Author Topic: Lower ball joints on a SWB  (Read 1023 times)

GrantCee

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Lower ball joints on a SWB
« on: March 20, 2019, 03:46:32 PM »
Who has replaced the lower ball joints on a 4-cyl Gen1?

My '87 SWB suspension is squeaking. On inspection, it looks like the grease boot on the passenger side lower ball joint got torn somewhere along the line, and all of the grease inside has solidified.  The joint is still, surprisingly, tight, but I know it's just a matter of time now.

Two questions:

1) Other than OEM, is there a quality ball joint you can recommend? I'm looking at the Beck/Arnley ball joints from RockAuto, but I've heard good things about Moog as well.

2) Is it really necessary to remove the torsion bar just to replace the ball joint? The FSM says I need to, but I'd rather not if I don't have to. Anything to make the job a little easier!

(I do have a ball joint press with adaptors.)

GrantCee

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 01:12:38 PM »
Good to know! I was actually thinking of replacing the uppers at the same time, but I won't bother.

How long do the lower arm bushings last?

GrantCee

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 02:36:55 PM »
Lower balljoints are bolt on, very easy and no removal of the torsion bar is needed nor for the upper. they support most of the weight and go bad quickly, highly recommend not cheaping out on the lowers. OEM then 555's and the rest are a crap shoot. Moog gives you whatever they bought from anyone else, sometimes good sometimes bad. Uppers are pressed in and also not bad to do, just be sure to dig the snap rings out before pressing.

Okay, what's the trick to getting these things out? Getting them loose is no problem, but getting them out of the knuckle is!

The spindle won't allow me to pull the ball joint up far enough to clear; the top of the dome on the joint hits the spindle cover before the threaded end of the joint clears the hole in the knuckle. Near as I can tell, the only solution is to take out the (outer) driveshaft. The FSM doesn't mention any of that they just show the ball joint magically out of the knuckle and being tested!

What am I missing?

GrantCee

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2019, 10:13:25 AM »
CV must come out, sir

I was afraid you were going to say that. Now I have to order boot clamp (bands)...or do I? Do I need to disassemble the shaft, or can I just pull the shaft out of the hub (after removing the circlip?)

GrantCee

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2019, 03:19:37 PM »
Once you have unbloted the lower ball joint bolts and separated the knuckle from the LCA and UCA, the CV slides out of the hub. Now, you can leave in place or pull.

Basically, I'm pulling the knuckle out, correct? Which means I also have to separate the tie rod as well.

That being the case, on a 32-y/o vehicle with 150k on the clock, I think I might as well remove the LCA and replace those bushings while I'm there. UBJ, tie rod end can both be done easily without removing the knuckle (should they ever need it.)

Which brings up a question: LCA bushings other than OEM, any recommendations? I've seen Moog & AC Delco so far...