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Discussion Starter #1
ok well ever since i got my lude up and running i have noticed when i go over railroad tracks or hit a pothole i get a clunk/squeak noise. well when me and the girlfriend went to town i stopped at the atm, after i got done i pulled into a parking spot. i got out and grabbed ahold of the passenger front tire at the top and began to pull towards me, the tire had about 1/2 inch of movement in and out. so i know the balljoint is bad for sure and i got a parts car so thats no big deal, what is kinda a big deal is about a month ago i spent about $70 to get it aligned. how do i go about changing the upper control arm and not throwing the alignment out when installing the new one?
 

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I don't doubt your ball join'ts are bad, but with up and down wheel play also inspect bearings. Just spend the 40-70 dollars to get an alignment, even if you match the old part perfect to the new one, how do you know your alignment is perfect now?
 

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If you are lowered like me and dont have a camber kit then your balljoints are all the way out like mine are and you jus have to put them back like that or if not you can take a white sharpie and mark where the balljoint was. and your alignment could be off also already
 

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ok well ever since i got my lude up and running i have noticed when i go over railroad tracks or hit a pothole i get a clunk/squeak noise. well when me and the girlfriend went to town i stopped at the atm, after i got done i pulled into a parking spot. i got out and grabbed ahold of the passenger front tire at the top and began to pull towards me, the tire had about 1/2 inch of movement in and out. so i know the balljoint is bad for sure and i got a parts car so thats no big deal, what is kinda a big deal is about a month ago i spent about $70 to get it aligned. how do i go about changing the upper control arm and not throwing the alignment out when installing the new one?

you probably do not have a bad ball joint (or, at least, not JUST a bad ball joint).

if your upper ball joint were bad enough to allow 1/2 inch of travel at the top of the tire it would equate to about 3/4 inch of travel at the ball joint (since the ball joint is futher from the lower than the top of the tire is)...since the ball of the joint is barely an inch across, it would be have to be in pieces (not just worn loose), and you would not be driving the car.

interestingly enough, the slots in the upper arm are that the upper ball joint travels in are about 3/4 of an inch in length.

chances are, you lost or loosened the two 17mm nuts that hold your upper balljoint to the upper arm. find them, replace them, and tighten them.....then go get an alignment.


if by some chance you do need to replace the upper arm or upper ball joint, there is really no way to do so without getting the alignment. you could get close, but if i were you i'd blame it on the shop that did the alignment in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
wheel bearing is fine...i had to replace it when i did the 5spd swap. you can see the rubber boot around the ball joint move all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
you probably do not have a bad ball joint (or, at least, not JUST a bad ball joint).

if your upper ball joint were bad enough to allow 1/2 inch of travel at the top of the tire it would equate to about 3/4 inch of travel at the ball joint (since the ball joint is futher from the lower than the top of the tire is)...since the ball of the joint is barely an inch across, it would be have to be in pieces (not just worn loose), and you would not be driving the car.

interestingly enough, the slots in the upper arm are that the upper ball joint travels in are about 3/4 of an inch in length.

chances are, you lost or loosened the two 17mm nuts that hold your upper balljoint to the upper arm. find them, replace them, and tighten them.....then go get an alignment.


if by some chance you do need to replace the upper arm or upper ball joint, there is really no way to do so without getting the alignment. you could get close, but if i were you i'd blame it on the shop that did the alignment in the first place.
100% positive its the ball joint....and by 1/2 and inch of movement i meant 1/4" inwards and outwards which equals about 1/2" total..my bad
 

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wheel bearing is fine...i had to replace it when i did the 5spd swap. you can see the rubber boot around the ball joint move all over the place.
what happens when you jack the car up?

does the spindle fall out of the upper arm?
 

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i havent tried it jacked up....and no it doesnt fall out, if it was that bad i wouldnt even drive it lol

i'll assume you actually answered a question i didn't ask; and that you have jacked the car up, you just haven't tried pushing the wheel back and forth.

if that's the case, then i re-iterate my original hypothesis...

the nuts that hold your upper ball joint to your upper control arm have come loose.

probably because the guy that last aligned the car forgot to tighten them....since the 2gp and the 3gp are just about the only two chassis (chassi? chassises?) in history that have them there in the first place.


or.....you were exaggerating about the 1/2" of travel you have at the top of the tire.
 

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i havent tried it jacked up....and no it doesnt fall out, if it was that bad i wouldnt even drive it lol
I had kind of the same problem with my rear drivers side. I replaced the bushings in the the upper control arm with the Prothane bushings in the End All Bushings thread and it fixed the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had kind of the same problem with my rear drivers side. I replaced the bushings in the the upper control arm with the Prothane bushings in the End All Bushings thread and it fixed the problem.
turns out it is my upper control arm bushings....i decided to get off my ass and go outside with a flashlight and have a better look. the front bushing is shot im able to wiggle it quite a bit! from the angle i looked at it in the parking lot it made it look like the ball joint was wiggling. looks like its time for some more wrench time on the lude...and new bushings, yay!
 

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turns out it is my upper control arm bushings....i decided to get off my ass and go outside with a flashlight and have a better look. the front bushing is shot im able to wiggle it quite a bit! from the angle i looked at it in the parking lot it made it look like the ball joint was wiggling. looks like its time for some more wrench time on the lude...and new bushings, yay!
Those metal sleeves inside the arm are a bitch to get out...I used a saw and cut them in 2 places then basically cheseled them out. I didn't have access to a press. After the first one it got easier cause I knew what I was doing. I did both rears and am doing the fronts in the next week. Use plenty of grease


Just noticed i past the 100 post mark..no longer a newbie...now a "lude dude"
 

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if the balljoint is that bad then it must have been that bad when they did the alignment as well, which honestly means they really didnt do their job very well at all. sooooo, i wouldnt trust the alignment to begin with.

either way, by changing the balljoint, no matter what you do it will throw off the alignment requiring you to get it aligned again. even the teeniest different in camber setting throws the toe setting off a whole crapload, and toe is the most important aspect of a proper alignment
 

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i know youre all gonna think im a noob for asking this(well i am) but what exactly is an alignment and what is it for?
 

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i know youre all gonna think im a noob for asking this(well i am) but what exactly is an alignment and what is it for?
Simple terms is making sure your tires are straight.
better way of wording it:
an alignment is where you change the angle of the tires so that the tread is at the correct angle on the road, and the wheels point in the correct steering angle,
all to provide the safest, most predictable, highest traction, least wear, best handling possible
 

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better way of wording it:
an alignment is where you change the angle of the tires so that the tread is at the correct angle on the road, and the wheels point in the correct steering angle,
all to provide the safest, most predictable, highest traction, least wear, best handling possible
thank you, your answers are much more useful than those from some other people who seem to think im stupid..
i kinda figured thats what it was, but i thought that there might be more to it.
when would one need to get an alignment?
 

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thank you, your answers are much more useful than those from some other people who seem to think im stupid..
i kinda figured thats what it was, but i thought that there might be more to it.
when would one need to get an alignment?
when tire wear isnt even or when your car pulls one direction when you let go of the wheel.
 

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when tire wear isnt even or when your car pulls one direction when you let go of the wheel.
Thats not always true, that can happen with a tire low on air pressure. And to green, rather than asking so many questions on simple topics, read up on what you are asking. That way people wont assume you dont know anything.
 

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when tire wear isnt even or when your car pulls one direction when you let go of the wheel.
then i might need an alignment.

Thats not always true, that can happen with a tire low on air pressure. And to green, rather than asking so many questions on simple topics, read up on what you are asking. That way people wont assume you dont know anything.
i dont mind people assuming that i dont know anything, cuz i dont really know much..
but im not stupid.
 
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