Sunday, December 11, 2011

How to inspect Upper and Lower Ball joints?

The ball joints can receive a lot of wear because they are a large part of what makes the suspension flexible.
The lower ball joint is a joint or connection where a ball moves within a socket, allowing a rotary motion while the angle of the rotation axis changes.A suspension component that attaches the steering knuckle to either control arm featuring a ball-and-socket joint to allow pivoting in various directions. Also known as a spherical joint.
This is how basic ball joints look:---
If the ball joint is worn out,then it has to be replaced.But before replacing the ball joints,first inspect it.

  • In some vehicles it is recommended that you check to see if the grease fitting can wiggle in the ball joint. If it does, the ball joint should be replaced. Always check the service manual when checking ball joints.
  • Some ball joints have a wear indicator built into them. The most common type of wear indicator has a shoulder that sticks out of the bottom of the joint about 0.050" when it is new. If the ball joint has worn, this shoulder will recede into the ball joint housing. When it is flush, the ball joint should be replaced. A wear indicator ball joint must be loaded and at normal ride height to read the indicator.
Checking a wear indicator ball joint. Courtesy of Moog Automotive, Inc.
  • Ball joints should be checked for excessive wear and torn grease seals. Look for unusual tire wear. Worn ball joints or other front suspension parts that cause looseness can result in cupped wear of the tire tread. A torn or missing ball joint seal will require replacement of the joint by a front suspension specialist. Bad shock absorbers or a tire out of balance can also result in cupped wear.
  • Feel around the outside of the boot, looking for tears. If the boot is torn, the joint will probably fail soon and should be replaced.
  • Inspect also for signs of rust or cracks on the control arm near the joint.
  • Load carrying joints will have some slop when the weight of the vehicle is taken off them. Follower joints should never have play.
  • To check a load-carrying joint, it must be unloaded. When the coil spring is on the lower control arm, raise the vehicle by jacking under the control arm as close to the ball joint as possible. This gives the maximum amount of leverage against the spring.
  • The ball joint is unloaded when the upper strike out bumper is not in contact with the control arm or frame. A quick check for looseness can be made by using a pry bar between the tire and the ground.

This details will help you.
If you need dis-assembly or replacement instructions for any other auto/car part, or you want to ask question related to your car/truck jeep problem then please leave the comment with your details, so I can provide you the required instructions and solutions.

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