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ball joint press questions


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will need to attack the balljoints on the 2000 ram, and I figured with the '98 probably needing it too, I'd snag a press and kit for removing/installing.Well, turns out the 2000 and up (until the AAM axle came out) uses a different set of tooling than the 1999 and down! What changed in those years? Mikes thread (the one that almost changed his friends' gender) :sick: said he 'got by' with the harbor freight press. Are most presses like this (getting by?) or is there something out there resonable priced, and effective?Seen several with the tooling that is 'close' but not perfect.. And I know that even the best made tool still will struggle under the worst case situation! Anyone have 'generally good luck' with a particular set?I'D sure hate to post 'before and after' pics of my various body parts!:ashamed:

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will need to attack the balljoints on the 2000 ram, and I figured with the '98 probably needing it too, I'd snag a press and kit for removing/installing. Well, turns out the 2000 and up (until the AAM axle came out) uses a different set of tooling than the 1999 and down! What changed in those years? Mikes thread (the one that almost changed his friends' gender) :sick: said he 'got by' with the harbor freight press. Are most presses like this (getting by?) or is there something out there resonable priced, and effective? Seen several with the tooling that is 'close' but not perfect.. And I know that even the best made tool still will struggle under the worst case situation! Anyone have 'generally good luck' with a particular set? I'D sure hate to post 'before and after' pics of my various body parts!:ashamed:

Ummm... Seems someone read my ball joint nightmare thread. Harbor freight ball joint press will work but its not perfect. Actually harbor freight ball joint press works awesome on u-joints. :thumbup2:
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I got one from Advance auto. They had 2, one small set and one large set. I got the larger set. It did everything but remove the lower ball joints. It came with alot of receiver cups, but none that would fit the angle the lower one was mounted in. I had to pound those out. My brother kept his gender that way, but his hand was tired of the shock he got while holding the pliers that held whatever it was we used against the ball joint while I swung the 3# hammer. I probably could have had some cut one of the cups to the proper angle, but we did it on the weekend. Here is the press I used http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_u-joint-removing-installing-tool-otc_17632014-p?searchTerm=ujoint+removal+press The only thing I dont see there is all of the accessories that come with it. At the price they are listing it ought to come with something more than what they are showing. The one I bought cost $150. It did a fine job of pressing the lowers in however, just not out. I have yet to try it on anything else other than ball joints.

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I still have mine and have changed one side of the wifey's truck. The cheater bar I had to used doing mine did not affect the threads at all. I rented too but kept it when I was done. I cant remember the brand name on the one I have. I would bet that China had something to do with the manufacture of it though.

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I just changed uppers and lowers on my 98.5 About 6 weeks ago. After I removed the hub, caliper and rotor, I broke the nuts loose on both ball joints and cut the ball joints with a grinder and a cut off wheel. I cut them right where the protective boots are, and had the spindle removed in a matter of minutes. At that point a couple of smacks with a bfh will dislodge the studs remaining in the axle on the truck. Then I took my spindles to a 25 ton press and pressed them out, cleaned the spindle up and pressed the new ones back in. You have to get a little creative with finding the right sized adapter to push the joints with, I used an 1 1/4" pipe coupling. Sockets would probably work too. It required a little over 6 tons of hydraulic pressure to break some of my ball joints loose, I couldnt imagine trying it with a ball joint press I dont think they would have budged.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The biggest expense is the press itself and the adapters/sleeves are a little cheaper comparatively speaking. Don't know if a kit would be cheaper then buying them individually. I would imagine what quality press you can get away with depends a lot on the amount of rust, areas that salt the roads lead to more difficult removals. I spent the extra money for a press from Quad 4x4 and had no issues with removal/install but they were VERY tight. After I torqued the press down and gave it a good wacked they broke less with bang and this was with little to no rust. Most of the loaner presses are cheap quality, or not "truck duty" and I have read of many of them bending or stripping out.I heard one of the reasons for the change in ball joints from 1999 to 2000 was wear related, but don't quote me on this one. Doesn't look like they learned much though because I've also heard the 2003-4 AAM trucks have premature failure issues on their ball joints, geometry issues supposedly. The change may also have been required for the change in brake design for the removable rotors.

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  • 2 weeks later...

yup. used an Advance Auto, I thought it was going to be an afternoon job, It took my 2 1/2 days w a helper. My wife was not happy, were were going to take the truck on vacation, just make it, someone is watching out for me somewhere!:wink:

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yup. used an Advance Auto, I thought it was going to be an afternoon job, It took my 2 1/2 days w a helper. My wife was not happy, were were going to take the truck on vacation, just make it, someone is watching out for me somewhere!:wink:

The advance auto rental kit I used didnt have tje correct cup but I made it work.. Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
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I just changed uppers and lowers on my 98.5 About 6 weeks ago. After I removed the hub, caliper and rotor, I broke the nuts loose on both ball joints and cut the ball joints with a grinder and a cut off wheel. I cut them right where the protective boots are, and had the spindle removed in a matter of minutes. At that point a couple of smacks with a bfh will dislodge the studs remaining in the axle on the truck. Then I took my spindles to a 25 ton press and pressed them out, cleaned the spindle up and pressed the new ones back in. You have to get a little creative with finding the right sized adapter to push the joints with, I used an 1 1/4" pipe coupling. Sockets would probably work too. It required a little over 6 tons of hydraulic pressure to break some of my ball joints loose, I couldnt imagine trying it with a ball joint press I dont think they would have budged.

I think I may have cut a few of them off myself, but great tips!
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I just changed uppers and lowers on my 98.5 About 6 weeks ago. After I removed the hub, caliper and rotor, I broke the nuts loose on both ball joints and cut the ball joints with a grinder and a cut off wheel. I cut them right where the protective boots are, and had the spindle removed in a matter of minutes. At that point a couple of smacks with a bfh will dislodge the studs remaining in the axle on the truck. Then I took my spindles to a 25 ton press and pressed them out, cleaned the spindle up and pressed the new ones back in. You have to get a little creative with finding the right sized adapter to push the joints with, I used an 1 1/4" pipe coupling. Sockets would probably work too. It required a little over 6 tons of hydraulic pressure to break some of my ball joints loose, I couldnt imagine trying it with a ball joint press I dont think they would have budged.

Been down that road not long ago. It takes a huge amount of force to move those things and get them out. :stuned:
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