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Ball Joint Replacement

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by PlowVA, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. PlowVA

    PlowVA Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    Just got my new Blizzard 760LT put on the other day. The guy cranked up the torsion bars for me and did an alignment check. Found out that I had tire wobble and said it was my front right ball joint that needed replacement. Called the dealer to get it done and he was reluctant to give me a price. Said he'd wait to get his "front end" guy to take a look at it and give me a call with an estimate. It is a 1999 Chevy Tahoe 4WD. It only has 50k miles on it. Should I be having to replace a ball joint already? Anyone have a ballpark-price on what this is going to cost me??? THANKS!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2004
  2. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    I have replaced ball joints myself more than once and they are not to bad on that model truck if your are mechanically inclined. (a lot easier than on a straight front axle) The lower ball joints are weak in a 1/2ton GM IFS and I am not too surprized at your mileage especailly if you have bigger than stock tires on it too. While you have it down I would check the uppers too as ball joints are kinda funny in that when they start to get a little loose the can get looser fast sometimes. Also when you replace them grease them with black grease (grease with moly in it) as it will help extend life of joints and grease those lower ones and tie rods every 1500 miles or less when you are plowing if weather permits. (use molt grease on all of them) The joints cost about 60 to 80 bucks a pair at a parts place so when you get quote you will get a idea on how bad they are trying to scalp you on the job.
     
  3. PlowVA

    PlowVA Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    Tarkus, I ordered some timbrens that should be in this week. I plan on installing those myself. But I think I'll leave the ball joints to the dealer. It may be a bit outside my ability range.
     
  4. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    They are not really that bad to do. The hardest part is poping the "stud" from ball joint out of sterring knuck fitting but that is not too bad it you have the right "forks" for doing it. Shop arounf and see who will give you a the best price, the dealer would be my last choice.
     
  5. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Scalp you on the job??? I take offense to many of your post. you make it sound like automotive technicians are crooks. Just as you charge for snow removal, we have a right to charge for repair services. You have no idea what it cost to operate an automotive repair business. If a part cost you $40, you better believe I'm going to sell it for $80+, and I also am going to charge you $75-80 per FLAT rate hour to work on your vehicle. If you think you have overhead in the snow removal business, you have know idea. Snow removal G/L insurance is cheap compared to insuring a 9 bay repair shop. Equipment, utilities, building, staff. I know both sides of the fence here.
    PlowVa - does not sound mechanically inclined to me and was asking for a price to do the job. Not what a shop would screw him for. A reputable, quality repair shop should charge in the neighborhood of -

    Labor one side $210.00
    Labor both sides $345.00
    Lower Ball-joint $65.00 - 85.00 each

    Also keep in mind that all ball-joints are NOT created equal. I hear some of the prices you guys are quoting for parts, maybe for the cheapest crap you can buy. Buy quality parts and they will last a lot longer, not to mention many are improved in design to cure premature wear-out problems. Oh, but the cheap part has a lifetime warranty. What about the labor to replace it?
     
  6. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    And people on this site ***** when they loose a bid to a LOW BALLER and then here you are promoting shopping for a service based on the lowest price. Doesn't quality mean anything. I guess unless it is snow removal it doesn't. You get what you pay for....all i'm saying is, look for a reputable shop that gives you are fair price, uses quality parts, and stands behind their work.
     
  7. PlowVA

    PlowVA Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    First of all, thanks for the "ballpark" pricing JMR. However, I am somewhat mechanically inclined, I just haven't done a ball joint replacement and thought I should get it done properly with the plowing season on the doorstep (IE.., I don't want to screw it up and break down in the middle of a good money-making snowfall).
     
  8. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113


    I do not know what brought this about but it has long been known that car dealers are usually the most expensive place to get something repaired and they cut you no slack on parts prices either and just because it is a dealer does not mean it will be right either. Ball joints on that truck are not rocket science and a lot of places can handle that repair easily. Lighten up
     
  9. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113


    It is pretty hard to screw up a ball joint install in that truck. Just make sure you torque main bolts properly and have it aligned afterwards. Also, if you truck has never been aligned, on some GM trucks the slots in the upper control arm that allow for alignment by the cams located on it are sometimes not properly punched out at factory and if so they will charge you a extra 100 buck or so to remove upper control arms and correct the problem (just in case it come up)
     
  10. PlowVA

    PlowVA Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    Just a little update for those who are interested...

    Dealer called me back, here is the deal:

    1) Not a ball joint, but hub and bearings need replacing. That's fine, as I have the extended warranty. $100 deductible. Done. Then I have to do an alignment and rotate and balance the tires (due to the hub problem, but not covered under warranty. WHAT!!??)

    2) Tranny service: $260!! Exchange fuid, change filter.

    3) 4x4 service: $235!! Exchange fluid in the transfer cases

    2 and 3 sound high to me, so for "shits and giggles" I call Jiffy Lube just to see price difference.

    Same exact services rendered: $100 for Tranny and $35 per transfer case.

    How can the dealer justify being so much higher for the same service? Talked to the dealer and he just said that was the way it was. BTW, I do not have the tow package so the tranny fluid is not the very expensive synthetic kind.
     
  11. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    I do not want to sound down on dealers but with the big markdowns to boost sales of new vehicals they make it up with servicing cost plain and simple. I have used GMPP myself and still have it on one vehical here. I do get zero dedutable though.
     
  12. faughtj

    faughtj Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 46

    I agree that most dealers are too expensive, but watch out at the Jiffy Lube type places as most of them will do a fluid exchange but will not bother to drop the pan & replace the filter & pan gasket. I paid a local transmission shop $150 to do that service.. Make sure they do a complete exchange including what's in the torque converter.
     
  13. icebladez

    icebladez Member
    from sask
    Messages: 74

    :sleeping: I know i'm way late in joining this topic of 'stealerships'..but JMR you really can't blame some of our dealings with the absolute shadyness in them..15yrs ago when i was the worlds dumbest mech i had no idea on how to go about changing a voltage regulator,took to shop..they claimed it was a very hard part to locate(1980 20R toyota p/u)so they needed two frigg'n weeks to finish it..the bill 484 dollars!!!!!!..the kicker..the charging light on the dash would'nt go out and their remedy,"bust that bulb"..another shop charged $40 to take out a bulb that wouldn't go out..the real problem,the mercury switch..my advise to all..do yourself a big favor a just invest in a chilton's type repair manual for youself. A stealership absolutly loves the dumb ones!..of course there's really good dealerships..of course i'll let you know when i locate one,i say this seriously..i'll let you know!!