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Old 12-31-2019, 11:28 PM #1
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New dealer balljoint loose?? Front end maint refresh job, pics

Hi guys,got a 2002 4runner sr5, 2wd with 260k miles.. Paid $2300..ok deal. So doing complete front end maint, since getting noise and creaks, tire wear. So got all parts, except lca bushing from local toyota dealer. Plan to diy work as time permits. Bought some tools off amazon and 20 ton harbor freight press. Got tired of paying bearing press job to shop for $50 each time. Which i did 2 time before for another car.

New parts from dealer..The Upper balloint is stiff and unmovable, havent installed yet. Happy with it. But the bottom balljoint seems loose and cant feel a lot of grease inside the boot.. Seems empty. Thought it would be stiff like upper balljoint, but its not.
Should i refill the lower balljoint with more grease??? Or is it like that normal.
Also bought from dealer, wheel bearing, bushing for both upper control arms. Along with whiteline bushing for LCA from amazon.
going to be long project diy event.



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Old 01-01-2020, 12:38 AM #2
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Replace the bottom ball joint with an OEM unit, no need to add extra grease. NEVER use aftermarket parts on a toyota as those are totally unreliable.
FYI: my 97 4runner with 215K miles still has front OEM bearings and just a week ago got rear bearings (not required but got replaced along with the oil seal job). Bushings are all original all around. 2000 Land cruiser at 235 K miles got factory original bearings all around and so does my 92 corolla with 277K miles.

Leave the upper ball joint alone, do you find any free play on the front bearings? If not, just leave those alone.

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Old 01-01-2020, 11:01 PM #3
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It's been 6.5 years since I had new OEM balljoints in my hand. I remember them as being snug, but not extremely stiff. I never assessed the amount of grease inside. If you add grease, make sure the new grease is compatible with what's already in there.
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Old 01-02-2020, 01:59 PM #4
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The LBJ in the OP's picture is of an OE ball joint. The lower ball joint when new feels stiff, but the movement should feel firm and not notchy as it does with the aftermarket brands.

I do recall the upper ball joint feeling more stiff, but that could've also been because it's a smaller part that's harder to move physically.

The ball joint is NOT completely full of grease. If you wanted to check, you can carefully pry off the retaining circular clip to remove the boot and inspect. The grease is white colored and not standard lithium grease.
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Old 01-02-2020, 02:48 PM #5
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Thanks guys..just looking for reassurance because most balljoints that i have felt were stiff, this one feels medium. Upper is stiff like other
After watching some youtube DIY on toyota lower balljoint on similar design, they look and act same as mine new, so i guess its normal. I am going to install new as normal, not adding grease, leave as be new.

Going to be doing most front end refresh. Tire is worn inside real quick, thus the front end diagnose. Reason for bearings is wheel movement clunks side ways. Upper joint is torn, lower is 260k old original. Bushings too.. Figure since i am there, might as well do most since car is 260k miles or so on original parts.

Going to be some fun wrenching away.

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Old 01-02-2020, 03:11 PM #6
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Compare the stiffness of your new joint vs the old 260k mile joint and let us know how it feels like.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:37 AM #7
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Well phase 1 began today.. Took upper, lower control arms and the knuckle with bearings. Both control arms bushing were shot, either one side or both.. Damn toyota couldnt make it easy, block upper control arm bolt and then lower control with the steering rack in way which took me long time.. Upper ball joint was shot, only torn boot, but stiff pretty stiff and good feel. Could probably rebuilt new boot and done, but new UBJ doesn't cost that much. Outer tie rod was still good and pretty stiff, even at 260k miles.. Wtf
Lower ball joint wasn't bad either, but new one definitely more stiffer then old one... But hell 260k and still good. Yeah, buy toyota parts. Spun the bearing hub and sounds good..

But got problem doung last phase of bearing change.



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Old 01-03-2020, 04:41 AM #8
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Theres a gold lockring with 4 hole kind of tool.. Tried punch way, no go. But either i am rushing to judgement or got parts wrong or somebody put different wheel knuckle in there don't know??

I size the new bearing on the outside of knuckle with the gold lockring , abs gear side.. The bearing is same size as the outer knuckle, no way its going in.. Unless knuckle hub has bigger openings on other side???

What gives, did i get wrong part, pretty sure i got right part. and old one has metal dust cover big and small side sheilds as seen in pics. No seals at all, new seals don't even fit or place to put them in.

Any idea of how to take that lockring off, sprcial tool where, local or free rental. Any youtube link showing that removal part.

Any help or ideas???


Some pics.. Btw. Its 2002 toyota 4runner SR5 2wd.

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Old 01-03-2020, 07:07 AM #9
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There is a 4 pin or maybe it's a two pin lockring.

Hang on I got the tool right me lol

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Old 01-03-2020, 09:29 AM #10
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Correct

I see the bearing is correct: 90369-54002

The bearing is inserted from outside of the knuckle.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:41 PM #11
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Thanks.. Just ordered amazon.. Yeah, guessing bearing hub is bigger on the other side entrance.. Will see. Hoping the pins on the socket don't break as some reviews indicate. Going to impact that out. How much torque is on that locknut and i figure shouldn't be frozen in there unless red threadlocked it by dealer.

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Old 01-03-2020, 05:03 PM #12
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IIRC I think it's torqued in their pretty well. Somewhere above 200ft lbs at least. Forgot exact figure. You need a really good air impact, which is how I got mine off.

Or a breaker bar, and a friend. It helps to bolt the hub back to the rim while you try and get it off

It's also staked.

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Old 01-04-2020, 08:30 PM #13
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I did exactly what you're doing a while back minus the wheel bearing. Honestly, if you can't get any play in the bearing once the wheel knuckle is off, I would NOT do the bearing.

I'd point you to the thread I made for it but I have a 2002 4x4 and I think the knuckles are different.

I would, however, take that one ball joint back. It should NOT be "medium tight". all 4 of mine were very tight and all the same force to move them. If you have a new one that is different, I WOULD NOT INSTALL.

Also, the old ones even if you don't get any play in them...but move easily...I think they need replacing.

One thing on my mind is that from the factory in 2002 I got 75k miles on the OEM rotors. As the car aged, I was getting far less. The last rotors I put on before my front end rebuild managed a scant 15k miles on them before they started pulsing badly.

I really think that the old ball joints that were still on the car were causing this. I changed so much though (bushings/shocks too) that there's probably no way to know for sure.

Regardless, when you're done...she should drive just like she rolled off the lot.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:38 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by negusm View Post

Also, the old ones even if you don't get any play in them...but move easily...I think they need replacing.
This. Don't judge if the LBJs are good or not simply by play. Even very old joints will NOT have any noticeable play through ordinary inspection. There's a bevel spring in there which is very difficult to overcome and keeps everything tight as it wears. But you will feel the looseness. The only way you can kind of-ish see play is by unloading the suspension and using a crowbar under the tire. Even then it's very very hard to see by eye.

Strangely, I compared my 300,000 km OEM LBJs to the new OEM set that I replaced with and after only 50,000 kms they become noticeably looser than the old OEM set! That was with very minimal offroading so very surprising.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:08 PM #15
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Ok.. So i got the hub locking tool, got it off real easy with impact, had to unstake it first. Pressing out the bearing was a ***** because literally theres almost no support area under knuckle to seperate from hub. I had a harbor freight 20 ton press but not enough press plate for easy time. But finally with some wood block, small steel plate, heat, had it soak in penerate oil overnight and finall came out slowly. Then then snap ring broke off the ears so now it stuck. Left it for now. Wondering how tp get it out, screwdrivers didnt do it.
Then went on to the bushing job, upper was easy. Bottom was little harder because bearing seperator had no gap place to bite the sleeve. So i put on the seperator and just hammer it from back on it so the bushing sleeve move out little bit for a little gap opening for the bearing seperator.. Locked it up and press it out. Pressing in was real easy, especially the whiteline bushing, the toyota upper felt more solid going in.

YouTube videos help but really most almost never show the hard part where stuff break, frozen, no easy access during remove, repair jobs.

Some pics


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