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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Brakes, Suspension, Wheels and Tires > Suspension

Suspension Suspension

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  #1  
Old 03-11-2010, 11:15 AM
clari716 clari716 is offline
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Replacing lower ball joints need help

My husband recently took the envoy in to get a front wheel alignment and the mechanic said that we need new wheel bearings hubs and soon the lower ball joints. My question is there are so many ball joints for sale what should I get, it looks like there are some with just the ball joint, some seem to have bolts, others have some sort of o rings. Please help I need to get them ordered soon. Will it be easier to replace the ball joints at the same time we do the hubs? We have 2wd will it be easier or the same to replace than a 4wd? Should we replace the uppers and lowers at the same time, or can we just replace the lowers now and the uppers later?
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2010, 11:49 AM
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the roadie the roadie is offline
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Is this a DIY project? Have you done ball joints before? Have you read the other threads on the subject - the tales of difficult extractions and borrowed tool challenges are pretty much a deterrent if you've only done bearings, breaks and tie rod ends and easier stuff before.

Are you sure the shop wasn't looking for more work?

Do you have the classic noise of wheel bearings? Steering looseness or tire wiggling that comes from ball joints? How sure are you of the diagnosis?
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2010, 11:55 AM
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Like roadie says, are you guys sure they ar bad?

being an 03 I would say at least one ball joint could be bad. Like most here have done, I would do all 4 at the same time. No sense in doing one and a few months later needing another one.

If you get the 23 piece kit everyone is talking about it should go by pretty smooth. after the first one it'll get easier. However, I got mine done with a simple OTC 6 piece kit at work. I would set aside at least 2 days to get it done.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:30 PM
clari716 clari716 is offline
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Yes, i have read the postings. He has worked on his cars before doing brakes, rotors, oil changes, ect. Yes, the car is pretty loud, sounds like a train when we are driving. We just got our tires changed and there is still that sound, almost like a loud rubbing or something. We have not tried to move the tire though but we were pretty sure it needs new wheel bearings.
either way since he is changing that he thought he might as well change the ball joints since at this point it has 160K miles on it. Can you tell we do alot of driving.
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2010, 01:08 PM
blue 02 blue 02 is offline
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The lower ball joints are pressed in so they will not have bolts. The factory ball joints have a lip around the top that gets pressed over to secure them, Moog joints for example have a snap ring that secures them( this is my personal choice FWIW). The wheel bearings are pretty easy if you can change the breaks and rotors you can do this. Like it's been said the ball joints are a bit more challenging and having a good ball joint press on hand is a must. You have taken the right first step reading the how to's on this site they are very good, and after looking at them you think you're up to it give it a go and good luck with it
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:24 PM
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Do you also have that annoying squeek/creaking noise every time you hit the brakes? At 160K miles your lower control arm bushings are probably close to being shot too. You might look into getting the entire lower control arm that includes new bushings as well as the replacement balljoints already pressed in ($159 each from rockauto). At that point all you're looking at doing is bolting on a brand new lower control arm and pressing out/in new upper ball joints (between $35-$75 from rockauto). I haven't done the wheel bearings so I'm not sure how involved that is. My experience is that the replacing the lowers was too hard for me. I just couldn't get the old ball joints out no matter what kit I used. If I had to do it all over again I would have replaced the entire control arm with new bushings too. About 2 months ago I replaced the lower ball joints at a local shop and thought I was good to go. Now I have that annoying squeek/creaking noise coming from the lower control arm bushings which I will have to also replace. I could have saved a couple hundred bucks by doing all that work myself with the new entire lower control arm with the ball joints already pressed in. I also would have saved some money by not buying the balljoint press kits that didnt end up working for me. Also you will need an alignment after replacing your lower control arm.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:27 PM
clari716 clari716 is offline
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has anyone ever had luck with cheaper ball joints other than MOOG? if so, what kinds
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2010, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clari716 View Post
has anyone ever had luck with cheaper ball joints other than MOOG? if so, what kinds
I used Duralast balljoints from AutoZone cause I got the hookup thru my job. They have been fine. Lifetime warranty too I think.

The lowers are pressed and use a nut to hold them in place. The uppers are pressed in but have a slip fit stud that uses a nut and bolt to pinch it in place. Just make sure to get 2 uppers or 2 lowere depending on which ones you wanna change.


As for the bearings it sounds like you are right about them. If the noise is like a hum then it's them.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clari716 View Post
My question is there are so many ball joints for sale what should I get, it looks like there are some with just the ball joint, some seem to have bolts, others have some sort of o rings.
Alot of the time it's just a generic picture of a ball joint.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2010, 12:51 AM
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mubai mubai is offline
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I did my upper and lower ball joints. 2 day job, very frustrating. The uppers are much harder cause the steering knuckle swings all over the place. With that said, I bought an impact wrench and a compressor a couple months later and pressed out my drive shaft u-joints. It was a piece of cake. Point is impact wrench will help you immensely. It's my new best friend in the garage. I would never attempt this in the future without an impact wrench and the 23 piece loaner press kit from advance auto.
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