January 19, 2022 at 3:17 pm #688489
I had tires put on my 2009 HHR. The guy comes out and says drivers side ball joint is bad. I ask him to show me while he had it up on the lift because i replaced ball joints maybe only 2 years ago with factory ball joints and thought maybe they were trying to pull one over on me. He takes me out and shows me and sure enough while he’s wiggling the wheel back and forth there is play where the ball joint goes into the knuckle. I tell him i’ll take care of it.
I order new ball joints to do in pair and proceed with replacing. I start with the bad one. I take it out and can’t get any play in it at all. I can’t see anything wrong with it. I put the new one on anyways and torque everything to specs and the same play when wiggling the wheel is still there. Naturally i’m angry because probably nothing even wrong with the one i just took off. After wiggling this thing around for awhile i come to the conclusion the knuckle itself must be worn out.
I order another knuckle and change everything over. Torque everything to specs again. Play is still there but not nearly as bad. I almost feel like i need to tighten down the bolt pin that goes through the knuckle to hold ball joint in further past the torque spec. It doesn’t seem like this is a well engineered design as there may always have been some play there and might always be. It seems that bolt that goes through the knuckle is supposed to pinch the ball joint and hold it there but it doesn’t seem like its doing the job. I used the new bolt that came with ball joint.
What am i doing, or not doing right? Is the play i’m seeing because the wheel is off the ground? Does the play go away when the weight of the car is on the ball joint? I cant really “wiggle” the wheel obviously if the weight of the car is on the ball joint so i don’t know. I do know that some cars you check ball joints loaded but i’m pretty sure the mcphereson assembly you unload ball joints. Is this correct?
I have the FE1 suspension and ordered ball joints for FE1.
Very frustrated, anyone have some tips or pointers?
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