How much ball joint movement is too much? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-19-2014, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
Hosejockey61
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How much ball joint movement is too much?

When I rebuilt my HP30 last winter I installed new Spicer ball joints. After this wheeling season, they seem pretty loose to me, but I'm not sure what is considered normal. I remember Blaine stating on a thread that ball joints can get play in as little as 5000 miles. My rig has less than 2000 since the BJ replacement.

This video is with the wheel off the ground a couple inches and a pry bar lifting up on it from the bottom.

Thoughts?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZCdNLYEUt4

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post #2 of 8 Old 10-19-2014, 01:20 PM
durango-bob
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I am not an expert on ball joints but I do know that the upper will move up and down since it is only a pivot point and does not carry any of the vertical load. The normal method of checking for worn ball joints is to jack up the tire off the ground and grab the tire at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions. Then rock the top and bottom in and out. If there is movement in this direction, then you have wear.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-19-2014, 01:32 PM
biffgnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durango-bob View Post
I am not an expert on ball joints but I do know that the upper will move up and down since it is only a pivot point and does not carry any of the vertical load. The normal method of checking for worn ball joints is to jack up the tire off the ground and grab the tire at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions. Then rock the top and bottom in and out. If there is movement in this direction, then you have wear.
I thought pry bar lifting from the bottom as OP did was the "normal method" of checking ball joint movement.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-19-2014, 02:47 PM
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
I thought pry bar lifting from the bottom as OP did was the "normal method" of checking ball joint movement.
It is as long as you know what to look for. What you are trying to do is lean the top of the tire in and out to see if there is any lateral movement in the upper. The lowers across the board of all I've ever seen will develop vertical movement in short order. You'd wear out the lower holes and need to fix them often if you replaced a lower every time it developed vertical movement.

The uppers are where the lack of control comes from that leads to DW and similar issues.

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post #5 of 8 Old 10-19-2014, 02:50 PM
1ofakind
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Any side to side movement is bad. Up and down you are aloud a certain amount until recommend replacing. Not sure what the tolerance would be its different for every vehicle
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-19-2014, 02:53 PM
Vinman
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Originally Posted by 1ofakind View Post
Any side to side movement is bad. Up and down you are aloud a certain amount until recommend replacing. Not sure what the tolerance would be its different for every vehicle
One my new at the time 96 XJ the service manager said allowable tolerances were .060 up and down.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-19-2014, 03:02 PM
1ofakind
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Originally Posted by Vinman View Post

One my new at the time 96 XJ the service manager said allowable tolerances were .060 up and down.
Sounds about right. Either way, if you have side to side movement at all I'd be replacing them all for how cheap they are
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-19-2014, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
Hosejockey61
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I'll recheck the tops then. At first I thought it might be unit bearings so I just bought new ones anyway.

I was just surprised that there would be that much movement after only 2000 miles.
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