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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2000 Dodge Ram Van 1500 V6, 5 lug wheels.

Okay...first I spent half the day looking for a place that has that God forsaken special 4 sided socket to fit over the upper ball joint. Then I spent the other half of the day looking for a place that had a 3/4" breaker bar to fit the God forsaken 4 sided socket. Now I try to loosen the ball joint and it won't budge. I put a 5 foot piece of pipe on the breaker bar, giving me about 6 feet of leverage and it still won't loosen up. Tried an air gun...no success there either.

Anyone have any tips, clues, hints, suggestions, or other helpful input to get those %&#$%#& ball joint loose?
 

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My van is much older but according to the parts manual the ball joints have the same part # so the procedure should be as well.

The shop manual says you first need to use a ball joint separator/breaker tool to free the upper ball joint. This is not the pickle fork type but a threaded device that fits between the upper and lower ball joint shafts on the control arm. Both the Factory Manual and Haynes show the same device. Do you have access to a manual? This is not a great image but you should be able to see the tool and how it is used. Click on the image to enlarge it.

 

· 4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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1. I used PB blaster (penetrating oil) and let it soak overnight.
2. I used a pipe-wrench with a 6 foot pipe on it, put the wrench on and used a rope to tie it under pressure... Then hit the wrench with a 2 lbs hammer. (It took a few hits)
 

· 4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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Yes the old flame wrench will work, but if you overheat the metal it will loose strength... It will ruin the heat treating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I separated the upper ball joint from the steering knuckle without a problem. It's the unscrewing of the ball joint body that's holding me up. From the sounds of it, more penetrating oil and muscle might do the trick. If that fails it might be time to use some heat Although, I do hate doing that on suspension parts for the reason already stated, loss of metal strength.

Hmm, maybe it's time to go and buy that 3/4" impact gun I've been eyeballing lately. :)
 

· 4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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It did take a lot of force when I did mine... So much I was worriod about knocking it of the jack stands. (This is why I loaded-up the wrench and hit it with a hammer to impact it.
It will help to remove the dust boot and get penetrating oil to go up from the bottom also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The weather wasn't favorable enough today to attempt working on the van. But I did go and pick up the 3/4" (535 ft. lbs.) impact gun I mentioned. It'll be interesting to see what that baby does tomorrow, if anything.
 

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Sometime "they" did weird stuff at the factory or your neighborhood shop,if the ball joints where changed before. Possibly a tack weld or two on the flats of the ball joint where the 4 sided socket rest, right at the control arm. Wire brush is the best way to see if they are tack welded. If no weld is in sight you will need to heat lightly and evenly on the control arm just below the head of the ball joint. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I finally got them out. I had to rewrite the repair manual a bit but at least all four ball joints are new. The uppers were a %&#[email protected] and no way, no how, were they ever going to screw out. The nuts on the lowers had to be loosened with 6' of pipe on a breaker bar. The 3/4" 535 ft. lbs. gun was ineffective at removing them, there were no weld spots holding the uppers, penetrating oil didn't help, 6' of leverage with two people pulling was also ineffective, heat from a torch, no effect. Finally after all this I said #@%$ it and pressed them out. I was hoping that the idiot engineer who designed this screw in system, would at least make the control arm a stronger grade of steel than the ball joint. So when they finally "popped" and came out, the threads on the ball joints were gone, but the threads in the control arms remained, although they did need to be cleaned up a bit.

Installing the new ones wasn't that easy either, they were turning real hard. Well here's where the 3/4" gun came in handy. It zipped those puppies in quick and tight. If I ever have to change them again, I just might have a couple of new upper control arms handy first. :)
 

· 4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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Interesting that the threads on the control arm are tougher than those on the ball joint.
I had to install mine 1/4 turn at a time since I couldn't find a socket at the time I did them. Glad to hear they came out and new ones went in.
 

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A/O Torch

This sort of seriousness tend to "persuade" tough "nuts", so to speak.

Use at your own risk!
 

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Oh no. I have issues with my van and after reading this ugly thread I want to cry now.

Alloro, I've bookmarked this thread.

Saturday is the time I'll be able to peek behind the wheel to see what is up with it.
 

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Cut it out! Using a 4 1/2" grinder with, first a 1/16" cutting wheel, then a grinding wheel cut the top off of the ball joint being careful not to cut into the control arm, remove the innards, then cut a slice into the sleeve that you are left with using a hack saw (remove the blade, slip it through the ball joint shell and reattach reversed so you are cutting towards you so you can beat on the area next to the cut), then beat on it until it collapses and pop it out. This worked for me last night after spending way too much time trying to unscrew it.
 
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