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Thread: Symptoms of a bad ball joint?

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    Default Symptoms of a bad ball joint?

    Just curious to find out what peoples driving experiences have been when they have had bad ball joint (noises or otherwise). I noticed the boot on my driver front is torn.
    98 ATX w/CTA,JBA,2.25 exhaust & highflow cat, Crower intake cam, essy udp, essy intake cam gear, SCT 4-way chip, CRAPPY Jayco tranny, Ksport coilovers, Rage 5.0 16" wheels, WW kit, custom Hyundai Accent wing, and full police siren/pa set-up

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    a clunck comin from the front end when ever u hit a bump um a shimy/ shake in the streeing wheel when goin down the road i just replaced mine oh ya and if you look at the front end of your car the toe or camber of your wheels could be off

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    How about when the brakes are applied? I have this creaking noise when the brake are lightly applied.

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    jack the car up and see if it has any play. Usaully up/down and wiggling at the bottom of the wheel is a bad ball joint, left to right only is a tie rod.

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    You can do what inis said, and jack the front end up and shake your tires back and forth (it the turning directions) and it will clunk or you can sit in the car and shake the wheel and you will here clunking/popping. As for a creek then the brakes are applied... idk, I know they can pop and clunk when you apply the brakes.
    -Ben

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    Default

    If it's torn, it will fail much sooner. Plan on replacing it.
    Symptoms vary widely.

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    Most likely the first thing you will notice is a clunk. Unless a ball joint is really bad , the wheel method won't necc. work. I had one, the boot was torn, I was getting a clunk, the wheel shake method showed no play. then I took a pry bar by the joint and control arm and got a little movement. Installed new joint, clunk gone.

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    Hard to do on a mcpherson setup since the play is usually very minimal if they are going. Like said. Basic symptoms would be a clucnk noise over bumps, hitting bumps causing the steering wheel to shimmy more then usual. Up and down play by jacking at the body (very important) and prying upward on the tire from underneath. Radial ply by grabbing the tire inside and out at the 6 o clock position and pushing in and out and feeling play. Or excessive negative camber can be a sign. Though hard to tell since Ant tells me your running a pretty sick suspension setup these days.

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    Hey Jim, do you check brakes down there? If it is not the ball joint I must be having some issue with the brake pads or something. What sux is everything is new (pads, rotors, pins).
    Last edited by Jaybird; 11-12-2008 at 02:21 PM.

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    How much are ball joints?
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    If you got a torn boot it should be replaced. After doing this, test drive it and see if the creak is still there, if it is, then you gotta start narrowing it down by the process of elimination. Sometimes creaks go away will a little spray of WD40, this can help you locate a problem. I had a creak on the GT and thru to process of spraying WD40 on different joints and locations I narrowed it down to the spring pad on the strut. A creak is probably due to metel on metal contact, break down of lubriaction, etc...
    On the brake side of things. Our calipers are prone to rusting in between the slider boot and caliper, this can cause the caliper to not float so well, but this typically is not audible and will cause one pad to wear faster than the other. Brakes typically squeek vs. creak.
    Being that you got the crazyest suspension set up ever, it might have something to do with that or the extreme drop you got. Drops can put suspension components at angle they are not used to working at and that could be causeing this issue. It's really hard to say over the computer.
    Hope this helps.
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    Our ball joints are very easy to replace - a true gift.
    Maybe $25 each. [but my price doesn't count]

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    About 43.99 each. Replaced mine about a month ago due to torn rubber seals. It's much more of a bitch to change when they are both = lifetime replacement warranty exchange ( last replaced January 2005 ).

    If I really cared about our customers I would have sent them somewhere better.

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    I bought some MOOGs today at oreillys for $60 a pop and they were very easy to replace.... Symptoms were clunks going over bumps and you could feel a little vibration driving at highway speeds....

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    I just did the ball joints on my wifes car. It would pop when turning the wheel. Mostly when backing up. They were $46 each with tax at Auto Zone with a lifetime warranty. I actually made a how-to video for it.

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