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Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice.

JustSendItDude

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Howdy y’all,

I thought I was prepared enough to tackle this job, but I'm running into a problem with my first attempt at seating the lower ball joint on the passenger side. I rented a c-clamp ball joint press from AutoZone and removed the original ball joints without any problems. But, when using the correct adapters to install the new ball joints (bought the install kit from Dynatrac too) the new Dynatrac ball joint only goes in a few cm and I can't crank on it anymore. Another issue I'm seeing is the threads from the c-clamp bolt are digging into the inside portion of the upper ball joint hole. (Instructions said to do the lower one first. I'm assuming its because you need to put the c-clamp bolt through the opening of the upper ball joint to tighten the lower down.) I thought my c-clamp might be bent or something, so I went back to autozone to swap out for another one, but running into the same issue. Pictures of my current issue below:

Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. 1707694746298

(This is as far as I can get the ball joint to press in, with a 2ft breaker bar. Impact won't move it any further)

Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. 1707694752682

(View from another side, won't go any further pass this point)

Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. 1707694827787

(Threads making contact with upper ball joint hole above when everything is tightened down)

Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. 1707694870376

(Head to toe view of how I have it setup to press the joint back into the lower hole. No luck. )

Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. 1707694919224

(Another image from above showing contact being made inside upper ball joint hole. Rotating it when tight causes damage to the inside of the upper ball joint hole)
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JLfromCA

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In the first picture, it looks to me like the ball joint is cocked a little. That will definitely stop progress. Is it possible to press it out and start over?

IMG_1533.jpeg
 
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JustSendItDude

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In the first picture, it looks to me like the ball joint is cocked a little. That will definitely stop progress. Is it possible to press it out and start over?
I've pressed it out already (which didn't take much force since it didn't go in very far the first time) and tried a 2nd time (which is pictured) while being sure to go slow and ensure everything is straight. But, as I get to the point where I need to put some force on it, it seems to want to get crooked and this is where I get stuck.
 

JLfromCA

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did you check the axle C area where you’re pressing the ball joint in make sure there’s no lips or any knurl marks from a possible previous ball joint change.
if it keeps getting stuck in that position, maybe try putting a flat washer on top of the ball joint between the press so put a little extra pressure on the side that’s not moving. Once it’s straightens out, it should go easy. also, I have seen people add anti-seize. also, you could put the ball joint in the freezer overnight that will shrink it and possibly make it easier.
 
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JustSendItDude

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did you check the axle C area where you’re pressing the ball joint in make sure there’s no lips or any knurl marks from a possible previous ball joint change.
if it keeps getting stuck in that position, maybe try putting a flat washer on top of the ball joint between the press so put a little extra pressure on the side that’s not moving. Once it’s straightens out, it should go easy. also, I have seen people add anti-seize. also, you could put the ball joint in the freezer overnight that will shrink it and possibly make it easier.
Looks like I’ve got a lip that formed. Not sure if it was a previous install, or me the first time trying to force it in. Do I sand that lip down to flatten out the surface?

Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. IMG_2303
 

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did you check the axle C area where you’re pressing the ball joint in make sure there’s no lips or any knurl marks from a possible previous ball joint change.
if it keeps getting stuck in that position, maybe try putting a flat washer on top of the ball joint between the press so put a little extra pressure on the side that’s not moving. Once it’s straightens out, it should go easy. also, I have seen people add anti-seize. also, you could put the ball joint in the freezer overnight that will shrink it and possibly make it easier.


This, freeze the ball joint and heat up the control arm if you can and it'll drop right in.
 

Gregj

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In the first picture, it looks to me like the ball joint is cocked a little. That will definitely stop progress. Is it possible to press it out and start over?

IMG_1533.jpeg
It is, the upper surface of the lower C is tapered towards the end. You need to get a wedge to put under the end so the tool will press it in straight.

See the blue highlighted area.
9EBD9B15-DE71-497D-8452-C1C503589AD0.jpeg


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JLfromCA

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Looks like I’ve got a lip that formed. Not sure if it was a previous install, or me the first time trying to force it in. Do I sand that lip down to flatten out the surface?

Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. 9EBD9B15-DE71-497D-8452-C1C503589AD0
I would clean that little lip up, but be careful you definitely don’t wanna make the hole too big. Use a Dremel tool if you have one and just get that lip down. Try adding anit seize and freezing the ball joint for your next attempt.
 
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JustSendItDude

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It is, the upper surface of the lower C is tapered towards the end. You need to get a wedge to put under the end so the tool will press it in straight.

See the blue highlighted area.
Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. 9EBD9B15-DE71-497D-8452-C1C503589AD0


Gregj
Definitely makes sense. Just confused why I need to add a wedge there but the 10 videos I watched, no one added a wedge and they went straight in with the same tool I’m using. Any suggestions what to put in place as a wedge? How high to I need to raise that edge?
 
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JustSendItDude

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I would clean that little lip up, but be careful you definitely don’t wanna make the hole too big. Use a Dremel tool if you have one and just get that lip down. Try adding anit seize and freezing the ball joint for your next attempt.
Copy that. I had anti seize on the two times I tried installing, but I think the angle and it going in crooked is what did me in. All the videos I watched, no one mentioned anything about a wedge or needing to raise the edge of the top adapter of the c-clamp tool. Going to throw the ball joints in the freezer overnight and clean up that lip a bit. That lip is pretty deep, not sure if I’m going to be able to clean it up well. If the ball joint shrinks enough, do you think I can force it past that lip or will it just make things worse?
 

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Gregj

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Definitely makes sense. Just confused why I need to add a wedge there but the 10 videos I watched, no one added a wedge and they went straight in with the same tool I’m using. Any suggestions what to put in place as a wedge? How high to I need to raise that edge?
A piece of 1/8 inch metal strap under that side should be enough to line it up better. As to why others have done it with no problems, who knows.

Gregj
 
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JustSendItDude

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A piece of 1/8 inch metal strap under that side should be enough to line it up better. As to why others have done it with no problems, who knows.

Gregj
And there won’t be any issues with that wedge blocking the ball joint from coming up is there? I don’t have any metal straps laying around. I was thinking about putting a washer or two under the top adapter. Kind of like so:

Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. image
 

Gregj

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That should help, once it gets going in it’ll go a lot easier. When it is almost seated take the washer out and finish seating it.

Gregj
 
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JustSendItDude

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That should help, once it gets going in it’ll go a lot easier. When it is almost seated take the washer out and finish seating it.

Gregj
Thanks for the help. I’m going to see if that gets me further. I’ll report back soon.
 
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JustSendItDude

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Feels like I’m getting stuck at the same point as before. Starts to go in, but after about 5 turns of the wrench, it becomes exponentially harder to turn the wrench, even with the breaker bar. Here is the angle with the washer:




Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. image
Jeep Wrangler JL Dynatrac Ball Joint Issue - Need advice. image
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