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View Full Version : need help with superduty ball joints??????


PatiosInstalled
01-24-2008, 04:58 PM
im in need of replacing the ball joints in my 04 f-250 powerstroke 4x4. i was wondering if anyone has replaced theirs and if so how and what are some pointers. i have replaced them on a old dodge 2 wheel drive before and am familiar with the process. on the f250 do you have to remove the whole brake assembly and rotors or can you just press the old ones out and press the new ones in and be done with it. thanks

supercuts
01-24-2008, 05:29 PM
yes, take it to the dealer, i did mine myself. you need a special tool to put the $50 dust seals back on. i shoved them in and a year later i was replacign the $400 hub bearings (which is the entire hub assembly.) it was a pita too.

PatiosInstalled
01-24-2008, 06:42 PM
hmmmm i actually had the dealership replace the driver front hub assembly about a month ago, but they want like 130 for each ball joint.

Gravel Rat
01-24-2008, 09:42 PM
I wouldn't take it to the steeler find a compentent shop to-do the job. I had my ball joints done on the F-450 my truck is a 2wd.

To do your truck you need to strip everything off. Might aswell do the brakes and change the brake rotors.

Jack the truck up
Remove the wheels
Remove Brake caliper
Remove Hub Lockouts
Remove Caliper support bracket
Unbolt Unit bearing assemby and brake rotor
Take the tierod nuts off knock tie rod ends down
Undo the OEM ball joint nuts (impact required)
Take sledge hammer and start beaiting on the steering knuckle
It should eventually pop down
Take steering knuckle to a press punch out old ball joints
Press in new ball joints
Reassmenble.

Now you can do the balljoints hammering them in. It isn't the proper way of doing it.

Unless you have a good clean dry place to work and air tools I wouldn't do the job.

THEoneandonlyLawnRanger
01-29-2008, 12:14 PM
You need to go to www.Fordtrucks.com its a forum for all ford trucks but has a superduty category, There is s step by step write up that a guy did including pictures to replace his ball joints. I think mine need it but it looks too complicated for me to dig into....Good luck

supercuts
01-29-2008, 10:23 PM
you know, i did mine myself and it really wasnt all that hard, but like i said. without the tool, you'll ruin the bearings.

PatiosInstalled
01-29-2008, 11:56 PM
thanks guys. i actually was wrong on the dealers price i called them again and they said $900 for all four ball joints so i call a smaller shop and they still are running $750. i have the press and the air tools but im still unsure if i want to pursue them myself

kc2006
01-30-2008, 12:18 PM
I've rebuilt the front end of my 96 f250 twice over the years, the second time was earlier this month.

If you have one bad, change both on that side, if your in there, just do them both. Not sure what they changed with the newer years, but I didnt have any special tools needed besides a ball joint press, which you can rent at autozone. the older trucks are pretty easy, the hubs are just a few snap rings and the two spanner nuts. Slide your rotor/hub off and now you can undo the ball joints and remove the knuckle. I went ahead and replaced the wheel joints while i had it all off.

I think i had alittle under 300 in all the parts (ball joints, u-joints, new wheel bearings and seals) then I had the rotors turned and put new pads on it.

Doing it in your drive, it'll be a good 6-8 hour job. I did it at a friends shop on the lift, and i did it in about 4-5 hours.

topsites
01-31-2008, 01:42 AM
I do believe if you don't have an air tool it is about impossible to get the new ones in just right, also you'll need a front-end alignment and I don't even question this.

As for special tools, I have a few years practice so I just use an air tool to 'pop' it in real slow and easy but it still could break the seal, you have to be dang careful and know it might break, takes some practice and if it breaks you get to go buy another lol.

Then at the very least inspect the pads but if they haven't been replaced lately you might as well do that, and I would grease pack the bearings too! Do it all at once, grab the grease gun and check for zerks, hit those up as well. All in all a great way to spend most of a day but your front end is done, and before you get into it check and see if the tie rod ends are ok.

It's tricky beyond this, after it is done the truck needs an alignment NOW and unless you really know what you're doing I can not even recommend you drive it there... If it's off more than a tee it could wreak havoc on your tires in just a few miles, you have to decide whether you'd rather have it towed.

So I concur, unless you have air tools I probably wouldn't recommend you do the job.

topsites
01-31-2008, 02:08 AM
Oh I just remembered!

One way to do it is have the attitude if it breaks the seal so be it, just go buy another and chalk all this up to experience so you know how to do it the next time, make it one of those suck it up once and learn processes, maybe you get lucky and nothing goes wrong.

So you might can get up under the new ball joint with a spare or second floor jack, use the vehicle's weight as you jack the new ball up into the hole and maybe hit the a-frame or what it is lightly with a hammer to persuade things a bit but again it might break the seal and also it might not work.

And of course you can just use a hammer as discussed, I've also used a BIG breaker bar before to create leverage, you have to buy this it's like an 8-foot solid steel bar and it costs like 20 or 40 bucks or I dunno but it comes in handy for more than just this.

kc2006
01-31-2008, 11:51 AM
Wait a sec...why do you need air tools? For what? Go check how a shop does it, they use a manual ball joint press. yea you can use an impact to tighten the press but it can be done by hand.

And whats this seal you keep speaking of topsites?? You must be doing something very wrong if you can break a ball joint by pressing it in. The rubber dust sheilds on the ball joints don't do a whole lot for protecting, plus you should remove them while pressing the ball joint in, then pop them back on.

Danscapes
01-31-2008, 03:52 PM
STOOOOOPPP!!!! Before you touch that truck take it to the dealer and MAKE them fix it, and I repeat MAKE them fix it. I have an 04' and the ball joints went out right after the 36,000 mile warranty was up and I took it to them and they replaced all ball jionts under warranty. This is a common problem with these trucks and should not even happen. Look and the ball joint itself, on the backside you will see NO FREAKING GREASE FITTINGS. I am pretty mechanically inclined and realize this is a horrible setup. 100% of a work trucks life depends on preventive maintenance, and if you cant grease a fitting then why bother building a "superduty" truck. I explained it just like that to the dealer mechanic and told them to replace all four with aftermarket greaseable joints.

kc2006
01-31-2008, 03:57 PM
Non greaseable's are normally stronger, just like with u-joints. I know it sounds crazy but the greaseable stuff has to have passages for the grease to flow, this makes the part weak. Plus alot of people will grease the crap out of stuff and that leaves the boots all puffed and open allowing dust and junk in.

It's really hard to get grease-able stuff these days. I'd prefer greaseable for balljoints, just because they're a pain to change and i think they're still plenty strong with the passages, but u-joints i go non-greaseable. Just about all heavy duty u's are non greaseable.

topsites
01-31-2008, 06:28 PM
Wait a sec...why do you need air tools? For what? Go check how a shop does it, they use a manual ball joint press. yea you can use an impact to tighten the press but it can be done by hand.

And whats this seal you keep speaking of topsites?? You must be doing something very wrong if you can break a ball joint by pressing it in. The rubber dust sheilds on the ball joints don't do a whole lot for protecting, plus you should remove them while pressing the ball joint in, then pop them back on.

I never said anything of using a special press, some of us don't got a high dollar tool for just this one job so way I do it is get it in far enough to get a few threads out the other end, then thread the nut on there and use the air tool to tighten the nut and pull it through, and if you pull it through TOO far you will break the seal!

Same thing with a hammer or any other method, maybe a press would be nice but an air tool can be just as precise a tool in the right hands but press or any other tool I would bet you can go too far, and with a special tool either you have it or you don't.

Now if you pull it or push it or however the hell you get it in there if you go too far the steel end of the suspension will end up squishing that seal and it pops and out leaks the grease and you can go buy another because it is no good.

I think they all have that rubber seal and maybe some stop at a certain point because of how it's made but I know for a fact that with some joints you can most certainly push through that hole and go to far and Oooops... Actually it doesn't go pop, it doesn't make any noise at all other than it just kinda cracks and grease starts to leak or ooze out of there, how that goes. :laugh:

So uhm, be dang careful, that's all I'm saying.

kc2006
01-31-2008, 11:38 PM
save yourself the hassle and go to an autozone and rent the tool. its like 100 bucks but you get the money back when you return it. I couldnt see trying to do it the way your talking, that would just suck.

And your supposed to take that seal off when your pressing, or beating? the new one in, then when your done toss the seal back on, this way you dont mangle it. Boom i just saved you from ruining many more seals in your life. Your welcome.