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Mr.Sleepy
Dodge Dakota
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11/05/2003
08:04:49

Subject: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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Everyone keeps talking about bad ball joints. I have a 02 2WD ext Cab SLT, and I don't know if they are bad or when they will go bad. Is there an easy way to tell?



forexfour
GenIII
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11/05/2003
09:51:13

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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Easiest way is to jack it up on each side one at a time .

Place the jack under the lower control arm and raise enough to get the tire off the ground then check for play in the tire, Back and forth side to side, top and bottom.

If you feel play have someone move the tire and look at the joints you will see which one is bad.

If it is tight , No play you are good to go.

Do this from time to time and watch for cracks in the boots.

These ball joints do stay greased very well. After I removed mine (cracked boot) I tore open the BJ and found the one that was still good to be very well greased and intact. It looks like they used some cheap plastic material for the ball to ride on that is prolly failing for most.

At the end of this video it shows the internal ball joint structure

http://claycdbj.com/balljoints.wmv

Never late for a Tee time or wheelin with my buddies! Always ready for both!!!

Forexfour's home



JoeK
Dodge Dakota
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11/05/2003
11:46:06

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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The post above answered your question about how to tell if the joints are VERY bad. The allowable vertical movement on the joints is 0.060 inches (ie; 60 thousandths). The allowable radial movement is 60 thou also. If you feel movement using the method described in the previous post the joints are long past gone.

To tell if the joints are going, you need to take regular measurments of both the vertical and radial movement. With time, you will see the movement increase as the joint bearing surfaces wear, and you can plot or extrapolate the data to predict when they will reach their maximum allowable movement tolerance.

A dial indicator and flexible indicator mount is required for the measurements. The service manual defines the measurement points.

Good luck!



GreenGoblin
Dodge Dakota
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11/05/2003
15:43:34

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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The easiest way to tell if your ball joints are bad is to walk around to the back of the truck. If it says's "Dakota" then chances are pretty good that you need to replace the ball joints.



WardenJ
Dodge Dakota
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11/05/2003
20:55:56

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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So I guess those of us with Pre-03 Dak's won't have a problem!



GreenGoblin
Dodge Dakota
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11/05/2003
22:13:01

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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I didn't say that. That is only one way. The other would be to check your Dakota for the code "DODGE" anywhere on the vehicle. This can also indicate a ball joint problem on a Dakota pickup.



jb
Dodge Dakota
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11/05/2003
22:29:05

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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lol, thats some funny stuff Greengoblin





Dave Mitchell
Dodge Dakota
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11/06/2003
12:48:48

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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If there is a mention of 5-star anywhere near the service department, it will need ball joints.

The five stars denote the number of times it will need ball joints while in the ownership of the original purchaser.



bakindak
Dodge Dakota
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11/06/2003
14:22:32

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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Well if your smart you would do what I do, tell the dealership when you go to purchase the truck that you want the factory ball joints replaced with moog ones that are greaseable.
First dealership I went to were like ok, so time comes to pick up truck, i pop my head in the wheel well and guess what no grease fittings, I asked for my money back and after a fight with them and threatening to sue them I got my money back.

Second dealership came through no problem



GreenGoblin
Dodge Dakota
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11/07/2003
20:21:42

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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That just means you've found a way to avoid this problem. The smart thing to do would be to not give DC any money to keep cutting corners. When I trade my Dakota in, it will be to a company that has a reputation for build quality. I'm buying a Titan or a Tundra, and when I do, I'm going to let DC know why. If enough people put their money where their mouth is, DC will start taking care of the problems that they've been getting away with.



Cory
Dodge Dakota
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11/09/2003
08:08:27

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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forexfour - it looks like you went with the Moog replacements correct? If so where did you get them, and what are the part #'s for the uppers and lowers.




slopehead
Dodge Dakota
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11/09/2003
09:36:57

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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there is one other way that they can fail rather then the back and forth tire shake test and that is a verticle play failure. I just had the lowers on my "97 replaced but noticed that I still had a very bad clunk in left hand turns,> One of my employees used to be a mechanic and told me of a test that most of the new guys don't test for on the uppers. Raise the truck just enough to get the weight off the front tire, Remove the tire to gain easy access to the upper joint. Then get a large "Channel Lock" plier and grab hold of the upper A arm and the upper steering knuckle assembly, then slowly squeeze it together. If you see ANY movement of the A-arm towards the lower assembly the joint is bad and needs to be replaced. I just had mine checked that way, the joint did "close up" and I had it replaced. Mine had almost 1/8 inch of "slop" in it on the passenger side and just about 1/32" on the drivers side. Finally no more clunking in the front end!



forexfour
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11/10/2003
09:56:00

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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I did use the MOOG's from Rock auto.

1999 DODGE DAKOTA 3.9L 239cid V6 FI (X)
MOOG K7242 $ 42.12 $ 0.00 2 $ 84.24
Shipping $ 10.73
Order Total $ 94.97

Uppers only.




Never late for a Tee time or wheelin with my buddies! Always ready for both!!!

Forexfour's home



Scuba Steve
Dodge Dakota
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11/11/2003
00:33:15

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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I have a 01 dakota with 36,400 miles and after I read the CBS news article on the ball joints I was off to check em and sure enough I had an upper ball joint bad. I went directly to the dealer fixn to argue with them but to my supprise they said no problem we will take care of it. Now my only problem is that the TSY ball joints are on back order now for two weeks. I asked the service manager if it was safe to drive and he said "nooo problem its just a ball joint." That tuck has been parked in the garage now for two weeks. Aint no way im driving it with about a half inch of tire movement when I checked it. Thats all I need is is my tire to fall off while driving.





Pete
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7/24/2009
14:28:28

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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I am getting side to side movement in my front tires. Could that be bad ball joints?




daddio
Dodge Dakota
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7/24/2009
14:56:15

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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The best way to check what's worn up there is to jack up one side at a time under the lower control arm. You will need someone to move the tire while you look around to see what's going on.

Don't forget to use a good jackstand under the frame just in case the jack gives.

I thought my wheel bearings were gone. Facing the wheel from the side of the truck, I'd grab the tire @ 3 & 9 o'clock positions and try to move it. It did have slack. Luckily, before I bought a new hub, thinking that was what was worn, I decide to check it again. I had someone move the tire for me while I checked the rest of the suspension. That's when I saw my Inner Tie Rod moving in and out as my friend moved the wheel.

Changed the Inner Tie Rod and all is well. If in doubt of our skills, take it to a reputable shop. Have them diagnose it and change your own parts then let them do the final alignment.



Matt
Dodge Dakota
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10/28/2009
09:01:38

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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I ended up doing my ball joints not to long ago. They were super loose with little, if any, grease left in them. Bought the Moog's at rock auto like most of the guys on here do. Ground the rivets, used pneumatic hammer to drive them out, super easy. Unfortunately the bolts for the new ball joints are too small for the holes. I tightened them to the spec provided, and it was fine for awhile, but now when I back out of parking spaces the steering wheel and whole truck do this weird shutter. I am pretty sure the ball joints are slipping around in the holes. I found some slightly larger bolts and installed them, worked at first, but it's back again. I am just going to pay the ~$130 to get all new control arms with lifetime warranty. Do what you want, just sharing some friendly experience.



Steve Buzzell
Dodge Dakota
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3/20/2012
13:59:08

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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2002 C320 mercedes when driving at highway speeds
and turning medium or strong left curve front riht
wheel bounces a little and makes knocking noise but
does not make any noise nor vibration when turning
right



Bob Lincoln
Dodge Dakota
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3/21/2012
05:16:08

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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And...so?

You do realize that you're on a Dodge Dakota-specific site, don't you?



BONGMERCEDES
Dodge Dakota
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3/21/2012
11:09:00

RE: How do I tell if my ball joints are bad?
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WELL TO START THEY DAY LADIES AND JGERMS...WE HAVE A GREAT RESURECTION OF A POST. THIS JACK WAGGON IDIOT EAD BABY SLAPPER, THINKS THIS IS A MERCEDES FORUM. ALTHOUGH MERCEDES MADE THE 4.7L IN THE DAKOTAS OR ADLEAST BAASED ITS DESIGN THIS DOESNT MEAN WE HAVE SOLUTIONS TO YOUR PROBLEMS. SOUNDS LIKE U NEED ALOT OF WORK TO YOUR BENZ. BALL JOINTS MAYBE SHOX, OR EVEN A WHEEL BEARING. HELL MAYBE A TIRE TO IDK WHAT IT NEEDS. I DO KNOW THAT MERCEDES ARE NOT GOOD CARS. THEY BREAK DOWN LEAK OIL HAVE LOTS OF PROBLEMS, BUT IS YOUR SOCIAL STATUS GOING UP? DID BUYING YOU BENZ GET YOU MORE FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK? ARE U RICHER, OH WAINT I MEAN IS YOUR LOAN DEFAULTING? I HOPE THAT CAR WAS GIVEN TO YOU. PROBABLY GOT THE SPORTBONG PACKAGE....WOW THAT AWESOME. YOU HAVE A RACE CAR SICKK!!! OK WELL I HEAR THE SPORTBONG PACKAGE GIVES U A BONG AND A BABY TO SLAP WHEN YOU GET HIGH. THATS F*CKIN COOL!! OK WELL YOUR A STINKER AND I THINK YOU SHOULD DRIVE THAT BENZ INTO A METAL FORGE AND BURN IT TO A CRISP



Social bookma
Dodge Dakota
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4/01/2013
15:11:24

hFrLJhTYATIApIACarw
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Sp3Quf I truly appreciate this blog post.Much thanks again.



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