Ball joints 1999 Chevy 4x4

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Cabin Fever, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I'm going to have install new upper and lower ball joints in my 1999 Chevy Z-71 pickup (180,000 miles). I've done this job before in a 1985 2-wheel drive pickup and it was a pretty simple job with a few rented tools. It sounds like the job on this model truck is going to be a bit more complicated, however.....like having to drill out rivets on both the upper and lower ball joints and removing the front 4WD drive axles.

    A friend of mine told me that I can go to a auto parts store and simply purchase what sounds like a rebuilt A-frame and hub set-up with new ball joints already installed. He says it makes the job a lot simpler and easy. Has anyone ever heard of this? or installed a set of these rebuilts? Or was he dreaming...I never heard of this.

    BTW, this 1999 pick-up is the "old style" pickup body...similar to a 1998 and previous models.

    Thanks
     
  2. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I've put ball joints in those trucks and they are a workout. Definetly require drilling the rivets. I use an air chisel to drive the rivets out as my hands hate hammers. You don't need to remove the axles, but you do need to remove the spindle and support the axle to protect it. Once you drill the rivets and drive them out the ball joint has bolts to hold them in place.
    I would just put the ball joints in instead of replacing the whole control arms. If you were going to pull the control arm you could then bring them to a parts store with a machine shop and let them drill the rivets out and install the joints possibly cheaper then buying control arms.
     

  3. Boss Cooker

    Boss Cooker Well-Known Member

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    May be a bit different, but I just had ball joints put in my 98 Dodge 4X4. It isn't something I would take on in my shop. Parts and labor was just under $500.00.
     
  4. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Completely different frt. end, but not that hard to do.
     
  5. fixer1958

    fixer1958 None of the Above

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    If you are any good with a torch (after the spindle and driveline are out of the way) you can carefully blow off the top of the rivets and then knock it on out with a punch or an air hammer. Drilling makes for a cleaner job but alot more work. Either way you may be in for a workout if it's on the ground (versus on a lift).