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Unread 11-30-2011, 05:23 AM   #1
Foxybingo
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ball joints.....hopefully not a daft question.

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.

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Unread 11-30-2011, 06:20 AM   #2
jpd1899
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If I understand your question correctly--
The knuckles are held in place by a nut.
You press the ball joints into the Knuckle, then bolt the joints onto the axle.
Tighten the bottom nut first, then the top. I have a post with some pictures. There not the best pics but hope they help.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ba...ebuild-913879/
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Unread 11-30-2011, 06:29 AM   #3
Foxybingo
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I probably described it badly. I understand how all the nuts go on and tighten. But. The bit that confuses me.....if the press fit of the bearing came loose....wouldn't the knuckle work its way off?
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Unread 11-30-2011, 06:56 AM   #4
CSP
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Which bearing are you talking about? There is no bearing that holds the outer knuckle to the inner knuckle.

The balljoints have the retainer nuts that have been discussed and the outer knuckle mounts below the inner knuckle, so gravity does its part as well in the extremely unlikely event that the balljoint pieces should become separated.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:06 AM   #5
Foxybingo
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Sorry...I did mean ball joints and not bearings.....so i'm right in thinking that should that press fit come loose then the weight of the jeep would hold them in place. Told you it was a daft question :-) I suppose I expected them to insert from the bottom and have a flange on them.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:30 AM   #6
CSP
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The press fit can't come loose if the nuts are installed. The balljoint would have to literally break for anything to come loose.

Gravity pushes downward on them anyhow, against the mounting shoulder. If they mounted from the bottom they could work their way out. You really should go look at the parts to see the effect of gravity on them. I believe you have it backwards.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:40 AM   #7
Foxybingo
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Hi csp. Not meaning to wind you up. My worry was the balljoints remaining attached to the inner "c" and the outer knuckle working It's way downwards off the press fitting. I do realise the tyre would have to be airborne.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 08:29 AM   #8
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxybingo View Post
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.

-------------------------------

Reassembly...

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!
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Unread 11-30-2011, 08:47 AM   #9
Foxybingo
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Cheers jh.....much appreciated.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 09:23 AM   #10
Shiftace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post


-------------------------------

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!

Word!
I had to learn this one the hard way.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 09:34 AM   #11
addicted2dunes
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I keep forgetting that the Dana 30 doesn't have snap rings to hold the balljoints into the axle C's like my Dana 44. I was confused there for a little bit.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 09:43 AM   #12
Foxybingo
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I'm glad someone else thought that was odd.....I was going insane for a while
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Unread 11-30-2011, 10:14 AM   #13
JeepHammer
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Yup, suppliers make the ball studs to fit as many applications as they can, keeps the 'Oddities' to a minimum, and they don't have to make/stock as many part numbers...

So if you can make ONE ball stud that will fit several different applications, some with, some without the snap ring, it works out best FOR THEM, but we loose our minds trying to figure out where the 'Extra LEFTOVER Parts' were SUPPOSED to go!

You should see most carb kits!
You use about 1/4 of the gaskets/parts that come in them, the rest are for different variations/types of carbs!
Drives me nuts when I see extra stuff,
Even after 40 years, I still get that seizure inside when I look down and see extra parts and IMMEDIATELY think... "What the hell did I leave out this time!?"

NOW,
You CAN press the ball stud sockets out yourself, they push UP from the bottom of the steering knuckle.

You CAN rent a press and put the new ones back into the knuckles... It's 'Doable', but usually DIFFICULT!

Unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing and have a SPECIFIC press, you are going to QUICKLY find there aren't any 'Flat/Perpendicular' surfaces for the clamp, so they want to press the ball stud in cocked sideways... Which you CAN NOT do, it MUST go in straight or it will SERIOUSLY bind...

This makes for some REAL frustration!

You will also find the 'One Size Fits Nothing' clamp kits DO NOT have the 'Perfect' size collars to fit your ball studs...
Which means you have to 'Make Due' with what shows up...
And the collars you do get won't be ground for the angle your steering knuckle will present...
So you have to 'Gorilla' the clamp sideways at an angle to get the ball stud in the hole squarely...
Which usually leads to a slipping clamp and some NASTY cursing, mashed/pinched fingers, and several ties to get things going correctly...

And believe it or not, ball studs are EASILY DAMAGED, so if something doesn't line up on the first try, you can wind up buying another NEW ball stud...

Pay PARTICULAR ATTENTION to the threads on the stud!
You CAN NOT mash the stud into the socket, and you CAN NOT bottom out on the stud, so make sure your die clamp is set up to clearance the threads on the stud, the stud top and press on the BODY OF THE BALL SOCKET ONLY...

If you want a HASSLE FREE knock out and new install, TAKE IT TO A SHOP AND PAY THE $20 or so to get the new ball studs pressed in!

If THEY screw it up, THEY pay for it!
Pretty cheap insurance for $20 or so, considering what QUALITY ball studs cost!

There is NO SHAME in taking STEERING PARTS YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON TO A PROFESSIONAL and shelling out a few bucks!
(The life you save might be MINE! )
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Unread 11-30-2011, 11:16 AM   #14
mulliflier
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So if I read correctly, since the studs go into the outer knuckle, once you get them off you can take the new studs and knuckles (i.e. don't have to bring the entire vehicle) to a shop that has the right press, have them press them in, then take home and finish the job yourself. ( I haven't done ball joints before...)

How much are those Moog ball studs? Just curious, I may be coming up on that next spring. Was also planning on taking JH's advice for installing grease zerks in the dana 30 while I'm at it.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 11:21 AM   #15
addicted2dunes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulliflier View Post
So if I read correctly, since the studs go into the outer knuckle, once you get them off you can take the new studs and knuckles (i.e. don't have to bring the entire vehicle) to a shop that has the right press, have them press them in, then take home and finish the job yourself. ( I haven't done ball joints before...)

How much are those Moog ball studs? Just curious, I may be coming up on that next spring. Was also planning on taking JH's advice for installing grease zerks in the dana 30 while I'm at it.
Yes, the balljoints are pressed into the knuckles, so once you get the balljoints loose from the inner C's then all you have to do is take the knuckle to a shop and have the balljoints pressed out and in, then go home and reassemble everything.
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