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Unread 05-17-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
greenlawnjeeper
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Ball joint install with photos


I know this has been addressed before but I thought I'd add my thoughts and a few photos. With the autozone press, you will have to make a couple of adapters to do the job - at least I did. I used 2 different pipe diameters and in one instance used a bolt to get the old bj out. This process worked for me, it may not go that way with you.. This is just my .02 FWIW.

The axle shaft tapped out pretty easily with a SFH


All tools laid out close by


How it looks with the axle shaft out - a couple of wacks down with my SFH and the hub will fall down - MAKE SURE YOU TAKE THE BJ NUTS COMPLETLY OFF FIRST as the BJ stud will spin and you won't be able to loosen them.


Pressing the old Upper BJ out - you are forcing it UP



Pressing out the lower ball joint - you are forcing it DOWN


For final lower press out, I had to put a nut on the top.


Both out - I cleaned up the insides and coated it with anti-seeze


Old vs. new - I used Raybestos Profession Grade parts


Pressing in the lower - you are forcing it up - MAKE SURE YOU HAVE IT GOING IN EVENLY. I used a breaker bar with a short pipe to install it. If it doesn't turn with that set-up, STOP and see why.


Pressing in the Upper - you will note mypipe tube to press the other edge of the upper in. The AZ press didn't fit right.


Done deal - make sure you grease the bottom and insert the plug. The fitting won't fit (it didn't for me) to leave in there - it will hit the axle.


I also did the axle u-joints. They were a bigger ball buster than the ball joints. I broke one new joint when pressing it in.


I used a bench vice for the pressing in/out.



After pushing one cap thru, I cut the other cap and got it off with a 4" grinder


Axle u-joint installed. I got the one with the zerk. On high horsepower cars, I get solids but in the Jeep, I;m only running 190HP







I greased the splines of the axle tube and coated them (the end going into the carrier) liberly with gear lube before putting them back in. So far, no leaks. I still have to get to the the tie rod ends and maybe the ZJ tie rod upgrade.

If anyone sees any flaws above, please advise.

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Unread 05-17-2012, 12:20 PM   #2
Diamond-x
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Looks great, that's a lot of work. I had the same issue with the universal press kit:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/b...ement-1004211/
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Unread 05-17-2012, 03:23 PM   #3
DriverX
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Thanks for this, I am in the process of replacing the hub bearings and figured that it is only a few more bolts to the ball joints. And the ZJ steering upgrade as well... never ending!
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Unread 05-17-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
chiefbill1959
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Great writeup!!
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Unread 05-18-2012, 06:50 AM   #5
theshaolin
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Great writeup, good pics, thanks!

I use a vice or my press to remove the old u-joints, but NEVER to install the new ones for the exact reason you demonstrated. Clean the bores up really well with a lil bitty wire wheel and they should tap right in with a hammer and socket.
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Unread 05-18-2012, 07:24 AM   #6
n5xl
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Just an observation...with regard to the grease zerk plug on the lower ball joint, if there is enough room for it, then you have enough room for a flush grease zerk in its place. I dont know if you could get a needle adapter down to it though...maybe snake it through the u joint somehow or perhaps bend the needle adapter for the grease gun.
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Unread 05-18-2012, 08:29 AM   #7
greenlawnjeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n5xl View Post
Just an observation...with regard to the grease zerk plug on the lower ball joint, if there is enough room for it, then you have enough room for a flush grease zerk in its place. I dont know if you could get a needle adapter down to it though...maybe snake it through the u joint somehow or perhaps bend the needle adapter for the grease gun.
Lack of a fitting on the LBJ is a weak spot. Nonetheless, without a great deal of effort (an hour a side) you can periodically disassemble it down, take the plug out and give it a shot of grease. That is what I plan to do every 7500-10000 miles - which for me would be every 12-16 months. That I think SHOULD make it last virtually forever - considering the right side BJ was fine after almost 90K miles and only OEM lubrication. The left side OTOH was completly wiped out. Interestingly enough, the factory oem lower didn't even have a plug and I wonder the manufacturing process on how it was initially lubed?

ps. also note, which I though was good idea, before putting the hub and axle back, clean up where the hub resides and give it a toothpaste brush of anti-seeze so that when you take it off the next time, it'll be real easy.
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Unread 05-18-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
NW99XJ
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Keep an eye on your axle seals, they're prone to leakage after removing/re-installing the shafts.....
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Unread 05-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #9
Flyordie
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On the U-Joints, the new ones I got my XJ have the zerks on the cap. Uses case hardened steel caps too. Filled it with Valvoline Crimson grease.

As for the ball joints, the ones I got to replace mine are greaseable and the zerks don't hit the axle shaft at all. :-\ Guess thats why they call the product line "Problem Solver" though? :-p

Although question- What brand was your wheel bearings? Mine are Timken. (which are still under warranty, despite being installed in 1992)


Anyway, great write-up. Glad to see someone did it.

-Edit-
As for the axle shaft seals leaking.. Mine aren't leaking yet.. but I did make sure the place where the seal meets the shaft lubed up with the grease I used on the U-Joints.
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Unread 06-04-2013, 11:53 AM   #10
greenlawnjeeper
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Update on these parts........

These parts have been in exactly 1 year. I pulled one wheel off yesterday to inspect the brakes (which I found out need to be done ). The right side upper BJ boot has split - the other side is OK. I was able to easily pull the boot completly off. I called Raybestos and explained my situation. Tech person said they don't sell replacement boots , I said I expected a courtesy replacement. He said all parts come from overseas and he can't get me anything. I told him the top ball joint "top" is all rusted and looks like its been in for 10 years - he said "steel rusts." Funny that the oem ones that were in for 17 years didn't "rust." Maybe they should try coating them with something instead of leaving them bare steel. I will admit they did look when I took them out of the box. So there we are with Raybestos .
p6030224.jpg   p6050228.jpg   p6050229.jpg  
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'96 Cherokee Country, Magnaflow cat and Borla exhaust, Hella 550's, Up Country suspension, Michelin MS 2's in 235x15 and Edelbrock IAS shocks. 91K orig. miles - the wife uses it ('cept when I borrow it to go huntin').

Last edited by greenlawnjeeper; 06-05-2013 at 08:56 AM.. Reason: boot split - didn't have a "chunk" taken out of it
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Unread 06-04-2013, 01:12 PM   #11
Floreancig_XJ
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Raybestos products carry a 1-3 year warranty.. Id bring jt right back to where you bought it
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Unread 06-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #12
greenlawnjeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floreancig_XJ View Post
Raybestos products carry a 1-3 year warranty.. Id bring jt right back to where you bought it
I called Rock Auto (where I bought them), told them the story about Raybestos being no help and he said nothing about any warranty - they said they couldn't help me either He also said Raybestos was under no obligation to help me
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Unread 06-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #13
Flyordie
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This is why I dont do Raybestos. I buy Moog Problem Solver. Lifetime Warranty and Made in the USA. :-)
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Unread 06-07-2013, 03:53 PM   #14
Floreancig_XJ
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Lifetime warranty on some raybestos parts and to let you know moog makes raybestos lol
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Unread 06-08-2013, 09:20 AM   #15
greenlawnjeeper
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My initial try at replacement boots was via phone call to Raybestos. The other day I tried via e-mail to customer service - here are the results of that inquiry

Question/Request:

I bought Raybestos Prof. Grade upper and lower ball joints last year at this time from Rock Auto. One of the upper ball joint boots split. Could you please send me a replacement boot? The vehicle is a 1996 Jeep Cherokee, 4wd. Thanks

Raybestos does not sell the boots by themselves.

Thank you

-----Original Message-----
From: (BPI Raybestos Customer Service)
Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2013 11:47 AM
To: (BPI Raybestos Product Information)
Subject: FW: Contact From www.raybestos.com - Customer Service

Last time I'll deal with those jokers

ps. I needed rotors and brake pads for another vehicle. I'm trying Wagner this time
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'96 Cherokee Country, Magnaflow cat and Borla exhaust, Hella 550's, Up Country suspension, Michelin MS 2's in 235x15 and Edelbrock IAS shocks. 91K orig. miles - the wife uses it ('cept when I borrow it to go huntin').
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