Sorry to post this but my Haynes manual has no info on CJ ball joint replacement, and Goggle & Forum searches aren't getting me anywhere. I'll be replacing the ball joints on my '76 CJ5. I got a new set of joints from a local parts store and scored a socket for the slit ring upper BJ tensioner. I'm familiar with the process of pulling and installing the knuckles, as a number of years ago I converted the CJ to front disks using donor parts from a '79 and an '84. I used the '79's knuckle and at the time noted the ball joints were pretty loose. Time's come to freshen them up.
So, I have a ball joint removal / install tool set and a small shop press. Since the ball joints are pressed into the knuckles, not not the inner "Cs" it appears the knuckles will have to be clamped in a vise, etc. before you can pop the BJs out using a common ball joint "C" clamp tool. . I'm curious about the best way to press out / press in. Trying to avoid a curse fest, can anyone shed any light on the best way to get them out / in? Thanks!
It can be a pain in the ***. I just did mine on my 86 cj7. They can be decieving. If I remember correctly the joint may look like it has a lip on the underside but not the case you must press them out from the bottom going up. they came out relatively easy once I figured that out.
Well, now I'm stumped. I converted this '76 to disk brakes about 8 years ago using donor parts from a '79 & '84, plus all new rotors & loaded calipers. I swore when I did the swap that one of the ball joints seemed marginal. Thought for sure by now it would be ready for the trash can. However, I lifted each wheel off the ground and checked for play by lifting each knuckle. Doesn't appear to be any play at all. I'm going to do the TREs tomorrow, so I'll double check them more thoroughly, but it looks like I may not need them after all. That would be nice!
Mine were good still too but I just replaced them anyway just for good measure seeing I had swapped everything else out. if you haven't would be a good Idea to replace the spindle bearings and wheel bearings.
Might not be a bad idea to replace the ball joints since it sounds like your freshening up some other front-end components, but as mentioned, it is definitely a PIA. Once you get the adjustment sleeves out which is a major chore in and of itself, the real fun begins. I spent the better part of a day with a c-clamp press, breaker bar, impact gun and BFH and couldn't get mine to budge. Took the knuckles to the local machine shop and they popped them out, but the machinist said that even his shop press was huffing and puffing. Looking back on it now, a little heat/cold might've helped get them to move.
Well, I pulled the drag link & tie rod to replace the TREs. While I had 'em off I checked both sides and they were just fine, no play whatsoever. Put in the new TTEs and we're good to go. Prolly saved me a days R&R, and a press curse fest! Thanks all!