Ram B1500, B2500, B3500, 1999-2003

Lower Ball Joints

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Inspection



Front end noise, front end shimmy and difficult steering could be caused by a worn lower ball joint. Raise the front of the vehicle until the tires lightly contact the floor. The upper suspension arms must NOT contact the rebound bumpers. Position a suitable prybar under the tire and pry upward. Then grasp the top of the tire and apply force in and out. Observe any free movement in the components and determine what piece of the suspension has excessive play. Movement in the ball joint must be under 0.030 in. (0.8mm) on Ram, and 0.060 in. (1.52mm) on Dakota and Durango.

Removal & Installation



  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the disc brake caliper and rotor from steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the shock absorber.
  8.  
  9. Remove the strut bar.
  10.  
  11. Install Spring Compressor DD-1278 up through the lower suspension arm, coil spring and shock hole in the frame. The bell-shaped adapter goes against the lower suspension arm. Install the nut on top of the tool at the shock hole.
  12.  
  13. Tighten tool bottom nut against bell-shaped adapter finger-tight then loosen 1 / 2 turn
    NOTE
    This will hold the spring in place until the lower suspension arm is separated from the steering knuckle.

  14.  
  15. Remove cotter pins and nuts from ball joints.
  16.  
  17. Position Ball Joint Remover C-3564-A and rotate threaded portion of tool to apply force to the lower ball joint.
  18.  
  19. Strike steering knuckle sharply with a hammer to loosen ball joint from knuckle. Do not force ball joint out from knuckle with the tool.
  20.  
  21. Remove ball joint seal. Use Remover/Installer C-4212F to press the ball joint from lower suspension arm bore.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. View of the lower ball joint press (1) and lower control arm (2)

  22.  

To install:

  1. Press the new ball joint in lower suspension arm with Remover/Installer C-4212F.
  2.  
  3. Position a new seal over ball joint and use a socket to force lip of seal until securely in place.
  4.  
  5. Position the lower ball joint in steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Install the retaining nut on the lower ball joint and tighten to:
    1. LD 11/16 bolt: 135 ft. lbs. (183 Nm)
    2.  
    3. HD 3/4 bolt: 175 ft. lbs. (237 Nm)
    4.  

  8.  
  9. Install new cotter pins.
  10.  
  11. Install the strut bar.
  12.  
  13. Remove spring compressor tool. Install shock absorber.
  14.  
  15. Install rotor and disc brake caliper.
  16.  
  17. Install wheel and tire assemble and lower the vehicle.
  18.  

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Separate the outer tie rod end from the knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the disc brake caliper and rotor.
  8.  
  9. Support the lower control arm.
  10.  
  11. Remove cotter pins and nuts from ball joints.
  12.  
  13. Position Ball Joint Remover C-3564-A and rotate threaded portion of tool to apply force to the lower ball joint.
    NOTE
    It may be necessary to also strike the knuckle with a hammer to separate the ball joints from the knuckle.

  14.  
  15. Remove ball joint seal. Use an appropriate ball joint remover/installer to press the ball joint from lower suspension arm bore.
  16.  

To install:

  1. Press new ball joint in lower suspension arm with an appropriate ball joint remover/installer.
  2.  
  3. Position new seal over ball joint and use a socket to force lip of seal until securely in place.
  4.  
  5. Position the steering knuckle on the lower ball joint.
  6.  
  7. Install retaining nut on the lower ball joint and tighten to:
    1. LD 11/16 bolt: 135 ft. lbs. (183 Nm)
    2.  
    3. HD 3/4 bolt: 175 ft. lbs. (237 Nm)
    4.  

  8.  
  9. Install the outer tie rod end to the steering knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Install new cotter pins.
  12.  
  13. Install rotor and disc brake caliper.
  14.  
  15. Install wheel and tire assemble and lower the vehicle.
  16.  
  17. Check the wheel alignment.
  18.  

2-Wheel Drive


Front wheel
 
Shock absorber
 
Stabilizer bar link
 
Coil spring
 

  1. Press the ball joint out of the control arm.
  2.  

To install:

  1. Use the remover tool to press the ball joint into the arm.
  2.  
  3. Install or connect the following:

    Coil spring. Tighten 11 / 16 lower ball joint nuts to 135 ft. lbs. (183 Nm). Tighten 3 / 4 nuts to 175 ft. lbs. (237 Nm).
     
    Stabilizer bar link
     
    Shock absorber
     
    Front wheel

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Lower ball joint removal-2WD Ram Truck



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Lower ball joint installation-2WD Ram Truck

     

  4.  

4-Wheel Drive
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front wheel
     
    Brake caliper and rotor
     
    Hub retainer
     
    Axle shaft
     
    Outer tie rod ends
     
    Upper and lower ball joint stud nuts
     

  4.  
  5. If equipped with a Model 44 front axle, use a brass drift and hammer to separate the steering knuckle from the axle tube yoke.
  6.  
  7. Remove the snapring from the ball joint. Install the knuckle in a vise and use tools D-150-1, D-150-3 and C-4212-L to remove the ball joint from the knuckle.
  8.  
  9. If equipped with a Dana 60 front axle, use tools C-4212-L, C-4366-1 and C-4366-2 (or equivalents) to remove the lower ball joint.
  10.  

To install:

  1. If equipped with a Model 44 front axle, use tools C-4212-L and C-4288 to force the lower ball joint into the steering knuckle. Install the snapring and install a new rubber boot. Position the knuckle on the axle tube yoke and install a new lower ball stud nut. Tighten to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm). Install the upper ball stud nut and tighten to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
  2.  
  3. If equipped with a Model 60 front axle, use tools C-4212-L, C-4366-3 and C-4366-4 to install the seal and lower bearing cup into the axle tube yoke lower bore. Reposition the tools and install the lower bearing and seal into the bore. Position the knuckle over the socket pin. Fill the lower socket cavity with grease. Install the lower cap and tighten the bolts to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install or connect the following:

    Outer tie rod ends
     
    Axle shaft
     
    Hub retainer
     
    Brake caliper and rotor
     
    Front wheel

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Lower ball joint installation-4WD Ram Truck models

     

  6.  

Coil Spring Suspension
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front wheel
     
    Brake caliper and rotor
     
    Outer tie rod ends
     
    Steering knuckle
     
    Snapring from the ball joint (HD 2wd)
     

  4.  
  5. Use tools C-4212-F, 8698-2 and 8698-3 (or equivalents) to remove the lower ball joint.
    NOTE
    Use EP grease on the tool threads.

  6.  

To install:

  1. Use tools C-4212-F, 8698-1 and 8698-3 (or equivalents) to install the lower ball joint.
  2.  
  3. On 2wd HD models, install a new snapring; on all others, stake the ball joint flange in 4 evenly spaced places.
  4.  
  5. Install or connect the following:

    Knuckle. Torque the ball stud nut to 38 ft. lbs. (52 Nm) plus 90 degrees on all except 2wd HD; on 2wd HD, torque the nut to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
     
    Outer tie rod ends
     
    Axle shaft
     
    Hub retainer
     
    Brake caliper and rotor
     
    Front wheel
     

  6.  

Independent Front Suspension
  1. Raise and support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake caliper assembly and rotor.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the tie rod from the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the stabilizer bar link from the lower suspension arm.
  10.  
  11. Support the lower suspension arm outboard end with a jack. Place the jack under the arm in front of the shock mount.
  12.  
  13. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the lower ball joint. Separate the ball joint.
  14.  
  15. Remove the lower shock bolt from the suspension arm.
  16.  
  17. Lower the jack and suspension arm until spring tension is relieved. Remove spring and rubber isolator.
  18.  
  19. Remove the suspension arm to crossmember hardware and remove arm.
  20.  
  21. Press out the ball joint.
  22.  


NOTE
If the ball joint is tack-welded to the arm, the suspension arm must be replaced if the ball joint is worn.

  1. Press in a new ball joint and ensure it is fully seated.
  2.  
  3. The remainder of the procedure is the reverse of removal.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Lower ball joint removal-Ram

Link/Coil Suspension
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Joint, using tool 6761 and 8445-3 with C-4212-F
     

  4.  
  5. To install, use driver 8445-2, receiver 8975-5 and tool C-4212-F.
  6.  
  7. Install the knuckle. Torque the ball stud nut to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm), then torque it to 70 ft. lbs. (94 Nm) and install the pin.
  8.  

 
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