: 94 Fltwd needs upper/lower ball joints



scurling
05-15-10, 10:16 PM
When turning the wheel in parking lots, and other slow speed tight turns, I've been hearing some metal on metal grinding and popping lately. Finally lifted the front end and gave it a good inspection. The left upper ball joint has a lot of play, and is starting to fail. Any hard lateral movement in the front end causes a shift that I can hear in the joint.

I've never changed the ball joints on this vehicle, only on a front wheel drive car. Does anyone have experience with changing the ball joints? I'm looking for any tips you could pass on for handling the springs, etc. I'm so concerned about the joint failing that I've taken the car off the road until I can get it fixed.

I can always buy the OEM parts, but has anyone had good results with other brands? NAPA, MOOG, Bendix, etc? I understand there is a very good heavy duty lower ball joint on the market. I saw it discussed a few years ago, but can't find any reference to it now.

thanks,

Stan

HUF
05-16-10, 01:13 AM
^ The ball joints may be indeed bad, but the metal-to-metal sound you described may be cause with the stops on the lower control arm. All you need to do is greasing them. There is a thread with a picture posted by jayoldschool a few months ago.

scurling
05-17-10, 09:46 PM
Thanks for you reply. I keep the front end of my two Fltwds lubed judiciously. This is one of the few upper ball joints that I have seen fail on a well maintained vehicle. I know what you mean about the bump stop sound. Believe me the upper left joint on this vehicle is so loose, the tire rubs the control arm. That's how my inspection lead me to the ball joint. I noticed the tire had a ring rubbed on it, just under the wheel rim.

I'll check out Jay's posting. Thanks.

csbuckn
05-17-10, 10:25 PM
Have a jack under the lower control when you loosen it up. I think your upper ball joints are riveted, I've always found a dremel to be better than a drill.

HUF
05-17-10, 11:10 PM
When turning the wheel in parking lots, and other slow speed tight turns, I've been hearing some metal on metal grinding and popping lately. Finally lifted the front end and gave it a good inspection. The left upper ball joint has a lot of play, and is starting to fail. Any hard lateral movement in the front end causes a shift that I can hear in the joint.

I've never changed the ball joints on this vehicle, only on a front wheel drive car. Does anyone have experience with changing the ball joints? I'm looking for any tips you could pass on for handling the springs, etc. I'm so concerned about the joint failing that I've taken the car off the road until I can get it fixed.

I can always buy the OEM parts, but has anyone had good results with other brands? NAPA, MOOG, Bendix, etc? I understand there is a very good heavy duty lower ball joint on the market. I saw it discussed a few years ago, but can't find any reference to it now.

thanks,

Stan
You know, now when you brought it up... I hear some hiss/swish sound from the front while maneuvering in a parking lot. There are also marks on the side walls of both front tires as if I was rubbing a curb...Could my front tires rub control arms? Is it even possible?

jayoldschool
05-18-10, 09:33 AM
.Could my front tires rub control arms?


No, your tires are rubbing on the sway bar. Look at the bar where it bends back towards the control arm. You will see a shiny spot there. On the SS, GM used a slightly larger bump stop to prevent the 255s from contacting the bar so soon. No big deal, you won't hurt the tire...

HUF
05-18-10, 03:08 PM
No, your tires are rubbing on the sway bar. Look at the bar where it bends back towards the control arm. You will see a shiny spot there. On the SS, GM used a slightly larger bump stop to prevent the 255s from contacting the bar so soon. No big deal, you won't hurt the tire...
Jay, the tires might rub the sway bar, but I am talking about the outer sidewalls of both front tires. Please see the picture. I can only imagine the tire rubbing the wheel well... This is something new. Any failing suspension components to blame?

scurling
05-30-10, 01:16 AM
Tear-down and cleanup are coming along. Naturally, this job is going like so many others: little steps every night. The upper joint was a bear. With a cutoff tool, impact chisel, sledge, cold chisel, and punch I got the rivets out and joint off. Borrowed a lower ball joint removal press from Advanced Auto and it came out with ease. You only leave a deposit, no charge at all to use the tool.

jayoldschool
05-30-10, 03:32 PM
the tires might rub the sway bar, but I am talking about the outer sidewalls of both front tires. Please see the picture. I can only imagine the tire rubbing the wheel well...

What size are those tires? They look like light truck tires...

scurling
06-01-10, 01:15 AM
The big job is done. Now I just need to install shock and sway bar link on the right side. My wife will be glad to have her car back. Front end feels good and tight now. Like my two tone paint job, black and rust. :-)