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I noticed last week I had a tiny bit of play in one of my ball joints.  I plan to replace all four in the next week or two.  I wasn't sure if I would need an alignment afterwards or not.  

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Should need any alignment. Ball joints are a non-adjustable part. The only thing I could think is that you created a wear pattern in the tires now changed the ball joints and now the tires creating a pulling to one side. Take a bit of time to wear in. Might consider doing a rebalance and then rotate the tires.

 

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I'm pretty good at keeping the tires rotated, every oil change for the most part.  It's about due again but miles have been accumulating much slower since the rain stopped and I drive the mustang as often as possible.  I remember my F-250 had alignment sleeves in the axles where the ball joints were inserted.  That also made alignments more expensive and time consuming. 

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you can do any easy quick check your self.,...just measure toe.

 

if you want, a string line and two jackstands while it is in the air...only takes about 10 mins and then you know how close it is.

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You might adjust the alignment on your seat decline.

Ball joints will be a job they will kick your *** make you cuss and bleed to.

 

I rented a ballpoint press so glad i didnt buy as the cheap 50$ balljoint press set was just about useless. I end up welding up a set of sleeves to press out the joints.

I noticed some of the more expensive ball joint kits have sleeves that might work.

 

Put pressure on press and tap ear around balljoint vibration is your best friend when it comes to pressing or removing press fit parts.

 

Good luck and have fun with it. 

 

Ohhh how did you notice ball joint had play?

 

A good way is to jack truck up so tire is a few inches off the ground. Then stick digging bar under tire and pry up .

 

I didnt notice play in my ball joints while driving until it was severe and theyd pop and crackle making turns. Even severely worn they never affected tire wear.

 

Its been quite a few years since I had an alignment done.

I set toe with a tape measure giving slight toe in 1/8- 1/4" this slight toe in is account for the tierod get longer and shorter slightly as suspension cycles and to account for warn steering. The idea is it has zero toe in driving down the rd.

 

I'd only mess with castor if truck is lifted and now seems to wander all over the rd and might not return steering to center very well when coming out of turns.

 

 

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I actually noticed something was wrong when I would back out of my driveway.  When the driver side wheel came down off the curb I would hear/feel a tick.  After about a week of this and realizing it wasn't my imagination I jacked up the front end and used a pry bar to wiggle the wheels.  It's a very small amount of play, just enough that once again I checked several times to make sure I wasn't imagining it.  It's just the one upper joint on the driver side, everything else is still tight.  I got four new ball joints last week and will rent the press this weekend.  Hopefully I can get them all or at the very least the driver side done on Saturday as I may have a 12+ hour road trip on Sunday to pick up a 1979 Firebird for a friend.  

Edited by Sycostang67

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Just be aware that the rented ball joint presses most likely will not have a receiver cup cut on the right angle to press the lowers out. I had to beat mine out. Adds a bit of time to the job. At least on my 02 that is.

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