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Got told it was my ball joints but how to check

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Old 05-25-2005, 08:24 AM   #1
johnhw
Sydney, NSW, Australia
 
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Got told it was my ball joints but how to check

Hi Everyone,
I have a 1999 XLT stock 4WD, with about 140,000Km on it.
It is making a noice like there is a stone or something in the tyre but only around 60-90Km/Hr (sorry I am an Aussie). Well this is when you can notice it more.
I have had the wheels checked and balanced and a friend who is into cars told me this could be my ball joints.
Is there any way to check or sure it is this before I take it in ??
I am not a mechanic by any streach of the imagination and would love any feed back.
Thanks,
John
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:29 AM   #2
dman726749
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jack the truck up, once the tire is in the air grab ahold of it at the top and bottom and see if there is any play in the tire. if ig goes in and out a considerable amount then it is time for new ball joints.

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Old 05-25-2005, 08:45 AM   #3
johnhw
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Thanks for the tip, I shall give it a go. Now the best part, any ideas on costs to replace ?? I have read alot of stories and they all vary. I know it is a hard question but any guidance would be appreciated ....... again........thanks for your help.
John )
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:04 AM   #4
Bronco638
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Hey John, again, welcome.

If you use the Search feature, I'm sure you'll find a few posts on the cost of ball joint replacement and the effort involved. You might even find a thread or two explaining how to do it. However, since you're not mechanically inclined and in Australia, some of the information here may not apply to your situation. There are a few Forum members from Oz, Adam Berger comes to mind. You may want to send a PM (private message) to them to see if they have any suggestions or experiences when it comes to replacing ball joints. They'll be able to provide the "Aussie point of view". From what I've read (and, I'd be willing to do it myself), it's not an easy job which may explain why it tends to be expensive (labor-wise).

Best of Luck - Dave.
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Old 05-25-2005, 02:36 PM   #5
konaboy
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Just got a quote on mine to replace both uppers and lowers (uppers are most likely bad which need it I'll know definately on friday morning.) $937 that's labor and parts they figured about 7 hours in labor. I'm going to my inlaws on friday morning to work on this instead. The wife's, uncle (if you followed that) is great with car repairs and said he'd help me. Uppers w/control arms from moog are running about $130 each from the local parts store for my '97 4x4.


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Old 05-26-2005, 06:28 AM   #6
johnhw
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Smile

Thanks everyone for your reply's and advice. I will send a PM to Adam and do a little more scearching to see what I can find out. It does sound like a labour intense job, I am going to take it to a local Ford dealer in the morning and see what they say. I will come back and let you all know....bit worried really about costs now.
I have a friend who is into cars and will see if he will help me do it ourselves as he has a home garage at his place.
Thanks again all........more to come.............
John
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:46 AM   #7
Lloyd10977
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Take a look at this URL regarding ball joint replacement on a 97 2wd X and it should give you an idea what is involved. 4x4 is very similar.

http://www.haroh.com/explorer/ball_joint.html




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Old 05-29-2005, 07:56 PM   #8
dunedago
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Probably too late, but MAKE SURE YOU GET REGREASABLE BALL JOINTS!! Yes they sell them, and they last a whole lot longer than regular ones, I think the company is called MOOG who makes them, but they come with a notch for where the grease gun can be used on them. Lasts waaaayy longer
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Old 05-29-2005, 08:02 PM   #9
Hartman
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If its a sound that speeds up as your speed increases, it is not the balljoints. The balljoints will make a squeek while going over bumps and possibly make noise while turning.
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Old 05-29-2005, 09:09 PM   #10
konaboy
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Just replaced the passenger side upper ball joint on Friday. Replaced with a moog that has a grease fitting, it came with the upper control arm and was really pretty easy to do. The symptoms mine had were as described above, squeaking an creaking going over bumps, you could push up and down on the bumper and hear it squeak when you got out of the car it creaked. New upper arm/joint cost $130 and less than an hour in labor. Good luck!
You might try having someone push up and down on the front end and get on the side you are hearing the noise and feel around the upper and lower joints to see if you can feel any grinding or rubbing when the joint moves.

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Old 05-31-2005, 11:50 AM   #11
ANMAN
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I just replaced my lower ball joints no my 98 AWD and the Chilton book says that they couldn't be replaced! just go buy a whole lower control arm! Well I replaced them anyways, had to take the CV joint off to get it out, quite a long ordeal, but I did get the chance to beat the rust of my rotors, change the spark plugs and put in some new shocks!

All of this because I was warned TWICE, from a shop and the dealer that they were loose which they were NOT!! Well anyways, I put everthing together and now my steering control arms are loose: shaking violently at 70mph, and I get suspension noise out of the front goin over bumps, ugh. Anyways, don't pay for the job, it's a learning process, takes a while but saves a pile of money!
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:53 PM   #12
budwich
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You are right about the chilton / hayes (ie. not replaceable) but the jobers / parts store sell the ball joint only so you figured right. Tough job though but as you say, a lot cheaper than having it done if you can hang in there and have a few tools and time. Are you sure you got your control arms torque down and are not a little loose? Perhaps they were (the shops) talking about the upper ball joints, on my 96 one side was obviously "distressed"... easy to see while the other side, the upper ball joint appeared fine yet when I went over bumps, there was a squeak. Replaced it and now its fine.... Note for the upper joints, you have to replace the control arm (or part of it on the passenger side). The driver side is relatively awful, cause you can't get the large bolts holding the control arm out because things like fuel lines block its path...ugh.
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