GM Full-Size Trucks 1988-1998 Repair Information

Ball Joints

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CHECKING TURNING EFFORT



See Figure 1

  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheels.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Checking the ball joint turning effort-V-Series

  1. Disconnect the connecting rod and tie rod at each knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Position the knuckle in the straight-ahead position and attach a spring scale to the tie rod hole of the knuckle. Pull at a right (90¡) angle and determine the amount of pull necessary to keep the knuckle moving after initial break-away. The pull should not exceed 25 lbs. (111.2 N) in either direction for each knuckle. If pull is excessive, the ball joint can be adjusted. See the procedure in this section. If no adjustment is required, connect the connecting rod and tie rod.
  4.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 2 and 3

The following special tools, or their equivalents, are necessary for this procedure: J-9519-30, J-23454-1, J-23454-4, J-23454-3, J-23454-2, J-23447.

  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheels.
  4.  
  5. Remove the locking hubs.
  6.  
  7. Remove the spindle.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Removing the lower ball joint-V-Series



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Fig. Fig. 3: Removing the upper ball joint-V-Series

  1. Disconnect the tie rod end from the knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the knuckle-to-steering arm nuts and adapters.
  4.  
  5. Remove the steering arm from the knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pins and nuts from the upper and lower ball joints.
  8.  

Do not remove the adjusting ring from the knuckle. If it is necessary to loosen the ring to remove the knuckle, don't loosen it more than 2 threads. The non-hardened threads in the yoke can be easily damaged by the hardened threads in the adjusting ring if caution is not used during knuckle removal!

  1. Insert the wedge-shaped end of the heavy prybar, or wedge-type ball joint tool, between the lower ball joint and the yoke. Drive the prybar in to break the knuckle free.
  2.  
  3. Repeat the procedure at the upper ball joint.
  4.  
  5. Lift off the knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Secure the knuckle in a vise.
  8.  
  9. Remove the snapring from the lower ball joint. Using tools J-9519-30, J-23454-1 and J-23454-4, or their equivalent screw-type forcing tool, force the lower ball joint from the knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Using tools J-9519-30, J-23454-3 and J-23454-4, or their equivalent screw-type forcing tool, force the upper ball joint from the knuckle.
  12.  

To install:

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

  1. Install the lower ball joint first, (the one without the cotter pin hole) squarely in the knuckle. Using tools J-9519-30, J-23454-2 and J-23454-3, or their equivalent screw-type forcing tool, force the lower ball joint into the knuckle until it is fully seated.
  2.  
  3. Install the snapring.
  4.  
  5. Perform the same procedure for the upper ball joint (the one with the cotter pin hole).
  6.  
  7. Start the ball joints into their sockets. Place the nuts onto the ball studs. The nut with the cotter pin slot is the upper nut. Tighten the lower nut to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm), for now.
  8.  
  9. Using tool J-23447, tighten the adjusting ring to 50 ft. lbs. (70 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Tighten the upper nut to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm). Install a new cotter pin. NEVER loosen the nut to align the cotter pin hole; always tighten it. Tighten the lower nut to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Attach the steering arm to the knuckle using adapters and NEW nuts. Tighten the nuts to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Have the front end alignment checked and adjusted as necessary.
  16.  

ADJUSTMENT



Tool J-23447, or its equivalent, is necessary for this procedure.

  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheels.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the upper ball joint.
  6.  
  7. Using tool J-23447, back off the adjusting ring no more than 2 threads, then, tighten the adjusting ring to 50 ft. lbs.
  8.  
  9. Install the upper nut. Tighten the upper nut to 100 ft. lbs. Install a new cotter pin. NEVER loosen the nut to align the cotter pin hole; always tighten it.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel.
  12.  

 
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