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'96 Subaru Legacy balljoint issue


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18 replies to this topic

#1 TajMan

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 01:16 PM

I have a '96 Subaru Legacy, just had a shop install 4 new struts.

 

During the install, the pinch bolt had snapped off which holds the passenger side balljoint to the hub. This required a new hub from a junk yard car as the easiest fix, along with new balljoint.

 

I got a hub from another '96 but it was from a non-abs car (my car had ABS originally, just not working). I told shop to install anyway and eliminate that wheel's ABS sensor. They installed it with new balljoint that was cheap from rockauto.com

 

I have found, that new balljoint on the passenger side is loose between the balljoint/hub! Even though the 14mm pinch bolt is completely tight.

 

I called Subaru parts desk, and they told me the two versions of hubs are different, but the balljoints and wheel bearings should be the same.

 

So why is my new balljoint loose? Is the most likely possibility that rockauto.com sent a cheap/wrong part that is close but slightly smaller?



#2 johnceggleston

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:17 PM

So why is my new balljoint loose? Is the most likely possibility that
rockauto.com sent a cheap/wrong part that is close but slightly smaller?

 

define loose?

 

slop side to side?

movement up and down?

 

 

anything is possible,

cheap part made the wrong size?

wrong part pulled off the shelf?

part damaged and installed incorrectly?

 

 

what brand name was the part?

how much did it cost?


Edited by johnceggleston, 16 September 2013 - 03:18 PM.


#3 TajMan

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:24 PM

Cost $7.50 30 days wholesale closeout at rockauto, might have been moog, very well may have been something different.

 

I know, duralast is $20-something at autozone, OEM part is like $43

 

If I use a screwdriver between the lower control arm and hub, I have 1/8" of play up and down between the balljoint and hub



#4 TajMan

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:38 PM

you understand, the 'joint' itself inside the grease boot is tight. Its the mounting of the entire balljoint assembly that rests inside the hub which is loose (but the emergency function of the pinch bolt through the 'divot/collar' on the balljoint assembly is working properly and keeping balljoint from popping out completely, this is where 1/8" of play is allowed)

 

Even if someone used a screwdriver hammered in to open the gap bigger and remove old balljoint, a properly tightened pinch bolt should close back up any gap no problem correct?



#5 Fairtax4me

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:06 PM

Pinch bolts are easy to drill out! Who came up with the idea that the whole knuckle needed to be replaced just for that?!

See if the dealer has one in stock and ask if you can see it to take some measurements. Compare to your aftermarket.

Perhaps the "new" knuckle is damaged?

I've bought these at Autozone and had no fitment issues. Reliability seems to be as good as any other aftermarket ball joint.

#6 TajMan

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:31 PM

not easy to drill out, car has high mileage and bolt was completely rusted siezed in there. I'm sure that new used hub was the cheapest easiest fix.

 

I almost want to  remove balljoint, heat up hub with torch, and use bars/sledge hammer to try and close the gap where pinch bolt squeezes a bit. But i know wheel bearing and rubber seals don't like to get too hot heating up with torch..



#7 ferox

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:49 PM

you understand, the 'joint' itself inside the grease boot is tight. Its the mounting of the entire balljoint assembly that rests inside the hub which is loose (but the emergency function of the pinch bolt through the 'divot/collar' on the balljoint assembly is working properly and keeping balljoint from popping out completely, this is where 1/8" of play is allowed)

 

Even if someone used a screwdriver hammered in to open the gap bigger and remove old balljoint, a properly tightened pinch bolt should close back up any gap no problem correct?

 

You would have to really work over the knuckle to prevent it from properly snugging down on the ball-joint.  A screwdriver should not deform it to the point where it won't hold the ball joint.  It's possible but not likely.  Of course if you didn't do the work yourself, who knows what happened.

 

Still not really sure what you mean by loose, but if you call rockauto there's a good chance they won't bother having you send back the ball joint and will give you another or credit toward a non-close-out.  I always use Raybestos Professional Grade, but it's a personal call.  I also replace both joints at the same time.



#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 10:07 PM

I may have it wrong but, isn't the joint retained due to the bolt engaging the concave groove around the joint body?

#9 MilesFox

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 10:14 PM

Maybe you got an xt6 ball joint instead. there might be smaller ones with earlier cars that xt6 is the same and later are larger. This reminds me of something i may have read about. But xt6 is smaller for sure,



#10 Fairtax4me

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:35 AM

I may have it wrong but, isn't the joint retained due to the bolt engaging the concave groove around the joint body?


It's mostly held in because the knuckle clamps down around the outside of the case when the bolt is tightened. But the bolt does serve as a safety catch in case it gets loose so the ball join doesn't fall out of the knuckle.

#11 johnceggleston

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:13 PM

Maybe you got an xt6 ball joint instead.

 

call rockauto there's a good chance they won't bother having you send back the ball joint and will give you another

do this.

 

if you paid $8, they paid $2.

and they do not want you telling all of us that you got bad parts from them.

the bad press is not worth the price of the part plus shipping.

 

call them.

 

if you find that the first part they sent was right, you can always pay for the second one.

 

but the bottom line is,

something is not right and needs to be corrected.



#12 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:21 PM

rockauto is good. I seriously just ordered some wiper blades and got them in less than 24 hours!!!

#13 avk

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 12:48 AM

Is it a good idea to let someone else work on a car that is 17-18 years old? A strong chance they overlook some things and bugger up some others. What was the part number for the ball joint?


Edited by avk, 19 September 2013 - 08:07 AM.


#14 heartless

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:56 AM

I have never had a problem with Rockauto parts either, but I am sure there are a few that have...

 

if the joint is loose in the hub socket, then yeah, there is something wrong...it should be a snug fit.

 

I would definitely call Rockauto and verify that the part (with part number) is correct for your car (very nice, helpful folk on the phone). Might be worth going the next level up in cost to get another joint...you didnt pay much for the one you have....another alternative is the replacement hub is not correct/was mislabeled at the jy....i dunno...

 

Fairtax - We had a pinch bolt break on 90 Legacy - tried to drill the thing out, wasnt happening - hardened bolt in a softer housing, did more damage to the housing, did almost nothing to the bolt - ended up swapping out the hub instead.



#15 Wayback

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:27 AM

But xt6 is smaller for sure,

I'm pretty sure XT6 balljoint is identical to EJ. The ones I took off a `88 XT6 were.

 

Easy to tell if balljoint is the right size. Measure it. Diameter of the part that goes into axle housing should be exactly 38mm (1.496 in).



#16 Fairtax4me

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:40 AM

Can't drill from the broken side because its usually sheared at some strange angle or uneven. Go from the back side where the threads are (dont have to drill as far) and the end of the bolt is already convex and easy to start a pilot hole.

I've usually had to buy a new set of cheapo drill bits anytime I need to drill out a bolt. (cheapos wear out quick but a cheap set of bits is $15)
30 minutes later the bolt is nothing but little shavings and you can run a longer bolt clean through the knuckle and put a nut on the other side.

$20 for drill bits and a bolt, nut, and lock washer, Or $150 for a junkyard knuckle? Ill take option one.

#17 heartless

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 06:34 AM

$20 for drill bits and a bolt, nut, and lock washer, Or $150 for a junkyard knuckle? Ill take option one.

 

didnt cost us anything for the knuckle other than the time to pull it off a parts car we already had (one of 3). ;)

But yeah, I do see your point.

 

Taking the knuckle off the car for drilling might have been a good idea as well - vs trying to drill it out while still on the car.... :huh:



#18 MilesFox

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:21 AM

I have never had a problem with Rockauto parts either, but I am sure there are a few that have...

 

if the joint is loose in the hub socket, then yeah, there is something wrong...it should be a snug fit.

 

I would definitely call Rockauto and verify that the part (with part number) is correct for your car (very nice, helpful folk on the phone). Might be worth going the next level up in cost to get another joint...you didnt pay much for the one you have....another alternative is the replacement hub is not correct/was mislabeled at the jy....i dunno...

 

Fairtax - We had a pinch bolt break on 90 Legacy - tried to drill the thing out, wasnt happening - hardened bolt in a softer housing, did more damage to the housing, did almost nothing to the bolt - ended up swapping out the hub instead.

I would like to think that, but one time i had gotten both an xt6 and a legacy ball joint for xt6 knuckles (there was only one '6 in stock) And the legacy one was slightly larger and i cracked the knuckle trying to force it in. There is probably some weird overlap or cross reference with something similar.



#19 jboymechanic

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 03:57 PM

I would have just drilled out the old bolt, did it on both sides of 3 old Lego wagons I've owned, common problem.  Also, if the shop broke the bolt they should have finished the job.






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