Do bad ball joints cause a vibration at high speeds? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

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Old 10-10-2012
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Gold Canyon, Arizona
Posts: 19
Do bad ball joints cause a vibration at high speeds?

I am getting a shake/vibe in the front end at high speeds above 55. Sometimes noticeable at lower speeds if it is a rough road. I crawled under to look and noticed both lower ball joint boots are cracked.

I did a few google searches and found that Moog are the most mentioned replacements. I also found changing ball joints on Rangers is kinda like a common event as in a great american pastime.

So I have some questions. Anyone used both or seen the Moog and the Motorcraft w/grease fitting lower balljoints? Wondering if they are both made by the same company?

Also, wondering if someone replaced the lower ball joints and had it fix a shaky/vibrating front end?

Is there a way to test the uppers? The boots look good and by looking at the setup it looks like the lowers take all the abuse? Any input you have is appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2012
98liftedranger's Avatar
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It could be your ball joints. It could also be tie rods, wheel bearing, alignment. Moog are the way to go though.
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Old 10-11-2012
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Gold Canyon, Arizona
Posts: 19
Not getting any kind of unusual tire wear. Just put new bearings in it about 1,000 miles ago, due to replacing warped rotors. Not sure how to check tie rods, but looking at them the boots are good and by grabbing them they don't move.

I'm gonna replace the ball joints because of the bad boots, but would rather put the money at the problem that causes the vibration, if - its not the ball joints causing it now. trying to be methodical about this and just not throw money at new parts.
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Old 10-14-2012
fifthranger's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: cleveland, oh
Posts: 198
Just because uneven tire wear isn't present doesn't mean that a tire couldn't be the culprit. Proper balance, air pressure, and an out-of-round tire can also cause a vibration at different speeds.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 844
The ball joints are loaded to test them simply take a jack and place it almost directly under the lower ball joint and jack up the one wheel and wiggle. For the upper while its still jacked up take a prybar under the A- arm and wiggle it around. Definitely could be a tire. Does the steering wheel shake while you drive? Does the vibration only occur at certain speeds?
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