Replacing Ball Joints - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 06-20-2006, 01:00 PM   #1
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Default Replacing Ball Joints

I'm having suspension/steering issues which could relate to the ball joints. I want to replace them for piece of mind too. I'm pretty sure I can tackle them myself and would like some instructions from those that have done them (as well as ballpark price range for the ball joints and anything else relevant). Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2006, 01:43 PM   #2
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Jack it up..

Grind/drill out the factory rivets, undo the nut and cotter pin on top of the joint where it mates to the spindle. replace and bolt new one in.
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Old 06-20-2006, 02:49 PM   #3
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Sounds straight forward. Should I go OEM or get some at a parts store?
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Old 06-20-2006, 02:58 PM   #4
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I'd think parts store.

It'* not as easy as it sounds...But then..what is?
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:10 PM   #5
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The drilling does sound like a PITA! I'd rather not stress over repairing things myself, but if I get it done and save money it'll all be worth it.

Master cylinders are easier than they sound
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:22 PM   #6
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What size drill bit do I need to drill the rivets out so as not to screw up the control arm?

I'll need an alignment afterwards right?
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnie94ssei
What size drill bit do I need to drill the rivets out so as not to screw up the control arm?

I'll need an alignment afterwards right?
Oh Pete.....

I did the ball joints on my 95 SE.... I broke 2 drill bits and almost burned up a drill.... Oh killed a grinding disc too.... Those rivets were meant to be there for a lifetime... But I got them out and replaced the ball joint with TRW joints... A massive PITA if you ask me( but then I'd do it all over again if one of the bonnies needed Ball joints )

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Old 06-20-2006, 04:00 PM   #8
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I replaced the ball joints on my car, took the control arms up to a shop and had the old ones taken off the arm. He used a torch to heat it up and then used an air chisel to pop the rivets out. They're probably hardened steel, hence next to impossible to drill. If I had to do it over again I would just see if I could get a whole new control arm with the ball joint riveted to it like factory.
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Old 06-20-2006, 04:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98SSE
I replaced the ball joints on my car, took the control arms up to a shop and had the old ones taken off the arm. He used a torch to heat it up and then used an air chisel to pop the rivets out. They're probably hardened steel, hence next to impossible to drill. If I had to do it over again I would just see if I could get a whole new control arm with the ball joint riveted to it like factory.
I actually thought about that.... Take the arms off... Go to friends house... Lite the torch... Heat rivets.... Grabb the air chisel.... Got to town...lol

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Old 06-20-2006, 04:08 PM   #10
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This isn't sounding fun, and I don't have an air chisel.
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