Questions about installing new ball joints on my TJ

You'll feel a soft resistance, thats the inner seal. Gently lift up or level the axle shaft near the axle C and you'll easily get the shaft to slide in a couple more inches. Thats when it is within the carrier.
Thank you. I've been looking at videos and images and saw the inner seal that I have to be care of pushing out. Thank you so much for the guidance. First time working on a Jeep. I feel much better and know I can do this now.
 
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Thanks everyone for your guidance. I now have a better clue of what I am doing and am pretty confident I can get the ball joints done. I'm new to Jeeps, so your advice and guidance goes a long way and is much appreciated.
 
unless you only have a couple inches to start with :p...only thing I would add is to check the caliper bolts now and if the knuckle is stripped have a plan in order..the torque on those bolts is stupid low FYI
I’ve thought about that. Thank you so much.
Here's a very helpful writeup, it's on a Jeep help website run by a friend. This link goes specifically to how to replace the ball joints but take a look around at what else is there. It's an extremely helpful website. https://www.stu-offroad.com//axle/balljoint/balljoint-1.htm
Thanks so much!
 
If you're comfortable with removing the axle nut and retorquing to reassemble; IMO, it's easier to put the shafts back in without the hubs still attached.

Also, before you push the axles back in, look inside for a little round plastic shaft guide. You'll need to pull it out, then it can be reused to help get the shafts lined up with the seals.
 
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Agreed- no need to remove the axle nut. I did this a couple weeks ago...first time. It probably took me 4 or 5 hours since I was being SO careful, and because one of the holes in the knuckle for the brake caliper stripped so I had to fix that. I could redo it in two hours now if necessary. Here's a tip...the thing that screwed me up. I was using Tektro ball joints, which fit a little tighter. I thought I was going to break my breaker bar or socket, so figured they were tight enough. A quick drive proved they weren't- they need to be fully seated, so I pulled everything apart again. I figured out that the press, which looks like a C-Clamp, although stiff, still deforms a couple of degrees, so the ball joint was going in slightly crooked. The solution is, once it gets tight, every half turn or so just flop the clamp back and forth so it's in the front for half a turn, back for half a turn, etc. until it's fully seated.

I wound up damaging an axle seal so had to pull everything apart again. It only took me half an hour to have it on jackstands with both axle shafts and the tie rod removed. Once you've done it a couple times it's super easy.
 
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Agreed- no need to remove the axle nut. I did this a couple weeks ago...first time. It probably took me 4 or 5 hours since I was being SO careful, and because one of the holes in the knuckle for the brake caliper stripped so I had to fix that. I could redo it in two hours now if necessary. Here's a tip...the thing that screwed me up. I was using Tektro ball joints, which fit a little tighter. I thought I was going to break my breaker bar or socket, so figured they were tight enough. A quick drive proved they weren't- they need to be fully seated, so I pulled everything apart again. I figured out that the press, which looks like a C-Clamp, although stiff, still deforms a couple of degrees, so the ball joint was going in slightly crooked. The solution is, once it gets tight, every half turn or so just flop the clamp back and forth so it's in the front for half a turn, back for half a turn, etc. until it's fully seated.

I wound up damaging an axle seal so had to pull everything apart again. It only took me half an hour to have it on jackstands with both axle shafts and the tie rod removed. Once you've done it a couple times it's super easy.
I'll bet a dollar you didn't mess up an inner axle seal.