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Old 07-02-2021, 10:55 PM #31
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Thanks for the info on my frame and the welding that needs to be done...

But since I had parts arriving today in the mail... I knocked out the following in about 3.5 hours.

1. DONE - Front Stabilizer Bar Links
2. DONE - Front Bushings

It took longer than it should of just because it was my first time doing both - and I had to make two walking trips to the HW store about a block away... Remember I only have 1 vehicle with my other attending college 100 miles away :-)

The Front Stabilizer Bar Links came out relatively easy. Had one broken top nut on the driver side, and had to Dremel cut off the bottom nut on the passenger side. But that went fast.

The Front Stabilizer Bushings were a little more fun. With having to get to the four bolts from the top. Thought I needed a deep socket so that was the first walk to the HW store - but not needed. Plus I broke one bolt off. So had to get the bolt out. And ended up breaking the welded nut off the bracket too. So the second walk to the HW Store.

But all is complete and back together. And test drive went well

Once I got it all back together, I noticed another package at the door - Lower Ball Joints. But that's a task for tomorrow as I need to pick up a Tie Rod Puller kit from Advance first.

Than to knock out the two Rear Stabilizer Rod bushings after that.

Than to purchase a Radiator and install - that looks fairly easy... and should be easy on this old body.

Than back to the rear frame issues and fixing it somehow...

Needed to knock these other things out... as I have two road-trips in the next 3 weeks that I'm heading out on... and not much time to get things done. And a single dad with full custody of a 15 year old that is a very busy boy - but has not started drivers training just yet. So tons of running.

Thanks Again... I catch up again once I get some more tasks done.
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:57 PM #32
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Just finished replacing both the LT and Rt Lower Ball Joints - Took 4 hours… and 1 walk to the HW store. Not to bad a job for the first time doing it. I could easily cut the time in half on the next go-around.

Main issues were:
1. Breaking one of the 4 Lower Ball Joints bolts.
2. Removing the four 330,000 mile, 20 year old Castle Nut Cotter Pins – a pain.
3. Getting the Outer Tie Rod Castle Nuts off – had to use a chisel to break lose.

I put the old castle nuts back on the Outer Tie Rod – I need to order both and replace.

QUESTION – The biggest issue left is that broken bolt stud in the Driver Lower Ball Joint Assembly. It’s the rear outside one – and I don’t know what to do to get it out.

I had to put everything back together for the time being, to have a drivable vehicle. Not a safe option missing 1 of 4 bolts – but my only option.

Thoughts???
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Old 07-03-2021, 06:55 PM #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfasch View Post
QUESTION – The biggest issue left is that broken bolt stud in the Driver Lower Ball Joint Assembly. It’s the rear outside one – and I don’t know what to do to get it out.


Thoughts???
The normal methods...

If there's any thread remaining, penetrating oil, heat, tapping with a hammer and then vice-grips.

If there's no thread remaining to grab, then center-punching the broken bit, penetrating oil, heat and either a normal drill if the thread passes all the way through (I can't remember if there's access to the back side) or a Reverse drill bit if you can only get at it from the one side.

If it doesn't come out with the reverse drill bit (or you can't find one), then you're getting into "EZ-out" territory. I've used them but don't like to. Depending on how centered you've managed to drill the hole, a better option might be to just drill out as large as possible First. That means a larger EZ-out, which are harder to break...

But if you break one, you're SOL. So the decision to just drill out to the right size and tap might be next. Generally speaking, you'd want to go the next size up for the tap to have clean metal, but then you get into oddness of fastener sizes. You could get back to the right thread sizes with a Time Sert or Helicoil.



I think those bolts are 1-time use, so you might want to consider ordering 3 more while you deal with this. I'd just re-use the ones you've got for the time being, just no hardcore wheeling, yeah?
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Old 07-04-2021, 01:03 AM #34
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There is no thread remaining… Broke off even…

With this being so low to the ground even with jacked… and facing fully down… I don’t think I can get a center punch, hammer or drill bit even to be able to center punch or drill it…

There is no access to the other end of the broken off bolt… just from the bottom for this specific bolt…

I feel this means that I would need to pull out that full assembly and put it on a bench… to work on it… Which looks like a chore to pull all of that out…

Bolts… I had bought ALL brand new bolts (4 each side) for the Lower Ball Joint Replaement.

Hard core wheeling… this is pretty much a commuting truck – 30 miles each way to work and back…

Just debating whether I leave it like this… I know not ideal.. but….
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Old 07-04-2021, 01:26 AM #35
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There is no thread remaining… Broke off even…

With this being so low to the ground even with jacked… and facing fully down… I don’t think I can get a center punch, hammer or drill bit even to be able to center punch or drill it…

There is no access to the other end of the broken off bolt… just from the bottom for this specific bolt…

I feel this means that I would need to pull out that full assembly and put it on a bench… to work on it… Which looks like a chore to pull all of that out…

Bolts… I had bought ALL brand new bolts (4 each side) for the Lower Ball Joint Replaement.

Hard core wheeling… this is pretty much a commuting truck – 30 miles each way to work and back…

Just debating whether I leave it like this… I know not ideal.. but….
Will have to fix it. 3 bolts with 8% more stress won't last long. It Is going to be a pita with all the rust. May be get another knuckle from a salvage yard. They go for about 40 bucks and then pb blaster the rest of the bolts. your cam bolts might also be seized so having a set on hand might be good. As mentioned by @Brian. might be worth a shot to try his recommendation.
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Old 07-04-2021, 01:29 AM #36
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Goodluck!
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Old 07-04-2021, 12:31 PM #37
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Like others said OEM ball joints only. There are lots of threads how the other ones fail quickly. Also, I have bilstein shocks and love them. They make going over bumps enjoyable. Highly recommend those.
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Old 07-04-2021, 12:50 PM #38
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I installed McGeorge Toyota OEM Lower Ball Joints with new bolts already... Just have (1 of 4) busted off mount bolts I need to fix.

I am looking at Blisten or KYB shocks... but I'm just a bit worried after looking at the upper mount point on the rears about how I'm going to be able to access them and get them out.
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Old 07-17-2021, 04:52 PM #39
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Question again...

What is easier to change?
1. Front Struts
2. Rear Shocks

My feel is the Front Struts... but I'm hoping the fronts come preinstalled somehow with that Spring. I'm just not sure how I'm going to get to that top rear shock nut to get it off with 331,000 miles on them.
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Old 07-19-2021, 11:36 AM #40
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Question again...

What is easier to change?
1. Front Struts
2. Rear Shocks

My feel is the Front Struts... but I'm hoping the fronts come preinstalled somehow with that Spring. I'm just not sure how I'm going to get to that top rear shock nut to get it off with 331,000 miles on them.
Unless you got loaded front struts it will not come with the spring or the top hat or assembled in any way
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Old 07-19-2021, 12:36 PM #41
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Loaded Front Struts - So I'm seeing a bunch of options of loaded struts on Amazon for less than $200 for the pair. Are there any recommendations on which brand to buy? I think I'd want to install the full assembly myself, so I wouldn't have to mess with compressing that spring.
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Old 07-19-2021, 01:40 PM #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfasch View Post
Question again...

What is easier to change?
1. Front Struts
2. Rear Shocks

My feel is the Front Struts... but I'm hoping the fronts come preinstalled somehow with that Spring. I'm just not sure how I'm going to get to that top rear shock nut to get it off with 331,000 miles on them.
Rear shocks are highly depending on environment. An offset box wrench will be your friend if things aren't rusted:



Also, technically the front is also a shock - just with a coilover spring design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfasch View Post
Loaded Front Struts - So I'm seeing a bunch of options of loaded struts on Amazon for less than $200 for the pair. Are there any recommendations on which brand to buy? I think I'd want to install the full assembly myself, so I wouldn't have to mess with compressing that spring.
None of the amazon/etc. pre-loaded shocks will be of any decent quality. Spring compressors aren't really that bad to use (you aren't working on high spring rate 2.5" body shocks) and you can rent them for free with tool loaner programs from your local auto parts stores.

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Old 07-19-2021, 03:26 PM #43
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Loaded Front Struts - So I'm seeing a bunch of options of loaded struts on Amazon for less than $200 for the pair. Are there any recommendations on which brand to buy? I think I'd want to install the full assembly myself, so I wouldn't have to mess with compressing that spring.
Any of the loaded front struts on Amazon will be garbage. If you don't feel comfortable using a spring compressor call a few automotive shops and see what they would charge you to disassemble your old front struts and assemble new ones. You'd have to bring the old struts to them along with the new struts.
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Old 07-20-2021, 10:07 AM #44
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Answering and asking a few questions from the previous couple posts…

1. Living in Wisconsin, rear shocks have never been changed, 331,000 miles – there’s lots of rust…
2. What’s a good brand of front shocks to buy? And do I buy new springs as well – or use the old ones?
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:46 AM #45
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Answering and asking a few questions from the previous couple posts…

1. Living in Wisconsin, rear shocks have never been changed, 331,000 miles – there’s lots of rust…
2. What’s a good brand of front shocks to buy? And do I buy new springs as well – or use the old ones?
If your front end is bouncy or rusted only then change them out with 99 springs. Front springs rarely go bad. Bilstein hd 4600 would be a good affordable stock ride height option if you can find them in stock somehow. Most cost effective would be take off Billys on CL or fb market place. Ebay with free shipping. Total automotive performance a vendor here might be able to help.
Edit: Sawzall cut on the rear shock rod under the rear metal washer just below the bushing.

Last edited by spartacus; 07-20-2021 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Additional info
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