How much noise do balljoints make when they need to be replaced?

12-17-2005, 02:41 PM
(97 Dakota Sport V6 3.9L) I've heard the horror stories of balljoints breaking in these trucks. Supposedly there is no recall on these because they say you can hear for a long time that they need to be replaced before there is a safety concern. Now I've got one with 312,000 kms with no history. After reviewing many pictures, I suddenly have no faith in my truck, and don't want my family riding in it. I took it in for an inspection at Canadiantire, they said that they all should be replaced, along with the tierod ends. Someone else said that the machanics that end up at Crappytire are half rate, couldn't get a job at a reputable machanic shop and that's why they end up working there. Does anyone know if they work for commision? And can you really hear the popping noise when they need to be replaced?

12-17-2005, 02:57 PM
Canadian tire mechanics are licensed and are not that bad at all.
They do make a comission on parts, but its not a big part of their regular salary, especially for a ball joint job, where the cost of the part is a relatively small portion of the overall job cost.

Don't rely on ball joint noise. They can often be quiet and still let go. IMO given the high mileage get the work done.
It would be wise to go elsewhere for a second opinion. Also, have the shop actually show you the looseness in the joints and decide for yourself. If there is about 1/16 inch in vertical movement on the lower joints, replace them.

12-18-2005, 12:24 AM
Thanks man!

12-18-2005, 08:53 PM
i agree with MagicRat never hurts to have a second opinion

12-20-2005, 09:26 PM
Are you sure there is no recall?? I thought there was. Check with Dodge they might cut you a deal.

12-24-2005, 10:12 PM
Worth the effort at least!

01-06-2006, 08:01 PM
hey inathalon1xlr8 give me the last 9 of the vin and i can check for any outstanding recalls i have access to daimler site

01-08-2006, 02:04 AM
Thanks. Numbers are 7VS140777. Hey, I really appreciate this.

01-08-2006, 09:17 AM
The upper ball joint recall is for 2000-2003 4X4 Dakotas and Durangos.
BUT DC has a secret recall on the 2000-2003 2wd Dakotas, if the upper ball joints are making a popping sound they will replace them!!

01-09-2006, 09:39 AM
Darn, mine is a 97 2wd. I really can't hear any suspention noises at all. Popping, creaking or otherwise.

03-27-2006, 08:14 AM
Sound depends. They may soudn like somebody knocking on your car, or that can sound like your frame rails hitting the pavement.

03-27-2006, 10:50 PM
The Way I Check For Ball Joint Wear:
Place A Floorjack Under The Lower Control Arm, Raise The Wheel/Tire Off The Ground
Use A Prybar/Long Pipe/2X4 To Lift Up The Tire, If It Moves More Than 1/16th
They Need Replaced,My Driver's Side Had An 1" Of Play When I Bought It!

04-04-2006, 01:40 PM
yes, as stated there was a recall, but maybe not your year.

i test by jacking up my truck and grabbing the top and bottom of the tire. rock the tire in and out (push in at top while pulling at bottom, then go the other way)...if there is play, replace ball joints.

Jon Teeter
04-09-2006, 06:35 PM
Yeah dont wait for noise.Like the other guys said its pretty simple to check by jacking up the truck and seeing if there is any play.Also dont think a ball joint cant go bad in a years time if you just take the word of whoever inspects it.Anytime you have the front end jacked up take a couple seconds and check for play.

04-28-2006, 01:53 PM
The dealership will replace them free of charge for a recall. My tires went down to the cord in a day. (after 4 wheeln) Which knocked it loose. Look here

08-08-2008, 04:18 PM
My daugther has a 2003 4x4 dakota but dodge says that her truck does not fall under the recall but yet she has a popping sound when she is turning. Any advise as to how she can get dodge to fix this? Her last 8 vin digits are 3s346690.

Thanks in advance.


08-08-2008, 06:59 PM
yes ther might be some racket..does your steering feel sloppy when turning,is ther a banging when hitting bumps

08-09-2008, 09:47 AM
Welcome to AF.

Get the ball joints inspected by a mechanic immediately.Sometimes popping noises on turning are related to other components, like CV joints.

Therefore, you cannot diagnose a bad joint by the noise it makes. A mechanic can easily check the play they have using a floor jack, which is the only accurate way.

. However, if the ball joints are popping, IMO the truck is absolutely unsafe to drive and must be fixed immediately. Ball joints have to get badly worn to start getting noisy. If they get too bad the joint breaks in two, allowing the wheel and brake assembly to come loose from the car. This is relatively rare failure, but is obviously catastrophic.

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