Which ball joint tool

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by Duster, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Duster

    Duster Full Access Member

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    Time to freshen up. I need ball joints and a host of things as it all seems to be going south together.

    My friend just did his and said it was murder on the pressing. He rented the kit at Auto zone and said that was the issue. It wasn't quite right for the job.

    After taking all that in I realize I need to rent or get a different press kit so it doesn't take hours on end to complete this part of the job.

    Having never done it, I need some advice on the tool. Thanks!
     
  2. Conundrum2006

    Conundrum2006 Full Access Member

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    For the old XJ, and other jeeps with the solid dana 30 front axel the special tool was OTC 7894 or an equivalent. It also required a huge c-clamp to press it out and in. On the old Cherokee it was the only way to get it done for me others tell me the dropped theirs out with a BFH no problem.

    I’m not sure that’s the right tool for the KJ. I thought the ballpoint was more an assembly of the control arm. I haven’t done this job on my newer jeeps yet but in my experience on similar setups it was easier to replace (or pull) the control arm than press the ball joint out.
    I may be wrong on this but hold off on buying or renting any special tools until some of the folks who have done this on a KJ chime in


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  3. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ball joint is pressed into the spindle not the LCA
    No need to pull the LCA at all
     
  4. Conundrum2006

    Conundrum2006 Full Access Member

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  5. Conundrum2006

    Conundrum2006 Full Access Member

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    Oh, that’s good then. I haven’t this job yet on anything newer in the jeep world.
    Looking at the video They put the upper control arm bolts on the inside of the engine bay, that’s gotta suck to access.
    What special tools will they need?


    Edit: this may be a good thread. On the subject
    http://www.jeepkj.com/forum/f196/first-time-lower-ball-joint-removal-43346/

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  6. Royy

    Royy Full Access Member

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    Advance Auto's rental 23 piece ball joint/U joint service set (Powerbuilt Tools #648617) worked perfect for me.
     
  7. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    UPPER control arms are very easy to swap out. Heck right side maybe 15-20 minutes if that long
    Watching too many YouTube Videos, some are down right dumb
     
  8. wheeee32

    wheeee32 Full Access Member

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    Driver's side upper A-arm took me a few minutes more than the passenger side but neither was difficult. I think I only spent an hour for both since I was taking my time. Most of my time was finding the right tools since it wasn't my place where I did the work at.
     
  9. scottg

    scottg Full Access Member

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    Autozone just switched to some Powerbuilt Rental tools, and they switched to that part number, so much better then the previous.
     
  10. Duster

    Duster Full Access Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Im replacing everything. I was referencing pressing the lower ball joints out due to them being a press down through the spindle layout instead of in the lower arm.

    The kit my buddy got from Autozone I want to say was the brand OEM? Was not a pretty story.

    I will see how much for the kit from Advance Auto. The one near me has some decent people so that's the chain store I go to now if I have to go to one anyways.
     
  11. Royy

    Royy Full Access Member

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    It's $230. But with their loaner tool program, if you return it within 90 days you get the full amount back.
     
  12. Tog

    Tog Full Access Member

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    Pressed my LBJ's out with a rig on my high lift jack. It's crude but worked[​IMG]

    2004 3.7 limited
     
  13. Myke

    Myke Full Access Member

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    The upper arms I suggest having a bunch of extensions, it's really not too bad. The lbj sucks ass. I rented the oem brand kit from autozone and a second set of cups. If I didn't have an air gun I wouldn't have been able to get them pressed out.
     
  14. Duster

    Duster Full Access Member

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    My buddy had a weird hammer. Not sure what it was made of but seemed like aluminum or something outside with a loaded core maybe. I don't know, but he tapped them out with little effort . This hammer whatever it was could be used to separate good parts as it caused no damage to the threaded ends.

    THANKS for the tool kit suggestion. Pressing them in didn't go great but nothing near as bad as the OEM kit. I put the lowers in the freezer hoping it would make it real easy but it wasnt. The issue was it was impossible to get them started in straight and impossible to keep them going in straight.

    There was one press piece in the kit that seemed to be very slightly angled. So that was used and we kept just pressing til it stopped, loosening , rotating that piece and repeating. Also banged on the press and what have you here and there with that same hammer for shock value that didn't hurt anything.

    This was a tough total job replacing everything. But I am very happy with the outcome. It handles like new again which is a big change because everything was very sad to say the least. A few things would have been a hazard before long. Glad it's done.

    The only thing I have left is to replace the sway bar bushings under the radiator. I just flat forgot to swap them. Didn't remember until I heard noise at the end of the test ride stopping back and forth in the driveway. Not sure if it's bushing play or brake related. But will find out.
     
  15. tjkj2002

    tjkj2002 Full Access Member

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    I use my Snap On cordless impact,hell even took apart,pressed out/in 2 ball joints,and put back together my buddies L/F on his HP44 when he blew a axle shaft in MOAB with that cordless and didn't use 1 bar on the battery meter(has 4 bars to show battery life).


    Having the correct tools is key,OTC makes a very nice "master" Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep ball joint press set,and yes it does have the correct adapter for the KJ's,sadly not cheap(about $1200).

    Book time to replace 1 LBJ on a KJ is 1.6 hours,2.8 hours for both lowers.I normally can do that job in under a hour at work depending on how badly everything is corroded.
     
  16. Myke

    Myke Full Access Member

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    Yeah that's an awesome cordless impact. Most of my tools are snap on or Mac but I'm thinking about getting the harbor freight cordless impact that has 1200ish ft lbs of torque for $249.99. My neighbors probably aren't too thrilled hearing my compressor run all the time.
     
  17. tjkj2002

    tjkj2002 Full Access Member

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    Don't expect much from a $250 cordless impact,it in no way has anywhere close to 1200lbs-ft of torque,realistically it may have around 200lbs-ft if that.The new guy at work has one and my Dewalt 1/4" brushless impact can take off Ford SD lugnuts and his HF 1/2" cordless can't on a fully charged battery.

    My Snap On is only rated for 600lbs-ft(800lbs-ft break away) and it's just slightly less powerful overall then my 1000lbs-ft rated IR titanium impact.
     
  18. Myke

    Myke Full Access Member

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    I was going to buy one tonight or tomorrow and test it out removing the front diff and rear axle on Thursday. If it can't handle that it'll be strong enough for everything I would need from it. If it's weak I'll just return it.
     
  19. tjkj2002

    tjkj2002 Full Access Member

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    A good budget minded one is the Milwaukee 2763-22 M18 1/2" Inch Impact Wrench,can be had for under $400 and will loosen anything on a KJ.
     
  20. HoosierJeeper

    HoosierJeeper Gold Supporter/Admin Staff Member Administrator

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    That's one I've been thinking of getting, less expensive than a bigger compressor and rewiring the garage for 240v.

    Good to know the HF one was junk. Briefly thought about it and the Milwaukee one isn't much more expensive, considering you'll be able to get batteries for it in a few years and it won't be junk yet.