I have a 2008 Ram 3500
4x4 Quad Cab with the 6.7-liter Cummins. The front end was getting sloppy and would shake on the highway, so I brought it to a shop to be aligned and have the wheels balanced. They told me all four ball joints were bad, and parts alone would be about $700. I found ball joints online for much less and decided to put them in myself. Is there a right way to do it?
Answer: If you've never installed ball joints before, and have no previous heavy truck repair experience, there may be no "right way" to do it. This is a heavy-duty one-ton. The front-end parts are big, clumsy, and hard to work with. Of course, technicians who do this for a living have it down pat. But it can be a nightmare job for a first-timer. Going by the book requires removal of the steering knuckle and axle shaft, and the use of special removal/installation tools to press the joints in and out. The pros may have a few workarounds, like not removing the knuckle and installing the joints on the truck. Again, it's not a good idea to do this with little or no experience. Get quality aftermarket parts online (Moog is a good choice), but have a technician perform the repair, followed by a wheel alignment. This way you can save some money, and avoid the aggravation.
| 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 front Passenger Three Quarters View
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at email@example.com. Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.
Can't wait for help with a problem you're having with your Truck or SUV? Ask the expert we trust here at Truck Trend Garage -- visit Alex Steele at www.RealWorldAutomotive.com