6066 (1960-1966) GMC Truck Club

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-   -   60 Ball Joints (https://6066gmcclub.com/showthread.php?t=50982)

Walys60 November 10th, 2020 04:00 PM

60 Ball Joints
 
Hey All,

Getting decent weather here again so back at it.

I have started on the front end and I have a dilemma. Other than steering slop, the whole front end is as tight as drum. No movement what so ever in the upper and lower ball joints and the bearings have no movement either. From a quick inspection, so far, the races look pretty well perfect.

So here is the dilemma...For sure the uppers are original, they still have the rivets. The rubber is still amazing pliable. However, NONE of the seals are actually any good. At least I would be very curious where the inch+ of grease all over EVERYTHING in the front end came from if they were any good. My thought is, I know the replacements I would get for all of these parts would not be near the quality of the originals, but I'd just be squirting grease into them constantly and wrecking all the nice refurbishing I plan on doing to the whole thing.

I know...I'm sure I need to just replace em, but MAN it's a hard thing to think about jamming that pickle fork in there and ruining those things.

As far as the wheel bearings go...I'm fairly certain I'm keeping those, but maybe someone could talk me out of that...? They are ball bearing where the new stuff is roller bearing. Maybe in general rollers are the right thing...but man are those things something to behold! I was a tank driver in the Army and these things are reminiscent of the stuff I worked on back then! They're the size of marbles! I can't imagine improving much on those...assuming there end's up being no defects...?

Thanks for your thoughts, as always!

LEWISMATKIN January 1st, 2021 07:45 PM

Re: 60 Ball Joints
 
I wouldn't touch a thing if it is as tight as you say. Just grease everything up good. On the question of the front wheel bearings, you can repack the bearings but the wheel seals will need to be replaced with a modern nitrle lip seal. The lube used in 1960/1 was a long fiber timken #1 grease that could use a leather lipped seal, but will leak out the thin, modern wheel bearing grease. Hope this helps.

Walys60 January 4th, 2021 03:45 PM

Re: 60 Ball Joints
 
Thanks Lewis,
So, I did end up popping the upper ball joint. I talked with some folks and came to the conclusion that it would just never hold grease so would be impractical to try to keep it. As far as the shafts, they're in great shape, certainly reusable. Maybe even the bushings would be...but there are NO seals to be found for them so cannot be salvaged. I HAVE to order the entire shaft/bushing/seal package simply because no one will sell just the seals. I did find a supplier that would sell just the bushings, but called them and they said 'no' to the seals, for the upper shaft. They actually said 'if it's not in the catalog, I can't help you'....because I'm talking to someone making minimum wage who knows nothing about the parts, only how to take your order and they can't refer me to anyone who does know. Very frustrating, this whole parts ordering process.

Anyway, in a nutshell, I will have new ball joints and control arm shafts, seals, bushings, etc. once I get the correct parts in. I will be keeping the wheel bearings/repacking etc. Thanks for the tip on the wheel seals and I will definitely do that replacement as well.


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