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Old 09-15-2016, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default LS vs PPV specific parts

Looks like I'm going to have to replace the lower left side ball joint on my 09 PPV. Probably going to replace the lower control arm. Is the part for the LS the same as for the PPV?
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:08 AM   #2
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Well, the lower control arm and ball joint certainly is PPV specific. I had to get 'R done because the rattling was driving me nuts. On Saturday, with my Chilton's manual, I got all the components removed and hung up out of the way and loosened the upper shock mount on the left side. I bought a Harbor Freight ball joint separator that was useless because it was too small. Its going back. I was able to separate the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle with the ball joint press and a dead blow hammer. the upper joint just slipped out of the spindle after a couple of hammer taps.

I ground down the crimped lip around the ball joint only to discover that it could not be pressed out of the arm. I spent about 2 hours with the ball joint press, a breaker bar with extension and even my impact wrench.

That ball joint was not moving and the press kept slipping off the dome-shaped ball joint. I was losing daylight; I finally gave up and decided to order a new control arm from gmpartsdirect.com on Sunday; it arrived on Wednesday and I finished the job. I should have done that to begin with. When looking it up, I discovered that the control arm is aluminum, not cast iron. It also has a PPV specific, non-removable ball joint but I didn't know that.

I decided to go OEM to make sure the part would fit with no guesswork. I'll probably keep going with OEM parts since I don't know what parts are or are not PPV specific. The GM parts diagrams say so if they are. The ball joints have no castellated nut, cotter pin or grease fitting. I have some air tools but the job is totally doable with hand tools. The biggest slow down for me was needing a few tools I didn't have on hand. The torque wrench I had didn't go high enough. I had to buy a bigger one up to 250 in lbs.along with a 15/16 ratcheting combo wrench for the ball joint nut and a 7/8" crows foot/ 1/2" or 10mm box end (I forget which) to torque the tie rod nut.

The job was very straightforward. The left aft control arm nut is very close to the swaybar so I ended up using a ratchet on the bolt and that ratcheting box end wrench on the nut. Torqued it back up the same way.

Used a hex bit and socket to hold the new ball joint stud in place while tightening the nut. Grasped the metal part of the upper ball joint with channel locks just below the grease boot to hold it in place till it stopped spinning as the nut got tight.

Got everything torqued up and lowered the truck off the jack stand. No funny noises. and didn't end up with more parts than I started with. Took it for a test drive and the front end is quiet now. Getting a front end alignment this morning.

Glad I did the job and would have no problem with the upper or lower ball joint, hub or spindle if they ever had a problem. I'm going to continue getting to know this truck.
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