Ok to drive with bad ball joints? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-21-2006, 06:08 PM   #1
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Default Ok to drive with bad ball joints?

Both of the ball joints on my 93 are shot. The thing is ill be moving away for college in a month and after that the 93 will barely be driven (probably not at all, mom just LOVES the 96). Im short on cash, my dad is short on work, so on this point I cannot justify spending $300. From now on since the drives are short and sweet (grocery runs) is it ok to drive it without replacing them?
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:11 PM   #2
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front or rear?

and How bad are they...? does it Know Alot when driveing? or jst can you feel the tire move a little when you jack it up?
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:12 PM   #3
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It is very unsafe if they snap out.

The lower balljoints cost $22 from autozone a piece. It is not that hard if you have the right tools. The tools probably cost about $70 if you dont have em.

You can rent a balljoint tool from AZ for next to nothing.
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:15 PM   #4
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I'd drive it until it needs new tires. Unless of course it'* so noticeably bad that you cannot pilot it down the road straight.
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:16 PM   #5
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Front.

When I jack the front end up and try to shake the wheel there'* some play. I dont know how bad, but when I take a large screwdriver to move the ball joints, you can see them rocking back and fourth with some effort. I know my balljoints have been bad for a while, I took it to the tire shop to get a new set of tires and after the alignment they said it will still be crooked because of the ball joints being bad. Also when im turning in the parking lot, its making alot of popping-bumping sounds.

Anyone have directions/pictures on how to change them out?
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:19 PM   #6
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well that can cause handling issues and bad tire wear...but if ur not driving it...dont worry..do it when you can..but not recommended to drive it...
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:59 PM   #7
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Wow! Don't even think about driving it! If the joint comes apart your wheel will assume a most un-natural angle resulting in extreme difficulty in keeping your car under control. Depending on where you are and how fast you are going at the time, this could cost you, your passengers, and any innocent folk in your way, their lives.

Just consider what might happen on a busy two-lane road, if that joint should separate as you are travelling around a tight right curve and hit a bump. Suddenly, your car is in the oncoming lane. If it happens to be occupied by tractor-trailer at the time, it won't be pretty. Same story on a tight left curve and a bridge abutment. Ball joints can be changed for less than $100 if you do the work yourself. It is not easy, but even a novice can get it done.

If they have never been changed before, they will be attached to the lower control arm with rivets. I remove the cotter pin and bolt, split the joint apart with a pickle fork ($15) and set the control arm on a concrete block as a work platform. Center punch the rivets and start with an 1/8" bit driliing through each of the three rivets. Keep increasing the diameter of the drill until you get close to the edge of each rivet hole (iirc, about 1/2"). A hammer and a sharp cold chisel can pop off the remaining donut of metal. Bolt in the new joint. Re-install the control arm and connect the new joint to the knuckle. When you have the $, get the car aligned.

If you cannot afford to fix bad ball joints or tie rod ends, you cannot afford to drive.
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill buttermore

If you cannot afford to fix bad ball joints or tie rod ends, you cannot afford to drive.
he speaks the truth
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:56 PM   #9
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Reading this (bottom of this post) thread may help you. I included some of my process. Bill Buttermore pretty much explained one way to do it already though. I included some pics, although I never got pics with the new ones installed.

I got mine at Advance, $35 each, TRW brand. DON'T get cheap ball joints. Get name brand.
_____

I removed the cotter pin and castle nut from the b-joint shaft (18mm I believe it was),

Removed the endlink assembly (14mm)

Removed the control arm (15/16" front bolt, and 13/16" rear bolt). I banged the ball joint with a hammer and it popped out of the knuckle. I removed the CA as it was quick, and easier to work with once it was off the car.

I went right with a 1/2" drill bit once I knew the size I needed, and drilled through the top of the rivets. Drilled until the tops of the rivets came off, then pounded the rivets out with a hammer and cheap ratchet extension. The holes are 1/2", but I just drilled deep enough for me to tap the cap of the rivets off. I didn't want to spend the time with gradually increasing sizes of bits, but if you are weery, you should do that.

Bolted them back up on the control arm with the nuts on the bottom side, torqued to 50 ft/lb. Reassembled everything in reverse, and I was done. It was a pain at times, but not too hard if you have the right tools. You don't NEED to buy the pickle fork as I removed the control arms and tapped the joint with a hammer. But it can help.

Anyway, here'* the thread: http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...er=asc&start=0
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:43 PM   #10
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DOn't drive on them!!!!! I had one go on my S10 while I was driving, not fun to have happen and can be dangerous to have happen if you're driving fast,............ though it was fun to see the look on my buddy'* face when I pulled into his driveway on pretty much 3 wheels
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