4th Gen Engine and Drivetrain-2010 and Up 6.7 liter Engine and Drivetrain discussion only. PLEASE, NO HIGH PERFORMANCE DISCUSSION!

Ball joints... again....

Old 03-18-2019, 07:10 AM
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Ball joints... again....

It seems like I'm replacing ball joints at an unreasonable rate. I don't do them myself but have a reputable local shop install them. Moog lifetime units. Went to get an inspection sticker (different shop, does European stuff, been taking my cars there for 20 years so I know the owners and techs well so they will sticker my truck) and I need left upper and lower and right upper. The tech asked me "Didn't you just do them?" because it seems like every time they check it, at least one of the joints needs replacing. I haven't called the other shop to make an appointment and I know they will warranty the parts so I pay only for labor. But shouldn't I get longer life? The truck has 103k on it, I don't mud or pull or abuse it. I do carry a slide in truck camper usually at least a couple thousand miles a year. Seems like I should get better longevity shouldn't I?
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:21 AM
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208K on my factory 12 on everything and no sign of anything
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:49 AM
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Went thru my receipts last night. The only two I found related to ball joints was RF upper and lower in December 2015 and a LF upper last February. So I guess 4+ years on the replacements itsn't as bad as I thought. But perhaps the left lower should have been replaced last year and the ensuing play took out the upper?
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:22 AM
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What wheels do you have? Aftermarket wheels with a wide offset will kill front end parts.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:04 AM
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Stock wheels and tires!
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:29 PM
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You might find that the acceptable specs from Chrysler/Mopar is different than what a shop might have for reference.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:52 AM
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That could be true. However, I was in the truck when the techs jacked the front and put a pry bar under the tire. I could hear the clunk as it moved.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:52 AM
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I know what youíre describing. I had a brand new 07 that needed a commercial inspection. The shop did the same test and failed all four ball joints in a brand new truck right off the lot. I went back to the dealership and they checked the front end and all was within spec according to Chrysler. We even pulled another truck off the lot to compare.

Iím not saying there isnít anything wrong with the ball joints in question on your truck. Just passing on some info from what I experienced. The shop had me over a barrel. If I didnít replace the ball joints, I couldnít get an approved commercial inspection.

I asked for Mopar ball joints and they said no. Ended up with Moog and I went to a different shop for my annual inspections after that.


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Old 03-22-2019, 09:48 AM
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Get some Dynatrac's and be done. Lots of labor as you know.
My passenger side lower failed on mine @ 70K
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:00 PM
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This will be the first time all 4 are replaced at the same time. The OE set lasted somewhat over 4 years and likely around 50k before I had to replace the rights. Its 3.5 years later and the upper is now weak. I have no indication that the left lower has been replaced yet but the upper was done a year ago so the lower could be OE and perhaps its giving up finally took out the new upper? At least this time I'll know I'm starting from 0 again. I'll let you all know when they show wear again.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:07 PM
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Scotty has the right idea. Ball joints have a wear spec, and just because they show some movement does not mean they are "worn out". A brand new truck can and will show some movement in the ball joints. Find out in the factory service manual what is allowable for axial and radial movement, and make a copy of it. Have the inspection shop measure the axial and radial movement with a dial indicator, and see if it is within what the manufacturer says is allowable. Some ball joints can be allowed like 1/8" of movement.
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by torquefan View Post
Find out in the factory service manual what is allowable for axial and radial movement, and make a copy of it. Have the inspection shop measure the axial and radial movement with a dial indicator
But be careful, mechanical dial indicators can be made to lie if its operator wants it to......Ben
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