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Unread 06-05-2013, 10:32 AM   #1
ColinWK
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Upper and lower ball joint replacement

Welp, just two days after getting the lift has uncovered that there is some movement in the ball joints. My local 4x4 shop gave me an estimate of..get ready...$995.32. He's charging $85 per hour, which totals out to $476. Being 17 years old and having a near minimum wage job, I will not be able to afford this

So, it looks like I have to start learning how to work on this Jeep myself (with help from my dad). Is there a write up for replacing the ball joints? I feel like I need to address this problem as soon as possible, and am going to start doing research. ugh.

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Unread 06-05-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
Budasac
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Upper ball joints are not replaceable. You need to get new Upper Control Arms (UCAs). Arms specifically designed for a lift are reccomended (RRO or JBA). For the lowers, depending on mileage, you may just be better off replacing the whole lower as the new one comes with all the bushings and I believe the BJ as well.

The UCAs are easy to swap. I've done mine 5 or 6 times now.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 11:42 AM   #3
caulk04
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That would appear to be incorrect info according to RockAuto.com

Looks like for ~$170 you can have all four ball joints from MOOG. Less if you pick other brands.

That said, the upper control arm can be had rather cheap, again, depending on brand.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 11:45 AM   #4
duneslider
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You really should check your upper strut connection. It usually doesn't get tightened down enough and will cause a thunk when going over bumps. It is possible that your ball joints are bad but my experience has shown they have to be really bad to make a clunk like you are describing.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 11:56 AM   #5
ColinWK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duneslider View Post
You really should check your upper strut connection. It usually doesn't get tightened down enough and will cause a thunk when going over bumps. It is possible that your ball joints are bad but my experience has shown they have to be really bad to make a clunk like you are describing.
Went over there today and they said it was tight. I think I'm going to get a second opinion.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
ColinWK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caulk04 View Post
That would appear to be incorrect info according to RockAuto.com

Looks like for ~$170 you can have all four ball joints from MOOG. Less if you pick other brands.

That said, the upper control arm can be had rather cheap, again, depending on brand.


This was the estimate he gave me. Now that I look at it, it doesn't even say the ball joints are for the WK.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 07:11 AM   #7
JKM
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The strut bolt that comes loose is the top nut of the shock. It needs to be tighten down all the way. I had this issue and three different shops couldn't find it. When I looked at the top bolt you could see that it was not tighten all the way down compared to the other strut (you will need to remove the coolant tank to have a look). I tighten down and it has been great ever since.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 07:34 AM   #8
BonesWK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKM View Post
The strut bolt that comes loose is the top nut of the shock. It needs to be tighten down all the way. I had this issue and three different shops couldn't find it. When I looked at the top bolt you could see that it was not tighten all the way down compared to the other strut (you will need to remove the coolant tank to have a look). I tighten down and it has been great ever since.
THIS. I'm telling you man, make sure you check this before jumping into 1000 dollar "fix"

This forum has saved me tons of money when things were apparently "broken" from what a mechanic said, but were not.
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Unread 06-06-2013, 07:35 AM   #9
duneslider
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Most instructions don't give the right information for tightening it down either. It can even look tight but it has to really be snugged down or you get a clunk.

I would just have them try to snug it up some more, or better yet do it yourself. Always good to learn to work on your own vehicles.
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Unread 06-07-2013, 07:47 AM   #10
torqrise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duneslider View Post
Most instructions don't give the right information for tightening it down either. It can even look tight but it has to really be snugged down or you get a clunk
I just replaced my struts with Bilsteins and noticed it felt a little loose after a few hundred miles. Is there a torque spec or even a 'minimum number of exposed threads on the rod' as a guide for installation?
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Unread 06-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #11
duneslider
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That I am not 100% certain on. All I know is that a lot of people have this same problem and it is the strut not getting snugged down. Mine did it when I bought it (lift already on it) and I just tightened them down. I will look and see if I can find a spec somewhere. Not certain I have seen one?
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Unread 06-07-2013, 06:06 PM   #12
08crd
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Also worth checking your front stabiliser bushes $24 from Amazon. These cause a loud thump from the front end and are easily replaced (20 minutes), definately worth trying first.
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Unread 06-07-2013, 06:51 PM   #13
tom19511
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Upper ball joints are replaceable. $20.00 at murrays with grease fitting..
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Unread 06-07-2013, 10:13 PM   #14
Budasac
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That's awesome if it's true. Lot's of guys have spent big bucks to get new UCAs with replaceable bjs. Did you actually use these?? I have never heard of any one successfully changing the bjs in the stock UCAs.
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Unread 06-07-2013, 11:20 PM   #15
duneslider
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I too am curious, especially since the FSM says that they are not replaceable. I wonder if you have to modify the arms to receive the new BJ's.

Has anyone actually replaced the upper BJ's?
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