2000 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup 2WD V8 5.9l 137,000 miles
This past weekend I tackled the job of replacing the ball joints. I
initially inquired about it here in a different post:
I followed the steps outlined by Tom Lawrence in the prior post and
the repair manual (both basically match). I tend to agree with Tom's
statement that it is a "pretty straight-forward job". I took pictures
at every step along the way. If somebody is interested please let me
know and I will be happy to pass the pictures along or point me to a
good site to post them. And yes, drilling out the original rivets
takes patience, but it is perfectly doable.
HOWEVER, here some real world experience and a problem left to solve
which I need some advise for. I only had time to do the drivers
side. 1st problem I ran into is that the steering knuckle did not
want to come loose from the lower ball joint. Solution: you can take
the lower control arm off with the steering knuckle attached as long
as you get it loose from the upper ball joint. Once the lower control
arm is off, it was as easy as two (2) gentle hits with a 3lbs hammer
to get the steering knuckle to come off. 2nd problem was that the
sway bar end link did not detach from the lower control arm even if
the lower end nut was easy to be removed, but it did not come out.
Simple solution, loosen the upper end. Again once the lower control
arm is out you can flip it around and easily see what is going on to
remove the sway bar end link.
Here is the big problem I have left: the inner tie rod end does not
come out of the center link. I need some real world advise on how to
get it off. The pickle fork does not do the trick. I was able to get
some flat wood pieces behind the center link between the frame behind
it so that I could hit the tie rod end bolt with a hammer without the
center link swinging, but no luck. It is not screwed in there, is it?
I put WD40 on it, no difference. It is stuck in there. I need some
ideas of what else to do. It concerns me that even beating it with a
hammer did not get it out. I don't really want to take the center
link out as I think that the joints connecting it to the idler and
pitman arm will also be stuck and I may be damaging those creating
more work and calling for more parts. I wonder how difficult it is to
get the pitman arm of the steering gear and the whole idler arm
assembly detached from the frame to take the center link out. Any
more ideas - real world ideas - on how to get the inner tie rod end
out of the center link would be greatly appreciated.