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How to Replace Ball Joints in a Chevy Avalanche

by Contributor

If you are having trouble controlling your steering direction and the wheel alignment is off in your 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500, it could be that the ball joints are bad and need replacement. Whether you pay for an auto repair professional to replace your ball joints or you do it yourself, there are several steps involved to complete the job economically, correctly and to prevent reoccurrence.

Prepare to Replace Ball Joints

Buy a name-brand ball joint replacement kit. Access Chevrolet's website for recommendations.

Park your car on flat concrete and block your back tires with something heavy.

Unlock you steering wheel for easy access.

Jack up your car and support it on safety stands.

Loosen the lug nuts slightly.

Remove the two front tires.

Lift and secure the front end of the car.

Remove and Install Lower Ball Joints

Have a diagram of your front suspension system close while you perform the repair.

Disconnect the following components, the tire and wheel assembly, the front coil spring (only in the two-wheel drive), lower control arm.

Secure the lower control arm in a bench vise.

Remove the ball joints in two-wheel drives, center punch the rivet heads and drill out the rivets. In four-wheel drives, remove the four securing crimps from the ball joint using a chisel and use a press to remove the ball joint from the control arm.

Install or connect the following, ball joint to the lower control arm (using a press), replacement bolts to the lower control arm and nuts to the bolts (tighten the nuts to 52 foot pounds or 70 Nm).

Take away the lower control arm from the bench vise.

In 1500 series two-wheel drives, install four crimps to the ball joint using a punch.

Install the Upper Ball Joint

Disconnect the the tire and wheel assembly, the upper control arm and the upper ball joint.

Install or connect the upper ball joint, the upper control arm and the tire and wheel assembly.

Take away the safety stands and lower the car.

Get an alignment if needed.


  • Have someone around to observe or assist you, if needed.
  • Obtain diagrams from a mechanic website, such as Popular Mechanic.
  • The ball joint has to be installed with the flat edges in the same position as the new ball joint.


  • Don't substitute any of the hardware without the advice of a certified professional.

Items you will need

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