Originally Posted by Foxybingo
Hi all. As covered an earlier thread....i'm on with changing ball joints to pass the mot. I've got it stripped down but this is playing on my mind......I know the bearings are a press fit but how does the knuckle not "drop" off the bearings and the axle. Hope you can help....its mashing my head.
The ball joints, or more correctly, BALL TAPER STUDS, have tapered studs that fit into tapered bores.
Once they are wedged in those tapered bores, they wedge/rust into place and it makes them hard to remove.
The most simple way is to...
1. Take the top nut all the way off,
2. Take the bottom nut LOOSE
, you want about 1/4" gap between nut and axle 'C' bottom.
3. Use a 'Pickle Fork'
(Ball Joint Separator) tool to pop the BOTTOM loose first.
4. The nut on the bottom keeps the knuckle from falling on your feet
or hitting a concrete floor when the tapers come out of their bores.
5. Take the bottom nut off,
remove the steering knuckle from the vehicle.
6. When the ball studs are loose from their bores
, you can take the top split ring out with your fingers most times.
CLEAN THE TAPER BORES IN THE AXLE!
Just a few swipes with emery cloth or a rotery wire brush usually cleans up the bottom taper,
While a small wire brush and some penetrating oil cleans up the threads on the top,
Wipe them out, give them some LUBRICATING OIL OR GREASE (I use 'Never-Seize', makes the job MUCH easier the next time) and you are ready on the axle end for reassembly.
7. When I replace the ball studs, I use MOOG replacements.
There just isn't any question with MOOG parts, they work the first time, every time, and they LAST a good long time without getting sloppy.
8. MOOG has an upper ball stud you can grease/maintain without having to take the spindle/axles off/out,
They aren't super expensive, and I would recommend them to anyone doing a replacement.
*IF*... You have a greaseable upper stud, you have to take the spindle off and axle out to get at the grease fitting,
Then change the plug for a grease fitting, grease the ball stud, then put the plug back in, put the axle back in, and put the spindle back on.
A lot of work for a simple greasing which should be done about every oil change...
The MOOG ball stud lets you leave the grease fitting in all the time, and gives you access without having to remove the axle...
JUST BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU GET THAT GREASE ZERK HOLE LINED UP when you press that ball stud socket into the steering knuckle!
You CAN get it facing a direction where you can't get to the grease Zerk again!
9. When you get the new studs pressed into the bores on the steering knuckles,
You will NOT use snap rings that come with most ball studs...
These are interference fit studs and they aren't held in with snap rings...
DO NOT FORGE TO PUT THE RUBBER BOOTS ON THE BALL STUDS BEFORE YOU INSTALL!
Nothing worse than having to take it all apart, hammer on new studs to get it loose just to put on a boot you forgot...
10. When you go to put the steering knuckle back on,
You get the two tapers lined up with the axle 'C' holes,
Put the BOTTOM NUT on to about 50 Ft.Lbs. (a good idea to start the then start tightening up more as you run the knuckle through it's range of motion,
When you start to feel drag, STOP.
If you don't feel a lot of drag, STOP AT 75 Ft.Lbs.
11. Tighten up the Threaded Split ring to around 50 Ft.Lbs. and leave it alone.
Tighten the top nut down to about 50 Ft.Lbs. and start running the knuckle through range of motion,
Tighten until you start to feel drag, then stop.
DO NOT EXCEED 85 Ft.Lbs. no matter what drag you feel...
With larger vehciels with larger studs, you can go up to about 100 Ft.Lbs. and some Jeep manuals recommend 100 Ft.Lbs for Jeeps,
But I've found that 85 Ft.Lbs. is PLENTY to keep the top stud in place and keep it tight.
12. DO NOT forget the locking cotter pins!
You can turn your nuts FORWARD (Tighten) enough to get the cotter pin in the studs to secure the bolts...
I use NEVER-SEIZE instead of grease on the taper nut threads, tapered studs and securing nut threads.
It's messy to work with, but you will be so grateful later when this job has to be done again!