Issues with balljoint clunking noises... HELP! =( - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 10-19-2008
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Issues with balljoint clunking noises... HELP! =(

Hi Guys,

I just replaced all tie rod ends, ball joints, and some other good stuff and truck is running pretty good besides 1 thing, and I can't seem to pin-point it. Since I've changed them all out, anytime I go up a driveway or over a speedbump or through a dip it'll make a pop/clunk noise and as soon as I go to turn right I hear a really loud clunk/pop like my whole suspension is collapsing. I've looked under and everything seems fine and I've never had this issue prior to changing these out.

I consulted with a buddy of mine and he said the prior balljoints warped my lower control arm a bit and the BJ doesn't sit correctly and pops in and out, so he welded a little tab on there to hold it in place but it still continues to make the noise and get worse and worse.

I was told it could possibly be sway bar end link, or possibly a control arm bushing...

Any ideas????
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Old 10-20-2008
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tie rods?
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Old 10-20-2008
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sway bar endlink is a possibility. try unhooking them and driving around wit your swaybar disconected
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Old 10-20-2008
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you still have sway bars?


did you make sure EVERYTHING is tight?
did you remember cotter pins in the castle nuts? all 4 of them?

lets see pics of this 'tab' he welded on.. sounds like a scary band-aid of sorts.
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Old 10-20-2008
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Here's the pic of the weld on driver side:


Driver side:


Passenger Side:
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Old 10-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyC View Post
tie rods?
I just got them swapped out with brand new ones, all cottorpins are in on castle nuts as well.

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Originally Posted by 08XLT4x4 View Post
sway bar endlink is a possibility. try unhooking them and driving around wit your swaybar disconected
How hard is this to do? Any tutorials?

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Originally Posted by 99ranger4x4 View Post
you still have sway bars?


did you make sure EVERYTHING is tight?
did you remember cotter pins in the castle nuts? all 4 of them?

lets see pics of this 'tab' he welded on.. sounds like a scary band-aid of sorts.
Pics above.
I still have sway bars cus I'm not sure how to disconnect them... you guys don't think it could be the control arm bushings at all?

all cottorpins are in on castle nuts as well.

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Old 10-20-2008
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i would try removing the sway bar too. all you need to do is take out the end links. one bolt per side. should be pretty straight forward.
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Old 10-20-2008
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i would try removing the sway bar too. all you need to do is take out the end links. one bolt per side. should be pretty straight forward.
I'll try it and post results.
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Old 10-20-2008
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So I disconnected the sway bar completely and moved it up towards the wheel well drove it around and the thunk got worse almost on every turn... so its gotta be the upper arm torqued too much eh? Or any other thoughts?
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Old 10-20-2008
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did you check the upper control arm bolts? what about the lowers? also that seems odd that they had to weld the balljoint in. it should hold no problem without weld
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Old 10-20-2008
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did you check the upper control arm bolts? what about the lowers? also that seems odd that they had to weld the balljoint in. it should hold no problem without weld
I checked the uppers and lowers and they all seem fine.

They told me the old ball joint warped the lower arm a bit and the new ball joint doesn't fit snug in there like it should... so they welded it to keep it in place, but I just look under there again and the weld already broke. Plus they welded the whole c-clip...

Gah, I guess I need new lower arms...
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Old 10-20-2008
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I would take it back to whoever put the balljoints on your truck and say "what did yall do to my front end?" You might get it fixed for free if you play your cards right
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Old 10-20-2008
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I would take it back to whoever put the balljoints on your truck and say "what did yall do to my front end?" You might get it fixed for free if you play your cards right
If it wasn't clunking before they fixed it, then he BETTER get it fixed for free. That's BS if they charge you, man.
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Old 10-20-2008
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x3 on taking it back to the shop that installed all this stuff!

as for those welded things around the balljoint, that looks bad! if your LCA is indeed bent, i would get new ones instead of a half assed fix like you have now
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Old 10-20-2008
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Take a look at this pic. You really should not see those 'holding' spines on the joint. you can see probably 1/16" of those. Am I right guys?

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Old 10-20-2008
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Old 10-20-2008
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Alon did all my work....

Anybody have a part# for direct replacement lower control arms without ball joints? I already have the ball joints...

I just went to Camburg and got a quote on getting everything replaced and done correctly with Camburg gear, but I need to bring them brand new LCA's...
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Old 10-20-2008
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Could be possible Alon did what he could given the lca he had to work with. It is a possibility. I just don't want to see Alon getting blamed for this.
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Old 10-20-2008
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I'm not blaming Alon on it, I think my LCA was ****ed or got ****ed from the previous ball joint, I just don't understand how it could mess up the LCA. That hole shouldn't warp in anyway. Alon said the LCA looked fine and the ball joint pressed into it fine as well but everyone else I've taken it to say it looks shady and it's not safe. Now I need to find an LCA without the ball joint since I already got brand new ones or I'm gonna be stuck with this extra set of ball joints.

Rockauto has the LCA for $71 a piece but they come with ball joints.
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Old 10-20-2008
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Quote:
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Take a look at this pic. You really should not see those 'holding' spines on the joint. you can see probably 1/16" of those. Am I right guys?

I agree with this
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Old 10-20-2008
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Well went to my buddies fab shop and turns out nothing was installed correctly. Additionally, nothing was tightened correctly either and it all had play in it... he took everything apart and re-secured it and all works fine.

Not to blame it on Alon or anything but, this job wasn't done correctly.
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Old 10-20-2008
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**** happens, mistakes are made
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Old 10-20-2008
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"nothing installed correctly". Exactly what wasn't installed correctly?


First time i read that, I thought the following...'so, this entire time you've been lifted, the shop installed nothing right?'


Secondly, if stuff wasn't installed correctly, WHY didn't the alignment shop catch it? WHY did they try and 'make it work' with the welding? That's one shady *** alignment shop if you ask me. In all honesty, there really is no wrong way to install balljoints...they pop in, retaining rings go on, done. Same with the tie rods and uca's. What exactly wasn't right? The liftkit or the joint install?
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Old 10-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
"nothing installed correctly". Exactly what wasn't installed correctly?


First time i read that, I thought the following...'so, this entire time you've been lifted, the shop installed nothing right?'


Secondly, if stuff wasn't installed correctly, WHY didn't the alignment shop catch it? WHY did they try and 'make it work' with the welding? That's one shady *** alignment shop if you ask me. In all honesty, there really is no wrong way to install balljoints...they pop in, retaining rings go on, done. Same with the tie rods and uca's. What exactly wasn't right? The liftkit or the joint install?
Yes, Please elaborate.

I was not the last one to touch the upper A arm bolts, the alignment shop was. Your inner tie rod ends were tight when if left my house, and I made sure to torque the outer tie rod ends before I put the cotter pin through. Same with the lower ball joints, if there was a cotter pin through it, I torqued it.

I also did your brakes and used loc-tite everywhere it needed it, so none of that should have come loose. I did not take the hub assembly off the spindle, so if that was wrong, that was from whoever put the lift on.

Please tell me what was not installed correctly, just for peace of mind so I can correct myself in the future...if there was anything wrong.

I am done touching anyone elses truck other than mine.
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Old 10-21-2008
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Let me re-phrase this, as I'm not putting the full blame on Alon. Alignment shops are all the same and don't have any idea how to find issues on lifted vehicles; I should of went to an actual fab shop in the first place to get it done right; my fault. When Alon went to the alignment shop by his house they gave him attitude right off the bat. Then I sent my gf back to the same shop the next day and they again gave her attitude about it and wouldn't refund the money; should of just went elsewhere.

Where the upper arm meets the spindle was loose on both sides, and the bolt was inserted in the wrong direction. The cams were put in and torqued down but the way they were bolted in was making the camber maxxed out. It was loosened and re-adjusted and now the tire sits straight again and isn't maxxed out. Tie rod ends were fine and tight so no worries there. And my shocks seem to be blown so that's my issue not Alon's; I have ordered new shocks for it. There was no grease in the actual upper balljoints, it just seemed that grease was stuffed into the top of the spindle itself. Wheel bearings were loose as well for some reason. Brakes are working fine.

I'm not trippin too hard on it, money is money and it comes and goes. I don't know auto-mechanics enough myself to do it so that's another issue on my part. I do appreciate you taking the time to do everything though Alon as my spark plugs and wires are kickin ***.

Other then that it's just another day driving a ford, fix or repairing daily but I still love the truck. I owe 9k on her and just want her to run good. It's just another day in paradise, I just hope Obama don't get elected next to ruin the world.

Last edited by Prerunner-Ranger; 10-21-2008 at 12:18 AM.
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