'98 Jimmy 4WD- Ball Joint Frustration!

01-14-2012, 08:26 PM
Why can't I find any upper ball joints that will actually fit down through the opening in the upper control arm??!!

Am I supposed to get a BFH, a press, or grind out the opening, or spend mucho $ on Moogs? I don't have the money to waste, but I'm running out of patience going back and forth to the parts stores when none seem to fit. Anybody experience this?


01-14-2012, 09:28 PM
I'm not sure what the problem is, i've always used Delco or Moog and never had a problem like that.

01-14-2012, 10:13 PM
I have had that problem. I just put the steel cover on the bottom of the a-arm frame and it seems to be fine. No way was it close to fitting through the hole any other way.

01-15-2012, 06:27 PM
Thanks gmtech1 and FishFind!

I got it figured out.

I never would have thought that the steel sleeve mounted under the control arm leaving a gap for leakage. But after seeing an instruction sheet provided with Moog ball joints I see that's exactly the way they are designed.

The drawings in the GMC service manual show the ball joints just popping in from the top and since there are no instructions included with the cheaper parts, I assumed the whole assembly was meant to just drop through. Even in JoshBarber's great post, "BALL JOINT REPLACEMENT HOW TO (w/ pix)", he said the Valucraft and Duralast brands were too big and he had to file the hole in his control arm.

Well, I looked at the Valucraft and the Duralast, and the Moogs. All of their steel sleeves are too big to pass through the opening and according to Moog, they are meant to mount below the upper CA with the mount of the ball-joint mounted above the CA; basically "sandwiching" the control arm, like FishFind said. The Duralast seem to be a much better ball joint than the Valucraft brand. The seals looked heavier as well as their overall construction. The Duralast also have a LMT lifetime warranty. Both are available at Autozone. I used Driveworks brand DW-K5320 from Advance auto parts. They looked exactly like the Duralast to me, but were $10 cheaper.

While I was at Autozone, I picked up their Duralast/Sway Bar Repair Kits for $7.99 each. The pins are beefier than stock and replacing them at the same time as the ball joints was an easy repair.

Does anyone know where to find a drawing of the zerk locations for lube points? All the links I found don't work.

Thanks again, guys, for your help.


01-15-2012, 06:58 PM
Zerks on the upper and lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, pitman arm and idler arm. The Idler may have two, one at the center link and one at the pivot point.

The u-joints may also have zerks, but you will need a needle adapter for the grease gun to lube them.

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