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How to Replace Ball Joint 1999 - 2015 Chevy Silverado 1500

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Created on: 2018-12-11

Need to replace the lower ball joint? Check out this how-to video and learn to DIY

Tools needed

  • Pickle Fork


    Socket Extensions

    Torque Wrench

    Ball Joint Press

    10mm Wrench


    15/16 Inch Socket

    Wire Brush

    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

    Complete Metric Socket Set

Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. We've been selling auto parts for over 20 years.

What's up, guys? I'm Andy from 1A Auto. Today I'm going to show you how to install this lower ball joint, on this two-wheel drive, 2008 Chevy Silverado work truck. If you need this part, or other parts from your vehicle, click the link in the description and head over to 1AAuto.com.

We're going to take a pry bar and take this hubcap off first. Go around here, just pry it off. Here we go, pull that off, set it aside. Now take a 22 millimeter socket, and we're going to loosen up these lug caps. Loosen those up, take this center cap off, take a breaker bar and a 22 millimeter socket, and loosen up these lug nuts. Now that all those are loosened up, you're going to go to the other side and do the same. Now, we're going to raise and support the vehicle, we're using a two-post lift. If you're doing this at your house you can use a jack and jack stands. I'm going to take these lug nuts off. Once we get those lug nuts off, take the wheel off.

All right. I'm going to remove this brake caliper. I'm going to remove it with the bracket so the pads are going to stay inside there. I'm going to use an 18 millimeter socket and a breaker bar. We're going to loosen up these two bolts--right there and right here. Once I break them free, I'll get a ratchet. Take that bolt out. I'm going to support the bracket as I pull this bolt out. Pull that out. I'm just going to take a straight-blade screwdriver, get in between the caliper and rotor, and just pry it out a little bit. I'll just compress the piston a little bit, so it's easier to remove. Slide this off, and I'm going to take a bungee cord, just wrap it around the bracket, and position it so that the brake hose is not. Doesn't have any tension on the brake hose.

Actually, I'm going to wrap this up a little bit higher. Wrap this a couple times, that should be good. Position that out of the way. Make sure that hose is nice and loose. This is a newer rotor and a newer hub setup. If you had an older rotor, older hub, and the rotors loose, you don't actually have to take the rotor off for this, but it's just easier to take it off. Just going to mark where the rotor went, because I want to put it in the same spot when I go put it back together, just in case there's any variation in the hub to rotor. You want it to ride the same as when you took it apart.

I'm going to disconnect the tie rod end. You don't necessarily have to when you're doing this job, but instead of just having this knuckle sag and hang over here, it'll be easier to just pull the whole knuckle off. Remove this with some side cutters, just pull this cotter pin out. Pull that cotter pin out. I'm going to loosen up this nut--there's some rust built up on this, so this size might not be exactly accurate. I'm going to use a 22 millimeter socket, loosen it up, and a breaker bar. Next time, before I take this nut completely off, I am going to use a punch, and a hammer, I'm just going to break this outer tie rod end free. Just like that. Sometimes it may be a little more difficult. Pull the nut off, grab the tie rod end, and just sit that aside.

Next, I'm going to take these cotter pins out. There's one on this upper ball joint and one on this lower ball joint. Just use side cutters and slide it out. Same with this bottom one. Just work it out. Just like that. I'm going to use an 18 millimeter wrench. I'm just going to loosen up this nut up top here. You can turn the knuckle all the way to the side, just like that. I'm not going to take it off, yet. Now I'm going to loosen up this bottom one. For this bottom, I'm going to use the 22 millimeter socket and a breaker bar. This one's on there pretty good. I'm going to leave the nut on the top upper ball joint, and I'm going to break it free from the knuckle. Just take a hammer and give it a tap. I was able to release it.

Before I take that nut off the upper one, I'm going to release this lower one. You can take a hammer and try to release it, like this, by hitting the knuckle. If that doesn't work, I'm going to resort to a pickle fork. Get this in position. And I'll hit this with a hammer. There we go--it released. Now, I'll take my pry bar. Pry down on the upper control arm. Take this nut off, just like that. Release that. Now I'm going to grab the knuckle. Support it. It is pretty heavy with the hub on it. Take this nut off, just like that. Slide that out of the way. This lower ball joint has been replaced in the past. Yours may have a grease fitting and it may not. I'm just going to take a 10 millimeter wrench and take this grease fitting off because it's going to be in my way. With a little bit of grease, take that off. There's a snap ring on the top of this ball joint. I'm going to use some snap ring pliers, get in there, spread it apart, and pull the snap ring off.

Now, what you can do is, if you have a ball joint press tool, you can use this. This adaptor is a little bit too big, and this adaptor is a little bit too small. The ball joints right there. Normally what you would do is take this and throw that away. Normally, you would set this up like this, and then put a socket on there and a ratchet. Tighten this down, and that's going to press the old ball joint out. My adaptor doesn't fit properly, so I can't use this tool.

Because I don't have the proper tool, I'm going to try to hammer this out with a hammer, but I want to lower the control arm down onto a floor jack so that the control arm's not going to move as much as I'm hammering. It is moving, so we just need to be careful not to ruin any of the lower control arm as we're hitting. Also, if you have an air compressor, you can use an air hammer and hammer it out. Just like that.

Here's our old ball joint, here's our new ball joint from 1AAuto.com. As you can see, the stud is the same, the new ball joint comes with a new castle nut. Flip it over, back side is the same. The boot is the same. This looks a little different right now, but when you install it on the vehicle, it'll get pushed down exactly how it's supposed to. Get yours at 1AAuto.com, you'll be ready to rock and roll.

Just want to take a wire brush, just going to clean this up a little bit. You don't want to do too crazy here, just a little bit. Get some of the rust out. That's pretty good. To install this ball joint, I actually have the right adapters to use the tool. Just line this into position. Take the ball joint tool. Actually, I'm going to loosen this up. Make sure everything looks good. We have the big cup on the bottom. Make sure it's pressing on the ball joint properly. And then this top cup is bigger than the top of the ball joint. I'm just going to tighten it down. It's going to suck the ball joint right into the lower control arm. I'm just going to tighten this down so it's all the way down. All right. Now, I'm going to loosen up the tool. Take that off. Take that off. Take the top part off.

All right. Make sure that that ball joints seated all the way down. Make sure you can see the groove for the snap ring. I'll take the snap ring with some snap ring pliers and just reinstall. It comes with a new snap ring, so use the new one. Make sure that's seated properly that looks good. Now we're going to take the knuckle. Slide this up into the ball joint. Take the nut and get that started underneath. It's on there right. Before I tighten that nut up, I'm actually going to take a pry bar. I'm going to get the upper ball joint started because it will be easier to tighten these nuts down. Take the nut and install that. And also, I'm going to put the outer tie rod end and get that started. Now, we're going to start to tighten this nut on the bottom. When we go to tighten this--the stud spins. I'm going to use a 15/16th wrench, or you can use a 24 millimeter and a eight millimeter Allen key. Just going to hold the stud with the Allen, and tighten it with the wrench.

All right. Once you get that nut all the way up, I'm going to tighten that. I'm going to torque that with a 24 millimeter socket and a torque wrench to 81 foot-pounds. Now, we're going to tighten this upper ball joint. I'm going to tighten this with a ratchet and a socket, then I'll get a torque wrench. I'm going to take an 18 millimeter socket and torque wrench, I'm going to torque this upper ball joint to 37 foot pounds. Next I'm going to take a cotter pin and line it up with the hole. If the castle nut isn't on there, that it lines up with the hole, you can tighten it up a little bit. Just take an 18 millimeter wrench, tighten it up a little more until it lines up with the hole. That should be good. I'll take some side cutters and just pull down on the cotter pin. Cut it there, and cut it right there.

I'm going to tighten this outer tie rod nut, just use a 22 millimeter socket and ratchet. If the stud is spinning when you're doing this, you can actually take a pry bar, get under here and just hold it down while you're tightening it. Ours didn't spin, so we're good. I'm going to tighten this with a 22 millimeter socket and torque wrench. I'm going to tighten this to 44 foot-pounds. That's good right there. There is a castle nut to line up the cotter pin, I am going to have to tighten it a little bit. I'll take my 22 millimeter socket and ratchet, just tighten it up until the hole lines up. Then I can slip the cotter pin in. You always want to use a new cotter pin, just throw out the old one. Take my side cutters and trim the cotter pin.

I'm going to install this sway bar link. Just take a pry bar and get underneath the sway bar. Slide up on the sway bar and get that in position. Carefully slip the stud through the link. We'll put the top on. Put this grommet on the top and then get the nut started. Then I'm going to take a 15 millimeter wrench, 15 millimeter socket and ratchet, and I'll tighten up this sway bar link. Now, I'm going to tighten this sway bar link and torque it to 17 foot pounds. Okay, I'm going to reinstall my rotor. My lines, I made these marks to line that up with that stud so that the rotor is back the way it was when I took it off. Just take a lug nut to hold the rotor on. If you had a bolt that was holding the rotor on, you'd put that bolt on now. This vehicle doesn't have that.

I'm going to remove the bungee cord from the brake caliper. Slide that out. Take the brake caliper and make sure the brake hose is not twisted. Line this back up on the rotor, slide that into position. Take these brake caliper bolts, sometimes they come with thread locker, you can reapply thread locker if you want. I'm going to take a ratchet and a 18 millimeter socket, get these snug first before I torque them. I'm going to use a torque wrench to tighten these down to 129 foot-pounds. Just like that. Same with the top one. I'm just going to grease this, take a grease gun, put it on the grease fitting, and give it a couple pumps. Do a couple more pumps. All right. I like to do it until I see the boot move a little bit, so at least I know the grease made it down below. Now remove the grease gun. Slide the wheel over the lug studs and put the lug nuts on.

I'm going to use a torque wrench and a 22 millimeter socket, we're going to torque these down to 140 foot-pounds. We're going to torque them in a star pattern, that's going to tighten the wheel down evenly. Those are good. Now I'm going to install a center cap. I'll use the socket, the same 22 millimeter socket and just snug these down by hand. You really don't want to tighten these because they're plastic, they'll end up breaking. We're going to take this outer hubcap, and we're going to line this valve stem area up right there, and just push it on.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

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