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Old 05-07-2023, 01:34 PM   #1
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Re-using ball joints in High Steer Knuckles

So last summer i installed a $700 dollar pair of EMF rebuildable ball joints in my truck. I decided to order a new set of REID high steer knuckles last week so i can address the steering geometry.

The ball joints only have about 50 miles on them but im a bit concerned about pressing them out and reinstalling them in another set of knuckles for fear they may not fit quite as tight as they should after having been installed once and then pressed back out and reinstalled in the REID knuckles.

I have removed and installed tons of ball joints in my lifetime but have never run into a situation where i had to consider transfering balljoints from one knuckle to another after they have been installed already.

Anyone have any thoughts or opinions? $700 is alot of money to just toss in a corner of the garage.
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Old 05-08-2023, 09:30 AM   #2
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Don’t have professional knowledge, but I’d guess it should work as long as you always pressed on the right parts and as long as you still need to press the “used ones” into the knuckle. I’d be afraid in case they go in easy, but pressing them in…
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Old 05-08-2023, 11:12 AM   #3
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I would assume a press fit will remain a press fit, assuming no damage was done in the removal process. You should be fine otherwise.
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Old 05-09-2023, 08:28 AM   #4
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@scrapiron are those EMF ball joints noticeably better than stock/MOOG? I need to do mine and am wondering if these are worth the $$. Is the only advantage that they can be rebuilt or are they mega bomber? They look really stout. My van is just north of 10k LBS. 7.3 E-350 EB.
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Old 05-09-2023, 10:18 AM   #5
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My rig weighs 10,400 pounds dry. Load it with gasoline, water, personal belongings and its north of 11,000 pounds. I spoke with a couple of different companies about Dynatrac and EMF. Based on their feedback and suggestions i chose the EMF joints soley due to the weight of my truck.

Its a difficult topic because someone will always be personally offended by an opinion so i will just leave it at that. At this point i dont have enough miles on them to honestly give any kind of unbias review of the product. They are well built and the obvious difference is the ease of greasing them when compared to competitors.

Installation was straight forward as long as you follow the instructions. If you dont follow the instructions you will end up with a knuckle that is seized or memory steer and you will have to start over.

There is far more to a balljoint than what meets the eye. MOOG is just another off the shelf stock replacement part and doesnt hold a candle to the EMF or Dynatrac balljoints.

Heres some food for thought... Years back i installed MOOG tierods on a pickup i had at the time. Course the warranty stated "LIFETIME" warranty. Six months later one of the tierods was completely shot already. They gave me another replacement tierod and i spent the afternoon laying in the driveway for a second time. Thats when i realized "LIFETIME" warranty doesnt really mean anything if im spending my time laying in the driveway under a truck replacing the same parts every six months. I have to place at least a minimal value on my personal time as its the most valuable thing any of us have in life. Once spent, you cant replace it at any price.

With that said a person has to ask themself... Am i really saving anything by purchasing this cheaper and possibly inferior product
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Old 05-09-2023, 06:13 PM   #6
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REID knuckles arrived today undamaged by UPS which was a huge surprise.
Still havent convinced myself about swapping balljoints so i think im going to hold off on installing the knuckles until the new tracbar and spring perches get here.
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Old 05-09-2023, 06:36 PM   #7
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Are the rebuildable ball joints meant to be rebuilt in place? Remove a snap ring and disassemble?


ie..pressing in and out is not a normal part of the rebuild process?
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Old 05-09-2023, 06:53 PM   #8
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Correct, once pressed into the knuckle you do "NOT" have to press them out to rebuild them. The process is similar to the Dynatrac joints. They come with a small spanner type wrench which is used to unscrew the top of the ball joint so that the pin and race can be removed. Once the top is removed you remove the snap ring inside and the race can be removed.

If you look close at the image i posted of the ball joints you can see the holes for the spanner wrench in the top of one of the ball joints.

I guess worst case i buy new ones and install the knuckles. Then press these out and keep them in a box for spare rebuild parts when and if needed.
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Old 05-09-2023, 07:31 PM   #9
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Press fits......


Press fits are typically specified in different classes of fits, from light fits with minimal interference to very heavy press fits. The amount of interference is different depending on materials as well....steel vs aluminum etc.

Lighter fits upset the parent material much less than heavy press fits, so most of the material deformation is elastic ("flexed" instead of bent, or permanently deformed) instead of plastic (permanently deformed)

I would guess that typical ball joints are on the lighter side of press fits since they are designed to be replaced a couple times. Of course replacement ball joints could be slightly oversized compared to OEM since an average vehicle may have them replaced once.

Most heavy press fits require reworking of the bores and oversized parts for subsequent presses.

You could contact the manufacturer but my guess is that they would say press once..due to liability concerns.
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Old 05-09-2023, 07:59 PM   #10
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EMF offers non-knurled OEM size joints or you can order the knurled over size joints for knuckles that are excessively worn. These are the non-knurled OEM joints.
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