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Worn Ball Joints

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by nautique, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. nautique

    nautique Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    20
    Los angelas, CA
    Full Name:
    Craig Tempelton
    I took my front suspension off of my car this weekend. How can I tell if my Ball Joints need replaced.

    Craig
     
  2. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,337
    If the suspension were still on the car, you could use a dial indicator and push and pull on a ball joint. Any movement (0.001) on the dial indicator is cause for replacement.
     
  3. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Owner Consultant

    May 5, 2001
    6,951
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Mitch,
    I haven't checked my ball joints, Do I have the procedure correct:

    Mount a dial indicator on the ball-joint's a-frame using a magnetic base.
    Place the indicator's tip on the threaded end of the ball joint, or just about any convenient place on the axle hub.
    Zero the indicator
    Use a pry bar or other means to try to push & pull on the axle hub relative to the a-frame.

    Repeat for the other ball joint.

    Alternatively the dial indicator base could be mounted to the axle hub and the indicator placed on the ball joint or close to it on the a-frame.
     
  4. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,337
    I think that this is measuring 90 degrees to the intended direction.

    I would mount the DI base on the a-arm and place the DI to measure the movement of the hub itself. The is the direction that suspension forces travel through the ball joint. You want to measure the play in the latteral direction not the vertical direction. Although, com to think of it, you might want to measure both. In any event, any play (>0.001") is unacceptable.
     
  5. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Owner Consultant

    May 5, 2001
    6,951
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Thanx Mitch,
    I've rebuilt front suspensions before, but usually after things had badly deteriorated. Never had things like DIs to make the preemptive precision checks until recently.

    'Gards,
     

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