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Unread 05-11-2013, 06:47 PM   #1
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Installed ball joints incorrectly?

I installed ball joints on my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4.0 following a video I saw on youtube. As far as I can tell I did everything fairly well, but the top ball joint on the passenger side isn't seated correctly no matter what I do. The driver side one fits just fine as you can probably see in the pictures I included. The one that isn't right went in crooked at first and I had to press out and then back in so I'm thinking that I loosened the hole where it sits and now it isn't tight enough??

I wanted to know if anyone else that did their ball joints had this problem and how they fixed them?

resized-jf.jpg   resized-jf-3.jpg  
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Unread 05-11-2013, 06:54 PM   #2
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Did you clean in and around the hole where the joint slides into? Did you use any oil/grease before you started cranking it in? It looks lined up as far as I can see in the picture. Lubricate it and use a bigger cheater bar.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 07:00 PM   #3
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I'm sorry I should have been more clear in my original post, when installing the ball joint that looks popped up, it goes in all the way and looks like the good one on the drivers side. The problem comes when I tighten the castle nuts on the bottom of the ball joints, it pops back out... and then I pressed it up the rest of the way and put it in again, then I tightened the castle nuts less and more carefully and then it stayed in. But now that its seated with the weight of the car it popped out once again... Cant figure out how to make it stay in there?
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Unread 05-11-2013, 07:18 PM   #4
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Hmm. Either you got the wrong ball joint or the hole is wallowed out. You're looking at a replacement joint or worst case scenario a new knuckle.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 07:22 PM   #5
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It should be the same one that I put on the other side because I got them at the same time? The knuckle is is the part that comes out, and what part is the joint? the part that looks like a C and that the ball joints go into?
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Unread 05-11-2013, 07:49 PM   #6
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I've gotten many wrong parts at the parts store. Mostly cherokee and V8 ZJ parts. Not saying that happened, but it's definitely a possibility.

The knuckle is the big C that the ball joints go into. I just said joint instead of typing ball joint. Haha. I've never heard of a ball joint popping out once it's pressed in. There's a lot of pressure from the ball joint press and they are usually tapered. My only guess is the hole on the knuckle is either grooved or wallowed.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 07:56 PM   #7
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No way should it fit loose enough to pop back out once pressed into the knuckle, you may be able to weld it in once and for all.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 08:08 PM   #8
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From what I understand the knuckle to be in this exploded picture in here (the number 2 is the knuckle?) [IMG] http://www.moparpartsoverstock.com/i...e/00000DJ8.jpg [IMG], the ball joints don't press into it? The knuckle is held in place by the bottom castle nuts of the ball joints. and the ball joints get pressed into a C type deal that is a part of #1 in the picture I linked? Please correct me if I am incorrect.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 08:35 PM   #9
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Gah, the whole reason why I did this project myself in the first place was to save myself some money... Guess that's out the door, I can't weld at all.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 08:59 PM   #10
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What you can do is get a center punch and put lotsa dimples all around your upper joint housing and/or on the inside of your knuckle. That'll raise the metal around the dimple and will make things tighter.

But I'd definitely keep an eye on that joint if using it long-term.

Also, you may try a new balljoint, the old one might have been damaged somehow when it got jammed.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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Yeah I decided to put money into this car because for my new job I need the space, It has about 120,000 miles on it so I was hoping to keep it till it ran into the ground at around 300,000 miles But this DIY stuff is proving difficult, do you believe a shop would do this kind of work for me? sticking it with a center punch and such then welding it together I mean?
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Unread 05-12-2013, 06:32 AM   #12
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There are only two ways to fix that and one temporary solution till you can afford to fix it.
1. Cut the inner c off and Weld a new one on.
2 install a whole new axle assembly

Temp fix is to tack Weld the ball joint flange to the c. There are no other ways to do anything about that.
Do NOT drive it till you have it at least welded down.

This happens from Time to time, unless you really, really tried to crank that joint in sideways it's not likely your fault.
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Unread 05-12-2013, 07:33 AM   #13
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Most likely the joint was not pressed in straight which stretched the hole in the C.

There are special adapters for pressing in ball joints in Jeep D30 axles which help keep them straight. Did you use the right tool? If not then make sure you do the next time.
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Unread 05-12-2013, 08:23 AM   #14
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Thank you all for your replies, I've realized I need to take it to an actual mechanic to fix this issue.

Just out of curiosity, what would happen if I just drove it this way? Tire breaks off?
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Unread 05-12-2013, 09:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left_Clicker View Post
Thank you all for your replies, I've realized I need to take it to an actual mechanic to fix this issue.

Just out of curiosity, what would happen if I just drove it this way? Tire breaks off?
Worst case scenario your wheel and knuckle flies off at high speed and you roll your jeep and kill yourself and everyone near you. In other words, I would strongly advise against it myself.
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