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Temporary fix for a ball joint that popped out?

solzanderalex

New Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2022
Messages
9
Location
California
Front right (passenger side) lower ball joint popped out yesterday - on the driveway, thank goodness. How can I reset it back in to the cup so that I can move the vehicle, then get it out on the roadside for the tow next week? I plan on replacing all four with the suggested Dana Spicer 706944X OEM joints as suggested in another thread - very useful. Thanks for any thoughts on this.

TJ Ball Joint1.jpg


TJ Ball Joint2.jpg


TJ Ball Joint3.jpg
 
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Necro

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Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
Messages
87
Location
Norfolk Virginia
Just to move the Jeep and get it on a flat bed, I would knock the bottom joint out and then use a very large Nut, shouldered bolt, and some large washers and loosely bolt it together. Or buy a cheap ball joint and press it in temporary.

Super Janky but would work to get onto a roll back, press it out, line up the holes, and use about 10-20 of the thick 1/2" zip ties or a small ratchet strap wrapped through the hole about 10 times and then secured nice and tight.
 

BlueC

TJ Addict
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Jan 25, 2022
Messages
1,100
Location
NC
Not knowing what you have to work with, if it's in your driveway on concrete you could get a cheap furniture dolly and put it under the tire just to move it out of the way. (assuming you have an open front dif)

Don't worry about getting it on the rollback. Tell them up front, and they will have ways to deal with it.
 

Necro

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Jun 22, 2022
Messages
87
Location
Norfolk Virginia
Just a tip for in the future, when your tires are wearing out on one side like they are, you have worn out parts or a bad alignment. Usually best to get that stuff fixed before something fails. It's a good thing that happened in the driveway and not on the highway because you could've been killed, or killed someone else.
 

Feralkid

Useful Idiot
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Apr 3, 2019
Messages
657
Location
Se pa
Can u move it with a floor jack under the front axle?

The wrecker dude should be able to move it, you’ll be paying for his time tho.
 

mrblaine

Crew Member
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Nov 20, 2015
Messages
23,883
Location
Quail Valley, CA
The rest of the story would be nice since I'm wondering if the bent pin on the upper prevented the lower from moving back under the other half of the ball joint in the lower hole. If it did, is the upper hole in the inner C okay still or did it get stretched out enough that it ruined it?
 
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solzanderalex

solzanderalex

New Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2022
Messages
9
Location
California
Thanks so far everyone for the help - here's an update: i) we tried to move the jeep slowly, but the bent upper ball joint keeps the wheel moving outward under the slightest motion; ii) we could not pop the lower BJ back in, despite massive sideways pressure from the floor jack braced sideways against a conveniently placed tree; iii) the driveway concrete and street asphalt pavement are way too rough to use the floor jack under the front of the vehicle, and it slid off the jack each time with just a few inches of rearward motion. The AAA bed truck will be here this evening to take it the shop, avoiding any potential further damage from inappropriate towing of the vehicle. Updates to follow from the shop.
 
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solzanderalex

solzanderalex

New Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2022
Messages
9
Location
California
The Jeep is in the shop. The combination of hammer, skid and bed truck was only going to snap off the bent upper BJ. We borrowed a broken skate and used a strap as a band-aid to drive the Jeep on to the street where we could get AAA to send over a wheel tow truck, and use the wheel lift with dollies to avoid further damage.

Jeep Front Suspension 2022 AUG2.jpg


Jeep Front Suspension 2022 AUG3.jpg


Jeep Front Suspension 2022 AUG4.jpg


Jeep Front Suspension 2022 AUG5.jpg
 
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solzanderalex

solzanderalex

New Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2022
Messages
9
Location
California
The end-forging is bent from that sideways load on the upper ball-joint. Should I locate a used OEM Dana 30 front axle or upgrade? It's now or never - I would appreciate any suggestions.

TJ Bent Axle End Forgings.jpeg
 

Matt131

Just For Fun
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Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
62
Location
SW Washington
Did someone forget to reinststall your front axle? If the C is bent, find a good used axle. A Dana 30 is easy to find and inexpensive.
 

Woodrow

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
530
Location
Oregon
The end-forging is bent from that sideways load on the upper ball-joint. Should I locate a used OEM Dana 30 front axle or upgrade? It's now or never - I would appreciate any suggestions.

View attachment 349673

What you do should depend on your build plan, money and availability. Per experienced folks on this forum, the D 30 front can be built to hold locked 35s. So, as long as you don't have plans for bigger tires, another D 30 makes sense. Its also lighter and has better ground clearance than a 44. If it were me, I'd look for a high pinion Dana 30 from an XJ. That might be more expensive and harder to find. A TJ low pinion D 30 should be cheaper and easier to get and would do well for most folks.
 
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solzanderalex

solzanderalex

New Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2022
Messages
9
Location
California
The Jeep is used for light duty off-road use, forest trails & open range; no crawling, so a stock replacement would be fine unless there is something in the aftermarket that is way better for similar money.
 

Woodrow

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
530
Location
Oregon
The Jeep is used for light duty off-road use, forest trails & open range; no crawling, so a stock replacement would be fine unless there is something in the aftermarket that is way better for similar money.
Then a LP Dana 30 from a TJ is likely you best bet. If the gear ratio is right, its an easy bolt in.