how do you know when a ball joint needs to be replaced? The ones on my ranger move around in the directions that they are supposed too... but they don't seem to have any extra or "play" in them. I can move them by hand though.
And what does it take to change them out? I see a "C" clip... do you need a press to push them out?
You know a balljoint is worn out when it does what any balljoint attached to S10's cruising around: the only way I can describe it is that the tire rotates around a horizontal axis running from the front of the vehicle to the back. I have about 1" of play in this axis, obviously it's not good. I've only followed my truck with someone else driving it once before, the front suspension looks scary going around a corner, yuck.
all i've even seen have the blue boot, the lower cost napa joints form the same manufacturer have a kind of clear boot.
they are shot when there is play in them. try to move the wheel with a pry bar and you can watch if the joint is sloppy, make sure it's not the wheel bearings if you have movement.
there are many ways to change the joints, the best an easiest is a special tool to press them out, i've heard of guys doing it with a hammer but they can be very tight so i wouldn't recommend it. generally you can rig a shop press to get them out too.
hey ryan if you take your tire at 12 and 6 and shake it there shouldnt be any play in it. If there is then your ball joints are probably blown. I got the napa ball joints for the top ball joint because that was the only one that went out. It had the blue boot. I used a vise and ahammer to get the ball joint out but i think autozone rents the tool to pop out the ball joints.
Anyone have the Napa part # for I-Beam Ranger ball joints, upper and lower? Moog joints suck, barely last one race. Or does any know of a set of race ball joints, that will fit stock I-Beams? I would rather spend some cash on some good ones, rather than replace those bastards every race. Thanks, Roger Byrd. 7s Ford Ranger
"And a ball joint press from harbor frieght for $40" - Let us know how it works, that sounds like a really good deal! I didn't look into it much, but when I got new ball joints a c-clamp style kit at napa was over a hundred bucks so I just had them press them for me.
ok guys... i just finished replacing my ball joints with the harbor frieght press. It is about 1/2" to small to press the joints back in with the supplied hardware. I had to replace one of the big metal bushings with a piece of flat stock to be able to fit the whole thing within the clamp.... other than that... it worked great!