How do i tell if Ball Joints are bad? - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
 
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#1 Old 05-03-2005, 04:15 AM
shaggs
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How do i tell if Ball Joints are bad?

Ive noticed lately my front end has been feeling real loose and was wondering if it was a ball joint issue? Is there any visual damage i should look for? Sometimes its scary taking the D around corners almost feels like the front end shifts, when on gravel or bumby roads its really noticable, Hard to explain could it be from the t/s lift, cranking on the torsion bars? happened about a month after the lift. thanks
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#2 Old 05-03-2005, 06:02 AM
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when my ball joints went bad on the durango, i had a loud knocking at low speed sharp turns. when the ball joints went bad on my s10, it drifted all over the road from side to side.

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#3 Old 05-08-2005, 09:38 AM
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i feel the same on my 98 durango, when i take a left turn, i hear a growl/thumping on the passenger side front wheel. i thought that maybe the caliper was hanging up but when i took off the wheel and brake assembly this weekend, i noticed a little play in the wheel while it was up in the air. the ball joints look pretty good, it looks like they have been replaced before. ive already priced out new upper/lower ball joints, i will probably buy the parts and have a garage put them in. can anyone out there tell me how i would know if my cv joint was going bad.

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#4 Old 05-08-2005, 11:31 PM
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Im sure your ball joints are bad, thats how i would describe what my D felt like when mine were bad. I also replaced the inner tie-rods which were bad..alignment shop then told me that my steering box had some play and was going bad. I havent replaced it yet. I can feel a little play compared to before, but not that bad.

The ball joints and tie-rods really tightened things up.

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#5 Old 05-08-2005, 11:33 PM
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Acutally the upper balljoints (most likely the bad ones) arent hard to replace yourself. It was all real easy except for grinding off the rivets holding the OEMs to thecontrol arms. I took mine to a local automotive machine shop and they charged me $20 i think to grind them off for me. Then i just bolted in the ones and put the control arms back on. I havent gotten around the bottom ones yet.

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#6 Old 05-09-2005, 05:49 AM
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the good thing is that the uppers must have been changed before because i noticed bolts holding down the bj in there now. a buddy of mine told me that he was charged nearly $1000 to have both his uppers done, i priced out ball joints at autozone and the most expensive set they have are only $52 each. think i'll have to tackle this one myself.

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Exterior:
Flowmaster Force II Cat-Back w/stainless tip, 360 air intakez CAI, torsion shackle lift with belltech 6400s, Rancho rs5000 Shocks, Bridgestone Duelers 32" x 11.5" x 15", 15 x 8 Rock Crawler Black Series 97 Rims w/chrome center caps, Lund Avenger Smoke Hood Deflector, GTS Smoke Vent Visors, SmittyBuilt Nerf Bars, Ported and Polished 52mm Throttle Body, Xenon Hyperwhite Headlights and Fogs, Black Altezza Tails, Autolite 3923s, 15% window tint all around

Interior:
Leather Interior, 3rd Row Seats, IPOD with Stereo Adaptor, alpine sps-170a in the doors
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#7 Old 05-09-2005, 02:11 PM
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i actually took it in to have it looked at today because this was really bothering me, turns out it was the bearings on the passenger side. pretty cheap fix, less than $150 for both sides.

White 1998 Dodge Durango SLT 4x4
5.2L w/130000mi

Exterior:
Flowmaster Force II Cat-Back w/stainless tip, 360 air intakez CAI, torsion shackle lift with belltech 6400s, Rancho rs5000 Shocks, Bridgestone Duelers 32" x 11.5" x 15", 15 x 8 Rock Crawler Black Series 97 Rims w/chrome center caps, Lund Avenger Smoke Hood Deflector, GTS Smoke Vent Visors, SmittyBuilt Nerf Bars, Ported and Polished 52mm Throttle Body, Xenon Hyperwhite Headlights and Fogs, Black Altezza Tails, Autolite 3923s, 15% window tint all around

Interior:
Leather Interior, 3rd Row Seats, IPOD with Stereo Adaptor, alpine sps-170a in the doors
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#8 Old 05-09-2005, 11:10 PM
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Did u do the Recall?

The 98-02(I think!) Durangos and Dakotas have a recall on the front ball joints. Wheels were falling off and such. Had it done in a few hours at the dealer at no charge. It tightened up the front end considerably when they were done.

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#9 Old 05-10-2005, 06:23 AM
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the recall is for 2000 to 2003 only, you may be able to get a dealer to change out the bj on a 1999 but i highly doubt they would on a 98, especially one with 130000mi on it like mine. im the second owner of my durango and it appears that the first owner already had problems with the upper bjs because they have been replaced, the new ones have the grease fittings.

White 1998 Dodge Durango SLT 4x4
5.2L w/130000mi

Exterior:
Flowmaster Force II Cat-Back w/stainless tip, 360 air intakez CAI, torsion shackle lift with belltech 6400s, Rancho rs5000 Shocks, Bridgestone Duelers 32" x 11.5" x 15", 15 x 8 Rock Crawler Black Series 97 Rims w/chrome center caps, Lund Avenger Smoke Hood Deflector, GTS Smoke Vent Visors, SmittyBuilt Nerf Bars, Ported and Polished 52mm Throttle Body, Xenon Hyperwhite Headlights and Fogs, Black Altezza Tails, Autolite 3923s, 15% window tint all around

Interior:
Leather Interior, 3rd Row Seats, IPOD with Stereo Adaptor, alpine sps-170a in the doors
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#10 Old 05-11-2005, 08:45 AM
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The way to determine if you have play in the ball joints is to jack one side at a time under a control arm. You need to support the control arm instead of the truck itself so it unloads the pressure on the ball joints. Once you have the control arm jacked up and tire off the ground- use an up/down movement on the top and bottom of the tire. If you get a rocking motion- ie play in the tire- you have ball joint problems. If you go side to side and have play- then its more likely a tie rod issue.

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#11 Old 05-24-2005, 03:21 AM
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mine was replaced last december in the recall but for some reason its still makes some sounds and i think its the upper ball joints. how much are these if i get them in the dealership? i can get my mechanic to fix it anyways for a lot cheaper.
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