need help with superduty ball joints??????

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by PatiosInstalled, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. PatiosInstalled

    PatiosInstalled LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    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
  2. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,814

    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.
  3. PatiosInstalled

    PatiosInstalled LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    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.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    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

    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.
  5. THEoneandonlyLawnRanger

    THEoneandonlyLawnRanger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    You need to go to 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
  6. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,814

    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.
  7. PatiosInstalled

    PatiosInstalled LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    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
  8. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    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.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    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.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    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.

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