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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If you have a ball joint that has play in it, it pops, has play, or the grease-filled boot on it is leaking grease it's time to replace it. Your choices for replacement parts are all aftermarket and range anywhere from $30-40 per joint. I got a kit from EPI with the upper and lower for $65. I was pulling the axle to replace the axle seal in the front differential when I noticed my ball joints have issues. One of them was leaking grease so I decided to replace both the upper and lower joints while it's torn apart. I didn't decide to do a "how to" until I had it torn apart, so the disassembling process isn't photoed but if you have questions feel free to ask.


First - You'll want to jack up the bike making sure it's stable and the rear tires are blocked with the parking brake set. Then you can remove the applicable tire(s). I was working on the front left or drivers side of the bike.

Second - Remove the brake caliper, to do this you remove the two bolts on the inside of the caliper that bolts them to the steering knuckle. Once you get this unbolted slide it off the brake rotor. What I then did was ziptie it so it wasn't hanging and putting stress on the brake line also putting it out of the way.

Third - remove the brake rotor from the knuckle. it's bolted to the axle by one large bolt with a safety pin. You'll have to pull the dust cap to get to the bolt. Then it slides right off, mine took some minor prying with a prybar.

Fourth - remove outer tie rod bolt that connects the tie rod to the knuckle and move the tie rod out of the way keeping the inner connection intact to the steering column.

Fifth - remove the shock/spring assembly from the upper a-arm. one bolt.. You can keep the upper portion of the assembly bolted to the frame. Once you unbolt it, lift the shock up pointing it outward to get it out or the way.

Sixth - remove the upper and lower a-arm/ball joint bolts and safety pins that bolt the a-arm to the ball joint. This is the point where it can get tough... I was unable to separate the ball joints from the upper and lower a-arms at first. I tried prying, tapping with a mallet, they would not budge at all. I ended up going to autozone and renting their ball joint separator tool, which looks like a big U with a handle on the end. You hammer that between the joint and a-arm and it came loose for me. (Caution, the tool can tear your boots, so if they are not already leaking and you're removing the a-arm for an axle swap or something else be careful not to tear the boot). Once these two are broke loose you can remove the knuckle.

Seventh - Now that you have the knuckle off you'll need a set of circlip pliers to remove the retainers that hold the ball joints in the knuckle.

Once you have removed the clips you can tap the joints out (from the inside out)

Eighth - reinstall the new ball joints. They are tough to get back into the knuckle, i just tapped them with a rubber mallet back into place. Make sure you get them in far enough to get the new retainer ring back in to hold them in place. Then you can reinstll the circlips.

Here is what comes with the kit - Two new joints, new retainer rings, and new safety pins (good for me I broke one of the old safety pins). You reuse the old nuts. I worked on it inside a little being that it's 97degrees here with 70% humidity the day i did it.....






And here is the new EPI joints installed



















Just a little FYI, you can see from the picture above and the one below that the new ball joint appears to sit a tad different from the original on the a-arm. This is normal.



After all this is complete you can then reinstall everything you took off, I see no reason to go into much detail for this, not many tricks just reverse the above process. I did it in this order...

1. Install and bolt down, torque (to spec per your manual) the joints to the a-arms. And install safety pin.

2. Install tie rod, torque (to spec per manual)

3. Install shock/spring assembly to the upper a-arm torque (to spec per manual)

4. Install rotor, add grease to bearings to the knuckle hub bearings before doing so. Torque (to spec per manual) install safety clip and dust cap.

5. install brake caliper, (prior to doing so, now would be a good time to inspect the brake pads). Torque to spec.

6. Double check everything is tight.

7. Install wheel/tire, lower bike test ride!:rockn:

I'll be doing a writeup on replacing the front diff axle seal shorty.
 

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excellente.
thanks for the contribution!
 

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Nice write up!!

You must be single.......no ball joints or spindles allowed on the kitchen table for me...lol
 

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i think he wears the pants :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice write up!!

You must be single.......no ball joints or spindles allowed on the kitchen table for me...lol
i think he wears the pants :D

:haha: She's was at a friends house in the pool or something. When it's just me and the dogs in the house, I'm the boss! Most of the time :sly: She honestly never cares what I do around here.. :bigok:
 

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Very good write up Texan, you rock.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm happy y'all are still getting some use out of this!! Makes it worth making the post.
 

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Hi, in new here, and am in need of a lower ball joint for my 07 brute 750i. Can anybody on here point me in the right direction on where, and what brand to buy ball joints from?, greatly appreciate the responses!
 

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Thanks TEXAN AVIATOR
I installed a new upper and its was sitting higher up to and didn't know if that was normal :)

Thanks for the pic
 
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