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why do my ball joints need replaced so often?

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why do the ball joints need replaced so often? isn't this unusual?

3/2009 A-frame joints, 2 lower ball joints

5/2013 lower ball joint (didn't say which side)

2/2014 lower ball joint (didn't say which side)

9/2015 2 upper control arms, ball joint (didn't say which side)

4/2019 "left front control arm ball joint assembly"

5/2021 right upper ball joint and control arm

last time, I asked the mechanic, wtf??? he said they go bad when you don't lube them. so the part he replaced it with, doesn't have a grease zert, and neither did the old one. asked him if they go bad without lube how are these going to last. he said they are sealed and the grease is packed in there so they last a good long time.

yeah right. they aren't lasting.

????????
 


19Walt93

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My friend owned a Napa store and had a "value" line of parts- to compete with Autozone and the like. We installed some "value" ball joints in his wife's Explorer that lasted months. Real Napa ball joints we replaced them with were still in it 5 year later when he traded it. We also had a local tire store that sold a lot of ball joints to their alignment customers. One used car dealer had me replace the ball joints in the Road Runner he drag raced, drove it directly to the tire store for an alignment( their alignment "tech" had an undeserved good rep) and was told it needed ball joints. We did his alignments after that.
Two questions: what brand of parts are you using and do you trust those guys to be honest and know what they're doing?
 

Uncle Gump

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Lots of garbage parts on the market these days...

Have you altered the front suspension at all?
 

cbxer55

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Put all new NAPA upper and lower control arms (ball joints already installed) in my 98 Ranger in July 2018. Still going strong to this day. Well over 30,000 miles since doing it. And btw, they have zerk fittings.
 

RonD

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Yes, "lifetime" ball joints are usually good for 100k miles, car makers consider that a "lifetime" for any vehicle

Replacement "lifetime" ball joints do not usually last as long
Replacing them with lube-able ball joints, i.e. have Zerk fittings, will get you more miles as long as you lube them

Larger that stock tires wear out ball joints faster, its the extra weight of the wheels and tires
 

rumblecloud

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Following. This is good to know as I am about to embark down this highway over the winter.
 

dvdswan

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You should post the mileage too.
 

Fast Eddie

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I have over 90k on mine and all I've done is replace the shocks. Alignment gy said everything checks out fine. What is the root cause of these types of problems?
 

ericbphoto

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What is the root cause of these types of problems?
Everything mentioned above - cheap parts, big tires, poorly designed lift or lowering jobs, lack of maintenance, driving habits, etc.

Mine is 4x4, with 35" tires and I definitely offroad it. No way am I going to see 50,00 miles or anything close to that. But I expect them to fail prematurely due to those conditions. I lube them and check them fairly often.
 

cbxer55

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Everything mentioned above - cheap parts, big tires, poorly designed lift or lowering jobs, lack of maintenance, driving habits, etc.

Mine is 4x4, with 35" tires and I definitely offroad it. No way am I going to see 50,00 miles or anything close to that. But I expect them to fail prematurely due to those conditions. I lube them and check them fairly often.
Don't forget to mention horrible roads and potholes. Bumpy rough railroad track crossings taken at too high a speed. Don't know about anyone else, but the roads here are pretty substandard. Just going around a left turn in an intersection, it feels like you're on a washboard road.
 

Ramcharger90

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Either junk parts or they could be lying to you.... I have put some of the cheapest off brand parts on cars and they seem to last a long time and lots of abuse.....

I have put parts on cars that were literally the entire package were written in русский
So who really knows...

but when I have had to replace control arm bushings etc or the whole thing comes apart the ball joints boots like to rip apart especially if they were cheap in the first place. So maybe they are messing them up taking it apart. To replace other stuff.
 

snoranger

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Don't know about anyone else, but the roads here are pretty substandard.
The roads are substandard everywhere, making substandard standard.
 

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If you have non-greasable ball joints installed, make sure you have more grease put into them before the install. Even the better ones often only have a minimal amount of grease put in them from the factory.

The reason for doing so before they are installed is because it is much easier to grease them then than after they have already been put in.
 

09fx4guy

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If you are putting quite a lot of mileage on the truck, I would insist on a quality branded part with zerk fittings. If you are putting about 20,000 miles a year, they may be worn, but not totally shot. I usually use Moog parts, that almost always come with grease fittings. I know my original ones are probably going to need to be replaced sooner rather than later, and it has 46,000 miles, most of which were city driving, with below substandard roads.
 

mikkelstuff

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Use Moog ball joints AND grease them with each oil change.
 

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