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Old 09-15-2013
sgull's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: AK
Posts: 16
ball joint play?

On my 98 2WD Ranger I've been noticing some sporadic shuddering type noise seems to come from left front wheel area. It's not particularly loud nor do I notice it vibrating to the steering wheel as I drive. Checking around underneath, everything seems tight and nothing appears obviously bad or loose. Suspecting perhaps worn ball joint(s) I separately jacked the each front tire off the ground and grasped it at 12 and 6 o'clock and tried to move it back and forth to check for play. I did in fact detect some slight play on the left side as compared to the right which I detected no such slight play. Then I took a pry bar to see if I could notice any up-and-down play when I pried up from underneath the tire. Didn't seem to notice any play at all that way. I'm just wondering if the slight play I mentioned when I wiggled the left tire/wheel back and forth while grasping at 12 and 6 o'clock could be a definite indication the ball joint(s) on that side might be worn and maybe be causing the shuddering noise as described. Or should a very slight back-and-forth top and bottom movement when I did the rocking back and forth test as I described be expected and not necessarily indicative of a bad ball joint(s)? thanks for any comments
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Old 10-11-2013
cheese_man's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: arthur
Posts: 2,100
the corret procedure for checking ball joint play is

remove the tire , unbolt caliper and tie out of way , temporaryily re-install tire using 2 lug nuts , grasp top and bottom of tire , physically try to move tire at 6 and 12 o`clock position
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