View Full Version : Had a near catastrophic ball joint failure. Locking nut backed off.

Mustang Matt
07-20-12, 02:34 PM
2005 CTS-V 134k miles. It's my wife's car and she babies it. She was leaving her work and fortunately only driving about 10 mph. The locking nut on the passenger lower ball joint had somehow backed off. That corner came crashing down. She pulled over immediately and the nut was actually sitting on the control arm. Doesn't look like a wrench has ever been on it.

Tightened it back up and the car is moving again. I've never heard of a locking nut backing off like that. (Although, now that I think about it..... The dealer did replace the wheel bearing on that side. I wonder if they messed with that nut at that time.)

The ball joints seem shot. Looks like the local stores carry moog or ray bestos replacement ball joints at about $50/each.

Or I can buy the entire arm with the ball joints and bushings from gmpartsdirect for about $589 + shipping.

I've spent a couple days searching the internet and this site. I couldn't really find any first hand experience with replacement.

One local guy who is a former cadillac tech mentioned that the steering rack boots tend to rip when the control arms are removed. I'm guessing the bushings need to be replaced anyway but I hate to spend the extra money if I don't need them.

Does anyone have any first hand experience replacing the arms or the ball joints? Are there any other options I'm not aware of? If someone has replaced just the joints, did they have to remove the arms anyway? Also, what ball joint press did you use?

Thanks everyone!

07-20-12, 03:43 PM
If the dealer followed the Service Manual procedure for replacing the front wheel bearing, the technician would not have disassembled the lower ball joint.

I would check with Luke at Lindsay for parts.

See attached.

Cadillac Cust Svc
07-21-12, 04:08 PM
Hi Matt,

I realize you're seeking DIY input from other owners, so I just wanted to jump on this thread to say I'm sorry to hear about your wife's experience on the road! I'm going to document your ball joint concerns where the appropriate GM departments can view them, and please don't hesitate to drop me an email anytime at Katie_Lucille@gmexpert.com if you'd like me to investigate or document further.

Cadillac Customer Service

07-21-12, 04:22 PM
The nut should be a castle nut or a locking nut. The castle nut will have a cotter pin through it to prevent it from ever backing off.....glad she is not hurt!!!

Mustang Matt
08-12-12, 09:29 PM
I ended up ordering new arms from Luke @ Lindsay Cadillac.

gmpartsdirect.com was a bit cheaper on the parts but Luke was cheaper to my door.

I can see now why the bushings aren't offered aftermarket. They're a bit of a strange beast.

Here are the full front lower control arm part numbers if anyone is looking for these in a future search:
25758280, 25758281 I'm not sure which is left or right.

There is one heck of a Cadillac tax on these though. I know it's silly, but sometimes I get caught up on stuff like this. The pricing on these might be enough to convince me never to buy another GM.