1997 Chevrolet Tahoe ball joints

Tiny
MOBILEWORKS
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET TAHOE
  • 5.7L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 500,000 MILES
I have been told I need a lower left ball joint at one place to 4 ball joints needs replacing at another. I have no tire wear and these places found this on their own during a brake check and test drive. I do not notice the play they talk about and a past mechanic friend insisted they aren't that bad yet. However the place that said 4 ball joints is a family member[and his dad's business] and I think is giving me a brake on labour by doing 2 at a time but said no wheel alignment needed[I guess if you are good?]. So I am a little confused as I have no tire wear[that I can see]. The old tires[recently changed and were on since new], were worn right down but even across, as well, no cupping, vibration, noise, etc. Or pulling to the side, smooth driving. I have never had so much work needed and have it run so well. What do you think? Thank you for you time and expertise.
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Monday, October 6th, 2014 AT 9:05 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Have an independent shop check this out. Sometimes they supposedly show wear only to be needing grease. 1/4" is normal movement. Any time any front end piece like that is replaced should be aligned. Because you don't know if it was bad to begin with.
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Monday, October 6th, 2014 AT 9:26 AM
Tiny
MOBILEWORKS
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Ok thanks, now that quarter inch play is at the ball joint, right? Roughly then how much play does that relate to at the wheel and steering wheel, just wondering. I mentioned this 1/4" play, to my family member mechanic and I guess he went to the books and found that 1/4" play at the ball joint, was right as now he said I'm OK for a bit and have him check it again in a few months. So, if 1/4" is normal play at the ball joint, what amount of play is too much.[What is the limit of play that needs replacement] So the first guy I brought it to was right, in January, this year. The second place said I need just 1 ball joint[drivers]. My family member mechanic said all four ball joints are bad until I mentioned the 1/4" play and it's OK now. He said 4 ball joints to change because he said changing only one puts too much stress on the other one that's old. Sound right to you? Thank you so much for your time, again you are saving me $$.
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Thursday, November 27th, 2014 AT 4:54 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Normally on GM products the lower ones go bad if you do one do the other side and don't worry about the uppers. Keep them greased if you can. These aren't the easiest to change as it's hardened steel where they sit and hard to get out. A lot of ball joints nowadays have red marks that tell when they are bad. If you are at 1/4" you are right on edge so if you run into bumps it gives you shaking in steering wheel after the bump plus it throws caster and camber off so you don't really feel it through the steering wheel. I wouldn't screw around with it if you want to not be replacing tires unless they are bad anyhow. They can break then you need a tow as well
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Thursday, November 27th, 2014 AT 5:05 AM

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