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Old 08-12-2019, 01:47 PM
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Ball joint question

Can the ball joints be bad even if there is no visible play or abnormal noises when turning?

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Old 08-12-2019, 03:26 PM   #2
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:30 PM   #3
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Why do you think there is something wrong with them? How many miles since they've been replaced?
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:43 PM
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Why do you think there is something wrong with them? How many miles since they've been replaced?
Don't know if they ever have been changed to be honest. The lower ball joint on my passenger side is missing the grease fitting and looks like the spring from the fitting is stuck in it.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:08 PM   #5
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Sounds like the zerk broke off. Pull the spring out and use an easy-out and remove what's left of that zerk, it's not difficult. Replace with new zerk and pump it up with grease (both sides). Lower ball joints don't have a zerk if I remember correctly.
What are the symptoms that leads you to suspect the ball joints are going south? The OE Spicers last an incredibly long time as long as they've been greased occasionally.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:10 PM   #6
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Lower ball joints don't have a zerk if I remember correctly.

The OE Spicers last an incredibly long time as long as they've been greased occasionally.
What is your technique for occasionally greasing zerkless ball joints?
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:12 PM   #7
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Don't know if they ever have been changed to be honest.
In that case, what does your odometer say?
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:21 PM   #8
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What is your technique for occasionally greasing zerkless ball joints?

If they don't have a zerk, they are not designed to be greased. The upper ball joints can be greased via zerk. If the lowers don't have a zerk and need grease - my technique is to replace them, not very difficult. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:04 AM   #9
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Don't know if they ever have been changed to be honest. The lower ball joint on my passenger side is missing the grease fitting and looks like the spring from the fitting is stuck in it.
The lowers usually don't have a grease fitting. My Spicer and Detroit axle ones don't. Too hard to reach a fitting in there.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:28 PM   #10
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Factory ball joint don't have grease fittings, either upper or lower.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:45 PM   #11
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Unless there's play, or noise.... just don't touch them. Changing them is a huge pain, especially the upper ball joint (if you don't have the exact right cup), so unless you have good reason, leave them alone.

Busted boots mean they will probably need to be changed in the near future, but they're still good for now.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:29 PM   #12
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I did mine when I had everything torn apart and did unit bearings and u joints at the same time.
They seemed ok originally, once they were out you could tell how nasty they were inside.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:17 PM   #13
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Factory ball joint don't have grease fittings, either upper or lower.
That might be true some of the time, but it's definitely not true all of the time.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:52 PM   #14
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Busted boots mean they will probably need to be changed in the near future...
No "probably" about it. There has never been a single case of a busted boot healing itself. Not one.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:39 AM
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My odometer is 155k. Both lower ball joints have grease fittings on my Jeep but like I stated above, the passenger side is broken. I just replaced the Hub assemblies on both sides and now all play is gone. Just wanted to get info to make sure I didn't need to replace them right now.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:49 AM   #16
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My odometer is 155k. Both lower ball joints have grease fittings on my Jeep...
Then they are not original.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:41 PM   #17
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What is your technique for occasionally greasing zerkless ball joints?
One can use a grease needle, they sell them at AutoZone if you need to grease a squeaky ball joint with no fittings.

Would not recommend using a needle if you just want to grease one since it will leave a very small hole in the boot.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:45 AM   #18
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My odometer is 155k. Both lower ball joints have grease fittings on my Jeep but like I stated above, the passenger side is broken. I just replaced the Hub assemblies on both sides and now all play is gone. Just wanted to get info to make sure I didn't need to replace them right now.

Which is why the factory ball joints don't have grease fittings. I just had mine replaced at 129K, not because they were giving an issue, but in doing a complete brake job (calipers, rotors, pads, hoses, bolts, etc) I opted to have the unit bearings, ball joints and front axle u-joints replaces as well. Go in once and get it all done.

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