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Houptee
Dodge Dakota
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7/27/2002
17:04:20

Subject: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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I was wanting to know how to remove and replace my lower ball joints.

Are they pressed in or screw out of the knuckle?

I already did my uppers with Moogs, not too bad as long as you drill a hole in the rivets first.
Then I cut a X with my cut off tool in top of each. Then a air chisel knocked the tops off real easy. I switched to my punch bit on air chisel and they popped out like butter.

When I did not drill a hole in the first rivet it would not come out even with air punch so I highly recommend the hole drilled first to relive the compressive force of the rivet in the hole.

If anyone did the lowers and has tips please let me know.

Thanks




Dak0ta911
Dodge Dakota
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7/29/2002
15:49:54

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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You will have to heat up the lowers with a torch. They are pressed in. Other than that, it's a breeze.

Brian
'98 Dak 4x4 Extended Cab




gunboat
GenIII
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7/31/2002
19:29:30

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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hi houptee just got through installing lt.& rt. upper and lower moog ball joints on my 2000 dakota quad cab. i used moogs #'s for a 1999 dakota, fit great the only mod. i did was to use 3/8" grade 8 bolts,nuts and lockwashers. did not like the little bolts and nuts that came with upper moogs.the lowers are fine come with big bolts and hardware. i did about what you did drilling pilot hole first. just repeate what you did to the uppers on the lowers.
don



born2steel21
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10/31/2002
19:08:50

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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anyone else have any advice on installing lowers on a 4x4? I'm going to try tomorrow night so any advice would be great. Knobby?


"Fear not those who argue but those who dodge."

~ Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

pappie1
Dodge Dakota
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10/31/2002
22:17:36

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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Just try to use a REALLY big freakin drill bit. forgot what size it was but its 3 sizes bigger than a 3/8

um.... pilot drill then drill.....drill with high feed/low speed and don't spit on the drill bit to cool it off. It'll just dull it VERY quickly

Practice ORM with the rivet gun/air hammer....very loud!!!

And Don't try to burn it out!!!!! It just makes the metal harder by heat treating.
warm good.......... smoking burning freakn hot bad!!!!!

grab a bag nasty from the galley. you'll be there for a while and we know how marines need to eat!!

Where you doing this? Auto hobby shop? Might need a six pack as well. DOD manual 21-20sumting or ruther states while in civilian cloths, one must consume atleast 2 of there favorite alcholic beverages when A. refueling a large machine of some form B. talking to anyone, outside, in housing area C. any form of automotive work is being conducted D. when the LT has drank his 3rd.



born2steel21
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10/31/2002
23:13:13

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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12 pack is already part of the shop SOP...and 90 mph tape and 550 cord to fix everything that we FUBAR...lol


"Fear not those who argue but those who dodge."

~ Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

Joe
Dodge Dakota
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11/21/2002
10:33:12

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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I have 2 new lower ball joints for 1997-1999 Durango and Dakota 4WD models. They are from MOOG (the good one's). They will not fit my 2000 model. It seems that DC increased the size of the tapered shaft for the 2000 lower. DC obviously tried (but failed) to fix the ball joint problem in 2000......

New in the box. $70 for the set. Joerayven@hotmail.com



dogliftsleg
Dodge Dakota
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11/21/2002
20:44:31

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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Papie water/spit cooling will not dull a drill, exessive heat does. Heating steel does not harden it nearly as much a quenching it in water or oil does, most times heating it and allowing it to air cool softens it. I am a journeyman tool and die maker with 31 years in the trade, and just because I've done it so long, have much more expiriance with steel then most. If any of you have q's about metal working I will do my best to answer them in a way that will be easy for you to understand, in non-technical terms.



Luis Segura
Dodge Dakota
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1/18/2003
22:32:41

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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Do any of you guys have the coded #'s for the moogs lower and upper for a Durango 99 4x4?? I am in Mexico, so we have no Moogs down here. If any can provide me with an online store to buy these would be greately appreciated.

Luis
L_SEGURA@YAHOO.COM



gunboat
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1/31/2003
19:34:38

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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luis just read you question on the moog's . i got mine at www.rockauto.com good luck.
gunboat



chris
Dodge Dakota
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1/31/2003
20:17:00

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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gun boat

you realize that alot of the bolts are 10.9 grade in the suspension
i assume you know bolts ,they didnt give grade 5's did they.



Chris
Dodge Dakota
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11/19/2003
20:09:06

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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I see alot about replacing ball joints on a 4x4 Dakota but what about a 98 2 wheel drive. Are the lowers still pressed in???



Jav
Dodge Dakota
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1/12/2004
10:08:31

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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My buddy and I replace the Upper Ball Joints on my 98 R\T. Used a grinder to take off the heads of the rivets and then just pounded them out. The lowers were definitely a different story. I have the parts but I will take the truck to a machine shop to get it done. Took us forever to grind the head off of just one of the rivets on the lower ball joint. Then we drilled the hell out of it and pounded on it....LOL...what was left of the rivet didn't even know we were there. :(

Regards,

Jav



Chris
Dodge Dakota
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5/15/2004
23:02:32

Knuckle
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Help i am a proud owner od a 93 dakota LE 4x4 w/150,000...went offroad last weekend and found out that my right front (pass side) the screw or bolt came out of the knuckle and stripped it!!!...I need to know if it can be re-thredded or where to find a cheap good one(cuz a new one cost $400) Any help would be great...e-mail chris.heater@comcast.net



Kev
Dodge Dakota
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5/22/2004
12:16:05

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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As to how to replace the lower ball joints...

Go to Big-O, if you have one, and have them do it for you. They did the labor on my truck and only charged me $90 per side to change out the upper and lower ball joints. Of course the Moog ball joints will run you another $200, but you can't beat $180 to get that nasty job done for you.



Roger
Dodge Dakota
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7/22/2007
22:48:45

1999 Durango Lower Ball Joint Replacement
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Start by drilling the center of Rivets with 3/32 bit to get your hole centered then drill with 3/8 bit make sure you are using sharp bits, do NOT use a real strong drill so you do not get hurt if the bit grabs and spins the drill around. I used a chisel and hammer to knock the rivet heads off. Take your hammer and hit the ball joint housing L&R to make the rest of the rivets fall out. Slide the ball joint out and put new in. I got my ball joints from NAPA for about $35.00 each. Make sure when you drill you cover brakes with cloth. I took the Nut off the ball joint and took it loose from the spindle that holds the caliper so the brakes would be away from the rivets. Email me if you need more info. k9spec@policeone.com



TexasTodd
Dodge Dakota
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7/24/2007
21:57:27

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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That's good advice,

did you notice, he asked about 5 years ago?

And yes, someone doing them now will benefit from your advice.



Houptee
Dodge Dakota
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7/24/2007
22:43:04

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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Yeah I did them already in 2003.

On the 4x4 trucks the lower ball joints are pressed in and you have to buy, or rent a big C-clamp style ball joint press.
I bought one at Harbor Freight tools on sale for 40 bucks.
The procedure I used was to disconnect the upper ball joint and tie rod ends so I could let the spindle slide off the drive shaft splines without having to unbolt the front inner driveshaft flange bolts. The nut that holds the lower ball joint is then accessible once the driveshaft is out of the hub. You also must bend the metal retainer ring up which is crimped down and holds the ball joint into the spindle, then use the C-clamp press and push ball joint down and out of the spindle.
Now press new one in from bottom up, and it has a snap ring instead of the factory crimp ring to hold it in place. Torque the nut to specs and reinstall everything.

It took better part of the day to do the job.

The original ball joints only had around 40k miles and were totally worn out. I could use my fingers to move the joint around. What a total piece of crap design.

I used the Moogs to replace them. Now I see on Ebay a guy in Canada sells an entire kit with upper/lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rod ends for under 100 bucks. They are some off brand, but he claims they will outlast the factory parts, and with the name brands your just paying for their NASCAR advertising. He might be true but anything has to be better than the crap Dodge put on there from the factory.

My uppers went bad at approx 30k mi , rust and metal filings fell out of the rubber boots when I took them off.



Shoe
GenIII
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7/31/2007
04:03:41

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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As far as the upper, we just ground the top and bottom of the brads off and beat upwards on the ball-joint until it came off. For the lower we just took the damn control arm off. I believe all you need is a 3/8 inch drill bit. It was not that bad once we realized what to do.

Finally... a V8. '01 Dodge Dakota RC, 4.7, 5-speed, 3.92 LSD. = R/T Killer.
well at least a stock one

Houptee
Dodge Dakota
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7/31/2007
09:10:49

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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The lower ball joints are totally different on 4x4 trucks vs. 2WD.

Its a much more complicated job since the front CV axle is in the way and the ball joints are pressed into the lower control arms.

Read my post above for how I did mine on a 1999 4x4 Dakota.



searay245se
Dodge Dakota
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9/17/2007
23:10:10

RE: How to Replace Lower Ball Joints
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i realize this is an old post but i just wanted to let everyone know the info from this helped me alot 99 dak 4x4 60k and bought the kit off ebay done it all nice kit too i was shocked the c clamp press from harbor frieght was the way to go for doin the bottom ones and when doin the top ones if u have the use of an air chisel they come off like in 2 mins wasnt really that bad a job from what ive done over the years thanks again for the info guys

jeff searay245se

99 dak slt cc 3.9 auto 4x4



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