GM Full-Size Trucks 1988-1998 Repair Information

Upper Ball Joint

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INSPECTION



  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands so that the control arms hang freely.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel.
  4.  
  5. The upper ball joint is spring-loaded. Replace the ball joint if there is any lateral movement, if it can be twisted in its socket with your fingers or the seals are cut and torn.
  6.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1 and 2



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Use an appropriate tool to separate the upper ball joint from the steering knuckle-C and R-Series



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Fig. Fig. 2: Installing the upper ball joint-C and R-Series

  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 a forcing-type ball joint separator tool, 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. On R-series trucks, drill out the rivets using a 1 / 8 in. drill bit. Remove the ball joint assembly.
  10.  
  11. On C-series trucks, drill out the rivets using a 1 / 8 in. drill bit to start a pilot hole. Drill out the rivets with a 1 / 2 in. bit. Remove the ball joint assembly using a screw-type forcing tool.
  12.  

To install:

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

  1. On R-series vehicles, tighten the ball joint nuts to 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm).
  2.  
  3. On R-series vehicles, tighten the ball stud nut as follows:

    1 / 2 ton trucks: 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm), plus the additional torque to align the cotter pin. Do not exceed 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm) and never back the nut off to align the pin.
     
    3 / 4 and 1 ton trucks: 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm), plus additional torque necessary to align the cotter pin. Do not exceed 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm) and never back off the nut to align the pin.
     

  4.  
  5. On C-series vehicles, tighten the ball joint nuts as follows:

    1988-90 models, tighten the nuts to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm) for the 15 and 25 Series and 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm) for 35 the Series.
     
    1991-98 models, tighten the nuts to 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm).
     

  6.  
  7. On C-series vehicles, tighten the ball stud nut to 90 ft. lbs. (120 Nm) on 1988-90 models, 84 ft. lbs. (115 Nm) on 1991-95 models and 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm) on 1996-98 models.
  8.  
  9. Install a new lube fitting and lubricate the new joint.
  10.  

 
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