Author Topic: Lower ball joints on a SWB  (Read 610 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.)

TOASTY

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2019, 01:38:38 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.

 If you are running small tires and not wheeling you'll get away with aftermarket for a year or so on the lowers, the uppers basically last forever.

GrantCee

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #2 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?

RXIN HED

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2019, 07:21:03 PM »
...not forever...
1988 Max SPX Extended Cab 4wd with Service Body & Starion Power
1980 Dodge W400 service truck

For Sale: 1983 Montero #277, 1989 Power Ram 50 extended cab
Sundry Gen 1 Montero and Gen 1 & 2 Mighty Max parts and vehicles for sale

GrantCee

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #4 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?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 03:54:13 PM by GrantCee »

RXIN HED

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 08:02:18 PM »
CV must come out, sir
1988 Max SPX Extended Cab 4wd with Service Body & Starion Power
1980 Dodge W400 service truck

For Sale: 1983 Montero #277, 1989 Power Ram 50 extended cab
Sundry Gen 1 Montero and Gen 1 & 2 Mighty Max parts and vehicles for sale

GrantCee

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #6 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?)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 10:18:44 AM by GrantCee »

RXIN HED

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2019, 01:56:45 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.
 
1988 Max SPX Extended Cab 4wd with Service Body & Starion Power
1980 Dodge W400 service truck

For Sale: 1983 Montero #277, 1989 Power Ram 50 extended cab
Sundry Gen 1 Montero and Gen 1 & 2 Mighty Max parts and vehicles for sale

GrantCee

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #8 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...
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 03:28:03 PM by GrantCee »

RXIN HED

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Re: Lower ball joints on a SWB
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2019, 06:31:53 PM »
If you're doing like me, I'm going through this very repair on Pearl right now. The suddenness of this learning experience is frightening? Last Sunday evening, after driving 3 hours home, I met with my friend Brykelle. Together, we dropped the 3.909 front pumpkin she needed for her Max. So, the 'getting that sucker' out included several failed attempts at removing the left side CV joint. I just repeated the same operation today, dropping all the front suspension on a Montero Sport parts car...unable to separate the lower left ball joint...took everything apart.

Pearl on Sunday night, about 11:35:



Sport this afternoon:



Two teardowns in 6 days, quite a bit of activity for me.
1988 Max SPX Extended Cab 4wd with Service Body & Starion Power
1980 Dodge W400 service truck

For Sale: 1983 Montero #277, 1989 Power Ram 50 extended cab
Sundry Gen 1 Montero and Gen 1 & 2 Mighty Max parts and vehicles for sale