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Replacing worn out factory ball joints, about 58k miles on the truck (2015 3500). Went with Carli for the warranty & quality of parts - dealer wanted $2k to replace with Mopar joints, so $800 to do my own Carli's was a no brainer! Very happy and very easy install... on three of them.

The driver's side upper ball joint won't sit flush with the surface of the C-arm, no matter what I do. The inboard side sits about 2 sheets of paper (I don't have any measuring feeler guage things) higher than the outboard side. Didn't notice it at first - got everything installed & steering was noticeably weird. On reinspection, found the steering knuckle didn't turn freely on driver's side vs passenger side, and that's when I found that the upper joint wasn't seated fully.

So I removed the ball joint and it feels like the lower portion of the inboard side of the bore is worn - I suspect due to the original joints failing and moving around. Tried reinstalling 4 times to get it to seat properly - the last time I thought I had it, everything was flush, until I loosened the installation tool. Once the clamping force was off, it sort of migrated back up to its current pictured position over the course of 1-2 minutes.

So the question is - how do I get the new ball joint to seat flush? It seems like if I just took a thin shim and used it on the outboard side, I could get it to be straight - but that wouldn't do anything to fix the hollowed out / worn bore, and I'm afraid it would just slop around and start binding my steering again. I could go get a cheap oversized ball joint, I suppose, but I don't want to use only 3/4 of my brand new $800 joints. But I also don't want to drive on this one this way and ruin my Carli warranty.

Thanks for reading - any thoughts would be very helpful!
 

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..... it feels like the lower portion of the inboard side of the bore is worn - I suspect due to the original joints failing and moving around.
If your "C" forging is wallowed out, nothing short of a new housing will fix that.

I would remove the joint, weld up the bore in the egged out spot, re-work the shape with a half-round ******* and then re-install the joint. But thats just me.

good luck.

.
 

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If your "C" forging is wallowed out, nothing short of a new housing will fix that.

I would remove the joint, weld up the bore in the egged out spot, re-work the shape with a half-round ******* and then re-install the joint. But thats just me.

good luck.

.
Nothing short of a new housing? Which housing? Ball joint housing? Or do you mean the C bore itself?
 

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The bore itself, if that is indeed the problem. Getting a pair of calipers and taking some measurements would tell you if it’s out of round and how much

Maybe you could source a new knuckle from a junk yard or online somewhere?
 
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Maybe you could source a new knuckle from a junk yard or online somewhere?
A new knuckle won't help if the balljoint bore in the "c" forging is egged out.
 
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I see what’s goin on now. I’d start by taking some measurements. Could maybe get a machine shop to weld the bore and machine it out but you’ll probably be buying a new housing.
 
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The upper joint has no load on it. Only acts to locate the steering knuckle. All load is in the lower joint. I have had uppers that slip fits and cause no issues. If it will not go down all the way then something is in the bore or the joint is out of spec. Inwould call Carli and ask them. Take a wire wheel to the inside of the bore or even a brake hone and clean it up real good. Install it with some loctite once it will seat.
 

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Is the ball joint firm in the bore? Looks as if the outboard side is tight to the housing. Is it possible to file/grind the outboard side of the housing so that the whole unit can drop the required amount? I'll admit I don't know a whole lot about doing ball joints, although I will fairly soon I'm sure.


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Is the ball joint firm in the bore? Looks as if the outboard side is tight to the housing. Is it possible to file/grind the outboard side of the housing so that the whole unit can drop the required amount? I'll admit I don't know a whole lot about doing ball joints, although I will fairly soon I'm sure.


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The upper ball joint needs to be perfectly aligned with its intended axis so that it will allow the knuckle to turn properly. Especially on Carli and i'm sure others there is so little tolerance in the unit that if it's not 100% on axis, it will bind as it rotates even though it's not carrying any load.

I did try a wire wheel (cone, technically) to it already, prior to the attempts to reinstall it. That did help I think, got it to seat properly at first, but then once the press was removed it came back up again.

I think the idea of welding a bit of a bead in there along the hollowed out portion and then filing/honing it to the needed diameter is going to be the way to go; planning to give that a try tomorrow if no other ideas pop up here.
 

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The upper ball joint needs to be perfectly aligned with its intended axis so that it will allow the knuckle to turn properly. Especially on Carli and i'm sure others there is so little tolerance in the unit that if it's not 100% on axis, it will bind as it rotates even though it's not carrying any load.



I did try a wire wheel (cone, technically) to it already, prior to the attempts to reinstall it. That did help I think, got it to seat properly at first, but then once the press was removed it came back up again.



I think the idea of welding a bit of a bead in there along the hollowed out portion and then filing/honing it to the needed diameter is going to be the way to go; planning to give that a try tomorrow if no other ideas pop up here.


I was not condoning changing the bore to allow ball joint to rotate into place. Based on your picture, it looks like the ball joint needs to go straight down but can't because the top of the frame on the outboard side is higher than inboard. Or, put another way, the top mating surface is not perpendicular to the bore.


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Welding cast is not trivial if you have never done it I would not recommend doing it. Needs to be preheated to about 700 degrees prior to welding and then cooled very slowly after welding. Also needs peened after welding to prevent cracks.
 

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I was not condoning changing the bore to allow ball joint to rotate into place. Based on your picture, it looks like the ball joint needs to go straight down but can't because the top of the frame on the outboard side is higher than inboard. Or, put another way, the top mating surface is not perpendicular to the bore.


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Oooooh sorry. You've got a good point, I will double check tomorrow that it's 90 degrees from top surface to bore wall. That will also help verify whether it's really egged out, and where.
 

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Welding cast is not trivial if you have never done it I would not recommend doing it. Needs to be preheated to about 700 degrees prior to welding and then cooled very slowly after welding. Also needs peened after welding to prevent cracks.
Yeah I've been doing some reading.... BUT If my other option is replacing the entire axle.......... then I'mma learn how pretty fast! :wink2:
 

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Does the old ball joint fit properly? I would still question the carli being out of spec. Were the uppers worn out? How did you confirm it was bad? Upper and lower behave different when bad.
 
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Does the old ball joint fit properly? I would still question the carli being out of spec. Were the uppers worn out? How did you confirm it was bad? Upper and lower behave different when bad.
I confirmed that they were worn out when I went to the dealer for state inspection and they failed me. I don't know which of the 4 was the worst; they told me one side was bad and the other was close. I'm assuming that this was the worst side.

I don't remember how the old one fit, but that's a good idea as well - I can try reinstalling one of the old ones tomorrow.

I am able to feel a hollowed out / egged out area with my finger on the inboard side of the bore's surface though.

I'll of course be getting in touch with Carli as well - figured I'd start with y'all since it's a long weekend though :)
 

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The check for lowers is very different than for uppers. I would question the dealer on how they checked it. Up and down play is only for the lower. Very seldom do uppers wear out. They just come as a set sontheybget replaced as a set. Plus you usually have to remove the upper to get the lower out.
 
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and .100 is in spec for these trucks.............lots of people think they are bad and they are perfectly fine.
 

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and .100 is in spec for these trucks.............lots of people think they are bad and they are perfectly fine.
Yep, but I think that that's referring to 0.100" movement between the shaft and the housing of the joint itself right? I'm talking about angle of insertion here though, not thickness. The 0.1 degree that the insertion angle is off is screwing up the shaft's ability to rotate and move as it's designed to.
 

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Welding cast is not trivial if you have never done it I would not recommend doing it. Needs to be preheated to about 700 degrees prior to welding and then cooled very slowly after welding. Also needs peened after welding to prevent cracks.
I'm pretty sure that the "c" is a forging, not a casting.

It is welded to the housing tube from the factory. There is little or no "mojo" required to weld it.

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