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Unread 02-18-2013, 08:59 PM   #1
79CJ-7
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Ball Joint Help Please! At my wit's end

'79 CJ7 - Dana 30 widetrack front; AMC 20 widetrack rear

Hey guys - My last resort is to now ask for help. I'm sure I should have done this to begin with, but it's a little too late. During my build, I have acquired a set of widetrack diffs....Dana 30 front, AMC 20 rear. The issue that I am having is with the ball joints. I bought a set off of eBay...no particular name brand. These pressed in perfectly into the knuckles, they were a tight fit, perfect...except, you couldn't move the stud at all. And once I installed the knuckle, I couldn't turn the knuckle with a cumalong (exaggeration, but it was WAYYY too tight).

2nd try - I ordered a set of uppers and lowers from Quadratec. They get here, fall right into the holes in the knuckles. No press needed, way too small.

3rd and final try - I order a set of Moog's (8194/8195). Well, these have a very very slight press, I mean so slight, I can tap them in with a hammer.

Now I am lost. I don't know what to do. 3 sets of ball joints and no luck. I have one set of the Moog's in a knuckle and installed on the driver's side of the diff, but I'm afraid that the knuckle is going to fall right off the jeep once I get it together because of the looseness of the press.

I don't know what year the differentials came out of. I know that they are widetracks, and the ball joints that I've bought were all for 76-86 year model CJ's.

Were there widetrack diffs in a different CJ year model that these may have come from? All of the spring mounts, shock mounts, etc. align on my CJ frame, and I took these from under a CJ7 frame. Have I somehow stretched the knuckles? I've not used any heat at any time.

Thanks..

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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:16 PM   #2
Jeepkid1995
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AMC started with the wide track axles in '82, I believe, so they would not have come stock on your '79. But they would be a true bolt up. I also have a '79 7, and I was fortunate enough to have another JF member darn near give away his wide tracks to me when my narrow tracks bit the dust. They were a plug and play, spring and shock mounts were the exact same. And someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the wide tracks were just the narrows with 2 inches added on either side of the diff, and retained the same diffs, knuckles, hubs and brake set ups as the narrows. Something funny is going on there, you sure you have the ball joints for a D30 and not, say, a 44? Not too sure myself, hopefully someone with more knowledge can join in here soon
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->'79 CJ7 (VIN Says it's a 5, wheelbase says otherwise), 6 inches of spring lift, awaiting an MC2100 on a teamrushed MSD'd 258

-->350 time. '95 block SBC, stroked to 383, dremeled heads and big 'ol intake, maybe a Holley 750 CFM, not sure yet

--->"Safety? Buy a Volvo. Never buy a CJ, or a Chrysler Jeep knock off, for safety, fuel mileage, reliability, handling, ride, comfort, aerodynamics, quietness, convience, stability, low maintenance cost, performance, or ease of use. The only reason to buy a CJ is because you are absolutely, incurably nuts." -OldTexas
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Unread 02-19-2013, 07:42 AM   #3
CSP
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All of the Dana 30s use the same balljoint. Since it was mentioned, so do Dana 44s.

Sounds like the knuckles might be damaged. Have you tried just getting balljoints from a local parts store? Take your knuckles in with you to see if they might be the correct fit. I'm not sure why people order stuff like this that they can get locally and try the parts out right there in the store.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
79CJ-7
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I guess "people" order online because of the price savings...if the local parts stores could offer the same parts at the same price, I would never buy online...that's just not the case. Or if I was made out of money, I'd shop parts stores, but if that was the case my four year project would have been a one year project. Point well made, I'll take them to a parts store and see what they offer.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 08:15 AM   #5
Jeepkid1995
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D30's and D44's sue the same ball joints? Well, ya learn somthin' new every day
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->'79 CJ7 (VIN Says it's a 5, wheelbase says otherwise), 6 inches of spring lift, awaiting an MC2100 on a teamrushed MSD'd 258

-->350 time. '95 block SBC, stroked to 383, dremeled heads and big 'ol intake, maybe a Holley 750 CFM, not sure yet

--->"Safety? Buy a Volvo. Never buy a CJ, or a Chrysler Jeep knock off, for safety, fuel mileage, reliability, handling, ride, comfort, aerodynamics, quietness, convience, stability, low maintenance cost, performance, or ease of use. The only reason to buy a CJ is because you are absolutely, incurably nuts." -OldTexas
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Unread 02-19-2013, 08:40 AM   #6
markso125
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Originally Posted by Jeepkid1995 View Post
D30's and D44's sue the same ball joints? Well, ya learn somthin' new every day
yes they also have the same mounting points, so if you want to go with a high steer setup you can put D44 flat top knuckles on your D30 axle without a problem and run your steering that way.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 08:44 AM   #7
walkerhoundvm
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If your knuckles are damaged, there always seems to be a pair...online, like on eBay Can you get those at the parts store? Never checked.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:01 AM   #8
CSP
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How much of a real savings are we talking buying online from places like eBay? Do you know what the quality of the parts are that you get or is it blind faith? Quadratec has yet to beat the prices I can get at NAPA and I know the quality of the parts I get at NAPA.

I've been pricing out a complete rebuild for the Dana 60 I'm putting under my F250. I've found about a $35-40 dollar difference between getting everything at my local NAPA vs. Rock Auto and Amazon as online sources. We're talking all new parts, balljoints, all seals, bearings, track bar bushings, sway bar bushings, ujoints, tie-rod ends etc. It's around $700 in total, so that $35 in potential savings just isn't worth the potential hassle if returns are involved.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 10:32 AM   #9
alabamaboy54
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Originally Posted by CSP View Post
How much of a real savings are we talking buying online from places like eBay? Do you know what the quality of the parts are that you get or is it blind faith? Quadratec has yet to beat the prices I can get at NAPA and I know the quality of the parts I get at NAPA.

I've been pricing out a complete rebuild for the Dana 60 I'm putting under my F250. I've found about a $35-40 dollar difference between getting everything at my local NAPA and Rock Auto and Amazon as online sources. We're talking all new parts, balljoints, all seals, bearings, track bar bushings, sway bar bushings, ujoints, tie-rod ends etc. It's around $700 in total, so that $35 in potential savings just isn't worth the potential hassle if returns are involved.
I completely agree with you there. I am on first name basis with my local auto parts store employees and if I ever have a problem and need to return something they take it without any questions. They have helped me out lots along the way. Although I sometimes find that I could have saved some money shopping elsewhere, I pay for customer service. But not to sidetrack the thread, I am curious as to what you figure out. good luck
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Unread 02-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
John Strenk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markso125 View Post
yes they also have the same mounting points, so if you want to go with a high steer setup you can put D44 flat top knuckles on your D30 axle without a problem and run your steering that way.
I wonder if you can run a D30 axle with a D44 Locking hubs then. or maybe d30 inner and 44 outer.

How about the disk brake setup? Need the 6 bolt or can you get away with the 2 bolt?
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Unread 02-19-2013, 12:23 PM   #11
CSP
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It's just the knuckle that's a direct swap. D44 locking hubs work with a larger diameter, 19 spline outer axleshaft. D30 inners use a 260x ujoint while D44 outers use a larger 297x/760x.

With the D44 knuckle you can use the D44 brake calipers with a D30 rotor/wheelbearing hub assembly.

There's some interchangability, but you have to be pretty familiar with the particulars of the parts to know if they will work together.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 12:23 PM   #12
jeepwhore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
How much of a real savings are we talking buying online from places like eBay? Do you know what the quality of the parts are that you get or is it blind faith? Quadratec has yet to beat the prices I can get at NAPA and I know the quality of the parts I get at NAPA.

I've been pricing out a complete rebuild for the Dana 60 I'm putting under my F250. I've found about a $35-40 dollar difference between getting everything at my local NAPA vs. Rock Auto and Amazon as online sources. We're talking all new parts, balljoints, all seals, bearings, track bar bushings, sway bar bushings, ujoints, tie-rod ends etc. It's around $700 in total, so that $35 in potential savings just isn't worth the potential hassle if returns are involved.
Totally agree. At some point the time spent waiting to correct order errors or send back crappy parts becomes worth more than the on line savings. On line isn't even an option for me given any cost savings are negated by shipping and brokerage fees to get them up here. But when Napa can get something in within a day or two and I can return it just as easily if needed, that makes up my mind for me.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 12:36 PM   #13
TIPPEDITOVER
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markso125 View Post
yes they also have the same mounting points, so if you want to go with a high steer setup you can put D44 flat top knuckles on your D30 axle without a problem and run your steering that way.
Or you can buy these from me After help from a few folks here we have determined they are flat top knuckles from a drum brake D30. I have confirmed that caliper mount plates from 72-76 chevy D44 fit perfect. That's all I know. CSP might be able to validate if this would work for you.
imag0012.jpg   imag0011.jpg  

Last edited by TIPPEDITOVER; 02-19-2013 at 01:11 PM.. Reason: changed year range for caliper mount plates
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Unread 02-28-2013, 08:49 AM   #14
markso125
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Originally Posted by jeepwhore View Post
Totally agree. At some point the time spent waiting to correct order errors or send back crappy parts becomes worth more than the on line savings. On line isn't even an option for me given any cost savings are negated by shipping and brokerage fees to get them up here. But when Napa can get something in within a day or two and I can return it just as easily if needed, that makes up my mind for me.
I dont know I joined amazon prime a few years ago and I get overnight shipping on anything I order for $3.99, being a prime member if i have to return it Amazon pays for the shipping. One of the biggest advantages with ordering things on Amazon or rock auto is the accessibility of parts is alot greater over what you might find at your parts store.
Take for instance I just ordered a hydraulic slave cylinder for my car

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Total price with overnight shipping paid was $27.35..

Now I dont know about the autoparts stores where you live but autozone and oreilleys(we dont have advance auto parts here) cant even get this any more and Napa has to ship it in from the coast so it might be here in a couple of days. I ordered it yesterday paid the same price as I would have with napa and it will be sitting on my doorstep when I get home.
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Unread 02-28-2013, 09:06 AM   #15
79CJ-7
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Well the issue was what I hoped for, which was the online parts that I got from quadratec and elsewhere were no good. I went to oreilly, had them order Moogs and they pressed in perfectly. Lesson learned.
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