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Ball joint failure?


spoulson
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240098 posted 07/26/05 07:48 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Another problem I'm addressing with my car is a clunk when either of the two happen: I make a hard right turn and the car sways to the left, or when I run over a large enough road imperfection that causes the front suspension, both wheels usually, to travel to almost bottoming out. Since the suspension is original, it's not difficult to make the car sway or exercise the suspension travel.

While working on something else around the front driver corner, I noticed that the ball joint seemed to allow the spindle to move laterally in/outboard enough that I could make it clunk a little.

I was convinced I need new balljoints and that I might as well do both. I call JNZ and find that he doesn't sell individual balljoints because they are problematic. You have to buy whole control arms with the balljoints pre-attached at over $200 each.

Josh seems to think balljoints are allowed to have some play, but now I'm confused. How do balljoints usually die? (aside from separating completely)

While I was in there, I didn't bother checking the swaybar endlinks. How would I know if they're shot if I were to go look again?



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Terry Posten
Old Balls
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240112 posted 07/26/05 08:15 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Sway bar end joints will clunk on every bump you hit. If you can move the links with you hands, they are bad and should be replaced. I think they are around $20.00 each and worth every penny.

The ball joint should have no play in it what so ever. You can get new ball joints cheap also ($30.00 each). They come with a new large spring clip for replacement. You will need a "ball joint press" to remove and re-install them. It is not hard and most auto stores will loan the hand press to you for free (you will need to pay a fee to get it but they refund the cost when you bring it back).

The first step is to remove wheel and support the car on a stand (duh), remove top nut, then use a ball joint separator (large fork) and place between bottom arm and top spindle and beat apart with a big hammer (where the old rubber seal is). Then you will see a large spring clip on the top of the lower arm and remove it using spring clip pliers. Use the hand press to remove the old joint and then reverse procedure to re-install..

The press takes a little to get used to but it is a 1 person job that will take about 2 hours to do the first one (learning curve and 1 hour to do the other side. (less if your good with hand tools)

DO NOT do just one side, and do both the links and ball joints at the same time. It will be easier. You'll see why when you get that far.

It is not hard but IS messy.

The best part of this job is that you will not have to have the car alined after your done.

Have fun.


Edited by Terry Posten (07/26/05 08:20 PM)

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spoulson
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240267 posted 07/27/05 09:23 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Great writeup. So where can I get these replacement balljoints, since Mitsu doesn't sell them like that?



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ken inn
BJ Titsengolf lifer


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240270 posted 07/27/05 09:30 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
also, watch out for the buttco brand balljoints. if they have a zerk fitting, and say taiwan on them, beware. the threaded part should be cold rolled threads, not shiny with a burned look. i would look for a lemforder brand, dark blue box, with an owl inside a triangle. if they come in a plain white box, throw them back.



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RvlutionMtrsport
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240279 posted 07/27/05 10:07 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I used Moog ball joints when I replaced mine and they're fine... I think they do have that zurk fitting though.

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powerplay
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240280 posted 07/27/05 10:08 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I used Beck/Arnley from NAPA and they did not have a zerk fitting. They have been fine so far.



Scott
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Sam
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240340 posted 07/27/05 12:15 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
2 things to consider
One i gaurntee you 100% your sway bar end links are shot, get a new set asap $18.0 a piece

After you replace those i bet all these little annoying noises will go away, then if it doesn't go away go ahead and replace your ball joints, the moog ones are awesome.

THEN another thing to consider is the upper strut bearings.


Good luck

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ken inn
BJ Titsengolf lifer


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240344 posted 07/27/05 12:21 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
yo, homies, just because they come from moog, beck, fleck, kleck, or whatever, DONT mean they aint buttco. if you think all those places make their own stuff, i got some land in west texas i can see you would be interested in. most of those places buy a generic part, and rebox it. some dont even bother to rebox it. a buttco brand will always have a zerk fitting. a lemforder brand will NEVER be reboxed, because it is such a good brand, the places selling it will want people to know they are selling lemforder. i had some buttco taiwan ball joints and tie rod ends, and when i had new tie rod ends installed on my car, i went and got japanese lemforder, you could SEE the difference. i know lemforder because 90% of german lemforder stuff is oem on german cars.



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powerplay
Yes Man
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240345 posted 07/27/05 12:26 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Ken, I couldn't find anybody around here who sold Lemforder. I agree with you about it all being reboxed, but where do you get the "Good" stuff?



Scott
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iceman69510 Galant VR4.org Moderator
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240428 posted 07/27/05 03:32 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Found this site, but doesn't list ball joints for the VR4. Maybe have to call them. Lemforder ball joints



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powerplay
Yes Man
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240483 posted 07/27/05 05:52 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Thanks I bookmarked it for future reference.



Scott
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atc250r Galant VR4.org Moderator
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240539 posted 07/27/05 08:10 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Ken is right. I had a Moog tie rod end fail on me with under 30,000 miles on it. I wish there was a way to get OE ones or the ones Ken recommended locally.

John



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joec
or maybe lick the biss
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 240655 posted 07/28/05 06:22 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
From the How To and Info Archive

Ball Joint- MB241883 (BIG thanks to RussianE39)



1991 GVR4 1630/2000 (sold)

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spoulson
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244477 posted 08/08/05 06:49 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Ok, so I went to AutoZone and they sell Beck/Arnley balljoints for our car. When they came in from order, to my surprise I got 1 buttco and one apparently good model. Both had the same Beck/Arnley part number on the box. The buttco model had a grease fitting and was stamped with "Trans", make in Taiwan. The good model was sealed and a little shorter and was stamped "555", made in Japan.

I had them re-order the parts and it looks like they got the same mismatch again, so they just gave me the two 555 models.

Now, on to replacement.

I started on the front driver side. I removed the axle (replacing it anyway) and disconnected the strut from the spindle, so there is plenty of room to work. I removed the nut at the top of the ball joint and started prying away with a ball joint separator. The damn thing would not budge. It seems the rod on the ball joint is tapered, so it's probably wedged in there real good.

So two questions: 1) How to remove? I didn't have a torch handy, would that be enough to break it off? FSM shows a special tool that I've never seen in the stores. 2) Once taken off, and new balljoint installed, how to get the spindle wedged back on the ball joint? Is this done with the ball joint press? I just don't want to have this thing come loose one day.



Shawn Poulson*

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crucible
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244486 posted 08/08/05 07:39 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I believe theres a clip that helps hold the ball joint in.Its on top of the joint.Sometimes its hard to see that clip with all the rust,dirt,etc. Remove that first and then buy,rent,borrow,steal a ball joint press.Its just a massive C- clamp with a few sized attachments.

If they are original, have fun.I found popping them out was easier than putting them in, not that it was that easy.When you install the new one, the ball joint alignment is critical or else it will go part of the way in crooked.Might help to grease up the sides of the joint.I took a while working on 1 wheel to figure out what the hell i was doing.Also, I found that lightly hammering the bottom of the ball as far in as possible before pressing it in because its easy for the ball to move slighty out of alignment.

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spoulson
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244549 posted 08/08/05 10:24 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I do have a ball joint press. I thought that was for removal and installation of the joint into the control arm, not spindle. I want the spindle to come off the balljoint first.



Shawn Poulson*

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ken inn
BJ Titsengolf lifer


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244551 posted 08/08/05 10:31 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Quote:

I started on the front driver side. I removed the axle (replacing it anyway) and disconnected the strut from the spindle, so there is plenty of room to work. I removed the nut at the top of the ball joint and started prying away with a ball joint separator. The damn thing would not budge. It seems the rod on the ball joint is tapered, so it's probably wedged in there real good.

So two questions: 1) How to remove? I didn't have a torch handy, would that be enough to break it off? FSM shows a special tool that I've never seen in the stores. 2) Once taken off, and new balljoint installed, how to get the spindle wedged back on the ball joint? Is this done with the ball joint press? I just don't want to have this thing come loose one day.




with the pickle fork type separator, which i dont like to use, you should leave the strut and everything else attached, then loosen the nut on top of the ball joint. insert the fork, and you have to beat it in with a bf hammer. notice the fork end is tapered, as you beat it inward, it forces the joint to separate from the spindle. you is gonna have to get really mad and whack the heck out of it. i prefer the bolt type separator, and i actually have the factory separator. even with the fsm, it is still an effort to get it to separate. when it is installed, as you tighten the nut, it pulls the tapered shaft in, and friction takes over. getting the ball joint assembly off the control arm is also a lot of fun.



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spoulson
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244846 posted 08/09/05 03:43 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Where can I find these bolt/puller type separator? I searched around, but all I can find are obscure web sites selling them.



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powerplay
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244878 posted 08/09/05 07:36 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
This is what I used when I replaced mine click



Scott
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iceman69510 Galant VR4.org Moderator
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244901 posted 08/09/05 08:24 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Try this (even though you may not like it). Leave the strut attached, and have someone push down (with a leg works) on the lower control arm. Whack the side of the knuckle right where the balljoint goes through with the biggest hammer you have (try not to hit the lower arm or it may deform where you intend to install the new ball joint) until the control arm drops out. It works. Not always easily or immediately, but eventually.



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holeshotmoe
subclass marmoreus


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244932 posted 08/09/05 09:30 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
FWIW, I had 3ft long, 1" diam steel spike with four tapered sides on the tip (like a nail but bigger). I used this so I wouldn't foul the rubber on the bj's using the fork. Anyway, I pulled the nut off and flipped it over so I wouldn't wreck the dimpled top that keeps it from backing off by itself. I screwed it on til flush with the threaded bj shaft. Then I wedged the tip of the spike between the nut and the big steel hub of the axle. Hammered a few times with a 5-lb hammer and it came loose. You could probably use a railroad spike too. 100k later its still rolling. Yeah it was ghetto but that's where I was at the time, with wife, 2 kids, 2 old cars. They didn't have autozone loaners back then either so you should probably check them out before picking up the hammer. As I recall though, I enjoyed using the hammer

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spoulson
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244983 posted 08/09/05 11:06 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Quote:

This is what I used when I replaced mine click




This is exactly what I borrowed from Autozone. But I don't see how it can be used to separate the spindle from the balljoint.



Shawn Poulson*

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powerplay
Yes Man
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 244995 posted 08/09/05 11:28 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
You are correct. I used that tool to remove the ball joint from the lower control arm. I used a big hammer and heat to get the spindle off of the ball joint. As previously stated, a well placed rap on the side of the spindle arm popped mine off. My mistake.



Scott
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twkd
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 245183 posted 08/09/05 08:58 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Check out this link:

Pitman Arm Puller

AutoZone sells a smaller OEM brand version of this tool that works wonders for removing ball joints and tie rod ends... I hate AZ's search engine, so I can't find it. All of the stores carry it.

twkd

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spoulson
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 245365 posted 08/10/05 11:56 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post   
Ahh! I found it. I'm going to grab this after work today.



Shawn Poulson*

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