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Lower Ball Joint Loose in Control Arm


FillMarr

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Hey guys,

For starters, I already know they sell ball joint replacements with a slightly wider diameter for loose control arm holes, but I want to know how bad it would be to keep things as is for a while.

I just replaced my lower ball joints, and I had to press new Moog replacements into place. Problem is, one week later I was doing a spindle swap and I noticed the ball joints now sit somewhat loosely in place ...

Thoughts on this? I would rather not spend the money to again buy another set of ball joints. The strange part is, I DID have to press these replacements in 2 weeks ago!

I have the 2003 2wd ranger, no off roading (except the really really crappy pot-holed streets of the boston area).

Thanks in advance.

Phil
 


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1996xlt

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If the hole in your lower control arm that you pressed the ball joint into is damaged causing the new joint you pressed in to move, I'd park the truck until you can get a new LCA and replace it. As you mention, you have a lot of pot holes in your area in the event you hit one hard enough to pop that joint out or snap it, you could quite easily lose control hurting yourself and others.

Not saying it to scare you, but suspension/steering isn't something I'd take a chance on.
 

adsm08

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For starters, I already know they sell ball joint replacements with a slightly wider diameter for loose control arm holes, but I want to know how bad it would be to keep things as is for a while.
My thoughts on leaving it as is and driving the truck for a while are as follows:

I will stop just short of terming it suicidal and only call it extremely idiotic.
 

FillMarr

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I appreciate the responses. That c-clip should in theory be enough to hold it in though right?

Curious if anyone had actually had any issues caused by this.

Thanks again-


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1996xlt

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If you're relying on that clip to keep it in....again I wouldn't risk it. Its pressed in part and that clip would hold the weight of the part on its own sure, but not in addition to the stresses a suspension sees on a day to day basis.
 
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Denisefwd93

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Hell go one better get a arm with the BJ in it! Be done live to talk about it
 

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I appreciate the responses. That c-clip should in theory be enough to hold it in though right?

Curious if anyone had actually had any issues caused by this.

Thanks again-


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No. In fact I often leave the snap rings out on my own, partially because the groove is often cut too high, so it doesn't fully clear the knuckle, but also because if the splined, pressed section of that joint decides it is coming out that snap ring is not stopping it.

I have actually pressed ball joints out of the knuckle without removing the snap ring when the holes were too messed up to get a bite on. The last little land below it just breaks off most of the time.
 

FillMarr

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Alright - Well I went ahead and ordered a replacement over size Ball Joint for that control arm. ACDelco made one for $35 (moog didnt seem to have one that fit my truck).

Better safe than sorry! I was thinking about it over the weekend, and I think the heavy vibration from grinding away the lip on my lower control arm for a spindle lift is what loosened that ball joint / lower control arm hole.
 

Diesel_brad

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Do you have the part number for the oversized ball joint? I put 4 new ones on last year and 20k ago. Brought it in for inspection today and they said the ball joint is loose in the control arm. I guess that explains the "clunk" I've had for the past year.

I would much rather replace the ball joint than the control arm
 

cbxer55

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The upper and lower bjs on my 98 were so bad, there was no replacing them. Same goes for the outer tie-rod ends, very sloppy and loose. Bought new upper and lower cas with new bjs and new bushings. Also did the inner and outer tie-rod ends while in there. NAPA parts. Yeah, costed me slightly over $700, but it sure does drive better now.
 


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