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Upper ball joint came out of spindle, pictures explain it all !!!

Discussion in '2001-2005 Explorer Sport Trac' started by MidnightRebel07, July 21, 2011.

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    1. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Ok, so I was heading out to sell some car parts. I hit a nice bump on the fine Pittsburgh roads, and this is what happened.

      Now I get to try and get rockauto to replace the upper control arm/ balljoint and reimburse me for the cost of another alignment.

      The balljoint came out of the spindle, the pinch bolt was not to right size that came with the balljoint and didn't keep the shaft in the spindle.

      I've put on almost 400 miles since I've replaced the balljoints a couple weeks ago and haven't had any issues until today, WTF !!!!.

      I put on all of the same new balljoints, outer tierod ends on my wifes Mounty, now I have to go and check those out. I also have to replace one of the tierod ends that I put on her Mounty (30 miles on it since replaced) because the boot ripped (already talked to rockauto and they sent me a new one) but I get to pay for another alignment, Damnit.

      Luckily I was only going about 5-10 mph and coming to a stop, could've been alot worse.

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    3. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      When it separated it crushed all the grease out of the ball joint.
       
    4. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      It's gonna be a long weekend and next week.
       
    5. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      wow, never saw that one before--usually that takes a beatin with a BFH to get out of there. Even with the bolt pulled out.

      Can you get some real good close ups of this? That cannot be the only kit out there like that. Kinda scary--

      which brand of control arm was this?
       
    6. ZombieHunter

      ZombieHunter New Member

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      Dude, that's heinous. Hope rockauto comes correct for you.
       
    7. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Looks like the Raybestos, or the AC delco prograde to me, judging by the size of the casing on the ball Joint & color of boot. :(

      Maybe the wrong ball joint was in it? Can you get an exact measurement of the ball joint stud in mm's?
       
    8. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      You sure it pulled out? From the image below, looks kinda like it sheared instead.

      Anywho, you might have an uphill battle with any claims because your vehicle is "modified". Any modification (TT, larger tires, etc..) will increase the stress on parts - parts which were originally designed for stock configuration. For example, the TT puts the ball joint's angle (at ride height) closer to its angle limit - which increases the chances of failure.

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    9. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Raybestos Pro Grade upper and lower balljoints from rockauto.com.

      I just hope I can get them to reimburse me for a new alignment and the parts because I've only had these parts on for three weeks and I've only driven it on the highway and city streets, I haven't even been offroading with them on the yet. Now I don't know if I wanna take the chance of getting stuck out on the trail.
       
    10. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Gman, I'll make sure to measure the stud tomorrow.

      IZWack, It looks like it sheared because the grease on the shaft but it came out. I'll post more/ better pictures tomorrow.
       
    11. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Just curious, are your knuckles the stock knuckles?

      I have the same ball joints and have beat on them unbelievably hard and that has not affected them at all. Something is def wrong here.
       
    12. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Yeah, as far as I know it's the stock size knuckle. It was on there when I bought it and the truck was completely stock back then at 34k miles.
       
    13. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      BTW, from that last image, that bolt doesnt look like its installed all the way. That "lobe" of the bolt is supposed to go into the knuckle. In that picture, it doesnt look like its in all the way. This lobe is what keeps the ball joint onto the knuckle.

      EDIT - this thread has a close up pic illustrating how that bolt sits:
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1499087&postcount=1
       

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    14. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Yeah, when I installed them I banged on them to make sure they were secure, not sure if they would've needed to loosen the bolt when they did the alignment but I'm a safety nut and an extreme fanatic for going over stuff two and three times to make sure everything is safe and done the right way.

      I even have my neighbor that's been a mechanic/bodyman/frame guy for over fourty years go over things that I've done for the first time and wanna make sure I did everything correct, he's even more of a safety nut then I am.
       
    15. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      IZWack, yeah it was tightened completely and installed correct.
       
    16. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      I followed MountaineerGreen's write-up and checked out the link you posted of how it's supposed to go on and it's all the way in.
       
    17. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      [​IMG]

      Your bolt does not look like its the right one to me either. This bolt in this pic, is the ones I have seen on every Ex I have looked at, worked on.
       
    18. interscope8

      interscope8 Well-Known Member

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      This is why I am fearing replacing my ball joints myself...
      But, Im doing a TT so I was gunna have to sooner or later :(
       
    19. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      I installed the bolt/ nut that came with the new balljoint/ control arm and it looks the same as the factory set ????? I know I'm not getting stuck with the bill for a new alignment and parts.
       
    20. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      I insatlled the UCA/ balljoints and lower balljoints on my wifes '97 Mounty and they were the same as the set I have on my '03 ST, uppers atleast.

      I can't remember where but I've read about this happening before to someone with a 2 Gen Ex, I think it was here but not sure.
       
    21. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      If you can get better (close-up) pics of how that bolt is currently affixed to the knuckle, that would help a great deal in trying to figure out the cause.
       
    22. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      I did go over a nice size bump and pothole on our fine city streets right before this happend and I noticed the UCA doesn't move very freely, is The a way I can grease the bushings to free them up some? Ok, I just went outside in that lovely 100+ degree weather, took some better pictures and tried to move the UCA and I had to fight it to moved it up/ down a half inch, is it poosible when they did my alignment they over tightened the UCA bolts not allowing it to move freely with the rest of the suspension causing the upper balljoint to come out???

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    23. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      The upper control arm is often a little stiff when you move them by hand because it has rubber bushings at the the frame side which are squeezed and therefore binds a bit once the bolts are tightened (which is normal).

      Can you remove that bolt? Cauz as I recall, it should have a "lobe" on one side.
       
    24. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Iz, the upper ball joint has a dimple ridge which the bolt shaft locks to--

      I don't think the upper ball joint was fully seated and assembled --I feel it was not in far enough for the bolt to catch it. Looking at the bolt, it's diameter penetrates into the spindle area far enough--but I fee it was actually riding below the ridge in the ball joint spindle shaft.

      Edit, the reason I say this is because I have seen it done in my driveway whilst helping another member. He did the joint himself, while it almost looked good, the boot was not smashed enough and I noticed it. The pinch bolt was in, but it was below the ball joint shaft.
       
    25. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      Then I'm probably mistaken - I could've sworn that bolt has a lobe on it and can only be inserted into the knuckle one way. But I probably have this mixed up with something else.
       
    26. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      I think it's the picnh bolt because it doesn't look wide enough to hold the balljoint shaft in there, looks like a knotch was taken out of the bolt when the balljoint popped out. I seriously can't wait to do my SAS, SOA, I can't stand IFS. Im used to working on straight axles from my old Scout II and Waggy. Damn.
       
      Last edited: July 22, 2011

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