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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ball joints need doing and despite having done a lot of other jobs on my Jeep, this one worries me.

Getting things down to the ball joint isn't the problem. Renting/buying the proper tools isn't the problem.

I've watched enough YouTube videos to understand the process of pressing them out and in... But in a lot of these videos even experienced guys are like "these are a pain" and I've hit hiccups using that press for other jobs.

Have any other first-timers tried doing ball joints in their own garage and hit a point where they wish they hadn't? Like something gets jammed halfway and then what... Can't tow it anywhere!

I don't want to spend hundreds on this when I've learned so many other skills... But this one does worry me that I'd hit a point of no return and screw it up.
 

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Do you have a pickle bar? Should be pretty much straight forward. What is the biggest issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm talking about the ball joints pressed into the C's on the axle. Main issue is this axle is from a junkyard stock XJ and I highly suspect original (so they've been in there 24 years) and I lack confidence that I won't get stuck halfway through the job.
 

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Don't worry about it. Just make sure the new ball joints go in square. If they start to go crooked, stop and reposition. Or pop it out and start over.

If you're worried about them coming out, you can soak with penetrating oil. Heat (even from a MAP torch) goes a long way. Smacking the side of the C with a hammer once you've loaded it with the press can also help break it free.
 

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I've done them on many of my Jeeps. Currently can't work on any vehicles where I live (ruptured disc in my back even if they let me). My mechanic did them for $180 labor. Well worth it if you don't want to try it and find out your screwed. Towing my Jeep to a mechanic, costs almost as much as what he charged me.
 

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They are not that difficult if you have a press that fits them correctly and quality replacement parts that also fit correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright maybe I'll give this a shot. With my luck something will get screwed up... but hopefully not.

I've already had the ball joints on hand (Spicer 706944x) from when I thought I might tackle this during my axle swap but wimped out.

Just ordered the cheaper angled adapter kit on Amazon, along with new knuckles since mine definitely have a bit of that brake pad groove and now would be the time.

I'll rent the AutoZone press again. I used it for other jobs in the past and it seems heavy duty.

If I had a mechanic that would do them for $180 like Boogieman I would actually do that. The guy I called yesterday said $600-700

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The shop I work in would be in the 600-700 range you were quoted for labor and the alignment. The alignment is not negotiable, if we do front end work we do an alignment. We also will not use customer supplied parts.
 

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Ironically, I did balljoints on a CJ5 last weekend for someone. It was the first time I had ever done them. Like you, I watched YouTube and was a little apprehensive, but in the end, the job wasn’t bad at all.
I rented the ball joint tool and supplementary “4WD adaptor kit” from O’Reilly Auto Parts. It worked perfectly, and these ball joints were original (1973). No issue with removal.

Took a total of 5 hours and I charged the guy $175 in labor. (I work out of my residential garage, as a little “side hustle” and charge $35/hour). I felt like $175 was more than fair for both of us.

Some advice - be sure you have a fairly stout impact gun. Mine is a Kobalt, sort of mid-range shadetree mechanic quality, and it was barely enough to get the job done. On the videos I watched the guys were using better impacts and they zipped the joints in and out.







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Ball joints need doing and despite having done a lot of other jobs on my Jeep, this one worries me.

Getting things down to the ball joint isn't the problem. Renting/buying the proper tools isn't the problem.

I've watched enough YouTube videos to understand the process of pressing them out and in... But in a lot of these videos even experienced guys are like "these are a pain" and I've hit hiccups using that press for other jobs.

Have any other first-timers tried doing ball joints in their own garage and hit a point where they wish they hadn't? Like something gets jammed halfway and then what... Can't tow it anywhere!

I don't want to spend hundreds on this when I've learned so many other skills... But this one does worry me that I'd hit a point of no return and screw it up.
It's not hard at all. I did it after watching a few YouTube videos. Just have the proper tools. I bought a special adapter for the Jeep knuckles as the are cut at angle to fit squarely with the ball joint. Good luck.

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Ball joints need doing and despite having done a lot of other jobs on my Jeep, this one worries me.

Getting things down to the ball joint isn't the problem. Renting/buying the proper tools isn't the problem.

I've watched enough YouTube videos to understand the process of pressing them out and in... But in a lot of these videos even experienced guys are like "these are a pain" and I've hit hiccups using that press for other jobs.

Have any other first-timers tried doing ball joints in their own garage and hit a point where they wish they hadn't? Like something gets jammed halfway and then what... Can't tow it anywhere!

I don't want to spend hundreds on this when I've learned so many other skills... But this one does worry me that I'd hit a point of no return and screw it up.
Don't rely on someone eles....you want it done right....or go to the best 4x4 shop in town...good luck
 
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