Chrysler Full-Size Trucks 1997-2000 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joint

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INSPECTION



Front end noise, front end shimmy and difficult steering could be caused by a worn lower ball joint. Raise the front of the vehicle until the tires lightly contact the floor. The upper suspension arms must NOT contact the rebound bumpers. Position a suitable prybar under the tire and pry upward. Then grasp the top of the tire and apply force in and out. Observe any free movement in the components and determine what piece of the suspension has excessive play. Movement in the ball joint must be under 0.030 in. (0.8mm) on Ram, and 0.060 in. (1.52mm) on Dakota and Durango.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Dakota, Durango 2WD
  1. Raise and support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire.
  4.  
  5. Remove the caliper, rotor, shield and ABS speed sensor, if fitted.
  6.  
  7. Remove the tie rod from the steering knuckle arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove the hub/bearing.
  10.  
  11. Remove the shock absorber.
  12.  
  13. Compress the coil spring.
  14.  
  15. Remove the lower ball joint nut and separate the ball joint from the knuckle.
  16.  
  17. Installation is the reverse of removal. Tighten the ball joint nut to 94 ft. lbs. (127 Nm). Use a new cotter pin.
  18.  

Dakota, Durango 4WD
  1. Raise and support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire.
  4.  
  5. Remove the caliper, rotor, shield and ABS speed sensor, if fitted.
  6.  
  7. Remove the front driveshaft.
  8.  
  9. Remove the tie rod from the steering knuckle arm.
  10.  
  11. Raise the lower suspension arm to unload the rebound bumper.
  12.  
  13. Remove the lower ball joint cotter pin and nut. Separate the ball joint from the knuckle.
  14.  
  15. Installation is the reverse of removal. Tighten the lower ball joint nut to 135 ft. lbs. (183 Nm).
  16.  

Ram With Independent Front Suspension
  1. Raise and support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake caliper assembly and rotor.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the tie rod from the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the stabilizer bar link from the lower suspension arm.
  10.  
  11. Support the lower suspension arm outboard end with a jack. Place the jack under the arm in front of the shock mount.
  12.  
  13. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the lower ball joint. Separate the ball joint.
  14.  
  15. Remove the lower shock bolt from the suspension arm.
  16.  
  17. Lower the jack and suspension arm until spring tension is relieved. Remove spring and rubber isolator.
  18.  
  19. Remove the suspension arm to crossmember hardware and remove arm.
  20.  
  21. Press out the ball joint.
  22.  


NOTE
If the ball joint is tack-welded to the arm, the suspension arm must be replaced if the ball joint is worn.

  1. Press in a new ball joint and ensure it is fully seated.
  2.  
  3. The remainder of the procedure is the reverse of removal.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Lower ball joint removal-Ram

 
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