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'94-'02 Balljoints replacement?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by Firebrands, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. Firebrands

    Firebrands Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Anybody done a balljoint job on a 94-02 2500? I'm having tire wear issues, and vibrations, that may be related to the ball joints. The alignment shop tells me all my steering components are tight, but I still get a pretty good shudder at freeway speeds. How tough of a job are the balljoints? Any tips? Thanks.
  2. dforbes

    dforbes Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    did it last year on my 94. wasn't any fun but can be done with patience. I got a tool kit to do it from o'riellys auto parts. You pay a $200 deposit and get it all back when you return it. You can not do it without this kit as it pushes them out and presses them back in. Also wouldn't hurt to have acess to a torch.
  3. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Maybe something simple you are overlooking is the balance of your tires. Dad always tells me not to worry about major problems before I rule out the simple overlooked possibilities. At 30, I am still finding the advice he gave 15 years ago works. If your vibrations are at specific speeds and go away (usually around 45-50mph and 60-65mph) it could be as simple as out of balance tires. Out of round tires could also do this. Also, don't forget to check out the wheel bearings. My 2000 Ram3500 just cost me a wheel bearing. It is a whole hub assembly on the 4x4 dually with the seals, and sealed bearings all incorporated. However, most decent alignment shops should have picked out bad wheel bearings. Good luck with your issues.
  4. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    It's probabily NOT your ball joints. Jack up the front end- 1 wheel at a time is fine and wiggle the wheel- look for play. If no play no problem there. you WILL find the play from worn balljoints this way.

    Most likely it is the track bar (panhard rod) that is to blame- they are only good for about 50K miles especially if you have a plow or a diesel, or both. They prevent proper alignment because the axle moves laterlly in relation to the frame. Factory they are $400- TRW and Moog are about $200 (I think)- many after market custom rod kits available ($$$$) but are the only Permanent solution.

    Cheapest solution is a 'luke's link' (http://www.lukeslink.com/) which you modify the stock bar with it to allow tightning of the ball end and rebuilding of the ball end- you have to adjust it about every 6 months but it's like $75 and Luke is great if you have a problem. Check out the Dodge diesel boards (Dirt, dodgeram.org, etc) for lots of threads relating to this- search for "track Bar" or "Death Wobble".
    Speeking of it I need to adjust mine- installed one in june or july time for it's first adjustment (the steering is getting wobbly again)

    BTW most alignment shops will not pick this up- they simply can't align it- when they set it then move the truck the alignment changes- or if they lift it off the rack pads to make the adjustment it will change when they let it down. (of course my tire shop didn't know how to set the camber on these trucks....)
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2005
  5. Firebrands

    Firebrands Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Just an update. I had some free time today to investigate the front steering components to figure out what was going on. As it turns out it definately is my lower balljoint on the passenger side. I was able to jack it up and I could wiggle the wheel and see and feel the play. Also I checked the track bar and could see about a 1/4 inch of play in the balljoint end. Looks like I will be doing a repair job soon. Has anybody actually used the "Lukes Link"? I know there are a couple of other track bar repair kits out there but lukes link is the cheapest. Thanks for the info.
  6. BreyerConstruct

    BreyerConstruct Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    I've used the Luke's, and they seemed to work well. It took a bit of time to remover & install, but worth it.

  7. John W

    John W Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Try this link


    this should be accessible to a guest. I think you will find product names or websites to several different options regarding the Track Bar. As you can see different companies try different fixes for the same issue.

    Good luck,

    '00 CTD 8.5MVP Ultra
    '90 CTD 9.0 UniMount
  8. Firebrands

    Firebrands Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    That is an Fantastic thread!! Check it out for some really great info on aftermarket track bars. I was able to find a replacement trackbar manufacturer that I wasn't aware of before: www.thurenfabrication.com.
  9. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I have a Luke's Link on my trackbar- took about the legnth of time Luke claims- grinding off the old cap was the only time consuming part making sure you grind off enough with out going overboard. I checked out most of the options on the TDR thread and decided the company I wanted (which hasn;t finished their kit yet- it's a custom order now) would be next years plan and the Luke's link was cheap enough that if it didn't work it wasn't a great loss. (Lukehas awesome customer service BTW).

    Make your own choice- but I seriously recomend against replacing it with a factory style (trw/Moog/oem/etc) bar- you'll only be doing it again in a couple months.
  10. John W

    John W Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Please make a comment after you decide on a fix. I plan on doing mine this summer & have no idea what way to turn.

  11. Firebrands

    Firebrands Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I have decided on which replacement trackbar I will be using. I have decided to go with the trackbar made by Thuren Fabrication. He is coming out with a new design that doesn't require welding on a bracket. It uses the existing mounting boss with a througbolt and a big old "Heim Joint" style pivot point (for more info on this look at http://www.turbodieselregister.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121336) There is a TON of great info in this thread!!. I have researched pretty much every other option out there and this seems like the best to me. A couple of reasons are that Thuren fabricates mainly for the off road types, so I think this component will have as much strength and durability that I will need for plowing and everyday work. Also I like the option of not having to weld or bolt on an additional bracket, not that I have a problem with either of these, but I like to use the KISS method when I can ("Keep It Simple Stupid"). Another reason is that Thurens trackbar is adjustable, just another option. And with a price tag of around $260 it is a little less expensive that every other option. Currently Thuren is still testing this prototype. He is says that during full compression the trackbar comes very close to touching the front diff. He said he will know if this will work or not in a week or so. I definatly will not be replacing the track bar with a stock bar. On another note, I am going to start the balljoint replacement job tonight. I will take some pic's and try to give a rundown if anybody is interested.