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Suspension 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Suspension Problems and Questions


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  #1  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:44 PM
Black 03 Black 03 is offline
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Default Front Suspension Problems?

I own a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab truck. When ever I hit a bump, the front of the truck appears to lose control. When the front of the truck lifts even slightly from hitting a bump, the wheels seem to move left or right out of control. What would that indicate? Thank you, Tommy.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:15 PM
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Possible ball joints. Have your mechanic check it out
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:17 PM
Black 03 Black 03 is offline
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Default Front Suspension Problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bighemi04 View Post
Possible ball joints. Have your mechanic check it out
I will have the front end checked out. I will post the results when it becomes available. Thank you for your support, Tommy.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:13 PM
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Sounds like tie rod ends and possibly the sway bar end links as well....Any luck yet ?
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:16 PM
Black 03 Black 03 is offline
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Default Front Suspension Problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G36Rick View Post
Sounds like tie rod ends and possibly the sway bar end links as well....Any luck yet ?
I finally got around to checking out the front suspension. All 4 ball joints are bad as seen in the two pictures below. Both sides are the same. You are looking at the lower and upper ball joints. The rubber boots are torn up real bad. The tie rods and sway bar appear to be in good shape. So now, the question is, do they sell the ball joints separately, or do they come installed on the control arms? Which is the best way to go? Thank you for your support, Tommy.




Last edited by Black 03; 11-12-2013 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:23 AM
Black 03 Black 03 is offline
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Default Front Suspension Problems?

I did some research and found that the upper ball joints on the upper control arms needs to be replaced as a unit. The ball joints on the lower control arms can be replaced separately. So, this is what I will be doing. Thanks for your support.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:52 AM
Black 03 Black 03 is offline
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Default Front Suspension Problems?

I just got through with the repairs. I replaced both upper control arms which has new ball joints on them. I also replaced both lower ball joints of the driver and passenger sides. For this you need to rent the ball joint press tool. I rented one from O'reillys. Unfortunately the kit I rented did not have the right adaptor to remove the ball joint for my 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. So, I had to fabricate my own adaptor. I cut two 1-3/4" lengths from an exhaust pipe. I modified the first piece to fit snugly over the ball joint. I did this by cutting along one side and made it fit snugly over the new replacement ball joint. I used a hose clamp to keep the the piece snugly against the ball joint. I then used my Mig welder to weld along the seam. I then placed the second piece of the exhaust pipe over the first piece to add more strength to this new adaptor. I lucked out, the second piece slid right down over the first piece like a glove. It took me 45 minutes to fabricate this adaptor, and 3 minutes to remove the old ball joint. Lessons learned, make sure the kit you rent has the right adaptor for your vehicle. Take your new ball joint with you when you go to the Automotive parts store, or where ever you go to get the removal kit. Open up the kit to see if it has the adaptor to remove your old ball joints, and the adaptor to install your new ball joints. These are two different lengths of sleeve adaptors. The deeper sleeve adaptor is for the removal of your old ball joints, and the shallow sleeve adaptor is to install your new ball joints. Once you work with the tool, you will know what I'm talking about. By the way, you may want to remove the rubber boot from the new ball joint to keep from damaging it. It won't take much to damage the boot. If your adaptor does not sit perfectly straight against the ball joint, the boot can get damaged. Fortunate for me, the design of the ball joints that I purchased, allowed the boot to be removed. I also found it necessary to cut off the upper and lower lips of the control arms that extend out towards your ball joint shown below identified by the green lines. For me, these cuts allowed the sleeve adaptors to sit exactly around the ball joint where they must sit, to ensure that your ball joint will remove and install safely without any problems. Be sure not to cut into the piece that your ball joint sits on. I used my 4" grinder with a cutting disk to remove these lips. You will see what I'm talking about when you place your sleeve adaptors in place without removing these lips. Click on the picture of the lower control arm to the left to enlarge it. You may also want to watch the video from Youtube that I found. It will give you a better idea of what you need to do. Just click on the arrow below in the center of the picture to watch the video. Good luck, Tommy.




Last edited by Black 03; 11-18-2013 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:33 PM
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Very informative; thank you. This proves what I've been dreading for the past three months. Everything you described in your original post describes my front end on my '06 1500. Local tire shop (to remain nameless due to their stupidity on repair info) told me the lower left ball joint was bad. OEM with only 35,000 miles so I asked what it would cost to replace all four. Guy says, "why all four? only the left bottom is bad." Needless to say I'll never be going back there. The cost isn't too bad, $50 apiece, and I have the tools to remove and install them but my suspension looks much heavier than the stock pics I've seen online. I was told by the dealer that it had a leveling kit on it but I haven't had that confirmed yet. I bought ball joints at the local Autozone but when I got them home and compared them to what is in place they were completely wrong. Autozone says thats all they show for my year. Guess I'll have to take it somewhere else and see if they'll help me with the info I need.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:40 PM
dschweers dschweers is offline
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With the leveling lift I'm wondering if you have the death wobble?
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