Ball Joints

Oliver Closehauf

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When I bought my Ram the PO said he was told it would need ball joints "soon". I've not noticed any problems but when I was rolling the wheels and tires that came on the truck into the back yard after installing the new rims and tires, I noticed one of the old tires had some uneven wear.

So I'm planning to replace the ball joints. My question is does anyone have any opinions on the adjustable versus non adjustable ball joints.? Is camber adjustable on a 2500 if the ball joint is non adjustable?

Also, I've been watching the R&R videos on youtube. Everyone except one guy unbolts the hub from the axle. I thought the guy that left the axle nut alone and left the hub attached did it the smart way.
Any reason to remove the hub from the axle?
 
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Oliver Closehauf

Oliver Closehauf

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Been doing some homework, I don't remember ball joint selection being this involved. Apparently, all reasonably priced ball joints are garbage. The more expensive Mopar's don't appear to be greaseable (I was all the way through the checkout, ready to hit purchase when I noticed that).
If the ball joints you have in there now are splined, you have to go to an oversized ball joint, but how would you know until you press them out if you were not the person that put the last set in? So I can't even order a set until I press the old ones out. Which means instead of a few hours down time, it will probably be a week.

Now, that's not really a "problem" because the truck just sits there most of the time anyway. What is a problem is having to pay $625.00 for a decent set of (EMF) ball joints.

I replaced all of the suspension on my Mazda 3 a few years ago. Now I have some kind of bearing or CV or tranny noise I can't figure out because it doesn't happen until above 15 MPH and everything feels fine when it's just sitting there up on a jack. Is it the tranny, or is it cheap ass parts that failed in less than 5000 miles?

Point being suspension work sucks and I don't want to have to replace the ball joints on this truck EVER again, but I also don't want to pay 625 bucks. The Mopar's were $333, so the EMF's are only 300 ("only 300") more..... and if I look at it like I'm buying two sets of Mopar's but don't actually have to install the second set.....
AARRRGGGHHHH!!!! So damn expensive!
 
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Oliver Closehauf

Oliver Closehauf

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What I learned doing my homework is I can do a ball joint R&R in 2-3 leisurely hours if I know the answers to these questions before I start.

Do I need oversized ball joints?
Do I have a problem driver's side knuckle?
Are there any wear issues with either existing knuckle that will affect the seating of new ball joints.

Since I don't know the answer to any of those questions before I start, the 2-3 hours turns into who knows how long. 2-3 weeks, possibly more.

I considered just getting new knuckles to eliminate that variable, but of course you can't get a new correct driver's side knuckle. You can only get a used one, and when I reached out to a seller on ebay about one, he reduced the price 20 bucks and replied with some vague answer that felt like a brush off. I'll pass.

Because of all of this I decided I was getting ahead of myself. I haven't even jacked the front end up and given the tires a shake. I don't feel any issues while driving. This was a preventative activity I was going to do while money still had value.

It's yearly filter change time coming up and I will decide if I really need to replace anything after I lube the front end.
 

Jim BB

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Been doing some homework, I don't remember ball joint selection being this involved. Apparently, all reasonably priced ball joints are garbage. The more expensive Mopar's don't appear to be greaseable (I was all the way through the checkout, ready to hit purchase when I noticed that).
If the ball joints you have in there now are splined, you have to go to an oversized ball joint, but how would you know until you press them out if you were not the person that put the last set in? So I can't even order a set until I press the old ones out. Which means instead of a few hours down time, it will probably be a week.

Now, that's not really a "problem" because the truck just sits there most of the time anyway. What is a problem is having to pay $625.00 for a decent set of (EMF) ball joints.

I replaced all of the suspension on my Mazda 3 a few years ago. Now I have some kind of bearing or CV or tranny noise I can't figure out because it doesn't happen until above 15 MPH and everything feels fine when it's just sitting there up on a jack. Is it the tranny, or is it cheap ass parts that failed in less than 5000 miles?

Point being suspension work sucks and I don't want to have to replace the ball joints on this truck EVER again, but I also don't want to pay 625 bucks. The Mopar's were $333, so the EMF's are only 300 ("only 300") more..... and if I look at it like I'm buying two sets of Mopar's but don't actually have to install the second set.....
AARRRGGGHHHH!!!! So damn expensive!
As for your Mazda 3 when you hear the noise is it like a whine and does it go away when you turn the steering wheel left or right when you are driving!? if so it is 99.9% one of the wheel bearings
 

Jim BB

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What I learned doing my homework is I can do a ball joint R&R in 2-3 leisurely hours if I know the answers to these questions before I start.

Do I need oversized ball joints?
Do I have a problem driver's side knuckle?
Are there any wear issues with either existing knuckle that will affect the seating of new ball joints.

Since I don't know the answer to any of those questions before I start, the 2-3 hours turns into who knows how long. 2-3 weeks, possibly more.

I considered just getting new knuckles to eliminate that variable, but of course you can't get a new correct driver's side knuckle. You can only get a used one, and when I reached out to a seller on ebay about one, he reduced the price 20 bucks and replied with some vague answer that felt like a brush off. I'll pass.

Because of all of this I decided I was getting ahead of myself. I haven't even jacked the front end up and given the tires a shake. I don't feel any issues while driving. This was a preventative activity I was going to do while money still had value.

It's yearly filter change time coming up and I will decide if I really need to replace anything after I lube the front end.
and as for Ball joints most likely faster and cheaper to pick up a complete control arms that are serviceable it will have all the bushings and everything just unbolt and re bolt ( R&R) then have a alignment done this way no muss no fuss
 
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Oliver Closehauf

Oliver Closehauf

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@Jim BB The Mazda is not a wheel bearing sound I'm used to. There is no play at the hubs, it does not change with direction. It's a low baritone grrrrrrrrr that that raises in picth the faster you go but doing some parking lot slaloms to try and pinpoint the issue made no difference. Sound doesn't start until about 15 MPH. Thinking it's the inner CV joint or in the tranny. Although the tranny shifts fine.

As far as the ball joints go, Like I said, I have no reason to believe there is anything wrong with what I have, my point was more about doing it quick, versus doing it right. When you have a used truck, you don't know what's there until you disassemble everything, get the right parts, then reassemble and check for binding that is caused by an incorrectly drilled knuckle, or worn tapers. So that's disassemble, order parts, reassemble, possibly reorder parts. Even with a "good used set" I don' t know whats in there so I'm stuck until I press out the old ball joints.
 

crazykid1994

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and as for Ball joints most likely faster and cheaper to pick up a complete control arms that are serviceable it will have all the bushings and everything just unbolt and re bolt ( R&R) then have a alignment done this way no muss no fuss
2500 4wd is solid axle so it’s not just a control arm swap. Unless his truck is 2wd then it’s IFS and could do a full control arm swap. 4wd is more involved given the ball joints go into the axle assembly too not just the steering knuckle
 
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