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Old 02-15-2011, 06:45 PM   #1
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Ball Joints

I have an 88 Wrangler w 89,000 mi on it, to my knowledge not much off road action on it. What would be the possibility of the upper and lower ball joints being bad? One mechanic tells me I need to replace them, another says they are fine. The guy who has seen them says they are, another jeep guy says no way.

Thanks.

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Old 02-15-2011, 06:52 PM   #2
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for what its worth man i would go ahead and replaces them in you have doughts in your head. i have had two ball joints blow on me on the road and it is def not good. i couldnt imagen it happening in a jeep. remeber, nuthin is worth your life or someone else on the road

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Old 02-15-2011, 07:11 PM   #3
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Thanks, any idea how much it should cost if I have a garage do it? Def have zero experience with that part of the jeep...
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:19 PM   #4
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i wouldnt think it would be all that much to have someone do it. you could get a haynes manual and go at her. they arent all that bad. they are pressed it. remeber to grease all the fittings
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:55 PM   #5
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If you're going to do the replacement, you'll need a ball joint press. It looks like this Four Wheel Drive Ball Joint Service Kit. Not too tough, but requires some time. I did mine in less than a day taking my time. I'd replace the axel u-joints while you're at it since you'll have it all apart.
-John
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:00 AM   #6
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Still learning but couldn't you just replace the whole wheel hub instead of messing with the ball joints... I thought those were pressed into the hub... maybe I am wrong
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:07 AM   #7
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Ball joints are for Steering. They are the connection of the tierods to the wheels. The Hub is shaft surrounded by roller bearings in the center of the wheel.

I have gotten 200K out of my Jeep ball joints so far. On my Camaro i was lucky to 25,000 miles out of them. But if you have doubts get them replaced and if they are worn out I would get your alignment checked.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undead-89 View Post
Ball joints are for Steering. They are the connection of the tierods to the wheels. The Hub is shaft surrounded by roller bearings in the center of the wheel.

I have gotten 200K out of my Jeep ball joints so far. On my Camaro i was lucky to 25,000 miles out of them. But if you have doubts get them replaced and if they are worn out I would get your alignment checked.

x2
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:25 AM   #9
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10-4 thank u I am completly lost when it comes to anything steering or axles.... to be honest I changed the fluid in my front diff today for the first time and looked inside the diff for the first time ever.... thanks for the quick reply and thanks for letting me hijack this thread for a short while
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:24 PM   #10
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sweet replies fellas, thanks a lot.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undead-89 View Post
Ball joints are for Steering. They are the connection of the tierods to the wheels. The Hub is shaft surrounded by roller bearings in the center of the wheel.

I have gotten 200K out of my Jeep ball joints so far. On my Camaro i was lucky to 25,000 miles out of them. But if you have doubts get them replaced and if they are worn out I would get your alignment checked.

Actually, the tie rod ends are the connections for the tie rods to the steering knuckle. The ball joints allow the steering knuckle to turn. And as you stated, the hub is supported by a sealed bearing unit. Look here:

Jeep Wrangler YJ Steering Parts & Accessories at Morris 4x4 Center

I bought my stuff at 4wd.com when I replaced all the above this year. Maybe around $500 for EVERYTHING. Now it should drive like a new Jeep.
-John
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:57 AM   #12
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if you suspect you have bad ball joints just jack up the front axle and if they are bad enough you will actually see them drop down as you get the tires off the ground. If they don't do that then place a bar for leverage under each tire and pry the tire in an up and down movement and watch to see if there is any play in the ball joints. That way you know for sure. Aside from my day job as a tech, I work part time at an oreillys and even with my discount I'm still paying out about $183.00 for uppers and lowers because you might as well do them all as long as it is torn down. You may also want to consider doing you axle u joints as long as you have it apart. Sorry for the long post!

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