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  #1  
Old 01-21-2012, 09:24 PM
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Replace Upper Ball joints question

There is a great writeup on replacing upper and lower ball joints on the Dodge Dakota on this site. However the author failed to mention whether or not the front coils had to be compressed.
Does anyone know if I will need to get a spring compressor to change the upper ball joints on my 1998 Dakota ?
Thanks for helping
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:53 PM
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A spring compressor is not needed. Support the truck at the frame with jack stands, compress the suspension with a floor jack enough to get the upper a-frame off the bump stops, leave the shock in place as a safety measure.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:49 PM
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Thank you
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:04 PM
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Have fun getting them out..
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:16 PM
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I didn't need to compress the coil to get it back in. When I take them out I feed a chain through & lock it down in case it wants to get froggy, just gotta leave enough slack to let the coil fully extend.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:02 PM
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I got it done. Thank God.... It took 4 hours The rivets suck. I pounded the drivers side out and it took forever. I ended up partially drilling the passenger side rivets and they popped right out. Thanks for all of your advice
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:03 AM
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...rivets? anyone else seeing the recall he missed?
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:31 AM
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Recall was for the "second gen" of the "third gens". 2001-2004, 1998 had a completely different front suspension.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:36 AM
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what was the recall for?
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:40 AM
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'98 did not have a completely different suspension. It was the same as every other year. The only difference was the camber adjustment bar on the passenger side upper on the '00+ trucks.

For the rivets on the uppers, they are easy. Get a grinder, grind off the heads of the rivets, then hit the ball joints with a hammer and they pop right off. No need for a spring compressor or chain to hold the springs together. let the suspension go to full extension. Place a jack under the lower control arm with about 1" of space from the jack to the control arm. Remove the nut from the upper ball joint, then smack the ball joint with a hammer. The ball joint will pop apart using the force of the spring to help, and the jack with catch the lower control arm from hitting the ground.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:29 PM
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I have a 2000 dakota and never received a recall notice for any of my ball joints. I replaced them 3 years ago with MOOG parts, no problems since. My dad has a 2000 dakota quad cab, he's still on the original ball joints.............
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:47 AM
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Call the dealer with your VIN #....

they will look it up for you and the R&R is free...but you get their crumby stock joints. No upgrades. Once they do the hard part you can wear them out and install good ones a lot easier.

DrPepper
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commeeche View Post
what was the recall for?
This....
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:46 AM
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Having a CRS moment, Wasn't the recall for 4wd or was it 2 & 4wd?
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:58 AM
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I checked, my 98 Dodge Dakota 2WD was not in the recall. If I am wrong, let me know because I went for alignment and now have to do the lower balls as well as tie rods and sway bar linkage! Thanks Schwab for not telling me that the lowers were bad too!!!
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