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Upper Ball Joint - Rivets?  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 09-20-2015 11:59 pm
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DonBurns
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I am disassembling the front suspension on 15800 and amd a little confused by what I am seeing. The upper ball joint is not attached to the arm with 4 bolts as in every photo I have seen or the manual. It is riveted on, and the rivets have the appearance of having been manufactured that way - don't rally look like home mechanic rivets. Has anybody else seen this? Or am I looking at it wrong? I guess the solution is to drill out the rivets.

Also - should it be extremely difficult to remove the ball joint bolts from the sub axle? I see peple have a hard time removing the lower ball joint from the suspension arm, but have not seen comments of trouble removing from the stub. (Vertical Link).

Attachment: Ball Joint.jpg (Downloaded 58 times)

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 Posted: 09-21-2015 05:56 am
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Tom Bradley
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This is the original ball joint. I remember these. I am surprised there are still any around. I replaced these on mine something like 20 years ago.

Yes,the rivets have to be drilled drilled out from the top to replace this. It has to be done carefully, but can be done by an amateur if you take your time about it. I suggest center punching them, then drilling a starter hole with a relatively small bit. Then go for a larger bit. I do not remember the final size bit that I needed to use. The first one went very slow because I was constantly stopping and checking to make sure I was not drilling into the swing arm. After that the others went pretty fast. If you already have the replacement ball joints, you should also have the bolts that come with them, which should give you a fairly good idea of the hole size.

As I recall, removing the ball joint from the wheel mount was also somewhat difficult. I think I had to borrow a wedge tool from the local auto parts store, or maybe mount it in a vice and use a heavy hammer to drive out the ball joint.

Hope this helps.

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 Posted: 09-21-2015 01:28 pm
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DonBurns
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Thanks Tom! I may take to a shop, since I was going to have them press out the old bushings anyway. Do you happen to know the hole size for the four bolts? I have the new ball joints on order but want to get the front suspension parts to the powder coater today. This is my second JH and I did everything myself on the first one. I'm older now and if I run into the slightest issue out it goes to the shop.

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 Posted: 09-21-2015 11:13 pm
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Tom Bradley
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Sorry, I don't remember the exact size and I did not keep an old one for reference. But any machinist or mechanic should be able to do this with no problem. The only danger is that they might consider it too easy and give it to some beginner kid who messes it up. That sort of thing happened to me once.

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