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Replacing upper ball joints on a 1996 Chevy 1500

I’ve got a coworker with a 1996 Chevrolet C1500 pickup and he wants me to help him replace the upper ball joints. I assumed they were press-in models but I was just looking at the repair guide on the autozone website and it says you have to drill out four rivets that hold the old ball joint to the control arm, has anyone here every done this before and anything I should know or be aware of before I start this project?

I’ve replaced the upper ball joints on these trucks. Just drill a 1/8" pilot hole in the head of the rivet and then follow up with 1/2" drill bit. Then punch the rivets out with a hammer and punch.


You are somehow going to knock out the knock outs to re-align the truck. You can purchase a knock out removal tool (it is at type of screw together cutting tool)

The service manual didn’t mention anything about knocking out “knock outs”? Could you explain further?

Thanks, I appreciate the help.

Factory Service Manual? let me get mine out (all I have is a 98 but I bet it works)

It’s the autozone service manual, which isn’t very good, but that’s all I have to go by. The owner of the vehicle has a manual for the car that I haven’t gotten to look at yet.

You will never volunteer to do THIS again…

Drilling them out works, but if you have a cutting torch, that will go faster and easier. Just carefully slice off the tops of the rivets and knock out the ball joints. You shouldn’t have to realign the truck if you don’t disturb anything out of the ordinary. Those are some of the easiest ball joints to replace, or maybe they just seem that way after doing lots of them…