3rd Gen Ram Tech2002-2008 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 2002 through 2008 Rams Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
After a winter of plowing and salting on the wonderful Michigan roads, I think that the ball joints are going on my 2001 Ram 2500 4X4. The tires are showing abnormal wear - inside tread, and there is a clunk, which seems to be coming from the front, left side, when hitting bumps.
I replaced the right hub-bearing assembly, last fall. Though, both bearings may be failing. I will check these when checking the ball joints, which brings me to my question:
What is the procedure for checking the ball joints? I was told that it is different than on cars, but was not told how.
Also, (unrelated question) would welding some 1/4" steel plate to the bottom of the suspension arms help with reducing the death wobble or basic suspension "slop"?
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I installed a BD diesle Sterring Box Stabalizer last fall, amazing the difference in the steering.
It now tracks straight down the road, the ruts in the roads don't through me around any more. A whole lot less steering input is need to say centered in my lane.
However that is not the solution for worn steering or driveline components. I had a death wobble last week, when I looked the frontend over I found a bad Front Axle u-joint. Replaced it and seems to have bben the problem.
I got the truck's front end off of the ground and the right stabilizer link is bad. Also, since nobody responded with the "proper" method of how to check the ball joints, I did what made sense and used a spud bar, wedged between the steering knuckle and the U-Joint to check for play. The Left side was solid, but there was a lot of play (c. 5/16")in the right side. I am not sure how to determine which, or if both, ball joints are bad. I will replace both on GP.
This is not my personal vehicle. It belongs to the company that I work for, but one of my jobs is maintaining the vehicles. This includes oil changes, bearing hub replacement, tune ups, power steering pumps and gear replacement, etc. This is the first ball joint issue.
I know that there is an add-on bracket available for the pitman arm shaft, but it is not in the current budget. That is why I was asking about welding some plate to the bottom of the suspension arms. The stamped steel, as opposed to forged or cast, construction causes a lot of flexing. Any thoughts?
dirtydog ---> Thank you for correcting the thread title.
Generally to check the BJ's, you jack up the front so the tire is 4-5" off the ground. Stick a bar underneath the center of the tire and lift up on the bar. The bar needs to be long enough so you have leverage to lift up with enough pressure. If you can feel a pop in your hand then it should be replaced.