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Ball joints, what were they thinking.

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Old 08-17-2018, 11:35 PM
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Default Ball joints, what were they thinking.

I just replaced the ball joints on my 98 Dakota, the factory ones were riveted in on the top one and the bottom one had a lip on it to keep it from pressing out. An air hammer and grinder made short work of it, but seriously what was Chrysler thinking when they designed this, it would be a pain to do for someone that didn't have air tools.
 
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:33 AM
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Yep. Its all about fast assembly. they could care less about the guy repairing it. Its not just fca...that how they all did it back then. My 84 fiero had the lower bj tack welded in 3 places.
 
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:57 AM
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The Jeeps aren't like that, I have worked on several 90s model Jeep Cherokees and Wranglers. The Rams aren't either nor are the Fords and Chevy's I have worked on, this Dakota is the first I have seen like that.
 
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:52 AM
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chevy does it...just have to go back far enough...old blazers, vans. Won't see it on anything new.
 
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:41 AM
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Yeah, the S-trucks, and everything that used the same platform (L and M vans, for instance....) had riveted top and bottom ball joints. Replacements were bolt-in.
 
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:07 AM
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torching the rivets out is a quick and easy option...cutting from the side that the ball joint frame is on protects the control arm from any heat.
 
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:33 AM
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Grinder and air hammer was quick and easy also.
 
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 00t444e View Post
Grinder and air hammer was quick and easy also.
I would just drill the heads a bit, then knock them off with the air chisel. Sometimes, I wouldn't bother drilling...... Sharp chisel bit works good too.
 
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:55 PM
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I just completed this task too (plus a set of shocks) on my 98 Dakota. Getting the "rhythm" going to get those rivets out was daunting! Took me 10 hours on the first side, and 5-6 hours on the other (start to finish). I just used cheap Harbor freight air cutoff tool and air hammer, then drilled the rivets hollow, and drove them out. The uppers were much easier, no drilling required. Lots of grinding, chiseling and drilling...oh and banging. My neighbors must love me! (As I sit here stiff and sore
 
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by restlessswind View Post
I just completed this task too (plus a set of shocks) on my 98 Dakota. Getting the "rhythm" going to get those rivets out was daunting! Took me 10 hours on the first side, and 5-6 hours on the other (start to finish). I just used cheap Harbor freight air cutoff tool and air hammer, then drilled the rivets hollow, and drove them out. The uppers were much easier, no drilling required. Lots of grinding, chiseling and drilling...oh and banging. My neighbors must love me! (As I sit here stiff and sore
Good grief that sucks, it took me less than 5 minutes.
 
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