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Super Mechanic
Super Mechanic, Master technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 17219
Experience:  29 yrs. exp., ASE master, cert. in G.M. electrical, a/c, susspension, brakes, electronic steering
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Is it very hard to replace the lower ball joints on a 2002

Customer Question

Is it very hard to replace the lower ball joints on a 2002 chevy 2500hd diesel .... seems that even will a ball joint c press I can not get the ball joints to break lose. I even heated the outside bracket some to help ... no luck, just wanted to save some money and replace them myself..
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 8 years ago.
Welcome Garden, For removing the lower ball joints, I support the lower control arm near the out side end and us a big ball peen hammer to drive them out. They are very tight and this seems to be the best way I have found.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I already tried your suggestion "use a big ball peen hammer to drive them out". sorry...
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 8 years ago.
The only other thing I have seen done is setting up the press, turn it until you can't turn it anymore, then use the hammer on the top portion of the "C" on the clamp to impact it. Those are difficult to do with the shape of the bottom of the control arm, that is why I use the hammer.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

So far you have described what I have done, I am about to torch them out, I got 140K on the truck with heavy loads, the ball joint has about 5/8" travel when I take the pressure off of the wheel, so I got to get the ball joint replaced, The hammering on the top of the C clamp just made the truck laugh a little bit louder at me.....thanks anyway... I guess I will just have to get more creative, its just that replacing the ball joint isn't rocket science, it should just take a litte time to get them out and replaced. thanks again.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 8 years ago.
I can't imagine why they won't come out. What I have described is all I have ever done. There are no retainers, they are only press fit and come out the bottom. I guess, when all else fails, get a bigger hammer? Good luck.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
At first I thought that there was a snap ring holding them in, but no such luck, seems to be a real straight forward deal to get them out, Its just not going my way so far, I have only tried the left side, I will try the right side, if it pops out, then I will have a little momentem going on my side and I will try the left again, I can always take the control arm out and then push the ball joint out with a press, just no fun in doing that.. mark
Expert:  Super Mechanic replied 8 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just, Super mechanic here. About your vehicle.


Let me see if I can shed some light on this for you. The actual method of removing the ball joints will involve taking the lower control arm out of the vehicle. Here is what the data base has for that.



Removal Procedure

  1. Raise and support the vehicle. Refer to Vehicle Lifting.
  2. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  3. Remove the lower control arm.
  4. Place the lower control arm in a bench vice.
  5. Using a chisel, remove the 4 securing crimps from the ball joint body, the 15 series only.
  6. Using a press, remove the ball joint from the lower control arm.

Installation Procedure

Important: Use the outer flange of the ball joint in order to press the ball joint into place.

  1. Install the new ball joint using a press.
  2. Place the lower control arm in a bench vice.
  3. Using a punch, install 4 crimps to the ball joint. Use the replaced ball joint as a reference, the 15-series only.
  4. Install the lower control arm.
  5. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  6. Remove the safety stands.
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8. Verify the wheel alignment.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have done all the items that have been suggested, actually we had done these items prior to asking my question and the ball joint still would not pop out, just thought there might be some great new way of getting it out. I will just go about getting it out the good old fashion way, bigger hammer or a nice torch, thanks for looking, no sense in writing any more on how to get the old one out. It will just take a little time.......Thanks for the ideas.
Expert:  Super Mechanic replied 8 years ago.
That is exactly why they have information systems. You will have to take out the control arm as per factory procedure and press the ball joint out.

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