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Gonna try and go through this quick how I did it. I know there are specific tools you could spend some money on (or you may already have) to get the job done - but this is how I did it.

Before you remove the upper ball joint, it would be wise to go ahead and loosen the hub nut with the wheels on the ground. You'll need to do this so you can later remove the spindle that the hub nut connects to. Jack the car up and disconnect the u joint straps attaching the halfshaft to the spindle that sits inside the hub. Since you previously loosened the hub nut you should be able to remove and pull the spindle out. I also had to go ahead and remove the hub from the knuckle because it would later complicate things when trying to press out the lower ball joint. All you have to do is unbolt the four bolts on the inside of the hub and press the hub off of the knuckle.



Now to actually removing the ball joints. First remove the cotter pin from the upper ball joint. Loosen the castle nut on the ball joint stud. Don't remove. Should be a 15/16 socket. After you've loosened it a little bit, I put a ball joint separator on the stud and the upper most part of the knuckle. Crank until you hear the ball joint stud unseat.

Then get your giant breaker bar with a 2 & 9/64" socket and begin unscrewing the upper ball joint. I think I took the upper part of the shaft from my jack and slid it over the breaker bar to be able to create more leverage. Unscrew it all the way until you can pull that bad boy out. It takes a while





Once you have the upper out, you need to unseat the lower control arm from the lower ball joint stud. Do this with the ball joint splitter. I might've even used a hammer if I remember correctly.




Once that's separated you should only have the knuckle and the lower ball joint to go. This is where you'll need plenty of different sized piping. I made a few trips to home depot and lowes to find the right bits. Once I got smart, I took the knuckle and ball joint with me and found the right size piping. In order to remove, you'll want piping that is smaller in diameter than the bottom of the ball joint (not the stud). You'll also want pieces that are greater in diameter than the ball joint cap (so that it only presses on the knuckle and not on the ball joint cap). Sorry I do not have an image of this. Just use your brain

After you've got pieces that press on the bottom of the ball joint and encircle the upper cap and are both greater in length than the stud and distance needed to press the ball joint out, then put your arbor plates on the top and bottom of the piping. Then start pumping the press. At first you'll feel some real tight pressure obviously, then it should pop right out.

That was the hardest part. Pressing in is very easy

Take the new ball joint and spread some 3 in 1 oil around the surface of the ball joint that will be mating with the knuckle. Find a piece of piping that is smaller in diameter than the cap of the ball joint, you'll need that in order to press in the ball joint. See below




Then setup the rest of your piping so that it encircles the ball joint stud and the rest of the ball joint that will be pressing through the bottom of the knuckle. Make your arbor plate sandwich and press until it is seated flush with the knuckle. Do not keep pressing after its seated flush.











Put your dust boots on and mount back to the control arms using the castle nuts to 38 foot pounds. Insert and bend the cotter pin and you're good to go.

For the upper just take your time screwing back in. Put a little bit of antiseize on the threads and take your time. Don't crossthread. Once again, don't keep cranking after it is seated. Then tighten the ball joint stud castle nut to 38 foot pounds and insert the cotter pin. Reverse all the other processes listed earlier with the spindle, halfshaft straps and hub nut. Use new halfshaft straps obviously.

That's pretty much it. You'll spend the majority of your time aligning the piping & knuckle & arbor plates so that everything is straight and not going to wobble

I used the howe ball joints as replacements.
 

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Once that's separated you should only have the knuckle and the lower ball joint to go. This is where you'll need plenty of different sized piping. I made a few trips to home depot and lowes to find the right bits. Once I got smart, I took the knuckle and ball joint with me and found the right size piping. In order to remove, you'll want piping that is smaller in diameter than the bottom of the ball joint (not the stud). You'll also want pieces that are greater in diameter than the ball joint cap (so that it only presses on the knuckle and not on the ball joint cap). Sorry I do not have an image of this. Just use your brain

That's pretty much it. You'll spend the majority of your time aligning the piping & knuckle & arbor plates so that everything is straight and not going to wobble

I used the howe ball joints as replacements.
Great writeup! I might suggest that you secure the use of an innovative tool called a measuring tape to determine the Inside and Outside diameters, and length of the pipes you ended up utilizing. Subsequent viewers will thank you even more if you would add those tidbits to this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great writeup! I might suggest that you secure the use of an innovative tool called a measuring tape to determine the Inside and Outside diameters, and length of the pipes you ended up utilizing. Subsequent viewers will thank you even more if you would add those tidbits to this thread.
LOL but half the fun is all the trips to lowes & home depot!

I'll look around this weekend and take measurements
 

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Been thinking about doing this myself as well. How did you like the HOWE joints? They look like quality pieces?
 

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Thanks for the write up! Removing the ball joint seems to f*k up the threads 9/10 times. I was able to replace the ball joint successfully on one side but I've been thru 4 control arms now and the threads keep getting all mangled when removing the old one. I used liquid wrench, heat, and a breaker bar (no impact)... Am I missing something?
 

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Hey man, how'd your rack rebuild turn out, or have you gotten it on the road yet?
 
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