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az_hunter
az_hunter, GM World Class Tech
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 401
Experience:  16 years GM Tech, ASE Master Certified
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2001 GMC: I need to replace the upper and lower ball joints..Cyl

Customer Question

I need to replace the upper and lower ball joints on a 2001 GMC 6 Cyl Jimmy. Need:
1. Instructions and accompanying pictures requiredto remove replace the ball joints (upper and lower)
2. A list of specialized tools required
3. The torque specs on all the fastners I will be dealing with
Can you provide?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: GM
Expert:  az_hunter replied 5 years ago.

Is this a 2wd or 4 wd vehicle?

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Its a 4WD
Expert:  az_hunter replied 5 years ago.
Upper Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement (4WD)

Removal Procedure


    Object Number: 3661  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  1. Raise and suitably support the vehicle with safety stands. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.
  2. Remove the tire and wheel. Refer to Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation in Tires and Wheels.
  3. Unload the torsion bar. Refer to Torsion Bar and Support Assembly Replacement .
  4. Remove the wheel speed sensor wiring harness bracket and brake hose bracket mounting bolt and nut from the upper control arm.
  5. Disconnect the wheel speed sensor wiring harness bracket and brake hose bracket from the upper control arm.
    Object Number: 1949  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  6. Remove the cotter pin from the upper ball joint retaining nut.
  7. Remove the upper ball joint retaining nut.
  8. Using a pry bar, placed under the upper control arm and on top of the frame, pry upward.
  9. With the aid of a helper, carefully hammer on the steering knuckle in the area of the upper ball joint stud in order to release the stud from the steering knuckle.
  10. Disconnect the upper ball joint from the steering knuckle.
    10.1. Place a block under the upper control arm to keep the control arm and the steering knuckle out of the way.
    10.2. Suspend the steering knuckle to prevent straining the brake line.

    Object Number: 1832  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  11. Remove the rivets from the upper ball joint.

    Use a 3.175 mm (1/8 in) drill to cut a 6.35 mm (1/4 in) deep hole in the center of each rivet.


    Object Number: 1833  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  12. Drill the rivet heads away using a 12.7 mm (1/2 in) drill.
    Object Number: 1834  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  13. Remove the rivets using a pin punch.
  14. Remove the upper ball joint.

Installation Procedure


    Object Number: 177415  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  1. Install the upper ball joint to the upper control arm.

    Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in the Preface section.

  2. Install the upper ball joint retaining bolts and the nuts.

    Tighten
    Tighten the upper ball joint retaining nuts to 23 N·m (17 lb ft).


    Object Number: 1986  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  3. Re-install the upper ball joint to the steering knuckle.
  4. Install the upper ball joint to steering knuckle retaining nut.

    Tighten

    Tighten the upper ball joint to steering knuckle retaining nut to 83 N·m (61 lb ft).
    Tighten the upper ball joint to steering knuckle retaining nut in order to align for the cotter pin. Do not tighten the nut more than 1/6 turn.

  5. Install the new cotter pin to the upper ball joint stud. Bend the pin ends against the nut.
    Object Number: 3661  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  6. Connect the wheel speed sensor wiring harness bracket and brake hose bracket to the upper control arm.
  7. Install the wheel speed sensor wiring harness bracket and brake hose bracket mounting bolt and nut.

    Tighten
    Tighten the wheel speed sensor bracket and brake hose bracket mounting nut to 24 N·m (18 lb ft).

  8. Load the torsion bar. Refer to Torsion Bar and Support Assembly Replacement .
  9. Install the tire and the wheel. Refer to Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation in Tires and Wheels.
  10. Lower the vehicle.

Lower Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement (4WD)

Removal Procedure


    Object Number: 1832  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  1. Raise and support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.
  2. Remove the tire and wheel. Refer to Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation in Tires and Wheels.
  3. Unload the torsion bar. Refer to Torsion Bar and Support Assembly Replacement .
  4. Remove the wheel drive shaft. Refer to Wheel Drive Shaft Replacement in Wheel Drive Shafts.
  5. Drill a pilot hole in the lower ball joint rivets using a 3.175 mm (1/8 in) drill to cut a 6.35 mm (1/4 in) deep hole in the center of each rivet.
    Object Number: 1833  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  6. Drill the rivet heads away using a 12.7 mm (1/2 in) drill.
    Object Number: 1834  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  7. Remove the rivets using a pin punch.
  8. Remove the lower ball joint from lower control arm.

Installation Procedure

  1. Install the lower ball joint to the lower control arm.

    Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in the Preface section.


    Object Number: 1947  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  2. Install the lower ball joint retaining bolts and the nuts.

    Tighten
    Tighten the lower ball joint retaining nuts to 23 N·m (17 lb ft).

  3. Install the wheel drive shaft. Refer to Wheel Drive Shaft Replacement in Wheel Drive Shafts.
  4. Load the torsion bar. Refer to Torsion Bar and Support Assembly Replacement .
  5. Install the tire and the wheel. Refer to Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation in Tires and Wheels.
  6. Lower the vehicle.
  7. Inspect the front wheel alignment. Refer to Wheel Alignment Measurement in Wheel Alignment

Some of the steps are repeditive. Also count the turns out and back in on the tortion bar. Most of the time I don't unload the tortion bars and just use a long pry bar to pull down the lower control arm.

 

If any of this is unclear, please let me know I and will clear anything up. If the info I gave was usefull, please selsect ACCEPT ANSWER. Positive feedback is also welcome. Thanks!!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX up questons.
1. I see references to "unload the torsion bar" and "load the torsion bar" what does this mean and how do I do it?
2. In your instructions there are links to things like "Torsion Bar and Support Assembly Replacement" but when I click on the links they don't work saying I'm unauthorized to access the infomation..can you provide the links to these subjects?
3. What if any special tools do I need?
Expert:  az_hunter replied 5 years ago.

The tortion bars run from the lower control arm back to crossmember half way back the vehicle. Turn the bolts counter-clock wise to unload and clock wise to load.Just don't remove the bolt all the way. But like I said, ,I just use a long bar and pry the lower control arm down. As far as special tools, none are needed. Here is the proceedure for removing the axles:

 

Wheel Drive Shaft Replacement

Removal Procedure

  1. Unlock the steering column so that the steering linkage is free to move.
    Object Number: 142106  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  2. Raise the vehicle. Support the vehicle with suitable safety stands. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.
  3. Remove the 2 front tire and wheel assembly. Refer to Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation in Tires and Wheels.
    Object Number: 1932  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  4. In order to prevent the drive axle from turning, insert a drift through the brake caliper and into one of the rotor vanes.
    Object Number: 142104  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  5. Remove the axle nut and washer.
  6. Remove the drift from the brake rotor.
  7. Remove the front brake rotors and support the caliper with a piece of wire in order to prevent damage to the brake hose. Refer to Front Brake Rotor Replacement in Disc Brakes.
    Object Number: 142103  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  8. Remove the brackets from the upper control arm holding both the ABS wire and the brake hose.
  9. Remove the ABS bracket located on the top of the upper control arm ball joint.
    Object Number: 142105  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  10. Strap the frame to the hoist in order to prevent movement.
    Object Number: 142106  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.

    Notice: Be careful that the safety stand does not damage or bend any components it may contact.

  11. Position a safety stand under the lower control arm.
  12. Support the weight of the steering knuckle assembly and lower control arm with a safety stand.
    Object Number: 178636  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  13. Disengage the wheel drive shaft from the hub by placing a brass drift against the outer end of the drive axle in order to protect the threads. Sharply strike the brass drift with a hammer. Do not attempt to remove the axle at this time.
  14. Support the steering knuckle and assembly with a piece of wire in order to prevent damage to the outer tie rod and ABS wire.
  15. Disconnect the upper ball joint from the steering knuckle. Refer to Upper Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement in Front Suspension.
  16. Remove the lower part of shock absorber. Refer to Shock Absorber Replacement in Front Suspension.
  17. Disconnect the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle. Refer to Steering Knuckle Replacement in Front Suspension.
  18. After the lower ball joint is loose from the knuckle, simultaneously push the axle shaft in toward the differential carrier in order to allow room for the knuckle and assembly to be removed.
  19. Remove the axle from the steering knuckle assembly.

    Important: Lower the safety stand from the lower control arm in order to relieve the pressure of the torsion bar and in order to allow for clearance.

    Do not damage the axle seal during removal of the differential carrier shield.

     

     

  20. Remove the front differential carrier shield. Refer to Shield Replacement .
    Object Number: 142109  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  21. Disconnect the left side wheel drive shaft from the differential carrier by placing a block of wood or a brass drift against the tripot housing. Firmly strike the block of wood outward from the case with a hammer. Strike hard enough to overcome the snap ring pressure holding in the shaft.
    Object Number: 142111  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  22. Disconnect the right side wheel drive shaft from the differential carrier by placing a block of wood or a brass drift against the tripot housing. Firmly strike the block of wood outward from the case with a hammer. Strike hard enough to overcome the snap ring pressure holding in the shaft.
    Object Number: 142112  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  23. Pull the axle straight out from the differential carrier.
  24. Support the drive axle so as not to tear the boot.

    Caution: To prevent personal injury and/or component damage, do not allow the weight of the vehicle to load the front wheels, or attempt to operate the vehicle, when the wheel drive shaft(s) or wheel drive shaft nut(s) are removed. To do so may cause the inner bearing race to separate, resulting in damage to brake and suspension components and loss of vehicle control.

  25. Remove the drive axle.

Installation Procedure

Important: Do not lubricate or damage the differential carrier axle seals during installation.

  1. In order to prevent damage to the boot, cover the following components with a shop towel:
    The shock mounting bracket
    The lower control arm ball stud
    All other sharp edges

    Object Number: 142112  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  2. Install the wheel drive shaft to the differential carrier.
    2.1. With both hands on the tripot housing, align the splines on the shaft with the differential carrier.
    2.2. Center the drive axle into the differential carrier seal.
    2.3. Firmly push the shaft straight into the differential carrier until the snap ring seats into place.

    Object Number: 142106  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.

    Notice: Be careful that the safety stand does not damage or bend any components it may contact.

  3. Raise the safety stand to support the weight of the lower control arm.

    Important: It will be necessary to slightly start the knuckle onto the drive axle while simultaneously guiding the lower ball stud to its proper location on the steering knuckle.

  4. Reconnect the lower ball joint to the steering knuckle. Refer to Steering Knuckle Replacement in Front Suspension.
  5. Install the lower part of the shock absorber. Refer to Shock Absorber Replacement in Front Suspension.
  6. Reconnect the upper ball joint to the steering knuckle. Refer to Upper Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement in Front Suspension.
    Object Number: 142104  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  7. Install the drive axle washer and nut.

    Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in the Preface section.

  8. Install the wheel drive shaft nut.

    Tighten
    Tighten the nut to 140 N·m (103 lb ft).


    Object Number: 142103  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  9. Install the ABS bracket located on the top of the upper control arm ball joint.
  10. Install the brackets from the upper control arm holding both the ABS wire and the brake hose.
  11. Install the front brake rotors. Refer to Front Brake Rotor Replacement in Disc Brakes.
  12. Install the front differential carrier shield. Refer to Shield Replacement in Front Drive Axle.
  13. Remove the strap from the frame.
  14. Install the two front tire and wheel assembly. Refer to Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation in Tires and Wheels.
az_hunter, GM World Class Tech
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 401
Experience: 16 years GM Tech, ASE Master Certified
az_hunter and 4 other GM Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Upon reading your response, I'm a bit confused regarding the torsion bars and what role to they play in the removal/installation of ball joints? What does it mean to unload them...does 'unloading" mean remove' what is the procedure for unloading them and how do I do this?
Expert:  az_hunter replied 5 years ago.
Don't worry about unloading them. Just use a long bar to push the lower control arm down so you can get the spindle out of the way.

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