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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Falls Church, VA
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ball joints

FINALLY I got around today to replacing the cracked ball joint boot on the driver's side of the '44, was pretty easy although I had to disconnect the sway bar to get the control arm to swing down enough to disengage. I just used a VW Rabbit ball joint as a boot donor (same ball joint as early '44...) anyone need some 7mm ball joint bolts? Or a ball joint with no boot?

while I had it apart I peered down into the ball joint and didn't see anything amiss. I have heard people mention that when they disassembled their ball joints to "kit" them that they found broken plastic, would I have seen that looking down in it or if it looked OK is it OK? I will be buying new struts shortly and if there's any reason to consider my ball joints suspect I may as well get a pair of rebuilt control arms at the same time. The ball joint did move freely but without feeling sloppy though.

I did not drill and tap the bottom plate like I said I was going to as it appeared to still have a decent amount of grease in it. However I did notice that the Rennbay kits come with grease fittings so it seems like a valid idea.

I noticed that the driver's side tie rod boot was getting ready to go as well, looks like one more item to put on the shopping list...

nate
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1988 944... and a bunch of other cars
Old 10-07-2007, 05:24 PM
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A ball joint must be very firm and difficult to move, a worn joint does not have to be sloppy, a loose joint, one that you can easily move with two fingers, with little pressure must be replaced.
You can test this by looking underneath the car when the wheels are on the road surface, let someonbe turn the steering wheel, if you see movement in the linkages without it affecting or moving the wheels than it is time for replacement. Work joints will also affect the tyres - either on the outside or on the inside or both.
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1983 944 RHD Original. Uses all my spare cash!
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:19 PM
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I have noticed no unusual tire wear and the joint feels only a little bit easier to move than the new early one that I stole the boot from... so I guess I can save the $$ at least for the time being? Sure could use it as I just ordered the struts, bump stops, boots, and hardware today... also going to pick up the Pauer fuel lines as well just for peace of mind...

nate
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:02 PM
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Another symptom of a bad ball joint is a popping or clunking noise when turning and going over a bump at the same time, like going in or out of a driveway.
If you can turn the ball post around 360deg,smoothly, without any binding or feeling any bumps, its probably ok. Here's one of my control arms, I waited too long before changing the ball joint. The nylon bushing was broke in 3 places and the spring was broken, the ball wore a dent in the side of the pocket and I had to get another control arm.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:11 PM
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As expen$ive as those control arms are, did you look into the possibility of having it either welded/bored or else bored out and sleeved?

just curious

nate
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:26 PM
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I went to 3 machine shops but they said they couldn't do it. You can find them on ebay cheap. I got one for $65 which had a perfect socket and rebuilt the ball joint.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:23 PM
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