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Unread 02-11-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
t3kmitch
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2005 WK 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Whitewater, WI
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Possible Bad Ball Joint - Safe to drive on?

Well I've been getting a "wobble" over bumps from the front end for a little while now. It's also more recently been "skipping" on sharp parking lot maneuvers. Not a click like you'd hear from a cv but like the tire almost jumps an inch with a small thud. Can't predict when it will happen, and it's not rotational. Happens turning right more-so than left, and only driving forwards.

I thought I had checked the ball joints but probably not good enough. From what I've read it sounds to me like a ball joint.

First question: Is it safe to drive?
Second question: Which ball joint is it most likely? And would it be an easy enough diy or more of a mechanic job?

Edit: I know you can check them but quite frankly it's -4 wind chill right now, I'm not jacking up the Jeep.

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Unread 02-11-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
GrilledJeep
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Safe to drive...depends. A lower ball joint failure is more likely as they see more stress but either can happen.

I can see my upper ball joints/control arm just by looking in my wheel well above the tire. Without knowing for sure it is 100% the ball joint it could also be the sway bar, shocks.

go check the uppers real quick, and while your freezing your *** off, get on the ground and look at the lowers with a flashlight.

Then report back. Red Leader, standing by.
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Unread 02-12-2012, 02:51 PM   #3
t3kmitch
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Well today was much warmer (20s) and think it's a tie rod end. Ball joints look fine but found this:


forumrunner_20120212_154451.jpg

With the tire off the ground grabbing at 3 and 9 I could get a decent amount of wriggle out of it and a small noise. They're cheap and I'm assuming fairly easy to do, so I'll start there. Looks like my lifetime alignment is going to be put to use.
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2005 WK 3.7L Laredo. RC 2", 265 70 17 Bridgestone Dueler Revo 2's. Class III OEM hitch added. Bilstein Struts. Monroe Load Levelers (58643).
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Unread 02-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #4
hoaxci5
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Outer tie rod ends take maybe 15 minutes, I just did mine the other day.. the only reason it took me longer was because I had to use a crescent wrench because for whatever reason I didn't have a big enough box end..
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Unread 02-12-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
t3kmitch
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Ordered both outer tie rod ends off Rockauto.. for $60 it's an easy first guess. If that doesn't take care of it I'll just take it to a dealer for my oil change (due any day now) and a "free multi-point inspection". From what it sounds like a lower ball joint is a little more of a process to replace. This coming Saturday I'm going to head to a family friend's shop with a lift and air tools, should I just do the ball joints too? (122k on the clock, no idea what the previous owner did)


Edit: If you notice the torn boot on the tie rod end is on the passenger side... but it sounds and feels more like the drivers side is the one with the issue. However if it involves steering both wheels are connected.

First picture is just a quick shot when it was cold, should be able to see pretty well if you make the image full size (pretty good for a phone pic ey?)



Uploaded with ImageShack.us


This one was with the control arm dropped down, not sure if it matters. It's hard to get it stable on a jack under the arm.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us
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-Sold 3/13. Replaced by 2010 VW Jetta 2.5-
2005 WK 3.7L Laredo. RC 2", 265 70 17 Bridgestone Dueler Revo 2's. Class III OEM hitch added. Bilstein Struts. Monroe Load Levelers (58643).
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