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2nd Gen Dakota 1997 - 2004 Dakota's

question regarding front end checks; upper ball joint

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Old 04-16-2013, 12:32 PM
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Default question regarding front end checks; upper ball joint

well hello, after searching around the internet and this forum for answers, I ended up with more questions than answers.

1. I need to replace outer tie rods both driver and passenger.
A. should I also replace both inner sides as well?
2. both lower ball joints need to be replaced,
A. I know I should do upper also but didn't find alot of info.
3. aside from those two issues how can I tell what else needs fixing?\
A. IE suspension, struts etc.......

Also can the flat plate where the the ball joints are bolted in, one is bolt at the front seems to have been cut/ melted (assuming the used a torch)
A. is that a hug problem?


Id like to do all this work myself, failrly confident that I can just from what I've read and watched on youtube. Everything is straight forward, I have some know how not alot though.

my truck is a 97 DDAkota 2wd 136k

Look forward to hearing what others have to say. Also any issues I may encounter upoun doing this my self.

edit: Looking for parts online and I guess Im going to use Moog as it seems they are "better" not sure but I don't like putting parts that may not hold up while I'm an occupant of a vehicle.
So just in looking I'm not sure if I need to buy the entire Assembly for the tie rod or just the Rod itself ( some come with hardware and others do not, price difference is is about half) like every one else in Emerica right now, im feeling the stupidity of Obama. Therefore If I can reuse hardware Id rather do that.
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Last edited by sdorsey.shh11206; 04-16-2013 at 12:49 PM..
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:47 PM
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http://dodgeforum.com/forum/2nd-gen-dakota/231427-2-wheel-drive-lower-ball-joints-how-to-w-pics.html

This has info on lower and upper ball joints and other good info
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:09 PM
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great post, I actually bookmarked it prior to posting this thread, although I did not see in there anything about upper ball joint, is it the same procedure? I can't imagine its much different but I'm not clear on what I need to do in order to remove it, ex. is there something attached to it that has to be taken off first, forgive my ignorance but I'm no engineer.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:15 PM
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I did this write up a month or so ago on the uppers. Any questions let me know

http://dodgeforum.com/forum/2nd-gen-...ta-cc-4wd.html
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:16 PM
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i saw the link and bassiclly same deal but Is there something i need to remove first aside from the rivets or is it just drilling out rivets and sliding the ball joint plate out and the new one in?
I also saw about greasing, wasn't to sure on this can chime in on it?....
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:19 PM
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It goes through step by step from start to finish on what you need to remove to do the upper BJs. Nothing else
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:21 PM
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thanks DDcc4x4 good stuff. I guess I need to research more on the pins and greasing other than that it looks like I'm in for a whole day to do the ball joints.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:24 PM
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The new Moog ball joints come with a "zerk fitting" (see the pictures) and once done you can pump in a little extra grease. These are designed to be serviceable so you can pump a little fresh grease every now and then to help them live longer
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:24 PM
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If you have any questions, just ask.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:35 PM
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By the way one day try two or three if doing everything
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:49 PM
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chill out there homeboy. I looked at all the pages and read most of everything, my computers not the best in the world, sometimes I cant view links. I watched the same video, Im just not 100% comfortable dismantling everything. since i dont have rivets on the lowers it should be easier to do. I still want to further my understanding of all the peice involved in it, everything is mentioned but i my self and still a little foggy on a few things; due to my inability to view all links. you have to realize this is my only means of transportation, Argo I don't want to get into it and realize and or find I'm not equipped with the tools/ parts to complete the job. Additionally I cannot afford to miss a step( greasing something) and have to turn around and do it again in a matter of months. I've still got a good ways left in school, this job needs to be done right.
That's all. Nothing personal, as stated I have some know how but not a lot.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:52 PM
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As for time, summer break is around the corner, I should be able to handle ball joints and tie rods. Again with the right tools and parts.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:16 PM
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If this is your first time two or three days unless you have a friend or two.

It will be easier being the bottom rivet's are gone already they are the hardest to do of everything.

You will need an alignment after everything

First time is always the hardest the new ball joints should be lubed but always inject more to be sure.

How are the control arm bushings if doing all this you should be sure they are not needed.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:18 PM
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Ok i looked at everything. both upper and lower ball joints have already been replaced, so they are just bolts. Thank Jesus, but my question still remains about the tie rods.... any one able to chime in?
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:19 PM
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Just start early one morning and you can probably finish in a day. Once you get one side done then the other side you will know what and what not to do.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:19 PM
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Ill have to go locate them and look Im not sure what determines condition but most rubber stuff down there looks gnarly.... let me look them up and I'll get back to you.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:23 PM
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If need be, then just do the uppers for now until you have more time. The tie rods wont take long at all. On the tie rods, if the whole threaded part on the knuckle side starts to turn in the socket, then use a 10mm wrench to hold it while you loosen it
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:27 PM
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this is what I was saying, ending up with more questions than answers. SMH
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:33 PM
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Can I check the bushing by kicking my tire I realize this is a truck so it may not do much, but Im not sure of how to check the FCAB
About the tie rods, which end goes bad, the guys at the shop said "outer" but If t just makes sense to do them all at the same time might as well. I'm going to either buy the tool or rent it for the upper/inner tie rod since I'm sure that one day I'll be doing this job on my vehicle or one of my sisters cars.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:33 PM
 
 
 
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