Author Topic: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness  (Read 149 times)

Offline carockwell

Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« on: February 19, 2021, 02:58:42 PM »
When building the lower ball joint I first shimmed the clearance without the spring in place. It was shimmed so that there was some stiffness to the joint but it will still move by hand if I force it. Next I dissembled the ball joint, installed the spring, greased it, and reinstalled the rest of the ball joint. With the spring in place, the joint is locked solid. I cannot move it by hand. I think this is normal once the spring is installed. Am I correct? This is the first time I have ever built a ball joint and I am not sure how it is supposed to work.

Online 94touring

Re: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 03:05:48 PM »
It still needs to be able to move.  It should take some "force" but nothing too crazy when using the palm of your hand.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2021, 04:23:27 PM »
The way I do it, you can't move it with a bare hand, but you can with a gloved hand - as in Mechanix gloves. not neoprene.

Do you think you got the little cup in upside down?
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline carockwell

Re: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2021, 04:28:58 PM »
No, the cup is in the right position, I just have it adjusted too tight with the spring in place.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2021, 04:35:11 PM »
spring shouldn't really matter - maybe a tiny bit.....it's only there to keep it from rattling.....sometimes when you put it together you tighten the nut further than when you were checking it.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline carockwell

Re: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2021, 07:16:41 PM »
Replaced the spring that came with the ball joint kit with the spring that came in the car. That solved the problem. I shimmed the ball joint with no spring, and then fully assembled with the spring and grease. The ball joint was only slightly stiffer when using the old spring. No matter what I did with the new spring, the ball joint would lock up. It just goes to show that you can't be too careful when setting these cars up. There have been so many changes through the years.

Offline Jimini II

Re: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2021, 09:29:52 PM »
Just a thought. By what you have said I am guessing the new spring was slightly longer or did not compress as easily so maybe the old one is worn or the new one is not to spec.
Couldn't you have used another shim with the new spring installed?
It's a roll of the dice really new parts are often no better and a lot of times worse than the ones we are replacing but at least it is shimmed to spec now.
I am going to try the screw in non adjustable ones next time, a little spendy but beats adjusting old ones.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2021, 09:49:56 PM »
I put a set of those in the white Japanese spec car, def spendy but they sure worked smoothly once installed. Car drove great with them. Next time I do another front end it's getting those too.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline jeff10049

Re: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2021, 10:37:01 PM »
Good that you got it sorted out. As Jimini said parts can be terrible aftermarket stuff is getting really bad for a lot of cars it's like they just don't care at all and we are expected to go to great lengths to make it work. I do a fair amount of restoration work and we just recently finished   67 corvette for a customer.

We went through 13 front brake calipers from three re manufacturers before giving up and ordering brand new ones we weren't being cheap we just thought a reman part at a high price would be ok.

The brand new correct casting water pump backplate gasket leaked and looked to be made of cardboard box material.

The extremely expensive reproduction look correct shifter that we ordered with the Tremec 5 speed was completely unusable like fuck you unuseable and they could not have cared less.

countless more small parts we just threw away not worth sending back we dug out the old stuff and refurbished it.

Now working on a mach1 styled convertible and the repro window crank knobs only fit repro cranks no problem order the repro cranks. Well, they don't fit the car for shit again the supplier could not care less said to make it work or send it back.  we are used to making stuff work but when it's not even close or so bad you can't it gets old.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 10:38:40 PM by jeff10049 »

Offline carockwell

Re: Lower Ball Joint Assembly Stiffness
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 01:15:19 AM »
I have found it extremely risky to order a brand new reproduction part where an original used part could be refurbished. Though you never really know until you have the parts in hand.