New K20 owner!

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Scott Vincent

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2022
Posts
21
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23
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
First Name
Scott
Truck Year
1974
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
350 B30over
Hi all! Iʻm Scott and I just recently bought a 1974 K20. It came with a brand newly built 350 bored 30 over and replacement axles for the front and rear...although those need work and are the current effort. Annnd that brings me to precisely why I joined this group...I needed another forum to get questions answered besides YouTube university...lol.

So hereʻs my first question. Iʻm currently working on the front axle. It is a GM 8.5" 10 bolt. I have it torn down 85% of the way, but Iʻm stuck. The driver side upper BJ in the knuckle is my new nemesis. It looks like this steering arm has to be removed to remove the ball joint. However, everything I keep reading says do not mess with it, which may be too late as Iʻve already removed the three nuts.

Hereʻs the questions: DO I HAVE to remove the steering arm to replace the ball joint? If so, what is the best way to do so? If I do NOT have to remove the steering arm...then how do I get the ball joint to pass that are where the arm seem to slightly overlap the exit path?

And to answer the questions Iʻm anticipating...the axle has to be replaced because at some point some wizard put a 1/2 ton axle on here on 3/4 spindles. Iʻm replacing the ball joints with MOOgʻs because I noticed play in at least 2 along with town up boots and just decided that since I had an axle of unknown origin and usage, a teardown and rebuild was a good move. Besides Iʻm considering a locker. The teardown, as usual, was a good call because the right side hub and spindle are trashed and likely the axle as well.

Anyhow...Iʻll get a more thorough intro on here soon, but for now Iʻm trying to make some actual progress.

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

Scott
 

bucket

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Howdy from Ohio!

I do not remember ever having to remove the steering arm to change the ball joints.

Messing with the steering arm is no big deal. Even with the nuts removed, the cone washers will just be laughing at you. Which those are what makes the steering arm difficult to remove. You really have to wail on the steering arm to get the cone washers to pop loose.
 

animal

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Location
Georgia
First Name
Lee
Truck Year
1986
Truck Model
c10 silverado
Engine Size
350ish
:welcome:
 

dvdswan

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Location
Port Orchard, WA
First Name
Dave
Truck Year
1978
Truck Model
K10
Engine Size
350
Welcome to the site. Thoughts... Are you going to be adding a lift kit to the truck? Does it already have one? If so, does it have a lifted steering arm? or a block? They can be a pain to remove because they washers are "cone washers". A BFH is your best friend with showing the steering arm who the boss is. An air hammer works well as well. Just remember to keep moving around the arm.

cone washer
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So, they sit inside the steering arm.

IMO, since you have started to remove the arm I would continue. Call it "piece of mind" so you can look at the screws for corrosion. I've never seen it on the bolts but each arm I've taken off, I've replaced the screws. Having the arm off does make it easier for a beginner to remove the ball joints. I would also suggest getting new adjuster sleeves for the upper ball joints.
 

75gmck25

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Northern Virginia
First Name
Bruce
Truck Year
1975
Truck Model
K25 Camper Special TH350 NP203
Engine Size
5.7
I removed the steering arm to replace my K25 ball joints, but I don’t remember what directions I was following (GM manual or something off the internet). After the fact I concluded that it was probably not necessary, but I don’t recall the details.

What I do recall is that some of the nuts or bolts were supposed to be one-time use because of the high torque, and I found the grade 8 parts I needed at Ace hardware.

You will also need the special ball joint spanner wrench if you want to remove the adjuster sleeves on the top joint. It’s not an expensive tool, but I had to get one from Amazon when I couldn’t find it locally.

Also take a close look at all the axle seals and make sure you can return/exchange what you buy. They apparently changed them a little over time or they are different across axles, and the parts diagram is a PIA to read.
 

WFO

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Location
Texas Panhandle
First Name
Dan
Truck Year
1986
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
350
Welcome from the Texas Panhandle.
 

Scott Vincent

Junior Member
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Aug 28, 2022
Posts
21
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23
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
First Name
Scott
Truck Year
1974
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
350 B30over
Hey guys...just got the pics of the truck. Apparently I chose to simply get to work on it right away instead of taking a single picture of it, so Iʻm glad you guys reminded me to do that since everyone is asking for pics.
 

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  • Interior.jpg
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Juggernaut

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Location
Illinois
First Name
Greg
Truck Year
78
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
350
Are you sure those are not original axles? The front looks like a Dana 44, and that's what they would have used in 74. To remove the steering arm hit the side of the arm right next to each stud. You may have to hit it pretty hard but the cone should pop up out of the arm and you can slide it off the stud. Start at the end away from the curved arm, and penetrating oil helps
 

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