I need help from the mechanics here ... ball joints

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by brentl, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    1991 Pontiac 600LE 3.1.

    My ball joints are shot.

    Can I replace them myself??
    Are Moog parts better than OEM?? They are a little cheaper!
    Ever heard of "half ball joints" ?? Literally half a ball joint.
    Are they safe.

    I'm only keeping the car for another year and the "half" ball joint are covered for a year.

    Last thing, My wheel bearing on the right side is also shot, Expensive?? and can I do it??

    Thank you

    Brent

    I have gone as far as replacing a clutch in a Civic, so I have some mechanical aptitude .
     
  2. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I can't speak specifically regarding the 6000LE, but the vast majority of ball joints are pressed into the control arms. As such, unless you have a hydraulic press, and a selection of fittings to go with, forget doing it yourself.

    However, you can do most of the work yourself. Take the control arms off, and take them to a place to have the ball joints pressed in. That should save some labor cost.

    Moog stuff is generally top notch. For suspension, it's the only thing I'll put in my Z28 (with a few exceptions, of course).

    Wheel bearing shouldn't be too hard. Get a Haynes manual.

    The bigger question is- how do you KNOW these things are shot?

    Todd
     
  3. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    The ball joints are very likely riveted in. The rivets can be cut, drilled or (even funner) torched out. I wouldn't recommend replaceing them yourself unless your confident you can do it and have some pretty good mechanical abilities. (koodos on getting through a honda clutch job!)

    Is the wheel bearing on the front? If so it can usually be replaced two ways. First the bearing it self can be replaced. This would require the removal of the hub assembly and using a hydraulic press to remove/install the new bearing and then reinstalling the hub. The bearing can be cut/beat out and beat back in but I wouldn't suggest it (the hub & bearing are easily damaged). If you get the hub off, it should be a minimal cost to have a local shop do the pressing for you (and at $30-$75 for the bearing it's worth the piece of mind).

    The other way is to buy the whole hub assembly. It usually runs about twice the cost of the bearings but the bearings are already pressed in( and if the bearing has a lot of play this may be the only option due to the damage of the hub)

    Rear bearings are similar to the front (pressed into the hub) but don't involve the axle shaft and are easiest to replace as a whole hub assembly.

    Also remember that an alignment should also be done after fooling on the suspension.

    I'll second Todd on getting some info before starting. There's nothing like getting half way into a job and have to have it towed to a shop to finish. (We used to charge those people extra[​IMG] )

    Good luck,
    Bill
     
  4. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Sorry to hijack your thread Brent, but your questions reminded me of a problem I'm having with my car, 1996 Pontiac Grand Am GT. I think it may be one of the types of bearings you speak of Brent, so maybe you can help diagnose the problem. And here it is:

    Whenever my car gets wet, whether it be from rain or a car wash, my front right wheel area of my car makes a loud CLANK when I hit a bump and sometimes when I turn left. But this only happens when my car gets wet. I never hear anything otherwise.

    I did have my control arms replaced on my car about a year ago because the one on the front right was worn and making clanks. I think the dealer told me I had a hub bearing going out, but I could not afford any more than the $500 or so they charged me. Could that be it?

    So Brent, does your car have any similar problems?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    The front wheel bearing on your car is only available as a hub/bearing set. It is a sealed hub/bearing. They are inseparable. You need a BCA part # 513016K and it will run you about $100 and is easy to change.

    If you have a way to blast the rivets off the old lower ball joints. The MOOG replacement part # K5263 ($17-$22) bolts right on, very easy.

    Minimal difficulty

    I'll second the alignment after you are finished.

    I can fax you a step by step if needed
     
  6. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Wow, I've been here forever but I'm always amazed with the knowledge the forum.

    Nope, no clunking when wet.

    Ok so I should pay to get the ball joints done... 2-3 hours labor right?

    The big question now is the wheel bearing. I figured it was a hub/bearing assembly as one. I have an old Tempest book, and I think these cars are quite similar.

    Is it as simple as taking the rotor off, use a 55torx to take off the hub/bearing assembly and replace??

    Should I replace the boot in behind(dust boot)?

    For the money, should I get my local mechanic(ex GM) to do the work ?? He charges $30 an hour.

    I was looking at getting the front struts replaced at the same time, I guess that's a good thing right?

    Would I notice a cost savings by getting all of this done at the same time??

    Thanks guys

    Brent
     
  7. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    The hub/bearing assy pays 1.0 hrs per side
    The ball joints 2.5 for both

    so 3 1/2 hrs at a $30/hr labor rate is a steal. I charge $73/hr.

    It may be worth it if you do not own tools such as 32-36mm impact sockets, air hammer, slide hammer(possible) etc.
     
  8. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Awesome Zen

    Thanks

    Brent
    P.s. any idea on the Boot that goes behind the hub/bearing assembly, should it be replaced?? Is it usually replaced??

    Thats all [​IMG]
     
  9. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Are you referring to the cv axle outer boot?
    if so, is it torn? if yes, change it.
     
  10. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Sorry no, I mean the little round dust shield that hides behind the hub/bearing assembly and stays when the assembly is removed.

    Brent

    Last thing I need is the CVs going[​IMG]

    I guess I can't really complain so far. I've only put about $400 into this car in 18 months. I*f it runs me another $1000 to get me through the next 15-16 months that's cool.

    It's still cheaper than a car payment[​IMG]
     

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