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Lower Ball Joint Wont take Grease?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 bill

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Posted January 19, 2007 at 04:40 pm

I have our Caravan up on jacks putting on new struts and decided to do a lube to finish things off. The problem is the lower ball joint on the passenger side won't take grease. I removed the fitting and put it on the grease gun to make sure that wasnt the problem. Grease blew thru it. I got underneath and put a small screwdriver into the hole and gently cleaned out some old grease and thats about it. I dont know what I should feel but the screwdriver hits a flat solid surface. As this is a new addition to our elderly Chrysler fleet this is my first lube job. The rubber fitting is deflated and doesn't appear to have much grease inside. The van has 116,000 miles. A couple weeks ago when I tried to move both lower ball joint fittings(when on the ground) to see if there was any movement I detected nothing. It steers well without any shimmy or shakes. Any ideas, thanks everyone :rolleyes:

#2 dana44

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Posted January 19, 2007 at 04:50 pm

I have had joints like that too. If the zerk fitting itself is OK, put it back on and you are really going to have to squeeze hard. I have had them that way before, they just get enough grease and metal powder from years of use and get a little bit jammed up. Really crank on it to force the jammed holes. There are grooves around the ball type joints to take grease and be able to cycle up to the rubber cup, plugged is plugged, until you force it through, next time will be a little easier. I am pretty strong and have had to brace the gun barrel against my chest and double-handed squeeze a couple times to get them clear in the past. Good luck.

#3 KOG

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Posted January 19, 2007 at 07:36 pm

I'd replace the zerk fitting first anyway. It's possible for them to pass grease when open but have the check ball jam shut under pressure.

#4 bill

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Posted January 20, 2007 at 09:02 am

Thanks for your help! Do you think it would help to apply heat(very gently) to the assembly to loosen up the grease inside or could that just lead to damage? :blink:

#5 tealfish

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Posted January 20, 2007 at 12:26 pm

Thanks for your help! Do you think it would help to apply heat(very gently) to the assembly to loosen up the grease inside or could that just lead to damage? :blink:


Hold a hot soldering iron into the grease fitting hole and see if that will loose things up to the point where it will accept grease.

#6 Bob Lincoln

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Posted January 20, 2007 at 02:10 pm

Jut buy a new grease fitting. They're pennies apiece.

#7 dana44

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Posted January 21, 2007 at 05:28 am

Jut buy a new grease fitting. They're pennies apiece.

As bill said, the fitting itself isn't the problem, it is compacted grease and grime/powdered metal inside that is jammed and plugged, a propane torch may help a little, so long as it doens't damage the rubber boot on the joint, the rest is metal and grease, a soldering iron wouldn't put enough "even" heat around it to soften up the existing grease, try about a minute with a propane torch, moving it around to "warm" it up vice getting it red hot, which shouldn't be close to long enough, should cause absolutely no damage, but like I said, watch the rubber boot. Good luck.

#8 bill

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Posted January 21, 2007 at 09:36 am

Thanks to all that posted!! I was concerned maybe the joint had seized. Dana44, I really appreciate your post explaining how there are 'veins' along the ball joint allowing the grease to flow into the boot. I didn't have that knowledge making me think the worst had happened. Last night I took my tourch and lightly went around the bottom of the joint, just enough to warm it up. I squeezed the gun and what a wonderful feeling when the handle began to slowly compress!!! :rolleyes: This forum and its members are better than any shop book! Maybe someday I can share something I've learned here on Allpar!! :P


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