Looking at the ball joints and how easy they look to replace, I figured, why not? It took a total of 15 minutes to get the old ball joint out and the new one in and greased. But it is not always so easy, some others had a harder job at it.
Note that AMG has changed the fasteners that secure the ball joint to the lower control arm. You will need to replace the bolts, the washers, and the locknuts. The locknut has kept the same part number, but uses a different thread size, so you cannot simply replace the locknut while retaining the old washers and bolt. AMG has all of this in a kit, which is recommend that you buy and will save you time running to the hardware store.
Some time after the 93 Hummers, the bolts sizes became larger (generation 2) so the holes in the ball-joints are now larger and are not really inter changeable unless you make the holes larger on the "A" frame.
- Each joint uses four grade-8 0.375", 24-thread (fine), 1.5" long bolts; eight grade-8 split-ring lockwashers
and four "Stover style" 0.375" 24-thread locknuts.
A Stover style locknut has no nylon collar; instead, it seems to depend
on having a slightly elliptical hole.
They are favored by the builders of racing cars and hydroplanes.
Maintenance: It is recommended by the AM General that you grease all joints every 3,000 miles. Myself, I would grease it after every major outing, or after any time your have been running in deep water. When greasing the lower ball joints, you must jack up the "A" frame to remove the load from the ball joint in order to get the grease at the base of the ball joint.
|Here we are with the tire off and ready to go at it. I first jacked up just the one side as shown here, but later found it was better to jack up the whole front end so that I could turn the wheel in order to get easy access to all 4 bolts of the ball joint.|
|Here is the ball joint for a 93 Hummer fresh out of the package. Nice and tight.|
|Looks easy right, just take out the bolts and pull out the ball joint. Not so. Never taking out one before I tried to pop it out with the tire tool, the tired tapping the large bolt/post with a small hammer (see small hammer in photo below). That sucker was in there. Next I tried I tried a 16 lb hammer, just a tap did it and out it came. I should have used and puller to separate the lower ball joint from the geared hub, but.|
|Installed the new ball joint and lined it up, and bolted into place.
The bolts are then tightened down to 37 ib-ft. Then intalled the ball joint
into the hub with the slotted nut. Tightened nut down to 73 lb-ft and install
a new cotter pin.
CAUTION: Do not loosen slotted nut to install cotter pin. This could result in damage to equipment and not seat right.
Grease lower ball joint (and the rest of the grease fittings while you are at it) and you are complete once your wheel is mounted. The 8 lug nut on the wheel are to be tightned down to 110 lb-ft .
|As I said, it was easier to work on with both front tires in the air.
The job only took about 15-25 minutes for each to complete the change out of the lower ball joint. The upper ball joints should be as easy.
Once it was completed and road tested I had no more squeeks from the front end.
If your ball joints do not have the grease fitting, change them out, the idea of the needle sounds good, but does not get to the bottom of the ball joint where it is needed.
|Here is the old ball joint after I it up to examain just how bad it was. The ball joint here was not as bad as some I have seen. Here the teflon cup that the ball sits in as not warn though yet as they are when they are really squeeky. This one here was squeeking, but not as bad. As you can imagine greasing with needle, and injecting the gease into the rubber boot of the ball-joint will get grease at the top of the ball, but not down below where is it needed. A Grease fitting really makes a differance in the life of a ball-joint on a Hummer.|
|Here is a close-up look at the ball and as you can see it is not smooth, but pitted like it may of had water in it at one time and rusted, but 100% sure how that would have happened. The rubber boot that was one this joint appeared to be okay, so just how water got in if it did, I do not know, but it does.|