: Ball Joint Cracked While Driving (Disconnected From Lower Control Arm)

07-15-11, 04:58 AM

I wasn't driving, my wife was, and she had all the kids with her! (I was at school) Good thing it broke while she was pulling up to a stop sign, instead of on a freeway. Here's what she texted me after the incident occured; "Something wrong with your car.. I think something fell out of the engine.." LOL

Of course, I had to stand outside and face the embarrassment and dumb questions/statements from the spectators. And no one has anything to do, so everyone came outside to stare as 2 squad cars and a tow truck showed up. I'm surprised a news van didn't pull up and a few choppers weren't swarming the area..lol. "We're here live on the scene. Sir, what did you see"? "Well, I was in my house eating some Capn Crunch when I heard a loud boom!! and scraping against the asphalt. I thought we were being invaded by alien spacecraft."

I guess I should've expected this, going with a no name brand (MasterPro) and all. I told my mechanic I'd order the AC Delco and he insisted that these were just as good. The first pair were squeaky, so he replaced them and the company claimed they were simply defective. And what does the company have to say about this second machine pressed joint snapping? What do you know?; "defective.." My mechanic is even gullible enough to believe them. He's like, "Brian, I've never seen this before. You should be okay this time." Dude, this is the second time you've had to replace them in 6 months! My stock joints lasted 17 years!

I'm gonna switch them out for the AC Delco this weekend. I hear Moog is good also. What do you guys think about Moog?

07-15-11, 08:17 AM
That is very scary. I have seen it a couple times in my life. I always wonder why they always break at slow speeds and not high speeds. Moog should be a good replacement. I don't know if AC Delco makes replacements. I will always buy Moog from now on and skip the cheap shit.

07-15-11, 11:33 AM
There have been a bunch of failures like this that have been posted on the ISSF. Always happens at low speed where the forces are greatest on the ball joints (thankfully).

Go with Moog.

Looks like someone hammered your steering stop back at some point...

07-15-11, 01:17 PM
with the steering stop hammered, does the turning get sharper? Actually, I could see that putting more stress on the front end.

I vote Moog too.

07-15-11, 06:19 PM
Holly ball joint! Don't even want to imagine what would happen on a highway...

07-17-11, 08:05 AM
Looks like someone hammered your steering stop back at some point...

Do you remember back in January I was asking you about a knocking sound while making hard lefts or U-turns, and you said the steering stop might be rubbing against the spindle (something like that)? If it was hammered back, would that be the reason for the knocking?

07-17-11, 11:57 AM
That's where the knocking is coming from. There is no grease on the stop, so the spindle binds, then releases.

07-19-11, 07:38 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if Moog wasn't the OEM supplier.

Yes, the stock 9/16" ball joint was really too small for these cars. You can get the 95-96 9C1 lower control arms with the old 71-76 B/C/D car joint that is a 5/8", what SHOULD have been in there, which was upgraded on many 9C1 and 9C6 cars (cop car and taxi). I have a set that I plan on getting in mine here soon. You can't put a 5/8" in a 9/16" arm, big difference in size, very big difference.

The 5/8" joint was used on the Astro/Safari vans too, so it was still in inventory.

Oh, the 95-96 9C1 arm is an upgrade on all 77-up B/D cars with appropriate spindle. You need lower arm and spindle, upper arm is same.

Moog is very good supplier of suspension parts, they are common to upgrade the parts to beefier if they feel the OEM design is not sufficient.

07-20-11, 02:16 AM
What's the difference in the 95-96 9C1 arm and spindle? Just the ball joint size? I know the backing plate has better venting but don't know of other differences.

07-20-11, 10:35 AM
Ball joint size on the lower arm and the spindle, that's it.

07-20-11, 01:16 PM
Bushing durometer too, but that is only if you get a new one, likely replacement bushings will be same as what you have now.

But it doesn't sound like much, but I have both arms and I can tell you, the difference is huge. You won't be breaking a 5/8" ball joint.