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post #1 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
chuck172
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ball joints

After battling loose steering since I bought this yj, this morning I jacked up the front end, put a prybar below the front tires and pried. There is definite up and down play in the drivers side ball joints. They even clunk when forcing them.
Everything else seems real tight. Tie rods are either replaced or good. Will replacing the ball joints solve my loose steering, wandering issues?

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post #2 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 10:24 AM
Jax89Jeeper
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It will certainly help. If you haven't done ball joints before, they are very easy to do. If you can afford to, its best to change both sides at the same time... Unless due to trail damage, the other side typically won't be far behind in service life. Look at the vids on BleepinJeep for ball joint replacement.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 10:29 AM
jokerchief462
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Just need a can of PB blaster and some patience. Finished mine last weekend. Steering is tight and positive I aligned it myself afterwards and drives really nice. Yes it will help and worth the money. Found good ball joints on Ebay <$100 for all 4 no shipping shop around and got the ball joint press at the local parts house. I did the front axle u-joints at the same time and freshened up all the paint. The ball joints didn't take long it was my cleaning and painting. Rewardng compared to giving a shop your next years Jeep budget foor the labor. Had a great time everything you need for instruction is on the forums. Have fun you will like the results.
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 10:51 AM
Opihi59
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You need one of these:



There is a specific Jeep adapter needed as the top of the C is angled. There are some good writeups I'll try to link in a moment. I went with Moog Joints, likely could have got away with something way cheaper, it's just what I did.




Try this thread: http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/ball...alljoint-1.htm

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Originally Posted by Brian4.2 View Post
We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
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You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 11:27 AM
flcracker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opihi59 View Post
You need one of these:



There is a specific Jeep adapter needed as the top of the C is angled. There are some good writeups I'll try to link in a moment. I went with Moog Joints, likely could have got away with something way cheaper, it's just what I did.


Try this thread: http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/ball...alljoint-1.htm
Is pulling the axle required to do ball joints or did you do it to be able to clean up and paint more thoroughly??
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 11:50 AM
MLJeeper
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Put a set of these in buddies 30. I liked em a lot, definitely an improvement.
http://ok4wd.com/synergy-suspension-...joint-set.html

Your limited slip differential sucks.

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Any video of the sound?
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 01:43 PM
Jax89Jeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opihi59
You need one of these:

There is a specific Jeep adapter needed as the top of the C is angled. There are some good writeups I'll try to link in a moment. I went with Moog Joints, likely could have got away with something way cheaper, it's just what I did.

Try this thread: http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/ball...alljoint-1.htm
I just used the Loaner press from Autozone..... As for the angled cup, I shimmed the flat cup to work. After the first one goes in, the othe 3 are a breeze and the whole job take less than an hour if you aren't fighting seized hardware.
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 02:01 PM
Opihi59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flcracker View Post
Is pulling the axle required to do ball joints or did you do it to be able to clean up and paint more thoroughly??
No need to pull the axle, it can all be done on the Jeep, and is likely easier because having the axle bolted in it won't try to roll around when you're cranking on breaker bars, etc.
I just happened to be putting in a new axle that I had worked over and Aussie'd/painted etc. It sure doesn't look like that now.......

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian4.2 View Post
We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virjeep View Post
You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 02:21 PM
czjeeper
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I put the synergy joints in a few months back.

I recommend them.

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post #10 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 02:21 PM
Berniebikes
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Opiphi59,

to do the ball joints you need to remove the unit hubs. Because the unit hubs are all connected to the axles thru the front u joints, it means that the axles must be pulled out of the shell to get the unit hubs out of the way, then the knuckle must come off. I don't know of any other way of doing the job.
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-11-2012, 02:45 PM
Opihi59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berniebikes View Post
Opiphi59,

to do the ball joints you need to remove the unit hubs. Because the unit hubs are all connected to the axles thru the front u joints, it means that the axles must be pulled out of the shell to get the unit hubs out of the way, then the knuckle must come off. I don't know of any other way of doing the job.
Maybe I wasn't clear, or also misunderstood the question. My impression was that I was asked if it is necessary to remove the axle, and no, I didn't remove my axle to just do the ball joints. As in the photo I posted up, I did remove the Axle shafts of course. So what you call an axle, I call an axle shaft, while what you refer to as a shell, I call that an axle.

Yes, I concur. One needs to pull the axle shafts to do the job. But you don't have to pull the entire axle.

So I pulled Axle #1.





I had already been cleaning Axle #2,





And slipping in the Aussie.



and then bolted Axle #2 in the Jeep, and then put in the ball joints as in this photo (axle shafts on the ground gathering up pieces of grit and cat hair)







Then smiled and drank beer.

....I'm not smart, but I can lift heavy things.......

Fill out your PROFILE, and don't forget to look in the FAQ for writeups

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian4.2 View Post
We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virjeep View Post
You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.

Last edited by Opihi59; 10-11-2012 at 03:02 PM. Reason: Pictures, lots of pictures.
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-21-2012, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
chuck172
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When I jack up the front tires off the ground, I can pry the tires up and there is slop in the ball joints. Both upper and lower. I can't move or shack the wheels horizontally. Only vertically. I don't understand how this can cause steering wander. Clunking and vibrating yes, but steering wander, or the feeling of loose steering, I can't see. I sure hope new ball joints will tighten up my steering, I've replaced everthing else!
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-21-2012, 12:24 PM
Mark05059
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the ball joints being loose allow the front to wander side to side as well... the up and down that your seeing will transfer when there is enough force to move it side to side. You might also want to check the frame near the steering box.

1998 ZJ 5.2 Auto

1989 Wrangler Black Bone Stock 2.5l 5spd
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-21-2012, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
chuck172
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The frame is like new. Except for the verticle play in the ball joints, everything is real tight. New springs, steering box, tie rod ends, steering stabilizer, steering intermediate shaft, sway bar links and bushings, everthing seems very tight.
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