Ball joints have always been a heated topic of discussion for 3rd and 4th gen Rams with the introduction of the AAM 9.25 front axle. It's a completely different design from Dana 60 with many improvements but ball joint quality and performance have always been an elusive creature. While there are a lot of options for ball joints, we feel there is only a hand full that have worth while quality. The ball joints that are at the top of that list are the Carli ball joints. While this is not intended to be a comparison thread, we will say these ball joints are of extraordinary quality and the results are there to prove it.
So with that said lets get started...
Time: 3-8 Hours - Depending on quality of tools, knowledge and condition of the current ball joints.
Tools needed: 18mm, 21mm, 24mm sockets, 7/16", 1/2", 15/16", 1 1/8" wrenches, large cresent wrench, 5mm allen wrench, pry bars, ball joint press (OTC 6503 or 8031), antiseize, PB blaster, 2lbs hammer, floor jack, jack stands.
Difficulty: Moderate (can very with the condition of the current ball joints).
Part Numbers: Carli CS-DBJP
The shop bright and early!
First things first, get the truck pulled in and up on jack stands. It is easier to do on a lift but most of us don't have a lift in their driveway.
Take off the wheel.
Loosen up the nut on the steering linkage (21mm). Do not remove it completely.
With a solid tap of the deadblow, hit the front of the spindle arm to pop loose the linkage. The nut you left on will save the linkage from dropping to the floor.
Remove your brake caliper bracket by taking out the two 18mm bolts on the backside. You will probably need to have a bucket or bungy cord available to hold up your caliper. This truck has extended braided brake lines so it was able to reach the ground.
With the brakes out of the way, remove the 4 bolts on the back of the wheel bearing with your 18mm socket.
Spray the back of the wheel bearing with some PB Blaster to assist with the wheel bearing being removed from the spindle.
While you're giving the PB Blaster a chance to soak in, remove the ABS sensor from the top of the wheel bearing. This is held on with a small 5mm allen head bolt.
Usually, the wheel bearings will be difficult to remove and will need some "love" and "persuasion" to pull them out. Here is an easy trick! Simply put in pry bars on the inside collar of the axle shaft on both sides and with some muscle, it will pop right out.
Pull out your axle shaft and wheel bearing assembly. Be sure to support the axle shaft as you pull it out so not to tear the axle shaft seal on the inside of axle.
Loosen the top ball joint bolt. Do not remove it as it will hold the spindle when the other nut is removed. The bracket pictured is the ABS sensor wire holder.
Impact off the lower nut.
Remove the top nut and remove the spindle.
Remove the snap ring on the lower ball joint.