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Home >  Video > How To Remove a Lower Ball Joint on a 1997-2004 Chevy S10 Truck, Chevy S10 Blazer, GMC Sonoma, and a GMC Jimmy

How To Remove a Lower Ball Joint on a 1997-2004 Chevy S10 Truck, Chevy S10 Blazer, GMC Sonoma, and a GMC Jimmy

Video Summary

1A Auto shows you the procedure for removing a lower ball joint on a Chevy S10 Truck, Chevy S10 Blazer, GMC Sonoma pickup, and a GMC Jimmy. These lower ball joint removal instructions are basically the same for all of these models built between 1997-2004.

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Video Transcription

"In this video, we'll be showing you how to remove a lower ball joint from this Chevy S-10 pickup, same as any pickup truck or Blazer. This is just the removal of the lower ball joint; we do have a video on how to install and replace a lower ball joint as well.

The tools you'll need for this removal are:

  • A jack and jack stands
  • Metric sockets from 10 to 24 millimeters
  • A 35 millimeter socket for the hub nut
  • 18 millimeter and 13 millimeter wrenches
  • Penetrating oil
  • A torque wrench

If your ball joints still have the original factory rivets holding them onto the control arms, then you will need:

  • Some type of grinder (air or electric)
  • A large screwdriver, pry bar, or air chisel

We really recommend that you have air tools. You can do this lower ball joint removal with hand tools; it's just a little more difficult.

First, if you're using the end tools you're going to want to loosen the lug nuts up. It's going to be with a 19 millimeter wrench. You want to do this on the ground, obviously, that way your wheels won't be moving. The other thing you're going to want to do is you're going to want to use your 35 millimeter socket. Now, I'm going to raise the car up and secure it.

Okay, I've raised the wheel I'm working on up off the ground by putting the jack up under there. Then, I have a jack stand under the frame here. That's really what's going to hold the weight. Now I'm going to remove the tire, then the center hub nut and the washer and finally, I'm going to remove my brake caliper by removing this bolt here and then down on the backside, this bolt here. They're 18 millimeter bolts. Now I'm going to use my wrench to just pry the caliper right off. I'll rest it right up here. Then take the brake disc off.

Okay, what you want to do is, actually, transfer the weight back on the control arms. What I'm doing is moving the jack out to the end of the control arm and then jacking the control arm up. Most of the weight is on the jack. There's just a little bit of weight on the jack stand that is under the frame.

Now I'm going to remove the clips for the hub harness here and here. Then the harness goes right up in here. I just disconnected it. Then you can just use a screw driver to pry it up out of the frame there.

Here, I'm just coating those two little nuts with penetrating oil. Then I'm going to take the small one off. Finish prying that clip up and out. Now I'm going to take the small one off with the 10 millimeter wrench.

Next, I'm actually showing how to get the wrench up behind there to hold that bolt. That's where you want to place the wrench in order to hold the bolt on the other side. Now, here I'm just removing that clip bolt. Okay, here I'm just finishing up taking out that bolt; actually, I'd like to put the bolt and the nut back into the control arm just for safe keeping so I'll know where they are. Here is the last clip in the frame. This is a 13 millimeter bolt. I'm bolting it to the frame here.

Okay, now just pulling the harness out and free. I'm going to pull the clips off the harness so that I can put them onto the new hub harness when I'm ready to install it. Now you want to remove your hub - there's three bolts, one in the back, one in the middle, and the top and one over here in the front. These are 18 millimeter bolts.

Okay, the front and rear ones you can get to with an impact wrench or a regular wrench. The top one is a little more difficult, you have to use a hand wrench. It helps if you swivel the steering that helps you get to the bolts that much easier.

Then as you can see I'm taking them out. You can pry with a pry bar or a large screwdriver. Place one back here. There's a little place in the flange that you can get a screwdriver into and pry against the steering knuckle. Also in behind, right where the steering knuckle is here on the front. You can see me get it apart now, just shaking it. You want to be careful not to bend up that backing plate too much. Basically, I leave that top bolt in, it's very loose, it's still in there. Now you can see the hub comes right out. Pull the harness out away from the backing plate and your hubs out.

There's this little o-ring that you want to make sure goes back on correctly. If you put a new hub on, obviously, transfer it to the new hub; if you don't, just make sure it's in the correct spot. Now you want to remove this jounce bumper from the top to allow your upper control arm to fall down some more.

Your ball joint is secured to the lower control arm down here (this is from the front view.) You can see that there are two bolts here holding the ball joint to the control arm. That means that the ball joint has been replaced before. If your ball joint hasn't been replaced before, you'll just see little round rivets instead of bolts. Factory rivets need to be removed with a cold chisel like this (you can also use a grinder). Just pound them, shear them right off, okay. You're going to remove these bolts or rivets here on the front. Then back here, also on the back. Everything is bolted underneath, okay. There are the bolts I'm going to remove. Then this is the ball joint shaft. I'm going to remove the cotter pin, okay. I'm also going to remove this cotter pin and bolt from the tire rod end. I'll go through that in fast motion. The whole time my jack here is supporting the control arm. Okay, now I'm just showing you the best ways to get at these bolts with a wrench to hold them. For the outer ones you can just do it that way. The inner ones you go under the shaft and hook on with your bolt. Now I'm just going through fast motion. I'm removing those four nuts. I'm just removing the nuts right now. I am not, actually, removing the bolts from the top. I'm just taking the nuts off the bottom.

Okay, I'm also removing the cotter pin and the bolt from the ball joint. I believe it's either 22 or 24 millimeter bolt. Okay, now here I'm removing the cotter pin and the bolt from the tire rod end. I believe that's a 19 millimeter bolt or an 18 millimeter. Okay, then the tie rod end, you just hit it good with a couple of hammer hits. It comes right out, then the ball joint, the same thing. Hold them down on top of the control arm and give it a couple of whacks with the hammer. Okay, now what I'm doing is, actually, now at this point I'm taking out all the bolts from the top; the four bolts from the top of the ball joint, I'm removing those. After that you pull down on the control arm and towards the rear of the vehicle and your ball joint comes out. That's it - that is how you remove your lower ball joint.

Thanks for watching! Please feel free to call us toll free 888-844-3393 with any questions or to order any of the parts shown in this video, or you can order your Chevy S10 Pickup ball joint online."

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