Ram B1500, B2500, B3500, 1999-2003

Upper Ball Joints

Print

Inspection



Front end noise, front end shimmy and difficult steering could be caused by a worn upper ball joint. Jack up the vehicle beneath the lower suspension arm. Raise the vehicle until the tire lightly contacts the floor. 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, especially between the upper suspension arm and the steering knuckle. Determine what piece of the suspension has excessive play. Lateral 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




NOTE
The upper ball joint on 2003-05 coil spring suspensions, is not replaceable. If the ball joint is defective, the upper arm must be replaced.

  1. Place a jack under outer end of lower suspension arm. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the disc brake caliper.
  6.  
  7. Remove the wheel speed sensor, if equipped with ABS.
  8.  
  9. Remove cotter pin(s) and nut(s) from upper ball joint.
  10.  
  11. Position Ball Joint Remover C-3564-A between ball joints. Rotate threaded portion of tool to apply force to the upper ball joint.
    NOTE
    It may be necessary to also strike the knuckle with a hammer to separate the ball joints from the knuckle.

  12.  
  13. Remove ball joint seal.
  14.  
  15. Use Tool C-3561 to unthread ball joint from suspension arm.
  16.  

To install:

  1. Thread new ball joint in with Tool C-3561 and tighten to 125 ft. lbs. (170 Nm) The gap between ball joint Hex and suspension arm bore is 0.01-0.05 in. (0.25-1.25mm)
  2.  
  3. Install new seal over ball joint and securely locked in place.
  4.  
  5. Position steering knuckle on upper ball joint tighten nut to 135 ft. lbs. (183 Nm). Install a new cotter pin(s).
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel speed sensor, if equipped with ABS.
  8.  
  9. Install the disc brake caliper..
  10.  
  11. Install wheel and tire assemble and lower the vehicle..
  12.  
  13. Check front wheel alignment.
  14.  

2-Wheel Drive
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Support the lower control arm.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the stud nut and separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Unscrew the ball joint from the control arm with tool C-3561.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Thread the ball joint into the upper control arm and tighten it to 125 ft. lbs. (169 Nm). Tighten the upper ball stud nut to 135 ft. lbs. (183 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the front wheel.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Upper ball joint removal- 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. Use tool C-4169 to remove the sleeve from the upper yoke arm.
  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.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Axle identification-Model 44 front axle differential cover



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Axle identification-Model 60 front axle differential cover

  8.  
  9. If equipped with a Model 60 front axle, remove the bolts from the knuckle lower cap. Dislodge the cap from the steering knuckle and axle tube yoke. Remove the steering knuckle. Use tool D-192 to remove the upper socket pin from the axle tube upper arm bore. Remove the seal.
  10.  

To install:

  1. If equipped with a Model 44 front axle, use tools C-4212-L and C-4288 to force the upper ball joint into the steering knuckle. Install the snapring and install a new rubber boot. Thread the replacement sleeve into the upper yoke bore so that 2 threads are exposed at the top of the yoke. Position the knuckle on the axle tube yoke and install a new lower ball stud nut, then tighten to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm). Using the special socket, tighten the sleeve to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm). Install the upper ball stud nut and tighten to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm) and install a new cotter pin.
  2.  
  3. If equipped with a Model 60 front axle, use tool D-192 to install the upper socket pin in the axle tube upper arm bore. Install a new seal. Tighten to 500-600 ft. lbs. (668-813 Nm). 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. Typical ball joint removal using the special tools-248 FBI axle shown

     

  6.  

Independent Front Suspension
  1. Raise and support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire.
  4.  
  5. Support the lower suspension arm outboard end with a jack.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the upper ball joint. Separate the ball joint.
  8.  
  9. Remove the pivot bar bolts from the upper suspension arm bracket and remove the arm from the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Press out the ball joint.
  12.  
  13. Press in a new ball joint and ensure it is fully seated.
  14.  
  15. The remainder of the procedure is the reverse of removal.
  16.  

Link/Coil Front 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.  

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo