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99 s10 L. ball joint grease problem

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New User

Aug 29, 2008, 11:18 AM

Post #1 of 5 (3940 views)
99 s10 L. ball joint grease problem Sign In

This looks like my kind of place, great community you have here.


99 chevy s10
4.3l Manual 4wd
just passed 100k

Just replaced all ball joints less than 6000 miles ago and have a new problem. Impossible to lube the lower ball joints due to a shrouding around them. When the ball joints were put in, the fittings ended up too close to the edge of the circular hole in the shrouding. Now I can't get a greasegun on them.

We tried to replace the grease fittings with longer extended fittings, however the guys who put the b.joints in must have damaged the threading because we cant get the new fittings to seat.

We were thinking about trying to either grind down the shrouding a little. Or tapping in the new fittings in. Both the thickness of the steel on the shrouding and space above the fitting limited by the cv boot (4wdrive shafts) have prevented us from going any further.

Being a common truck, I thought this might be a common problem. Anyone have any experience with this situation. We may have to drop the lower ball joints to work on this. We prefer to do the work ourselves but I was hoping this can be done without taking the whole damn truck apart.

Thanks for reading

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 30, 2008, 8:03 AM

Post #2 of 5 (3928 views)
Re: 99 s10 L. ball joint grease problem Sign In

Question first: You said you can't get new fittings to seat - that suggests the ones there went back in?? How is that so?

Perhaps the maker of the part has the pre tapped hole slightly off and a fitting that isn't friendly to your equipment. They are in a nasty spot anyhow and a pill when things are right. They also get ignored oh so often like other fittings that are a pest.

They make a pointy grease fitting tool that just goes in your own tip which injects grease thru the little ball stopper used for U-Joints (ones that may have fittings) that can solve a lot of access problems. Know that there's also a "right angle" end adaptor too for the nasty upper idler arm and some others that would otherwise require getting back in vehicle and steering to another spot.

Another question: If you (or did a shop do these) installed them how did you or the shop grease them the first time when new? I wouldn't leave a new part with a fitting till greased new and stop there if that was a problem and correct it - did something get damaged somehow?


New User

Sep 2, 2008, 11:45 AM

Post #3 of 5 (3910 views)
Re: 99 s10 L. ball joint grease problem Sign In

To answer your questions first.

I'm not sure if the (dealer) shop just jammed in the old ones or if the fittings came on the new joints. What I do know is they about fell out effortlessly when I went to take them out (but there was grease in them so the shop got them greased somehow).

We just left them out, we cant get them back in. (not driving it in the meantime).

And youre right, we were using one of those needle looking adaptors to get the grease in. We replaced all of the other fittings with 90 and 45 angle fittings already and thats made life much easier.

The overall goal here is to get all the fittings so I can get to them by myself. To use the adaptor you were talking about, it helps to have a second set of hands to hold it on to the gun (hard to do all 3 things).

The new longer shaft fittings I want to put in the lowers are the same diameter/threading as the old. It just wont grab thread.

What happened is the original fittings were short enough to sit under this shroud. the longer ones dont, the shroud pushes them off at a slight angle.

so, would it be such a crazy idea to grab a steel tap kit and bore the hole into a new angle that would accomodate the longer fitting?

Thanks for your response

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 2, 2008, 4:03 PM

Post #4 of 5 (3903 views)
Re: 99 s10 L. ball joint grease problem Sign In

Ok: New parts can come with fitting in place or in the box ready to install or even with plugs and you get your own fittings??

They make a tap just for grease fittings - stubby little thing that's 1/2 inch hex headed. If you change angle you may lose any chance so I'd put annoying short ones in if that's what works and just fight away as I do with all these on the GMs. You can just bet they get passed over way too often in the real world out there. I grease these things every time I might be under there for any reason not just the oil change interval and have yet to need to replace a lower ball joint on any of them that were tight when I got them. I also use synthetic grease.

BTW - I use a pistol grip grease gun myself not an air powered or from a huge source which means changing the cartridge more often but I want the synthetic grease AND the feel of grease going in - not just a splot with air gun that really doesn't let you know it's working properly. I've replaced several fittings that just don't allow grease thru them.

Also - a recent new gun I got from a John Deere dealer and the gun has the JD logo on it. Sucker is strong compared to many others I've used over the decades and was under $20 bucks - go figure?! I've never liked the lever type as you need three hands like you said.

Whatever happens make sure they get greased as they really can last ages if really tended to,


New User

Sep 2, 2008, 8:40 PM

Post #5 of 5 (3896 views)
Re: 99 s10 L. ball joint grease problem Sign In

In Reply To
make sure they get greased as they really can last ages if really tended to,


Ill look into it. Didnt know there was a kit just for this.

Yeah those pistol grips are nice, sure beats trying to find something to wedge the barrel in to pump it with one hand.

thanks for the help man.

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