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Thread: How much play permissible in ball joint?

  1. #1
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    Default How much play permissible in ball joint?

    The question in the title is exactly what I need to know. Is it ok to have any play in a ball joint? I jacked my Jeep up and have I have a tiny bit of play in the passenger side. Doesn't seem like much, but then again I am not familiar with ball joints. What are the symptoms of a bad ball joint?
    Jeff Niwa
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    No play is permissable. If you can rattle it at all, replace it.

    -David
    '97 TJ, Dodge 5.2L V8, 46RE trans, Ford 8.8 rear w/discs, 4.10 R&P's, 35" TrXus MT's, RE4.5",1"JB B/L, ARB'ed, OBA, full cage, full custom skidplating, bumpers, etc.

    2007 Dodge Ram Mega Cab CTD SLT 4x4

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    Default Re: How much play permissible in ball joint?

    How much play permissible in ball joint? None.
    Is it ok to have any play in a ball joint? No.
    What are the symptoms of a bad ball joint? Play in the ball joint.
    Cheers
    Wooders

    1946 Willys truck, 1974 CJ6, 1975 CJ5, 1997 TJ, 1998 XJ & 2000WJ......
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    So am I to understand that there should be absolutely no play in the balljoint.. when I wiggle the tire at 12' and 6' I should get nothing. Nada... As far as handling characteristics go, will a Jeep wander more with bad balljoints?.... pull to the side when braking or accelerating? Be affected more by uneven pavement?

    How long should an inexperienced balljoint replacer likely take to do a replacement of one side? Should I change out both sides if I am going to do one side??

    Thanks in advance

    JPN

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    As for the effect on handling - well that's proportional to how worn it is.....
    It could have the effects you've discribed above - but can also result in DW.

    As for how long for a 1st timer....frigg NFI - some first timers just get in & do it - others sit there scratching themselves for hours thinking about it.....
    Cheers
    Wooders

    1946 Willys truck, 1974 CJ6, 1975 CJ5, 1997 TJ, 1998 XJ & 2000WJ......
    Wooders Garage.
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    Well, looks like I got me a project for the weekend.. I doubt it should take too terribly long. Since its payday I guess I'll just get a whole case of beer just in case.. If I can't get the part in and I have to order it, then I guess it'll be 2 cases! :spinhead:

    So should I just replace the one side, or is it advisable to do both?

    Thanks,

    JPN

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    I one side is bad, the other is likely not far behind. I'd recomend having help from a friend who's done it before.
    Audie

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    maybe you should check the front hub unit before you go out to buy new ball joints..

    YEOW!

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    I replaced my hub bearing assemblies on each side about 8 months ago. I am thinking its best to replace the pair.. Then I can have a spare one (the one that wasn't toast) just in case.


    JPN

  10. #10

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    I read recently in 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility that the ball joints on a TJ were difficult to change and you needed a "special" tool. It was in the same article as a high steer conversion. I asked a local mechanic if TJs were different and he said they looked like any other ball joint but he has never changed on. He also stated that he never has seen a bad ball joint on a TJ.

    Is there any truth to this? Is the special tool a universal ball joint removal kit or is there something specific to a TJ?
    01' TJ. Spyder Customs flat fenders, Currie HP 9" front, Currie 9" rear, ARBs, and 37" Iroks.

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    Colo.TJ7,

    That is a good question. The FSM has a special removal tool.. I am not sure if I can just go down to the local store and get a universal kit or not... Definitely interested in knowing.

    JPN

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    Speaking of unit bearings, 8 months is plenty enough
    time to trash them, so be sure to check them again!
    Geno
    2012 JKU

  13. #13

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    -=- originally posted by Colo.TJ7 -=-
    I read recently in 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility that the ball joints on a TJ were difficult to change and you needed a "special" tool. It was in the same article as a high steer conversion. I asked a local mechanic if TJs were different and he said they looked like any other ball joint but he has never changed on. He also stated that he never has seen a bad ball joint on a TJ.

    Is there any truth to this? Is the special tool a universal ball joint removal kit or is there something specific to a TJ?
    The 3 in 1 style tools have available for use a set of sleeves that are cut on a taper for the top one to get a straight push on the ball joint.

    The lower balljoint uses another set of sleeves that have a cut out on one side to get clear the flat cut on the lower part of the inner knuckle.

  14. #14
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    Bearings are definitely good.. They haven't seen much wheeling since they were changed and are tight as a drum.


    JPN

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