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Help!!!! I have a 1998 Dakota with 104137 miles on it. I took to a dealer to have it check over they said that i need upper and lower ball joints on both sides for $950 I told them no becouse i can work in it. but the wife says it not worth fixing it I told her that the part dont cost that much and i have freind that was all tool. so my q's is would it be worth fix and not going a new car
 

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You can buy ball joints from $15 to $40 each. Installation is fairly easy, though if they are original you have to grind rivets off and the new ones bolt in. Throw in an alignment when done and you'll still be well under the dealer cost for a few hours of your time.

As Jeff posted a cheap replacement car will need work too, or a new one will be a lot more than this repair.
 

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There was a recall on 1998-2002 Dakota ball joints. Check and see if it's been done for your truck, and if not, it could be free.
 

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The recall is only on 4WD Dakotas if I remember correctly. I know my 1999 RWD isn't covered.
If the poster's truck is a 4WD, new aftermarket upper and lower control arms can be had which include a new ball joint plus new control arm bushings which are a wear point in the suspensions of Dakotas in the 1977-2004 body style.
 

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The b/j recall was for replacing the upper b/j's on 4WD Dakotas, but 2WD Dakota upper b/j's that also went bad were covered for a 7/70 extended warranty under that recall campaign. That warranty is now over.
The lower ones wore just as badly, but didn't come apart like the upper ones could. Hence, the lowers weren't a 'safety' problem.
An air chisel and hammer is the recommended way to chop off the rivet heads and knock the old joints out. Don't use a torch as it can weaken the surrounding metal of the arm. Re-check the alignment when done.
 
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