Ball Joint replacement


Junior Member
San Antonio, TX
I've got an 83 Chevy K5 Blazer w/6" suspension lift and 35" tires. About 3 months ago I replaced all the ball joints myself. Not that hard as this has been a southern truck and there is just about no corrosion. But anyways. The drivers side lower joint is bad again and I was wondering if there was a set procedure for installing the knuckle back onto the axle. Does the lower joint get torqued to spec first? What's the deal with that little threaded insert that goes into the top of the knuckle then receives the top joint? Does this go in after torqing the lower joint? Does this piece have a torque spec as well? I've got a repair manual but it is kind of vague and didn't even mention the threaded insert for the top joint. I can't remember how I reassembled the dang thing so I figured I should get some info before doing it wrong again. Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks in advance.

Alan Addict
I don't have the torque specs, they used to come packaged with the parts. The procedure is to install and torque the lower first, then install the adjusting sleeve on the upper joint and torque it down onto the stem of the upper joint. This requires a special tool, Snap_On has them as does OTC tool. The Snap-On is a special socket, the OTC is a seperate tool that fits the slots in the adjusting sleeve and accepts a socket on the top. Last you torque the castle nut on the upper joint. The reason for that adjusting sleeve is to compensate for tolerances in the joints and steering knuckle. A GM shop should be able to provide torque numbers for the pieces involved.