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ball joint or tie-rod end?

03-07-2010, 04:53 PM
Hi all,

97 dodge dakota RWD with some play in the suspension. A couple people have told me it's the driver's side lower ball joint. Then someone else told me that ball joint is fine, but the tie-rod end is bad. All ball joints (upper and lower) replaced roughly 25k miles/3 years ago. Truck currently has just over 100k miles on it.

Is there any simple way to tell for myself which is the culprit? I've never dabbled with suspension parts before.


03-07-2010, 10:39 PM
Jack one side up at a time putting the jack under the lower control arm and try moving the tire and see whats loose. Grab at 12 and 6 and 9 and 3 and try moving the tire and look and see whats moving.

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