Lower balljoints on 89 GMC 2500 = Fun Fun Fun

Mike 97 SS

Banned
Location
U.S.A.
Anyone here ever replace lower balljoints on one of these trucks, 89 GMC/Chevy 2500 series 4x4? Their riveted in and boy oh boy, they sure dont wanna come out. On a car you cut the head of the rivet off, whack it a few times with a nice size mallet/hammer and they fall out, NOT THESE!!!!! These babies, you can do all the whacking you want, they wont budge. We put the air hammer on it with the gun on full pressure for a couple minutes straight, still nothing. My brother ended up heating them a little and whacked the crap out of them, then used the air hammer again and finally finally one came out, and there are 4 holding each lower balljoint on and we had to do both sides, both lowers. What a job, anyone here ever do these? If you havent and your truck needs them and you think you can do it, dont even bother trying. Its not a hard job, besides getting the rivets out, but they do not wanna come out, im not saying some of you mechanically inclined guys here cant do it but ill tell you right now, without GOOD TOOLS, you arent gonna do it. The rest of the job is not really a big deal, the new ones bolt in with 4 nuts and bolts. You havent experienced fun until you do a job like this, LOL. :drinkup: Mike
 

Alan

PlowSite.com Addict
Use a small enough torch tip so that you can keep the heat right on the rivet. Slice the head off with an air hammer and chisel, then heat the rivet, from the sliced off side, until it is bright yellow. Let it cool and they usually come right out. When they get hot enough the metal expands so much that it has to flow a little bit. As it cools it will shrink, slightly, away from the sides of the hole. If the moon and stars are in your favor, and you've been living a clean life it should leave them loose enough to drive out easily.
 

Ohiosnow

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
I've used both

a torch & or a die grinder & didn't think they were that bad :rolleyes: OK, yes they are harder than taking off a nut & knocking them off but like you said right tools make any job easier. :waving:
 

staley52

Member
Location
Iowa
just did 4 ball joints last week took about 2 hours

drill the center of the rivit just past the head and pop it with the air hammer and chisel and then get in between the bj and control arm with a pry bar and apply preasure while poping the rivits out with a hammer and punch I found that using the torch to heat or cut the rivits I usually weld them to the control arm(the only time I am able to weld with the torch!!!)
 

staley52

Member
Location
Iowa
the faster I work the more jobs I get done the more I get paid its the beauty of flat rate system I currently average 175% productivity the highest in my shop
 
OP
M

Mike 97 SS

Banned
Location
U.S.A.
Yea i understand what your saying, but i doubt anyone could do all 4 in 2 hours. Those rivets on the lowers are a real pain to get out and it takes time, i dont care how you do it or what you use, they take a good deal of time. The uppers are a cinch, just did a 93 Chevy van20 the other day, the uppers only, and they come out like taking candy from a baby, but the lowers on that truck we did the other day were a real pain!! Like i said though, the rest of the job is nothing, but getting the 8 rivets out, 4 per side, are the hardest part. Its possible this particular truck, they were extremely rusted in. The truck is a 1989 and only has, believe it or not, under 30k miles. It does alot of sitting around. Maybe these were harder to do than the average truck that gets used all the time. Mike
 
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