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Upper and Lower Ball Joints?? WTF?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by prozac, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Nov 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM
    #1
    prozac

    prozac [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Zach
    Shreveport, LA
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    Flat Black
    Hey guys,

    so forgive my stupidity here but I just got my Taco back from getting new wheels put on and the mechanic who worked on it comes out to tell me that I really need new upper and lower ball joints and that he'd be much more comfortable if I just left it there for him to do because he did not think it was safe to drive.

    Even after his urging I insisted on taking it home but mainly because I don't know what the hell these are.

    And I probably would have just said yes if he was not saying it would take 4.6 hours of labor for the upper ball joints and 4.8 hours of labor for the lower ball joints (all billed at $75 an hour)

    So what does this mean exactly? anyone care to explain ball joints and why that makes my truck unsafe to drive?

    Is this labor price reasonable?

    Is this something I can do myself?

    Thanks in advance for the help guys, just don't want to get screwed :/

    Zach
     
  2. Nov 30, 2012 at 4:05 PM
    #2
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd Well-Known Member

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    alot of metal, small engine, decent travel.
    caged, camburg long travel, 50t leafpack (soon to be installed) light rack over cab, 5pt harnesses etc
    he wanted to charge 10 hours of labor to change upp and lower ball joints? thats pretty steep. im a noob when it comes to working on trucks and i could do both my ball joints in less than 5 hours.

    the ball joint is what connects your upper control arm to the spindle. and the spindle to the lower control arm. do you know what those are? sorry im not sure how much you know.
     
  3. Nov 30, 2012 at 4:08 PM
    #3
    Texoma

    Texoma Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if that is just something they program in to a computer and get billing, but I could do all 4 ball joints in a little over an hour of work. So I would say he is over charging. Price out Moog BJ's and find someone to install for you.
     
  4. Nov 30, 2012 at 4:08 PM
    #4
    davidpick

    davidpick Well-Known Member

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    upper/lower ball joints are a real thing, but i agree with 97yota4wd... that does seem a bit steep for labor. they can be a bear to remove/replace, depending on how rusty things are under there, but a 4 lb. maul and a 4wd ball joint press (rented from o'reilly/autozone/etc) can get the job done in a fair amount of time.
     
  5. Nov 30, 2012 at 4:13 PM
    #5
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd Well-Known Member

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    caged, camburg long travel, 50t leafpack (soon to be installed) light rack over cab, 5pt harnesses etc

    well with a brand new truck i guess i could do it in a couple hours. my truck on the other hand........ lol
     
  6. Nov 30, 2012 at 5:37 PM
    #6
    Texoma

    Texoma Well-Known Member

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    You just need the right amount of lube. I think this statement holds true for just about everything in life.
     
  7. Nov 30, 2012 at 8:14 PM
    #7
    Sittingbull2

    Sittingbull2 Old N.R.A. Hippy

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    I attached some PDF's for you if you decide on doing the Ball joints yourself Hope this helps a little.

    Sittingbull2
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Nov 30, 2012 at 8:18 PM
    #8
    Robertgeejr1

    Robertgeejr1 Well-Known Member

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  9. Nov 30, 2012 at 8:55 PM
    #9
    01Tac0ma

    01Tac0ma Bash Fabriction & Off-Road

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    Look at build!
    The moogs run about $50 a piece for lowers and 30 for the uppers so your looking at just say $200 for parts and uppers can be quite a bitch if you don't have the right tools, took me abt 30 mins per are for uppers with correct tools and probably 30-45 for boh lowers so I think at most he should only charge around 4hrs total! I actually looked it up one time and think it called for abt 2.2 hrs or so for uppers and same for lowers... You can deffinatly handle the lowers your self, really simple but if you don't want to rent or know how I use the ball joint press tool then I'd have someone do the uppers for you but it's do-able! Goodluck!
     
  10. Nov 30, 2012 at 9:15 PM
    #10
    cmj

    cmj Well-Known Member

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    I would just take my business to another shop. Not worth it to do the repairs yourself unless you have the time, knowledge, and tools.
     
  11. Nov 30, 2012 at 11:26 PM
    #11
    Digiratus

    Digiratus Adventurer/KG7VFU

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    Hey OP, you are a 6 lug and not a 5 lug, right. All the answers so far have assumed 6 lug but I can't really tell from your info.

    I've not done the lowers myself but have seen it done, not too dificult compared to the uppers.

    The upper BJ is a press fit into the spindle. You must have the correct bj press to swap it out. Either that or remove the spindle and have a shop press out the old ones and press in the new ones.
     
  12. Dec 1, 2012 at 8:41 AM
    #12
    prozac

    prozac [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Flat Black
    I am a six lug ... 97 4wd manual locking hubs
     
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