balljoints - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon

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Old 06-30-2013, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How hard is it to replace the upper and lower ball joints on a 2wd z71? I don't have front coil springs its has torsion bars, do I just put a jackstand under the lower arm and just remove them? I read somtething about unloading torsion bars is this required? I figured since there were no coil springs the control arms would be unloaded?
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have never replaced lowers. But the uppers are relatively simple with a little common sense. You do have to support the spindle assembly. But when you remove the upper you need to visualize what will happen. The bottom of the spindle is sitting on the ball joint right? So when you pull the upper the entire spindle will flop around on the lowerball. So make sure you secure it before you pop the upper. I used a piece of string to tie it in place.

When dealing with the upper, there is a hex (allen key) on the bottom of the stud end to hold the stud from spinning while removing the nut. Once the nut is loosened or removed you use a hammer and hit the spindle housing where the ball joint is pressed at. It's a taper, and when you use the hammer it radiates though the material and virtually slides out. You have to it it with meaning though, no love taps. But don't swing for a home run either.

I hope that makes a bit of sense. Sorry I'm no help for the lowers. I'm not sure if on these trucks you need a ball joint tool or not.

See this video at 1:26 to see what I mean about the spindle rotating on the lower ball. He is using a pickle fork but I don't suggest that. You could, but you risk damaging a boot. However if you are not reusing yours I guess you could. That would apply more to tie rods I suppose.

Here is a way to pop it with the hammer technique I mentioned. This guy actually does a good job with the description of how to do this. Just don't miss and hit something you want to keep. :D
The Easy Best Way to Separate a Ball Joint Tie Rod End How to - YouTube
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks now just a few tips on the lower and i'll be good, I have a front end service kit with all the removers so i wont need a pickle fork.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm going to GUESS that you'll need the ball joint tools to remove them. :D (speaking from utter inexperience)
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have all the ball joint and tie rod pullers and removers and air tools so I should be good, im just gonna out a jack under the lower control arm and remove the tie rod end and take the abs harness loose loosen the ball joints and just take the whole spindle off with the hub attached and just try to change the joints that way if thats possible.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd caution you to try replacing the ball joints with the spindle in place.

Disclaimer: I have never removed a spindle but if you have to touch the ABS sensor you may open yourself up to problems. They are very sensitive. Many people have done stuff to the ABS and created additional problems. Now, if the ABS system doesn't get affected by the spindle removal you can probably proceed.

It's probably best to wait for the experienced folks to chime in on this one though.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You can unplug the wheel sensors,just follow the ABS wire up from the wheel and you'll find the plug.

I would support the vehicle by the frame not the LCA.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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of course i was gonna throw it up on jackstands under the frame rails and just take off the abs plug harness like i did when i replaced both hubs and that way after the tie rods are off and i loosen the ball joints, i was gonna take the whole spindle off and do the ball joints, i've done this years ago on my s10 but on that one i jacked up the control arm on the lower because it had a big coil spring on it, the truck has no coil springs so once i got it up on the jackstands there should be much pressure on them control arms they're not like loaded with any weight at that point.
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