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Chet Wisniews
Dodge Dakota
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5/09/2005
00:01:00

Subject: Lower ball joint install
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Just took the old lower ball joints off my 2000 4.7L 2wd Dak.
Got the Moog parts, and felt great when I got the old ones off in
a snap.

BUT-the Moog parts (K 7393) do not have the boot pulled onto
the ball joint housing. I needed to pull/pry/press this boot onto
the housing so that it could seal out the elements, and keep the
grease in. The guy at the parts shop said that you install the
boot loose, and t presses itself onto the housing by the pressure
of the control arm to the steering knuckle.

I have never heard of this in my life.

Am I missing something? Should the boot have been on the part
already? I tried for 2 hours to pull it on parallel with my hands,
an oversized socket, heating it in a cup of hot water-nothing.
There's a metal ring on that side of the boot, and it will not
expand over the housing diameter.

Any and all suggestions would be really helpful, as I have a
perfectly (all things relative) useable Dak in the driveway on
blocks.

Thanks in advance





LESchwartz
Dodge Dakota
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5/09/2005
11:45:42

RE: Lower ball joint install
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I recently did the lowers on two Daks: On the first, I did as your friend suggested -- and no it didn't work. On the second, I used my ball joint press to force the boot over the housing. you could probably use a socket and a c-clamp to do the same thing. Be careful, you don't want to ruin the boot by using too much force.

Larry



bob70
Dodge Dakota
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5/09/2005
12:50:09

RE: Lower ball joint install
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I just did mine, and I was going crazy like you, but what worked well for me was to work as much of the ring onto the balljoint as possible, it will be a little lopsided at this point, then I used the square end of a long socket extension and put the square end on the rim of hte boot, and tapped it onto the ball joint, just make sure the extender has a rounded edges on the square part, or it could tear the boot.



Chet
Dodge Dakota
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5/09/2005
13:57:59

RE: Lower ball joint install
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Thanks, guys.
I called the parts shop and the Moog Customer Service number this morning (1-800-325-8886). They said that the boot comes this way and has for years, but you can get the shop to press the boot onto the housing. It sounded to me to be their preferred way, but I still asked why didn't they come installed already (on a box that's labeled "Problem Solver".

Oh well. If there is anyone who hasn't done this already, have them do it at the shop before you leave. I'll be bringing mine in for a couple of quick presses.



LESchwartz
Dodge Dakota
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5/09/2005
16:15:51

RE: Lower ball joint install
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I've never done the lowers on a 2wd. However, I would imagine that the joint should be installed before the boot is on (to minimize the chances of damaging it), so I wonder how the shop would "press it on" and not cause problems?

I still think a large deep socket and a c-clamp is the best way for folks w/o a BJ press to press the boot on themselves.

Larry



Chet
Dodge Dakota
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5/09/2005
17:07:09

RE: Lower ball joint install
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Well, I figured the same thing-these things should be "ready to install". I mean, you don't go to a Home Depot for a replacement toilet, and have to finish baking it in the kiln before you use the GD thing, right? Come ON, Moog. It's the 21st century. I don't have two weeks available for me to be F-ing around trying to guess how the boot covers the joint. It does not even describe any advice on how this is done on the instruction sheet.

Okay. That's my mini-rant. but I don't have a press in my garage, and if the auto parts place is willing to press 'em on, they replace 'em if they F 'em up, right?

I hope, anyway.



bob70
Dodge Dakota
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5/09/2005
21:04:32

RE: Lower ball joint install
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Chet, I would think the boot will get destroyed when the ball joint is pressed on. My press had an adapter that pushed right up on the underside of the joint, where the boot goes, if the boot is on, the pressure may destroy the boot. The method I described above worked very well for me. I thought the boot wasn't even made for my ball joint at first, but I was able to tap it on fairly easy.



Chet
Dodge Dakota
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5/11/2005
10:38:20

RE: Lower ball joint install
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To be fair, I did take the joints back to the parts shop, and they pressed them on with no question. I tell you what, that's a pretty easy front end to work on once the part was ready to install, though. Looking forward to a few more miles on the Dak.



israel
Dodge Dakota
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4/17/2009
18:08:47

RE: Lower ball joint install
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i own a 2002 dodge dakota and i need to replace the lower ball joint on the driver side and i heard that once the old is out and you install the new one it needs a weld tack to hold in place? just wondering if anyone had that problem?



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