GM Full-Size Trucks 1988-1998 Repair Information

Lower Ball Joint

Print

INSPECTION



See Figure 1



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Measure the distance between the tip of the lower ball joint stud and the grease fitting below the ball joint as shown

  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 to hang free. Measure the distance again. If the variation between the two measurements exceeds 3 / 32 in. (2.4mm) the ball joint should be replaced.
  6.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 2, 3 and 4

  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Support the lower control arm with a floor jack.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the lower stud cotter pin and loosen, but do not remove, the stud nut.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the lower ball joint using a suitable tool-R-Series shown, C-series similar



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Use an appropriate tool to separate the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle-R and C-Series



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Installing the lower ball joint-R and C-Series

  1. Loosen the ball joint with a forcing-type ball joint tool. It may be necessary to remove the brake caliper and wire it to the frame to gain enough clearance.
  2.  
  3. When the stud is loose, remove the tool and ball stud nut.
  4.  
  5. Install a spring compressor on the coil spring for safety.
  6.  
  7. Pull the brake disc and knuckle assembly up and off the ball stud and support the upper arm with a block of wood.
  8.  
  9. Remove the ball joint from the control arm with a ball joint fork or another suitable tool.
  10.  

To install:

Installation is the reverse of removal but please note the following important steps.

  1. On R-series vehicles, start the new ball joint into the control arm. Position the bleed vent in the rubber boot facing inward.
  2.  
  3. On C-series vehicles, force the ball joint into position using a screw-type forcing tool. The ball joint will bottom in the control arm. The grease seal should face inboard.
  4.  
  5. On R-series vehicles, turn the screw until the ball joint is seated in the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Lower the upper arm and match the steering knuckle to the lower ball stud.
  8.  
  9. On C-series vehicles, start ball stud into the knuckle. Install the nut and tighten it to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm) on 1988-90 models; 84 ft. lbs. (115 Nm) on 1991-94 models and 94 ft. lbs. (128 Nm) on 1995-98 models. Advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole and insert the new cotter pin. NEVER back off the nut to align the cotter pin hole; always advance it!
  10.  
  11. On R-series vehicles, tighten the ball stud nut to 80-100 ft. lbs. (108-135 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.
  12.  
  13. Install a new lube fitting and lubricate the new joint.
  14.  

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo