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Old 03-11-2011, 11:41 PM   #1
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Ball Joint Replacement question.

I was reading Stu's write up for replacing ball joints and there was something that I'm not clear on. When you remove the hub do you have to separate the hub from the axle shaft first or once you separate the hub from the knuckle can you pull them out together? I'm finally getting around (hopefully) to replacing my ball joints tomorrow for the first time.
Thanks!

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:57 PM   #2
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You can pull them out together. I have at least, only time I take them apart is to replace the u-joints.

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Old 03-12-2011, 05:25 PM   #3
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Alright..... I need to call upon the wisdom of the WF. I bought and installed the drivers side ball joints from XRF (the Canadian logging truck ball joints that were recommended to me on this forum). Everything went great until I slid the axle back in. The Zerk on the top of the lower joint is just a hair too tall and hits the u-joints when they turn.

Now that I have pumped it full of grease, can I just plug the hole with a small bolt? My OEM lower joint that I removed didn't have one. At least that way I could always pull the axle, reinstall the lower Zerk and top off if I needed to.

Any opinions? It seems to be the only solution I can think of.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jollyczar
Alright..... I need to call upon the wisdom of the WF. I bought and installed the drivers side ball joints from XRF (the Canadian logging truck ball joints that were recommended to me on this forum). Everything went great until I slid the axle back in. The Zerk on the top of the lower joint is just a hair too tall and hits the u-joints when they turn.

Now that I have pumped it full of grease, can I just plug the hole with a small bolt? My OEM lower joint that I removed didn't have one. At least that way I could always pull the axle, reinstall the lower Zerk and top off if I needed to.

Any opinions? It seems to be the only solution I can think of.
Here is a picture to illustrate. Maybe if I fully install the hub to the knuckle the u-joint will clear the Zerk. I didn't realize that as a possibility till just now.
Any ideas?
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:52 PM   #5
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My lower joint came with a plug, so it was pumped with grease then pluged, and I can take the plug out and add more grease whe the time comes, So to answr your question, you can plug it, but I would but a plug with the same thread pattern as the zerk fitting.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #6
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I do the same thing with my Currie steering. The rod-end on the tie-rod bottoms out on the track bar bracket on the axle with the zerk in it, so I remove it and just replace it with a set screw with the same threads.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:06 PM   #7
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Awesome. Thanks for the replies. It's nice to get advice that won't be an additional pain in the a$$ to follow.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:53 PM   #8
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I just remembered another important question.

When I torqued the castle nuts for BOTH the upper and lower joints to spec, the hole for the cotter pin was blocked.

What is the better option, to torque it up a little or down a little?
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:25 PM   #9
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Bump
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:08 AM   #10
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Help!


This is just another bump. How do I get the cotter pins through if the castle nut blocks the hole after being torqued to spec?
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:26 AM   #11
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What brand ball joint did you purchase? It might be possible that a generic one could be inferior. I need to replace mine as well. YouTube has a great how to video on replacement for those who need visuals like me.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:05 AM   #12
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I got XRF ball joints. My only problem is the cotter pin hole being blocked by the little "towers" of the castle nut. If I could turn it a little in either direction then I wouldn't have an issue. I just don't know if either:
1. I need a different set of ball joints.
2. I should tighten the nut past spec a hair.
3. I should loosen it a hair.

I can't think of any other possibilities. I can always contact XRF directly this week during Canadian business hours. I was just hoping to finish the job today.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:55 PM   #13
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An update for anyone who is interested:
To get the cotter pins in I ended up tightening the upper joint to 87 lbs and the bottom one to 83 lbs. I called XRF this morning and they said that was no big deal so long as I still had my full steering range. Also, they said that they usually ship their lower joints with a plug because they are aware that the lower Zerk will hit the u-joint in a Wrangler (I didn't get one but I had a buddy machine a couple of set screws so I'm ok).
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #14
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Glad you got the info. I have always heard that you never back off to insert the pin...always tighten. So far so good.

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