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Discussion Starter #1
How difficult is it to replace the ball joints on a 96 bko... I had a shop quote me about 550 and I thought that was a bit ridiculous... I just wanna know if there are any special tools I would need, and how diffucult on a scale from 1 to 10 this would be. I have a full garage of tools and a Tear Down manual... and what would be the best replacement ball joints... keep in mind my current ball joints are stock
 

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550 is actually fairly accurate. I got the same quote, over 7 years ago, for another truck I used to own. There are a couple decent threads, in the Tech forum
 

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Lick my balls
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It can be daunting for someone doing it for the first time. Have a friend handy to help you pound out the ball joint from the spindle. Hopefully your friend has done this before or at least knows which end of the hammer to hold on to.
 

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Zombie Hunter
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ScorpionBoy said:
you can do it. it is labor intensive, thus the high price. you need some special tools, but they don't cost that much.
You can rent the majority of the specialty tools you need. I gotta do mine this summer.
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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moontraveler1984 said:
How difficult is it to replace the ball joints on a 96 bko... I had a shop quote me about 550 and I thought that was a bit ridiculous... I just wanna know if there are any special tools I would need, and how diffucult on a scale from 1 to 10 this would be. I have a full garage of tools and a Tear Down manual... and what would be the best replacement ball joints... keep in mind my current ball joints are stock
Just an idea here, since BJ's are sooo important....who knows what they plan to install, so try this, a quote for install of the BJ's you already have. If they say $300, then go buy yourself some spicers for $85 (that's what mine were through parts mike on line for a '78 solid axle, but should be the same for the TTB). They are the best you can buy. Have them install them.

Fair price for you doing nothing and having the best stuff reinstalled for you.

Oh, spec. tools, you need the HF bj press, about $45 so consider that with do it vs. have it done. I now own the press and did if for the first time with the new SAS. Was actually fairly easy, and I know it's done right with the best stuff I could buy.

You can do yourself, 1st time I guess maybe 3-4 hours per side for you to be on the safe side. So you could do it in a day. Could go quicker if you have no interest or need in looking at hub bearings, seals, grease repack, spindle/bearing, brakes, etc.
 

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the ball joint press is on sale at harbor frieght now for $29. i did mine in a day and if you plan on keeping the truck do it yourself and get the tools.....mike
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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collinsperformance said:
the ball joint press is on sale at harbor frieght now for $29. i did mine in a day and if you plan on keeping the truck do it yourself and get the tools.....mike
Is that the paper add or did you see it on the website? I just looked and don't see any on sale.:popc1:
 

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I did my 4 ball joints, both wheel U joints and repacked bearings in 2.5-3 hours.... that was the first time they had been done too.... But I may have done many other sets before, have a hoist and a tool box full of all the tools needed... It can be a pain... if all comes apart then its not too bad, but if the ball joints wont split from the beam then you are in for a good time....
 

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if you have a garage full of tools then you probably have some mechanical knowledge, if thats the case do it yourself the specialty tools you need can be rented at autozone or orielly's. good luck.:drinkbud :thumbup
 

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moontraveler1984 said:
How difficult is it to replace the ball joints on a 96 bko... I had a shop quote me about 550 and I thought that was a bit ridiculous... I just wanna know if there are any special tools I would need, and how diffucult on a scale from 1 to 10 this would be. I have a full garage of tools and a Tear Down manual... and what would be the best replacement ball joints... keep in mind my current ball joints are stock
That's not a bad price, they have to clean and repack your wheel bearings, and new seals too. You could add in axle u-joints while you're in there for not too much more.

Allow yourself 1.5 days to do it, with friends and sufficient beer, for spectators of course.:beer
 

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Are those REAL?!?!
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It's not as hard as it looks. If you have any mechanical aptitude at all, you can do this in a day. However, as previously mentioned, it's a good idea to replace/repack bearings, seals and U-joints while you're in there. It's not that difficult, I did mine in a day... even with the the frozen bearing race stuck to the spindle that I had to carefully Dremel off...


Good luck...
 

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Practicing Infidel
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I'd been putting mine off for a while until last February

I'd been following the install threads and what tools were needed. I could have rented the ones I didn't possess, but then I priced the install here and there.

Turned out I could get all 4 of them installed labour-wise for $300.00 Canadian (American pocket change).

I weighed the fact I don't do much 4X4ing anymore, so I probably wouldn't need them replaced for a long time afterwards, meaning I might never need the tools again(touch wood).

Also I faced up to the fact there were 20 salt-filled winters on my Bronco's ball joints. If anything could go wrong I'd bet it would with salt and age in the mix.

The guy I took it to was fine with me supplying the brand of ball joints I wanted and he said he dealt with Moog before and he was authorized to warantee them, if they ever wore out(he'd only seen one set die in 15 years).

He even tipped me off to buy some inner spindle bearings just in case he needed them. The guy was so honest he gave me back the one he didn't need and didn't mind using the synthetic grease I also supplied him.

I've done a lot of things on/to my Bronco, but changing my 20 year old ball joints during February in Canada, wasn't one of the things I was looking forward to.

He did a great job, threw in a minor alignment (tires are perfect 20,000 miles later) and told me he did run into two cluster-F#@%ed items that would have screwed up a guy without a torch (me). Took him 6 hours, it was ready before I could get back to pick it up.

IMO it was the best labour money I ever spent on this Bronco. If you're gonna wreck your joints on a bi-yearly basis doing extreme 4X4ing, then yes learn how now. If you're truck is like mine, 95% road use, consider what Shadowfax suggested.

Sixlitre
 

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Go Navy!
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I did mine on my 77 F100 I used to have and all I needed was a torch and a hammer to knock em loose. Heated the knuckle and knock the BJ out of it. Pretty simple but time consuming. I am gonna do the ones on my Bronco here in a few weeks but I am doing that in school. (ATI) So I will have special tools on hand.
 

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Shadofax said:
Yea, no joke Six, installing BJ's in Canada in February. Even a garage would suck I would think.

You said it Shadowfax

it ain't hard to freeze a lefticle in February round here ! Better stop referring to Ball joints as BJs. Someone round here's bound to quote you out of context and add it to the sig line for sure !

Stay warm and have a great holiday ! Mmmmmmmmm turkey salad sandwiches, slaughtered in Helmans !

Sixlitre
 

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thats one of the first things I had to do when I bought my 88 was change all 4 balljoints. Its not hard to do just very time intensive. As for tools you will need your basics and some special tools you can uasually rent from any auto parts store to do this job at home. Shops charge to so much cause of the time it takes to do this job ( I know I used to work in one ) the parts themselves are not that much ( go with the heavy duty ball joints if offered or you will be doin this again soon in the future ). Once you have the truck done i would take it to a tire shop and have them check to make sure everything is aligned right. any honest shop should tell you of any REAL problems and not make something up to get you to spend more money and most places will charge little to nother to just check and make sure everything is in spec ( I think it cost me like $20 at michael tire ). Its a good learning expirence as well
 

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Lick my balls
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Just in case you don't know, ball joints are replaced in pairs. If your upper, for example is warn and your lower is or seems fine, it wont be long before it shows signs of wear and will need replacing and besides once you've got that whole thing apart, while you are there comes to play regardless.
while your there:
-inspect, repack or replace your bearings and races
-inspect, repack or replace your spindle bearings
-inspect your ujoint on your axle and replace if neccasary
-inspect caliper for signs of leakage, inspect brake pads.
-replace inner grease seal
I think I got it all.
 
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