Does this balljoint look like it's unpressing itself? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 04-07-2009
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Does this balljoint look like it's unpressing itself?

Hi Guys,

Ever since the SoCal meet I've been having a nasty noise/issue with a mean sounding thunk/clud/pop. I keep thinking it's my wheel bearings because I haven't changed them in awhile but I was looking under my truck just now and noticed that the balljoint on my driver side doesn't seem to be looking too healthy...

I know s10killer (Kris) told me I need to do some grinding on my new lower arms around where the spindle sits on the arm, which I forgot to do on these new lca's. That could be the issue right there but I'm going to do my wheel bearings anyway with my brakes.

Anyway, how does it look to you guys?

Driver side:
Does this balljoint look like it's unpressing itself?-ds.jpg

Passenger side:
Does this balljoint look like it's unpressing itself?-ps.jpg

Driver side seems like it's popping up a bit...
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Old 04-07-2009
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It just looks like that the ball joint is pushed in more than the other. My new one on the drivers side looked like your drivers when I was done.

How hard a wheeling have you been doing? You haven't been jumping the truck really hard have you?
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Old 04-07-2009
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What is the grinding going to do?

Check the other side of the ball joint. It should have a lip on it so it doesn't come out the other way. I'm sure its fine though. Check your shock mount bolts.
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Old 04-07-2009
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i had the same problem, but it ended up being the bearings making the noise, the drivers side grenaded . i did not replace the ball joints until the parts came in (a few days later) and i had no noises my ball joint on the left lower was going up and down and still no noise...my money is on the wheel bearings
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Old 04-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert99ranger View Post
It just looks like that the ball joint is pushed in more than the other. My new one on the drivers side looked like your drivers when I was done.

How hard a wheeling have you been doing? You haven't been jumping the truck really hard have you?
I haven't really been wheeling that hard, some small stuff that's it. Check out the thread under meets and greets, there's some pics.

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Originally Posted by fddriver02 View Post
What is the grinding going to do?

Check the other side of the ball joint. It should have a lip on it so it doesn't come out the other way. I'm sure its fine though. Check your shock mount bolts.
Well If you look at my spindle and my lower arm, when I'm wheeling there isn't much space between both of them because of the lip on the lca. if you grind it down then it allows the spindle to move up and down freely without banging the lca lip.

I hope that makes sense :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrpro130 View Post
i had the same problem, but it ended up being the bearings making the noise, the drivers side grenaded . i did not replace the ball joints until the parts came in (a few days later) and i had no noises my ball joint on the left lower was going up and down and still no noise...my money is on the wheel bearings
I think my money's on the wheel bearings too. I've had them grenade on me in the past and the sound is definitely the same sound I heard back when it happened the first time. I just don't want to be riding on a sketchy ball joint and loose my tire. I got these new arms because my last ones had a weld on the damn arm to hold the ball joint down, it was pathetic.
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Old 04-07-2009
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Actually the more that I look at it now and talking to Nickster on AIM, the driver side is pushed from the bottom correct? so it's pressed in more and the passenger side isn't pressed in as much...

All signs are pointing to the wheel bearings once again. These things go out so damn quick, is it my 35s? Kinda reminds me of my old skateboard.
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Old 04-07-2009
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What kind of grease are you using when you pack the bearings? Using the wrong grease can cause them to wear out really fast.
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Old 04-07-2009
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Christian, this is what I need to grind.


"Using a grinder cut the factory lower a-arm to make room for the new Fabtech lift spindle. You’ll see from the picture where to cut. Also take note of the factory steering stop that is circled. It will be removed in a later step."

Already removed that steering stop.

This is what its supposed to look like when its done.


Last edited by Prerunner-Ranger; 04-07-2009 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 04-07-2009
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Originally Posted by 04blackedge View Post
What kind of grease are you using when you pack the bearings? Using the wrong grease can cause them to wear out really fast.
I forgot the exact name, I have it at home.

I think it's the valvoline brand wheel bearing grease.
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Old 04-08-2009
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you can check the LBJ by lifting the truck up by the frame, or LCA, grab the tire and see if it moves in and out, or up and down any, if so look on the back side while your moving it, see if its the wheel bearings or ball joint.. theres no need to guess at this.
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Old 04-08-2009
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That cut up lca looks scary.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99ranger4x4 View Post
you can check the LBJ by lifting the truck up by the frame, or LCA, grab the tire and see if it moves in and out, or up and down any, if so look on the back side while your moving it, see if its the wheel bearings or ball joint.. theres no need to guess at this.
I jacked it up last night and was able to get a little play out of the tire. As far as I know the tire shouldn't move at all. The LCA's and ball joints are less then 2 months old so I really think it's the wheel bearings, at least I really hope so.

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That cut up lca looks scary.
Cut up?... Nothing is cut up lol -- these LCA's are less then 2 months old.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Not yours, the pic you posted.

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Old 04-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seed60 View Post
That cut up lca looks scary.
The instructions for the Fabtech spindle kit specify cutting it just like that. With how many of us that have the fabtech kit, have cut it, and havent had a problem, it's nothing to worry about.

That play you got out of the tire, where was the play? at the ball joint? or at the bearings/spindle?
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Old 04-08-2009
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I'm sure they call for it but that just looks scary as hell.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seed60 View Post
Not yours, the pic you posted.

Ahhh my bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Step Over the Edge View Post
The instructions for the Fabtech spindle kit specify cutting it just like that. With how many of us that have the fabtech kit, have cut it, and havent had a problem, it's nothing to worry about.

That play you got out of the tire, where was the play? at the ball joint? or at the bearings/spindle?
I held the tire at 12 o clock and 6 o clock and noticed play in it. There should be no play at all. My balljoints seem fine.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prerunner-Ranger View Post
Ahhh my bad.



I held the tire at 12 o clock and 6 o clock and noticed play in it. There should be no play at all. My balljoints seem fine.
wheel/unit bearing.

I had 35's for maybe 6 months? not long and went through 2 unit bearings.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Originally Posted by 034x4 View Post
wheel/unit bearing.

I had 35's for maybe 6 months? not long and went through 2 unit bearings.
This will be my 3rd time changing them. Last time I changed them was approx 2 years ago, so I know it's time.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Both my lowers look just like yours.....a space between the snap ring and the top side of the lca.

I've ran my 35's for a year now....and no growling as of yet and i've put on a good 30k on the truck with 35's on it.

Rob...consider the way you drive the truck...the vids you've posted....adds alot of wear and tear on those ball joints and adds strain to the wheel bearings.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
Both my lowers look just like yours.....a space between the snap ring and the top side of the lca.

I've ran my 35's for a year now....and no growling as of yet and i've put on a good 30k on the truck with 35's on it.

Rob...consider the way you drive the truck...the vids you've posted....adds alot of wear and tear on those ball joints and adds strain to the wheel bearings.
Hi Shane,

I definitely consider the way I drive the truck and I know it's about time for wheel bearings again. But how do you go 30k with 35's and not have an issue? I'm sure you wheel a hell of a lot harder then I do

It sounds like my exhaust is a lot deeper when I'm going down the freeway and after reading around everyone says wheel bearings. I'm going to do my brakes today when I go to Kris's to grind my lca for my spindle. And then my wheel bearings come Friday from Rock Auto so I'll hammer that out as well.
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Old 04-08-2009
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idk....i wheel it pretty easy...like to take care of my stuff. lol. I do put alot of highway miles on the truck.
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Old 04-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seed60 View Post
I'm sure they call for it but that just looks scary as hell.
thats what i was thinking, it looks like they lose a ton of strength.. i would be scared to really romp on it.
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Old 04-09-2009
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I'm rolling up on 30k here soon and my wheel bearings seem to be doing ok!
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Old 04-09-2009
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Nice for sure. I don't jump my truck or do 60 through the whoop section. Mainly just take trails slow, and drift it around smooth corners :P
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Old 04-09-2009
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Went and saw Kris last night, he had all the gadgets to get the job done.

New Brakes, New Wheel Bearings, and Grinded off that lca a bit so it don't smash on my spindle anymore.

Truck runs like new again... for now :)
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