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6.0L Power Stroke Diesel 2003 - 2007 F250, F350 pickup and F350+ Cab Chassis, 2003 - 2005 Excursion and 2003 - 2009 van SPONSORED BY:

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  #1  
Old 07-15-2011, 10:12 AM
mblanken881 mblanken881 is offline
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Front Axle U-Joint Replacement

One or both of my front axle u-joints are shot. Four questions:

1) How do I know which one is shot or at 150,000 miles should I just replace both?

2) What parts do I need (u-joint, any seals, any grease)? Any special tools I need (any pullers, home-made tool for seal installation)?

3) What else should I do while I'm in there (grease bearings)?

4) Will I need an alignment when I'm done?

I've read a few write-ups on ball joint replacement to try and gather a parts list and have a pretty good idea. Was hoping somebody could just chime in with actual parts list needed for this specific job. Once I start the work, I will not have another vehicle besides my four-wheeler until the truck is put back together.

Thanks,

Mike
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2011, 11:23 AM
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I'd replace both while your at it. The hardest part was getting the unit bearing off on my 04. I found a air chisel worked good to get the unit bearing starting to move. After that it came off fairly easy. I prefer Spicer u-joints myself. I use them in all my rigs. To remove the u-joints you have to remove the retainer ring which is near the seal on the caps. Once you have those off I always place the yoke of one side of the axle between two wood blocks and beat the other yoke down on the thick part with a sledge right behind the cap your trying to remove. Then do this on all the sides. To re-install the trick is not to get the needle bearings not to fall off into the bottom of the cap while hitting them back in. You can start the cap in on one side of the yoke while pushing the trunion of the u-joint into the cap enough to hold the needle bearings in. You can use a socket the just fits the bearing cap and hit that with a sledge to install. When you start the cap on the other end slide the u-joint in between both caps enough to hold the needle bearings in while tapping the cap in. Then finish out the other side of the u-joint. Extra grease inside the u-joint cap helps hold the needle bearings better during install. I like the greasable u-joints also.

You could always replace your upper and lower ball joints while you have it apart.
The free loaner ball joint press from Auto zone makes life easier on those.
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2011, 11:40 AM
JESTERxHEAD JESTERxHEAD is offline
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rocknut is right....just take your time and follow those steps....

also put moog ball joints in....dont get the autozone or advance cheapies......

an air chisel and a 1/2" impact will be your best friend.
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  #4  
Old 07-15-2011, 11:56 AM
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I second using the Moog ball joints
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2004 F-350, Lariat, crew cab, 4x4
6.0L, auto
Use this to pull my Jeep to go off-roading

90 jeep YJ, 400sb,700r4, HP D60 axles locked
hydro assist steering 39.5" swampers, beadlocks
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  #5  
Old 07-15-2011, 01:47 PM
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BLADE35 BLADE35 is offline
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I second the MOOG ball joints I just put them in mine and it steers great

you will probably want to make the seal driver and replace the seals 1 side came out good and the other side blew apart but I replaced all the seals didnt want to have 4x4 issues I like the auto hub feature. Mine was an 03 and it had 4 seals per side

Everything on mine was rusted and seized together
I antiseized everything I could when I put it back together I even spread it on the rotors where it contacted the unit bearing used a whole tube of the stuff alltogether. I also found that a dremal tool worked great to clean things up

I got my balljoint press from oreilys and it worked kinda for some reason the cup that you use for the lower BJ had a hole in the top I had to put a peice of metal there to keep the BJ press from pushing on the BJ kingpin.
the rental tool worked in the end with some special rigging but was FAR from a slam dunk

Id try autozones BJ press kit hopefulley its better than oreilys
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2003 6.0, 4X4 srw, short box, born on 3/28/03 Moog ball joints,DC POWER 190A ALT Duralast Goldtop batterys 10/7/2012,RECON LED SMOKE MIRROR LENS,4 inch turbo back magnaflo exhaust,no kitty, 6 in. lift, BFG 315/75r16, python remote start alarm,pioneer system2 12''subs 1600watt amps ,scangaugeII,coolant filter, blue fuel pres spring, Fresh oil cooler 6/1/11 Final Charge Cat EC-1 rated Silicate Free ELC coolant, Sinister Full egr deleate, ROTELLA T-6 5w-40syn,updatedHPO screen,updated oil filter stand pipe, TC SX8000
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2011, 01:48 PM
mblanken881 mblanken881 is offline
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OK, I'll think about the ball joints. Don't really want the extra expense but if it needs done it needs done. Should I grease the axle bearing while I'm in there?

I'm probably going to only have time for one side this weekend. Which side should be done first? The steering only 'binds' up after right hand turns. Does this mean that the right u-joint is probably the culprit? I would like to replace the bad one first.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2011, 01:52 PM
JESTERxHEAD JESTERxHEAD is offline
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I would replace the needle bearing its only 10 bucks and will save a 200 dollar axle.

grease the snot out of it....

I would put the truck on stands turn the wheel left or right.

lock in the hubs manually and put a prybar thru one axle joint. to keep it from moving. then spin the opposite tire. if it is binding on you spinning it by hand then that is the joint that is bad.

to turn right or left it dont matter to the joints both move off of centerline to acomplish the turn.
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:16 PM
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where are you finding a needle bearing for 10 bucks

mine was unit bearing that did not look like it came apart at least not without any special tools

It was also around 300.00 each side
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2003 6.0, 4X4 srw, short box, born on 3/28/03 Moog ball joints,DC POWER 190A ALT Duralast Goldtop batterys 10/7/2012,RECON LED SMOKE MIRROR LENS,4 inch turbo back magnaflo exhaust,no kitty, 6 in. lift, BFG 315/75r16, python remote start alarm,pioneer system2 12''subs 1600watt amps ,scangaugeII,coolant filter, blue fuel pres spring, Fresh oil cooler 6/1/11 Final Charge Cat EC-1 rated Silicate Free ELC coolant, Sinister Full egr deleate, ROTELLA T-6 5w-40syn,updatedHPO screen,updated oil filter stand pipe, TC SX8000
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:20 PM
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What needle bearings can you grease on the front Axle? My unit bearings are sealed units there is no grease fitting there. You can grease the u-joints if they have a grease fitting. I have lock-out hubs so my front axle doesn't turn all the time except for the winter and plowing. I wish these where like the old style without unit bearings. You could pull everthing and grease them up. The unit bearings are not as strong as the old style that had spindle and two bearings plus the stub shaft bearing
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2004 F-350, Lariat, crew cab, 4x4
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Use this to pull my Jeep to go off-roading

90 jeep YJ, 400sb,700r4, HP D60 axles locked
hydro assist steering 39.5" swampers, beadlocks
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mblanken881 View Post
OK, I'll think about the ball joints. Don't really want the extra expense but if it needs done it needs done. Should I grease the axle bearing while I'm in there?

I'm probably going to only have time for one side this weekend. Which side should be done first? The steering only 'binds' up after right hand turns. Does this mean that the right u-joint is probably the culprit? I would like to replace the bad one first.


I would think if its binding up you need balljoints and or tierod ends maybe u-joints
are your tires wearing funny[cupping]

If it were me Id get it on jack stands undo the tierods from the steering knuckle and see which side is hanging up
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Benny oem hpop 1/8/14,update ipr screen
2003 6.0, 4X4 srw, short box, born on 3/28/03 Moog ball joints,DC POWER 190A ALT Duralast Goldtop batterys 10/7/2012,RECON LED SMOKE MIRROR LENS,4 inch turbo back magnaflo exhaust,no kitty, 6 in. lift, BFG 315/75r16, python remote start alarm,pioneer system2 12''subs 1600watt amps ,scangaugeII,coolant filter, blue fuel pres spring, Fresh oil cooler 6/1/11 Final Charge Cat EC-1 rated Silicate Free ELC coolant, Sinister Full egr deleate, ROTELLA T-6 5w-40syn,updatedHPO screen,updated oil filter stand pipe, TC SX8000
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:48 PM
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If it's binding while your turning it's probably not your u-joint. It may be bad but that shouldn't be binding up that tight and it wouldn't matter which way you turn. Your ball joints could be the culprit or a tie rod end. Do you have a steering stabilizer on it? The shock on it could be bad. The steering boxes are not the greatest on these trucks. I had to do a steering fluid flush on mine since it was acting funny and binding up some. That did help on mine
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2004 F-350, Lariat, crew cab, 4x4
6.0L, auto
Use this to pull my Jeep to go off-roading

90 jeep YJ, 400sb,700r4, HP D60 axles locked
hydro assist steering 39.5" swampers, beadlocks
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:53 PM
JESTERxHEAD JESTERxHEAD is offline
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Guys....

when you take off your unit bearing which is around 300 bones....there is a needle bearing on the backside that the axle rides on and spins when the 4x4 is not engaged. its only 10 bucks at the parts store. good maintence is to do it I think every 50k miles. I just press it out with a socket and a hammer and install the new one inside the unit bearing.
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:57 PM
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hey rocknut
just wondering what your steering fluid flush consisted of

normaly on my stuff I suck the reservoir out with a shop vac refill and do it again a few days later

What fluid did you put back in it

BTW I was getting a emission test on a vehicle and they came back saying I needed a PS flush to the tune of 100.00 I said no thanks and did it myself thats all they did was suck it out with a shopvac too.
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Benny oem hpop 1/8/14,update ipr screen
2003 6.0, 4X4 srw, short box, born on 3/28/03 Moog ball joints,DC POWER 190A ALT Duralast Goldtop batterys 10/7/2012,RECON LED SMOKE MIRROR LENS,4 inch turbo back magnaflo exhaust,no kitty, 6 in. lift, BFG 315/75r16, python remote start alarm,pioneer system2 12''subs 1600watt amps ,scangaugeII,coolant filter, blue fuel pres spring, Fresh oil cooler 6/1/11 Final Charge Cat EC-1 rated Silicate Free ELC coolant, Sinister Full egr deleate, ROTELLA T-6 5w-40syn,updatedHPO screen,updated oil filter stand pipe, TC SX8000
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JESTERxHEAD View Post
Guys....

when you take off your unit bearing which is around 300 bones....there is a needle bearing on the backside that the axle rides on and spins when the 4x4 is not engaged. its only 10 bucks at the parts store. good maintence is to do it I think every 50k miles. I just press it out with a socket and a hammer and install the new one inside the unit bearing.

well where were you 2 weeks ago when I did mine just kidding LOL

I didnt know that I just greased it the best I could and put it back in

I figuered it came apart somehow but at 300.00 a side I wasnt taking any chances
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Benny oem hpop 1/8/14,update ipr screen
2003 6.0, 4X4 srw, short box, born on 3/28/03 Moog ball joints,DC POWER 190A ALT Duralast Goldtop batterys 10/7/2012,RECON LED SMOKE MIRROR LENS,4 inch turbo back magnaflo exhaust,no kitty, 6 in. lift, BFG 315/75r16, python remote start alarm,pioneer system2 12''subs 1600watt amps ,scangaugeII,coolant filter, blue fuel pres spring, Fresh oil cooler 6/1/11 Final Charge Cat EC-1 rated Silicate Free ELC coolant, Sinister Full egr deleate, ROTELLA T-6 5w-40syn,updatedHPO screen,updated oil filter stand pipe, TC SX8000
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2011, 03:06 PM
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I think I sucked it out with my vacume brake bleeder then installed new oil. You may be able to pull the return line from the steering box to the resivoir and drain it from there. I used the Valvoline stuff in the silver grey plastic bottle. I use that on my other rigs and it seems to work well My oil was pretty dark and burnt smelling when I changed it. My steering was getting weird. I thought it was my steering box at 1st. So I tried the flush and it worked.
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2004 F-350, Lariat, crew cab, 4x4
6.0L, auto
Use this to pull my Jeep to go off-roading

90 jeep YJ, 400sb,700r4, HP D60 axles locked
hydro assist steering 39.5" swampers, beadlocks
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:06 PM
 
 
 
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