely .. I had to take a break in the middle and go grab some water while I freaked out worrying that it would never come off and I would have to take it to a shop :D

I did use a propane torch to heat the knuckle, but that is also apparently foolish, as any air pockets in the casting will cause the knuckle to fracture. The ball joint should not be heated, because it will explode.

Sand-Dog
February 26th, 2006, 18:01
Go to: www.madxj.com, click on Technical in the left column, then click on the Installing (Adjustable) Ball Joints article. Lots of great how-to advice.

bj-666
February 26th, 2006, 18:18
an impact gun makes using the press much easier. when your tugging on those things with a long breaker bar it get's old quick. a pickle fork will be a great help in seperating the taper of the ball joint from the C.

4xBob
February 26th, 2006, 19:00
A clarification: the ball joint pickle fork is for seperating the C from the ball joints (getting the outer part of the knuckle off). It does not help get the ball joints out of the inner knuckle. (Wasn't clear to me in the wording above.)
It helps to wrap on the knuckle and set up a vibration once the ball joint press is tight on the ball joint. This can help get the ball joint moving out.
I did my 1990, both sides, all four ball joints. I also did my daughter's 1990, one side only. Now, less than a year later, the other side needs doing on hers too. It would have been a lot less trouble to do both sides at the same time.
Huge improvement! The steering on my 1990 is tight and precise. I have replaced all four ball joints and all tie rod ends, and the control arm bushings (not much improvement from the bushings, just lots of squeeking from the polyurethane bushings at every bump), as well as the track bar (on the third since new).

xj87
February 26th, 2006, 19:24
just did mine this weekend and took about 3-4 hours .while you have it apart check the wheel bearing and u joint in the axle so you don't have to take it apart again down the line . looks like you have all the tools you need.

Rev Den
February 26th, 2006, 20:36
You got the press, you will be fine.

Rev

zfinger
February 27th, 2006, 19:37
So the kit came in today, and a little slip of paper with it says something to the effect of "Every for 1967 current D44 axles". Well I dont have a D44, does the kit still have everything I need?

Jeep914x4
February 28th, 2006, 13:53
So the kit came in today, and a little slip of paper with it says something to the effect of "Every for 1967 current D44 axles". Well I dont have a D44, does the kit still have everything I need?

You should be fine. That press looks just like the one I borrow from Auto Zone and the sleeves fit perfect.

That press comes in handy for changing u-joints and I used the sleeves to help push out the bearings in my 242 when I was rebuilding it.

I have changed the balljoints a few times. I can do both sides in under 3 hours. It's not worth paying someone to do.

Good luck

RWKHausSupply
February 28th, 2006, 14:38
I reccomend. Removing the upper. Removing the lower. Installing the lower then installing the upper.

You will see why....

xjgrn
February 28th, 2006, 15:11
If you have acess to a torch, have it ready to use. sometimes beating on it with a hammer while the press is tight on it, just doesnt do the trick.If you're doing it outside,(I hope not)with the extream cold weather thats upon us, its not a good idea to beat on any cast metal. Have fun