GM Full-Size Trucks 1970-1979 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joints

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INSPECTION



See Figure 1

  1. Support the weight of the control arm at the wheel hub.
  2.  
  3. Measure the distance between the tip of the ball joint stud and the grease fitting below the ball joint.
  4.  
  5. Move the support to the control arm and allow the hub and drum to hang free. Measure the distance again. If the variation between the two measurements exceeds 3 / 32 in., the ball joint should be replaced.
  6.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



2-Wheel Drive

See Figures 2 and 3

  1. Raise and support the truck with jackstands. Support the lower control arm with a floor jack.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire and wheel.
  4.  
  5. Remove the lower stud cotter pin and loosen, but do not remove, the stud nut.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the ball joint with the tool illustrated or its equivalent. It may be necessary to remove the brake caliper and wire it to the frame to gain enough clearance.
  8.  
  9. When the stud is loose, remove the tool and ball stud nut.
  10.  
  11. Install a spring compressor on the coil spring for safety.
  12.  
  13. Pull the brake disc and knuckle assembly up and off the ball stud and support the upper arm with a block of wood.
  14.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Lower ball joint inspection - 2-wheel drive vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Use the special tool to loosen the ball joint stud



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Ball joint removal and installation - 2-wheel drive trucks

  1. Remove the ball joint from the control arm with a ball joint fork or another suitable tool.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Start the new ball joint into the control arm. Position the bleed vent in the rubber boot facing inward.
  2.  
  3. Turn the screw until the ball joint is seated in the control arm.
  4.  
  5. Lower the upper arm and match the steering knuckle to the lower ball stud.
  6.  
  7. Install the brake caliper, if removed.
  8.  
  9. Install the ball stud nut and tighten it to 80-100 ft. lbs. (108-136 Nm) plus the additional torque necessary to align the cotter pin hole. Do not exceed 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm) or back the nut off to align the holes with the pin.
  10.  
  11. Install a new lube fitting and lubricate the new joint.
  12.  
  13. Install the tire and wheel.
  14.  
  15. Lower the truck.
  16.  

4-Wheel Drive

Please refer to the upper ball joint procedure.

 
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