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Author Topic: Remove upper/lower ball joints  (Read 9564 times)
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AndyCYXU
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« on: 02/26/09 07:55 PM »

Hello I just recently removed upper and lower ball joints as I was replacing my wheel hub bearing assembly, i try to find out if and how to do it was able to find some info so as I did it i made a few pictures and want to share it with anyone in need of doing it.

I found a good article here from one of the users "THANK YOU" about the ball joints removal just did not have any pictures so mine will not be as detail but i put a picture or 2  Cheesy

http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php/topic,73298.msg1124753.html

refer to the above for great instruction on how to remove it I will just post a few pictures, with some description

Removing ball joints  I would rate as DIFFICULT and you will need to rent a press (Ball joint removal kit)

On most of my photos you will see that the spindle is out.. that is because I was removing wheel hub assembly and it was so rusted/welded into spindle that i could not get it out of if without removing if totally.

As you will see on pictures my AV is pretty rusted in that area..

It's a 2003 Z71 4X4 1500

When I was removing mine I did not need to play with tension bar because I had access to it from other side, however i needed to remove what might be a lot more then just a tension bar; whole spindle  Tongue and the brake assembly and all... Before going at the first UPPER ball joint I put additional LIFT JACK under my LOWER control arm so that when UPPER BALL JOINT comes out of spindle the whole thing will not come tumbling down with great force!  Roll Eyes, I JACKED UP the lower control arm just 1/2 inch very little so that there is still some down force when i used fork to get the UPPER separated from spindle it helped a lot! 
LOWER BALL JOINT I did not need to use the fork as it came apart much easier then the UPPER ONE

OK here is UPPER one in the press...  NOTE if you have the CV Shaft still IN it might be harder when it comes to available room for you to work with, but you can follow other posters instruction for removing those.

UPPER gets pushed UP to come out of control arm; socket on top is receiving socket so ball joints slides into it and socket sits on the control arm surface around the top part of ball joint!





You can see a small crack just above the control arm.. it already started to come out when i took the picture, you are likely to use cheater pipe it will be much easier for you to turn the ratchet



and here she is out




Pieces I used for it the joint is out


NOW THE LOWER ONE:

LOWER one gets PUSH DOWN to come out; receiving socket touches the surface of the lower control arm on the bottom; around the ball joint's body so the ball joint slides into this socket! Remove the grease nipple, just brake it off!


Use a chisel to remove 4 pressed in securing crimps from the ball joint body. Do it BEFORE you start pressing out I just forgot to make the picture while I was doing it  Beating


Here is a press installed Note how I use the other jack to hold the control arm from dropping 


Starting to come out


Now I removed the other round piece to push it in deeper so it comes out




here are the parts I used


And now they are both out


installing them you will use the different sockets from same tool-set just push them into position rather then pushing them out of position, once you get access to ball joints it's very easy, the hard part is getting to them, as I said earlier I was replacing my HUB ASSEMBLY BEARING so i figure I do them to, just make sure you use the press tools properly, but if you can do a brake job you should be able to figure out how to use all the sockets included in the press tool set.

on installing note i used some of the sockets from the set to put on the rubber gaskets on the ball joint they were harder to put on  then installing and removing the joints themselves  banghead

Anyhow I just wanted to post these few pictures hopefully you will find them useful reference to playing with your ball joints and NO you don't need to buy a whole control arm  Big laughter with tears

You will use a lot of force to push them out and in, but not to worry as long as you install the sockets from the tool correctly you will not hurt control arms, it will seem at first as they don't want to come out and there is nothing you can do, but don't loose your faith they will come out just keep on ratcheting  SheDevil

Andy

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« Reply #1 on: 02/27/09 08:49 AM »

Very nice write up..
Thank you for contributing...

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« Reply #2 on: 02/27/09 06:08 PM »

Nice, Andy! Thank you very much for this. I do believe it is time for mine to be replaced, too. It should be a little easier 'cause I ain't got no 4WD.
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« Reply #3 on: 02/28/09 07:39 PM »

Actually I was thinking about it and i figure that once you remove "FREE" the UPPER BALL JOINT you should be able to remove the the entire spindle without removing bearing hub assembly to get to the lower ball joint yet take the hub assembly/spindle off of the CV Shaft


ONLY IF YOU CHANGING LOWER BALL JOINT only on 4X4 2X4 should have easier access for UPPER BALL JOINT the CV Shaft can stay where it is and it should be out of your way!
BEFORE or AFTER getting the UPPER BALL JOINT "FREE" from spindle, better before since it will be more stable to remove the brake assembly caliper etc...
1. need to remove caliper
2. remove the bracket for caliper
3. remove the rotor
4. remove the dust cap from wheel hub assembly (somewhat difficult to do without braking the cap.. i broke mine, new one was $8 Roll Eyes )
5. undo the 36mm NUT from CV Shaft
6. now see if the CV shaft will push back.. it should if not... well DO NOT HIT IT WITH BFH just try to push it IT WILL NOT YET COME OUT ! LEAVE IT THERE
7. Place an addition JACK under the LOWER CONTROL ARM and you might jack it up just a touch 1/4 inch no need for more. It is to prevent the LOWER CONTROL ARM from tumbling down through your garage floor with great force  Tongue
a) at this point it's safe to FREE the UPPER BALL JOINT, CV SHAFT will not come out until at lest UPPER BALL JOINT is FREE, but i recommend get both UPPER and LOWER "FREE" from spindle with the "FORK" then CV SHAFT will come out of HUB ASSEMBLY once both BALL JOINTS are "FREE" for sure.
   The UPPER CONTROL ARM will move UP and you should have enough room to maneuver the spindle (turn/lower) to remove the CV SHAFT from HUB BEARING and it will give you room to later remove the lower ball joint with PRESS.
b) I do not think you will need the HUB ASSEMBLY REMOVER KIT to push the CV Shaft from HUB ASSEMBLY BEARING maybe a gentle hit with a hammer over a piece of 2x4 is in order but might not be necessary, anyways you CANNOT push CV Shaft out of HUB ASSEMBLY BEARING with spindle still on the car.. do not try you brake something.. you can only use this HUB REMOVER KIT to brake the "time seal" that has formed between CV Shaft and the BEARING so it slides in and out a little.. also if you not removing bearing leave the 3 screws that hold it alone actually my bearing was so rusted into the SPINDLE that the HUB ASSEMBLY REMOVAL KIT was totally useless.. all it would do is push the CV SHAFT back without any results so if BEARING is what you change, I recommend remove the whole spindle then hit the sucker from behind.. Well my car was very rusty the darn thing was almost welded in there so yours might not be so bad Smiley
8. once you have both BALL JOINTS free from spindle you should be able to remove the SPINDLE from CV SHAFT and the CAR. set it aside or hang it somewhere out of that way... watch not to brake the sensor wiring in the HUB ASSY and the flex brake lines etc..
9. go ahead with removing your BALL JOINTS with the PRESS...

10. To install the UPPER BALL JOINT back in the SPINDLE I found it very helpful to simply JACK UP the  LOWER CONTROL ARM (remember we put one there earlier) and the BALL JOINT will slide right in its
proper position the get them screws on it etc.. etc..

This way might/might not... be easier then having to play with your tension arm or removing the CV SHAFT from the transmition side; I do not know.. I am just sharing with you what I did and what I will do when time comes for the other side to be changed  Thumbs up!

Andy
« Last Edit: 03/10/09 07:46 PM by AndyCYXU » Logged
ramonday
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« Reply #4 on: 03/04/09 11:45 AM »

Actually I was thinking about it and i figure that once you remove "FREE" the UPPER BALL JOINT you should be able to remove the the entire spindle without removing bearing hub assembly to get to the lower ball joint yet take the hub assembly/spindle off of the CV Shaft


ONLY IF YOU CHANGING LOWER BALL JOINT only on 4X4 2X4 should have easier access for UPPER BALL JOINT the CV Shaft can stay where it is and it should be out of your way!
BEFORE or AFTER getting the UPPER BALL JOINT "FREE" from spindle, better before since it will be more stable to remove the brake assembly caliper etc...
1. need to remove caliper
2. remove the bracket for caliper
3. remove the rotor
4. remove the dust cap from wheel hub assembly (somewhat difficult to do without braking the cap.. i broke mine, new one was $8 Roll Eyes )
5. undo the 36mm screw from CV Shaft
6. now see if the CV shaft will push back.. it should if not... well DO NOT HIT IT WITH BFH just try to push it IT WILL NOT YET COME OUT ! LEAVE IT THERE
7. Place an addition JACK under the LOWER CONTROL ARM and you might jack it up just a touch 1/4 inch no need for more. It is to prevent the LOWER CONTROL ARM from tumbling down through your garage floor with great force  Tongue
a) at this point it's safe to FREE the UPPER BALL JOINT, CV SHAFT will not come out until at lest UPPER BALL JOINT is FREE, but i recommend get both UPPER and LOWER "FREE" from spindle with the "FORK" then CV SHAFT will come out of HUB ASSEMBLY once both BALL JOINTS are "FREE" for sure.
   The UPPER CONTROL ARM will move UP and you should have enough room to maneuver the spindle (turn/lower) to remove the CV SHAFT from HUB BEARING and it will give you room to later remove the lower ball joint with PRESS.
b) I do not think you will need the HUB ASSEMBLY REMOVER KIT to push the CV Shaft from HUB ASSEMBLY BEARING maybe a gentle hit with a hammer over a piece of 2x4 is in order but might not be necessary, anyways you CANNOT push CV Shaft out of HUB ASSEMBLY BEARING with spindle still on the car.. do not try you brake something.. you can only use this HUB REMOVER KIT to brake the "time seal" that has formed between CV Shaft and the BEARING so it slides in and out a little.. also if you not removing bearing leave the 3 screws that hold it alone actually my bearing was so rusted into the SPINDLE that the HUB ASSEMBLY REMOVAL KIT was totally useless.. all it would do is push the CV SHAFT back without any results so if BEARING is what you change, I recommend remove the whole spindle then hit the sucker from behind.. Well my car was very rusty the darn thing was almost welded in there so yours might not be so bad Smiley
8. once you have both BALL JOINTS free from spindle you should be able to remove the SPINDLE from CV SHAFT and the CAR. set it aside or hang it somewhere out of that way... watch not to brake the sensor wiring in the HUB ASSY and the flex brake lines etc..
9. go ahead with removing your BALL JOINTS with the PRESS...

10. To install the UPPER BALL JOINT back in the SPINDLE I found it very helpful to simply JACK UP the  LOWER CONTROL ARM (remember we put one there earlier) and the BALL JOINT will slide right in its
proper position the get them screws on it etc.. etc..

This way might/might not... be easier then having to play with your tension arm or removing the CV SHAFT from the transmition side; I do not know.. I am just sharing with you what I did and what I will do when time comes for the other side to be changed  Thumbs up!

Andy

You da man! Thumbs up! I had no idea the 4WD 'Lanches had 36mm bolts for the CV shaft. Good grief! I wonder what the recommended torque setting is for that bolt...
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« Reply #5 on: 03/04/09 12:05 PM »

Great job Andy. Thanks for taking the time to include some pictures. I would have taken some pictures but I was doing the job at a friends shop and I had forgotten the camera.

I am glad that my original thread helped you out.
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AndyCYXU
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« Reply #6 on: 03/10/09 07:54 PM »

You DA man! :thumb sup: I had no idea the 4WD 'Lanches had 36mm bolts for the CV shaft. Good grief! I wonder what the recommended torque setting is for that bolt...

Actually it's a NUT (not a screw or bolt) just ONE that holds the shaft in the hub bearing.. well it kinda holds it there; i red somewhere about the torque but i just got her as tight as i could with cheater pipe  Cheesy just not sure the proper name I don't know ; but once the dust cap is off of the hub assembly there is only one nut to remove, big one ! well car still runs great had no problems related to my repair so far.. knock on wood  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: 03/14/11 02:27 AM »

Can I replace them as I go along? In other words I remove the upper ball joint, then install a new one. Remove the lower ball joint, then install a new one? My bearings and hubs are in great shape and my Av has no rust on it either. For a 2002 Z71 with 170k, I feel pretty good about it. I just don't want to remove more stuff then i need to. If i have to then i might as well replace them also.
Thanks for the great write up and pics.
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