Possible to install zerk fittings on ball joints?



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Thread: Possible to install zerk fittings on ball joints?

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    Possible to install zerk fittings on ball joints?

    Hi, guys, I have read contradicting reports that you can install zerk fittings on the oem ball joints on the 4th generation vans. Can someone please clarify this. I have a 2006 Caravan and from what I've observed is that there is a plug type fitting underneath the ball joint where a zerk/grease fitting normally is found. Is it possible to to unscrew or pop off that fitting and replace it with a grease fitting, has anyone successfully done this. I did read somewhere that people have take those plugs out and fitted 6mm or 1/4" grease fittings in it's place. Is this possible and are the replacement grease fittings nice and tight in there? Do they screw into place? Please advise. Thanks.
    2006 Caravan SE. Oil Changed @165000KM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBiglund View Post
    Hi, guys, I have read contradicting reports that you can install zerk fittings on the oem ball joints on the 4th generation vans. Can someone please clarify this. I have a 2006 Caravan and from what I've observed is that there is a plug type fitting underneath the ball joint where a zerk/grease fitting normally is found. Is it possible to to unscrew or pop off that fitting and replace it with a grease fitting, has anyone successfully done this. I did read somewhere that people have take those plugs out and fitted 6mm or 1/4" grease fittings in it's place. Is this possible and are the replacement grease fittings nice and tight in there? Do they screw into place? Please advise. Thanks.
    Try screwing it out and see if it is threaded. Mine were.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 112,920 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 311,200 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 251,430 kms

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    Same with mine. I refresh the grease on a regular basis using a threaded zerk fitting, and I'm baffled why Chrysler didn't include it from the factory.

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    I will try to unscrew them the next time I take the wheel off. Is there any difference between 6mm or 1/4" for the replacement ones? Which size fits better?
    2006 Caravan SE. Oil Changed @165000KM.

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    I used 1/4", but I don't leave the zerk on permanently. I install an angled one for easier access and then replug after topping off the grease. The difference between 6mm and .25" is pretty substantial, but I'm not certain which size the hole is tapped for, so all I can say is the 1/4" works fine on my van.

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    Wasn't aware there was a problem with ball joints on these wonder wagons. Another one for the list?
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    96 Gr Caravan LE 3.8, 206K miles
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    Actually I'm not having any problems with the ball joints, it's just that last time I had the van up on the ramps, I was trying to see if there were zerk fittings below the ball joints. The passenger side ball joint looked ok, boots looked like they had grease in them, however, the driver's side ball joint boots looked a bit squished, like they could use some greasing. Upon further inspection, I found that the plug on the driver's side ball joint was a bit leaky, it was smearing grease over my hand when I touched it, I was thinking to replace that plug with a grease fitting so that I can fill the boot up with grease again and maybe keep it from going dry.

    I did more search on google, and it does look like 1/4" fitting will most likely fit in place of the plugs.
    2006 Caravan SE. Oil Changed @165000KM.

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    Yes, the ball joints don't seem to be an issue, neither is alignment. I will put grease fittings in anyway and make sure that they don't go dry. One of my seals has a hole in it, has been that way for several years. Still passes inspections.
    As to size of fitting, they likely vary. I had a bunch of miscellaneous sizes, found one that worked, and then got an angled fitting with the same thread.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 112,920 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 311,200 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 251,430 kms

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyguy View Post
    Same with mine. I refresh the grease on a regular basis using a threaded zerk fitting, and I'm baffled why Chrysler didn't include it from the factory.
    Two reasons that they don't come like that from the factory :
    1 is Cost,
    2 and more importantly is that its really not necessary.
    Front end components seem to last forever anymore. Technology has changed as such so they can properly load and seal the joint at the factory and have it last well past a normal life.
    Adding grease to any kind of ball joint or tie rod has risks - compatabilty of the old and new greases, introduction of dirt or moisture thru the fitting and blowing out the seals from over filling the joint.
    In the end, if adding grease in the old-school fashion is what you want to do, the risks I mentioned above are indeed minimal and I would continue with your quest, but if its something you are really concerned about, I would advise that you fret about something else as the sealed joints are many times superior. I would not add this to the pervasive problem list.

    I'm at 200K on my 2001 GC/Sport and still have original ball joints. Tie Rods were replaced when I did the struts just for good measure but they didn't need it. , conversely I've replaced the sway bar links with both sealed and greased and none of them seem to last for very long.

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    What I read somewhere was that is you provided a grease fitting, the grease leaking out of an overfilled boot is only a 1/4" - 1/2" from the rotor face. So the original fitting was used to fill the ball joint at the factory and then broken off to insure against subsequent overfilling.

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