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Ball Joint Failure - What to expect *FIXED*


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Mantonite

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 01:43 PM

My '94 Loyale had an unexpected ball joint failure this morning, thankfully at low speed. Some questions: What else is likely to be broken (I know I need a CV boot)? Any tips/tricks/traps I should know about? Should I do the other side to be safe? Let me know what you experts think! Thanks.
What's going on with the formatting here???

#2 torxxx

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 01:47 PM

all the steering/front suspension parts should pass a visual test (is the rubber boot torn?) I'm guessing you pulled apart the DOJ on the axle when the ball joint broke. Check to see if the axle seems extra floppy or if the boot looks like its more than 6 inches long. If it is, you pulled apart the DOJ and it will need the axle replaced. You may as well replace the tierod on that side along with the balljoint. Doing the other side is up to you. Check the boots on the balljoint and tie rod. If they are torn, replace em. Most people do these replacements in sets (the both sides) so that they wear close to the same. Glad to hear it happened at slow speeds and not on the freeway.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 01:51 PM

the only way i wouldn't replace both sides is if you weren't planning on keeping the car awhile. visual inspection, other items should be okay. tie rods are good preventative replacement items, safety issues with those. never seen them fail in a subaru, but other makes i have.

#4 Mantonite

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 03:29 PM

I'm guessing you pulled apart the DOJ on the axle when the ball joint broke.

DOJ?

#5 fbh

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 04:58 PM

I'd say visual inspection on everything (brake line especially!), and replace the driveshaft and CV joints. The outer CV is only intended to be able to twist approx. 45 to 60 degrees off axis, twisting it further might damage the CV or bend the driveshaft :S

#6 Mantonite

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 05:28 PM

That wasn't a problem... it just pulled the shaft out of the inner CV. I'm hoping that I can just put it back in, put on a new boot, and be on my merry way.Full diagnosis tonight when I get home.

#7 fbh

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 05:34 PM

choice - I'd still be careful though. take out the other front driveshaft as well and rip along in 4WD (RWD) :D

#8 Mantonite

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 10:36 PM

Well... everything looked all fine and dandy so I started with the tear down. Got the inner CV taken apart so I could slide a new boot on without issue. Went to take the pinch bolt for the ball joint out and IT SNAPPED. BOO! So now I have started to take the entire knuckle off so I can pull it out and drill out the busted bolt. Hope it was Grade 5! How many more of those will I run into? So for now it's all soaking in PB Blaster waiting for me to get back to it tomorrow. We shall see...

#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 10:52 PM

If you pulled the DOJ (inner CV joint, called a Double Offset Joint) apart, then you at least borked the retainer ring around the cup, and most likely split the cup itself in several places. You'll need to replace the ring, the boot and probably the cup.... maybe the whole inner joint too if the cage or bearings were knarled up when it came apart. They aren't meant to get that stretchy.... Since the bolt broke too, you might just consider getting a whole junk yard hub with the axle and everything already in it. Depends on how good you are with front axle replacements, or rebuilds. You can rebuild the inner DOJ if you have a pair of split ring pliers, but you'll have to source the parts or get them from another axle (junk yard!).

GD

#10 Mantonite

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 06:29 AM

That would be a great option (junkyard assy), but junkyards with any Subaru parts at all are hard to find up in redneckville, Mi. I'll make some calls though.

#11 Mantonite

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 12:42 PM

No used assemblies round these here parts. "They've all been crushed" was the quote of the day. Anyone have one they want to share???

#12 Mantonite

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 10:50 PM

Well, I promptly snapped the pinch bolt on the strut now. Pulled the whole strut/knuckle/CV assembly now and started the drill-out process. Only have a battery drill (DeWalt 18V) and it's dead for now (spare battery cooked a while back). EZ out didn't work out either.

NOTE: Anyone trying this for themselves, I suggest taking out the whole strut assembly... you don't even have to crack open the brake system! Live and learn I guess.

Do have someone on the site asking if it's the same on all EA82s... is it? Let me know 'cause I may take him up on the offer!

#13 Steven Romero

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 10:49 PM

Well, I promptly snapped the pinch bolt on the strut now. Pulled the whole strut/knuckle/CV assembly now and started the drill-out process. Only have a battery drill (DeWalt 18V) and it's dead for now (spare battery cooked a while back). EZ out didn't work out either.

NOTE: Anyone trying this for themselves, I suggest taking out the whole strut assembly... you don't even have to crack open the brake system! Live and learn I guess.

Do have someone on the site asking if it's the same on all EA82s... is it? Let me know 'cause I may take him up on the offer!


You certainly seem to be maintaining a cheery attitude despite all your troubles. That's good. I don't think I'd be handling it as well as you.

Let me tell you, if you ever need to replace the back shocks make sure you PB blast the hell out of the mounting bolts, and then work them in and out over and over again, or you'll break those off too. I just did a replacement of my rear shocks, and almost broke the bolts. They just didn't want to come off.

Did you ever get the pinch bolt out of the steering knuckle, and remove the ball joint?

./steve

#14 Mantonite

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 09:10 AM

Cheery attitude??? It's not worth not having it. I got the car for free... you have to expect something to be wrong.

Ball joint pinch bolt drilled out no problem. Kept 'er centered and actually preserved the threads! A 3/8" drill bit is just under the metric bolt... I'll through bolt it anyway.

Strut pinch bolt didn't want to stay centered, but she ended up seeing things my way.

Now the lower half of the ball joint is another story. It doesn't want to come out at all. I'm in the process of pulling the lower arm so I can bring it to work/a shop to have it pressed out. We'll see how that goes.

Should the halfshaft have fallen out as I was working on the knuckle??? I thought that it was pressed in??? Any tricks to getting it back in?

That's my saga update for the day... Any and all comments are welcome!

#15 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 01:40 PM

Yeah - sometimes they do actually just fall out. Just depends. I've had old axles fall out, and new ones be a bugger to get into the same knuckle. Doesn't seem to matter once they are torqued tho. Just be glad that wasn't stuck too.

GD

#16 Mantonite

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 03:44 PM

Update (for anyone who cares):

Rebuilt the inner CV joint... hope I did a good enough job. Cleaned out the inside of the knuckle (where the BJ goes in) with a screwdriver and a dremel with wire brush. Put a through bolt in where the pinch bolt was and hit it with Locktite red. Should hold eh?

Now all I have to do is the the other half of the BJ out of the suspension arm. I have to wait until the kiddos are awake before I can try. I'll hit it with the air hammer and a normal hammer for a while... if that doesn't work it's time for the press.

All for a $15 dollar part...

#17 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 03:51 PM

A cheap ball joint "fork" will pop it out. Will destroy the boot, but you are replaceing it anyway. They are a couple bucks from harbor frieght.

GD

#18 Mantonite

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 05:58 AM

A cheap ball joint "fork" will pop it out. Will destroy the boot, but you are replaceing it anyway. They are a couple bucks from harbor frieght.

GD

There's nothing for the fork to grab on this side. All there is is the ball of the ball joint (the other half is in the trash somewhere). Should be cheap to get it pressed out anyway. We shall see...

#19 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 07:07 PM

There's nothing for the fork to grab on this side. All there is is the ball of the ball joint (the other half is in the trash somewhere). Should be cheap to get it pressed out anyway. We shall see...


Yikes! My second try would be a sledgehammer and a vise. Actually a small tie-rod end puller from the free rental at Autozone works too - will push it out from the bottom. I've done them that way as well when I wanted to save them for re-use (junk yard).

GD

#20 Mantonite

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 06:05 AM

It is done!!! Brought the lower arm to a machine shop and they pressed it out for free: "bring back something bigger and better next time" was the quote of the day. Reassembly was pretty straight forward. The only tips/comments I would have is to make sure the parking brake cable is routed correctly... I had mine over the halfshaft and had to pull it from the caliper to get it correct. Other than that just take your time and hope you can find all the piece parts! Thanks for your help. Another Suby that isn't ready to see the junk yard yet!




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