GM Full-Size Trucks 1980-1987 Repair Guide

Upper Ball Joint (2-Wheel Drive)

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INSPECTION



See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Lower ball joint inspection

  1. Raise and support the truck so that the control arms hang free.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel.
  4.  
  5. Support the lower control arm with a jacking stand and disconnect the upper ball stud from the steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Reinstall the nut on the ball stud and measure the torque required to rotate the stud. If the torque exceeds 9 ft. lbs. or binding is present, replace the joint.
  8.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figure 2

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Fig. Fig. 2: Loosening the ball join stud with the special tool

  1. Raise and support the truck with jackstands. Remove wheel.
  2.  
  3. Support the lower control arm with a floor jack.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin from the upper ball stud and loosen, but do not remove the stud nut.
  6.  
  7. Using the special tool or its equivalent, loosen the ball stud in the steering knuckle. When the stud is loose, remove the tool and the stud nut. It may be necessary to remove the brake caliper and wire it to the frame to gain clearance.
  8.  
  9. Drill out the rivets. Remove the ball joint assembly.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the service ball joint, using the nuts supplied or special hardened fasteners.
  2.  
  3. Torque the ball stud nut as follows: 1 /2 ton trucks: 60 ft. lbs. plus the additional torque to align the cotter pin. Do not exceed 90 ft. lbs. and never back the nut off to align the pin. On 3 /4 and 1 ton trucks: 80-100 ft. lbs. plus additional torque necessary to align the cotter pin. Do not exceed 130 ft. lbs. and never back off the nut to align the pin.
  4.  
  5. Install a new cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Install a new lube fitting and lubricate the new joint.
  8.  
  9. If removed, install the brake caliper.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel and lower the truck.
  12.  

 
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