Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Aspers (Near Gettysburg), Pennsylvania
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Ball Joint Installation/Easy Way
Just put new ball joints in my '04 4x4 this weekend.
Tried/Found/Rediscovered a real easy way to install ball joints WITHOUT using a press.
Did this years ago when I was still twisting wrenches for a living.
A couple of hours, or the night before, pack the new ball joints in dry ice. Doesn't take alot (5 lbs is more than enough). Line a small cooler with newspaper put 1/2 the dry ice in then put the ball joints on top of the dry ice then the rest of the dry ice on top of the ball joints and more newspaper on top, close the lid.
After cleaning up the ball joint bores, apply a little heat to the steering knuckle where the ball joint is going to be installed (NOT RED HOT just warm) get the ball joint out of the dry ice (GLOVES ON dry ice is -109F degrees BELOW 0). Make sure you have the ball joint oriented in the correct direction (grease fitting) and drop/slide in. Hold it in place for a minute or so until the joint expands/knuckle contracts. No muss, no fuss.
WARNING: DRY ICE EXTREMELY COLD (-109F DEGREES) GLOVES ARE MANDATORY.
Bob, Current; '04.5, 2500HO,Auto,QCLB,4x4,CAI,4" TB,Smarty Jr,AD II 100,Flex-A-Lite fans, homebrew headache rack, "wedge" cap, Home brew rear bumper, Yukon Free Spins