Any of you ever had a ball joint explode? - Forums at Modded Mustangs
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post #1 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Any of you ever had a ball joint explode?

Was cruising around town last night with a couple buddies. When i went home one of them called me and said that his mach's front tire was shoved up into the fender. When i got there i saw that the ball joint had exploded and separated, causing the A-arm to drop and gouge into his new rim.

Then, like an idiot i reached back there to feel if anything else was damaged... and BAM, my finger is pinched between the a-arm and something else... crushed the tip of my finger pretty bad...

This car was involved in an accident on that side of the car by the previous owner. But i've never had any thing like that happen before.

We ended up jacking the car up (which SUCKS when you have a slammed mach, and are on the side of the road) and knocking the ball joint completely out (upper and lower piece) and running a bolt threw it to drive it ~8 blocks back to my garage. I'll be replacing the ball joint after work tonight for him.

Think it was related to the previous accident? When i have the car up in the air tonight im going to "shake" the other tire and see if the ball wobbles any.

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post #2 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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I originally thought about posting this in the 4v section, but its more general then that...

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post #3 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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It isn't uncommon. Balljoints should be inspected regularly, and should be replaced at the first sign of any play. Did your friend notice any popping when turning in the days/weeks/months leading up to this?

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post #4 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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He's only had the car for a month or two... and when i drove it this past weekend i didnt notice anything un-normal, and then again last night when i drove it it seemed ok. I did notice a slight steering problem, almost like the car was wondering when driving. And he's said that the car always pulls to that corner when breaking. He/we assumed it was from being hit in that corner and tweeking something. Now we're thinking theres more to the story, that the pulling may be caused from the bad ball joint.

I told him to make sure to get an alignment done after we swap the ball joint because the wandering feel can be caused by the caster being off between the two wheels.

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post #5 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tang Stang View Post
It isn't uncommon. Balljoints should be inspected regularly, and should be replaced at the first sign of any play. Did your friend notice any popping when turning in the days/weeks/months leading up to this?
And now you are making me think mine might go

I've had a popping noise since I lowered the car.
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post #6 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Go Check!! Its NASTY trying to fix it if it does drop. He was lucky that he was only doing 15ish when his a-arm hit the rim... had he been going down the highway, it would have been a different out come completely... Scary shit.

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post #7 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BA Mustang View Post
I've had a popping noise since I lowered the car.
And you're driving it that way?!

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post #8 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Ball joints usually only break when at low speeds and most of the time when turning like in a parking lot.

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post #9 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:16 PM
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Yep, don't have time to deal with it.
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post #10 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BA Mustang View Post
And now you are making me think mine might go

I've had a popping noise since I lowered the car.
When you lower your car you should always go get an alignment.

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post #11 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mustangmaniac95 View Post
Ball joints usually only break when at low speeds and most of the time when turning like in a parking lot.
hmm, thats good to know, because he was actually turning out of the parking lot and onto the street when this happen... so your theory is pretty accurate!

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post #12 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:22 PM
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hmm, thats good to know, because he was actually turning out of the parking lot and onto the street when this happen... so your theory is pretty accurate!
Yeah, happened to my dad twice and same thing happened to his friend.

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post #13 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mustangmaniac95 View Post
When you lower your car you should always go get an alignment.
Or do it yourself, my grandfather has an alignment tool and I used it. However, I am probably going to take it somewhere anyway.
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post #14 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Cool

This usually happens when a bad ball join keeps getting worse from not being replaced. With the design of the front suspension of the Mustangs it will be easiest to check the other side by lifting the car up so that the tires are an inch or so off the ground and get a long pry bar to lift up on the tire from underneath prying against the ground. All of the weight from the suspension is pushing down on the lower control arm when the car is in the air making it hard for you to wiggle the tire and see any play in the ball joint since there is so much pressure pushing against you.

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post #15 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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Ive never had one blow up on me but i did watch a guy take a corner and and watch his blow up and and drag his tire cause it was tucked up in the fender too.

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post #16 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 01:02 PM
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Well just got out to my car and now it doesn't pop anymore. Weird

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post #17 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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We had one of the ball joints explode on my room mates 99 Suburban about 2 months ago. On the night of the election as I recall. It was funner than hell trying to get that behemoth on jack stands. Someone had apparently used the wrong size last time they were changed. Wound up having to have the whole arm replaces too.


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post #18 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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from what i remember this car is fairly low mileage, mid 50,000 maybe... thats why it shocked me that the ball joint already failed... needless to say, he's got the new one already, and i'll be popping it in for him today...

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post #19 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 01:21 PM
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Same thing happened to my buddy's '96 GT last year, he was turning into a parking spot at a gas station when his ball joint let go.
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post #20 of 23 Old January 10th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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Dodge recalled a buttload of Dakotas, and Durangos a while back for bad ball joints - they were non-serviceable (no grease fittings), and are a wear item. Everyone was given a 100K mile warranty on them - unfortunately I had 110K miles at the time, they refused to warranty my replacements on my '01 Dak. They never gave me problems till the tire tucked at 70mph on the hwy.

Always give those tires a wiggle when you have the car jacked up just to check!

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