Upper and Lower Ball Joints - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > ZJ Grand Cherokee Forum > Upper and Lower Ball Joints

Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed LineOld Man Emu WK Lift - Black Friday Special!!The Original 3/8" Ruffstuff Diff Cover!

Reply
Unread 12-10-2007, 10:30 PM   #1
adgjqetuo
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Langhorne, PA
Posts: 1,188
Upper and Lower Ball Joints

I took my truck to get looked at for squeeking and clunking in the front end while turning at low speeds. It was most noticeable when the weight shifts, like while turning at 15mph, or into a parking spot or something. They told me that the sway bar bushings were bad and needed replacing.

I had them replace it, but they told me after fixing it, the squeeking went away, but the clunking was still there and after further inspection, it seems that my upper and lower ball joints are bad and need replacing on both sides.

They told me it would be an $850 repair that would take about 6-8 hours to complete. I made the appointment 2 weeks ago for tomorrow, but after looking at the long scheme of things, with christmas coming up and everything, its really going to make my budget tight....

my question is, yeah it makes noise while turning and sounds bad, but how bad is it? Is this something that is a dire need to be fixed? Or will nothing happen if I just wait a while to get it fixed. How long is too long?

Thanks
Mike

__________________
Mike

13 Subaru Outback Limited - Current
04 Jeep grand Cherokee Overland - 23k ~ 71k - Sold
98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo SE - 73k ~ 150k - Sold
adgjqetuo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-10-2007, 10:52 PM   #2
nierace
Registered User
2003 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: CT
Posts: 8,242
The only issue you will run into is abnormal/excessive wear on the tires if they are bad.

Definately not a safety issue and it won't cause for problems with other components.

It is a PITA job - the parts are approximately 200 bucks for each side. It's a time consuming job, but anyone could do it with a ball joint press which can be had at a local autoparts store. Still it is a bear of a job so it may be worth the $400 to have them do it if you don't have the spare time or interest to do it yourself.

Also do you have a lift or want a lift in the future ? If you do now would be a ideal time to get adjustable ones which would help keep your caster in check if you did lift the rig.
__________________
Nickerdoodle
03 WJ 4.7 242HD Kolak/IRO 5" Clayton LA's
35" BFGoodrich KM2
sira4x4.net North East Offroad Club
www.carolinadriveline.com
www.ironrockoffroad.com
kolak@aol.com
nierace is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-10-2007, 10:55 PM   #3
Yardman Harry
O
 
Yardman Harry's Avatar
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 1,716
Well, given that your ball joints hold your knuckle on the axle, and your knuckle holds the wheel bearing, and the bearing holds the tire, i would suspect that a broken ball joint whilst driving at highway speeds could lead to a serious accident. However...

How long have you been driving it like this? Do yourself a favor, jack up one tire at a time, and stick a crow bar under the tire, and pry against the ground and the tire as if you are trying to lift the jeep up off of the ground, if you have massive, massive play, you are in serious trouble. If... you can only tell that the tire is moving while your hand is on the tire, then you should be alright. BUT!! i wouldnt recommend skipping the appointment.

Also, I did my ball joints for around 200 bucks. and two nights... Just something to think about.

Good luck!

Harry

PS: also check to see if your sway bar links are broken, perhaps they are what is causing the clunk
__________________
1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee. V8 - 5.2 litre 242 SelecTrac. SURCO Safari Roof Rack
Hunter Green


1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Ed. I6 - 4.0 litre, 4" SL, D44 rear, 4:56 Gears, AA SYE with double cardon custom rear Drive Shaft, IRO Adj CAs, Kevins Rear Adj TB with JOHNNY JOINT end

1999 Mazda Miata MX5 - Jet Black

1990 Jeep Cherokee Sport I6 - 4.0 litre
White
~Junked~
Yardman Harry is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-10-2007, 10:56 PM   #4
adgjqetuo
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Langhorne, PA
Posts: 1,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by nierace
The only issue you will run into is abnormal/excessive wear on the tires if they are bad.

Definately not a safety issue and it won't cause for problems with other components.

It is a PITA job - the parts are approximately 200 bucks for each side. It's a time consuming job, but anyone could do it with a ball joint press which can be had at a local autoparts store. Still it is a bear of a job so it may be worth the $400 to have them do it if you don't have the spare time or interest to do it yourself.

Also do you have a lift or want a lift in the future ? If you do now would be a ideal time to get adjustable ones which would help keep your caster in check if you did lift the rig.
Would adjustable ones cost more? I had planned on lifting it at one point, but with me getting ready to graduate college and student loans plus living expenses soon piling on, I don't think I see that in the near future, as much as I'd like to. But i'm glad to hear I can cancel the appointment if I wanted and it wont cause any further damage or be a safety issue. The tires I have on there now are Bridgetone Dueler Revo A/Ts with about 8k miles on them

Thanks!
__________________
Mike

13 Subaru Outback Limited - Current
04 Jeep grand Cherokee Overland - 23k ~ 71k - Sold
98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo SE - 73k ~ 150k - Sold

Last edited by adgjqetuo; 12-10-2007 at 11:06 PM..
adgjqetuo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-10-2007, 11:02 PM   #5
adgjqetuo
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Langhorne, PA
Posts: 1,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardman Harry
Well, given that your ball joints hold your knuckle on the axle, and your knuckle holds the wheel bearing, and the bearing holds the tire, i would suspect that a broken ball joint whilst driving at highway speeds could lead to a serious accident. However...

How long have you been driving it like this? Do yourself a favor, jack up one tire at a time, and stick a crow bar under the tire, and pry against the ground and the tire as if you are trying to lift the jeep up off of the ground, if you have massive, massive play, you are in serious trouble. If... you can only tell that the tire is moving while your hand is on the tire, then you should be alright. BUT!! i wouldnt recommend skipping the appointment.

Also, I did my ball joints for around 200 bucks. and two nights... Just something to think about.

Good luck!

Harry

PS: also check to see if your sway bar links are broken, perhaps they are what is causing the clunk
Wow conflicting views, now I'm on the edge again, haha. I don't really have time to jack the car up and look seeing as I've work tomorrow morning. The mechanic didn't sound like it was a dire emergency, just that it needed to get done. However, I don't want any safey issues arising....

It doesn't sound too bad to me, it only notice it clunks maybe half the time that the weight shifts, but it definitly is noticable. The sway bar links arent broken, I just had that serviced, and I've looked at it since then and they are fine. They actually replaced the bushings with greeseable ones which is really nice.

I could maybe cancel the appointment perform the test you told me and then see from there to maybe re-schedule. I had it jacked up not too long ago and I didn't remember too much abnormal play in there because I usually check stuff like that while I have it in the air.

The guy told me about the ball joints maybe 2-3 weeks ago while I was still at school. I never really noticed the clunks as much as I did the squeeks, and now that the sway bar bushings had been replaced and there isnt any more squeeking, I notice the clunking a lot more. But if I had to maybe put a start date on when I first noticed it i'd say maybe 6 months? But its no where near as much as i've been hearing it lately. Before I'd only hear it once every week or so. Now it's about half to a third of the time i turn.
__________________
Mike

13 Subaru Outback Limited - Current
04 Jeep grand Cherokee Overland - 23k ~ 71k - Sold
98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo SE - 73k ~ 150k - Sold
adgjqetuo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-11-2007, 06:12 AM   #6
ratmonkey
R.I.P.
 
ratmonkey's Avatar
1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: , Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,794
i've seen ball joints fail on a few vehicles, one was a newer liberty, you don't want this to happen. if you're getting clunking it's bad enough to need replaced soon. usually you don't hear anything with only minimal play in the tires.
__________________
'97 zj 5.2, some stuff, some other suff, and some things that even work sometimes.

ratmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-11-2007, 06:53 AM   #7
Inavacuum
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Griffin, GA
Posts: 536
You can do this job yourself for way, way, way less than $850. I ordered all four joints for my ZJ off ebay for $33.99 +s/h. Now I know, and yea they are some cheap brand but they still have a 1 year warranty so I've got a guaranteed year out of them and hopefully if they go out in a year I'll be able to afford some good balljoints. So $40 bucks for the parts and then another $160.00 to rent the press which is all refunded upon return of the press.


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

^ good write up on the procedure.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/4-Bal...2969QQtcZphoto

^ Link to the deal on balljoints.
__________________
95 ZJ 4.0 PART OUT: Silver Body; Grey Cloth interior
HPD30;RE BB w/ RE Shocks;KOR Rad Support
KOR XMember/TC Skid
Make an offer on anything you're interested in.
Inavacuum is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-11-2007, 08:26 AM   #8
adgjqetuo
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Langhorne, PA
Posts: 1,188
I appreciate the offer, but as cost effective it may be to do it yourself, I don't have the time or the skill to preform the repair. I just wanted to know how bad is too bad and if the fix can wait a month or so until funds are a little better.

But from reading posts, It's probally better to be safe then sorry...even if that means shelling out the money...


Thanks
__________________
Mike

13 Subaru Outback Limited - Current
04 Jeep grand Cherokee Overland - 23k ~ 71k - Sold
98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo SE - 73k ~ 150k - Sold
adgjqetuo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-11-2007, 08:36 AM   #9
nierace
Registered User
2003 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: CT
Posts: 8,242
The adjustable ones are more expensive and are moog, I think they're like 90 bucks each, which is why I said 200 bucks per side for the parts if you go that route. I wouldn't get cheapo ones, its not a job you want to do more than you have to, I would either get moog or mopar BJ's.

The adjustable ones aren't really adjustable, but you have a option of getting ones that can give you up to 2 more positive degrees of caster on the upper BJ and 1 degree of positive caster on the lower. At stock height though, you would have a bit too much caster. You could compromise and just throw in one adjustable that gives you 1 degree of positive caster. You don't really need them unless you lift above 4"

If his BJ's were that bad that they were near the point of failure I would imagine his mechanic would have said come take a look at this... but who knows.

I would bet they're just worn to the point of where its not sitting quite right/camber is off and is enough to cause poor tire wear...

I've seen some shot to **** BJ's just cause horrible tire wear, but never fail. If your tires aren't getting chewed to **** they can't be that bad. Thats my 2cents
__________________
Nickerdoodle
03 WJ 4.7 242HD Kolak/IRO 5" Clayton LA's
35" BFGoodrich KM2
sira4x4.net North East Offroad Club
www.carolinadriveline.com
www.ironrockoffroad.com
kolak@aol.com
nierace is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-11-2007, 05:53 PM   #10
adgjqetuo
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Langhorne, PA
Posts: 1,188
I decided to take it in, thanks for the advice. Again, better safe then sorry.
__________________
Mike

13 Subaru Outback Limited - Current
04 Jeep grand Cherokee Overland - 23k ~ 71k - Sold
98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo SE - 73k ~ 150k - Sold
adgjqetuo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-15-2007, 11:22 PM   #11
adgjqetuo
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Langhorne, PA
Posts: 1,188
I'm really glad I took it in, WOW what a difference! The steering is tighter and more responsive, and the front end just feels brand new! Bumps, turns, everything. The guy said it's not the worst he's seen, but they were definitly past due. He said while they were under there they tightened everything up, greesed everything, and also replaed a U-joint for me that was going bad.
__________________
Mike

13 Subaru Outback Limited - Current
04 Jeep grand Cherokee Overland - 23k ~ 71k - Sold
98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo SE - 73k ~ 150k - Sold
adgjqetuo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-15-2007, 11:26 PM   #12
Yardman Harry
O
 
Yardman Harry's Avatar
1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 1,716
Thats good to hear! Im happy that things worked out

Ball joints can really do a number to the ride stability and can be seriously dangerous one breaks... I think you made the right choice.

Harry
__________________
1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee. V8 - 5.2 litre 242 SelecTrac. SURCO Safari Roof Rack
Hunter Green


1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Ed. I6 - 4.0 litre, 4" SL, D44 rear, 4:56 Gears, AA SYE with double cardon custom rear Drive Shaft, IRO Adj CAs, Kevins Rear Adj TB with JOHNNY JOINT end

1999 Mazda Miata MX5 - Jet Black

1990 Jeep Cherokee Sport I6 - 4.0 litre
White
~Junked~
Yardman Harry is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 09-15-2009, 03:06 PM   #13
tsvikac
Registered User
2003 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: , ISRAEL
Posts: 6
can i ask from who you buy those adjusable ball joints
how many upper lower ?
THX
TSVIKA
tsvikac is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 09-15-2009, 03:21 PM   #14
ezflip
NEWS FLASH It snows in MI
 
ezflip's Avatar
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,966
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsvikac View Post
can i ask from who you buy those adjusable ball joints
how many upper lower ?
THX
TSVIKA
This is a two year old thread.
__________________
~James

2002 Overland - 4.7 HO, "Select-Drive", 4" RC long arms, TAG front winch bumper, 32" BFG KM's, Kolak 3" exhaust, Flowmaster 50 series


Build Thread


The Thanksgiving JF Membership Giveaway is here!!
ezflip is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 09-15-2009, 03:23 PM   #15
rugermack
Registered User
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sonoita, Arizona
Posts: 2,093
This thread is almost 2 years old.
__________________
95' Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, 148k, 5.2, NP242, 46RH, 4" RC lift, all new adjustable ca's(2 IRO front uppers and the rest RC adjustables), nitro shocks, JKS TB's, Jet Chip, Dynamax cat back, Magnaflow cat, GTP hood vents. 31" Pro Comps with Rock Krawler "D"s. Westin brush/grill guard with Hella 500s, 411's, Solid diff covers, detroit locker rear, power lock in front, SYE and Tom Wood's front/rear shafts, RE discos, BPE's, d-rings front and back, factory tc and rad skid, hitch, Sliders next.
03' Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, (wifes Jeep) 99k, 4.7 5 speed auto, K&N, KYB shocks, drilled-slotted rotors, All the toys.
2000' Ford Superduty, F250, 7.3, 198K, 37's, too much to list.

Built Not Bought #257

Parts for sale d30 and d35 parts http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f126/...-parts-1004499
rugermack is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.