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FRONT BALL JOINT!?!?!


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#1 gonzo2053

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 06:06 PM

the woman i bought my car off said it would need a front ball joint, could someone expalin to me what that is and how much it would cost, and it i could do it myself?

cheeeeerse

#2 tom

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 06:43 PM

It's quite a common thing to go on a Mini, and they're cheap enough to replace.

#3 gonzo2053

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 07:00 PM

thats a relife to hear, so could you explain to me what it is exactly.......and anywhere is west london what would know about it and be able to fix it?

#4 Dan

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 07:07 PM

Well, there's three different types of joint in the Mini front suspension which are all 'ball joints' of one type or another. Can you get any more info from the woman who sold it to you? Could be a knuckle, or a swivel or a track rod end. From the sound of your post under 'introduce yourself' I think (and hope) you are talking about a knuckle, but if you could clear it up we can help you more.

#5 gonzo2053

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 07:19 PM

ye ok i will try and find out more, because she said she got it repaired for the last MOT but they didnt do a proper job! and she keeps on mentioning to be carefull when going round corners :cry: ....will see what i can find out, thanks for ya replies guys!!

#6 dklawson

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 12:07 AM

As Dan said, there are several joints that could be called "ball joints", however, it's usually a term used when discussing the joints supporting the hub assembly carrying the wheel bearings (through which the axle passes). Remove the road wheel and look at the hub in front of you. You'll see a joint at the top which is attached with a vertical nut to the outer end of the upper suspension arm. Glance below and you'll see a nearly identical lower joint.

Can you replace them yourself? Yes. Do you have a 1-1/2" DEEP socket? You'll need one! If you don't already have a Haynes manual for this car you will need one. It will describe the process.

When you buy the kit to replace the joints, retain the OLD shims that come off the car. (This will make sense later). New kits typically don't have enough shims. A common practice is to "lap" the new ball joint into the seat using valve lapping compound before final assembly. When and if you get to that point, start a new thread and ask about it here.

#7 gonzo2053

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 07:12 AM

bloody hell this is top notch advice!!!

cheerse mate will have a good look when i get it home,

Im gonna get the AA to bring it back ( maybe go there and make some story that the ball joint has gon and its not safe to drive it home :cry: ) on one of there pick up thingys because i wouldnt trust it getting home down the A40! :nugget:

#8 gonzo2053

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 08:09 PM

ok after having a lood look about i found out that its not the hub ball joint ( top and bottom) but the one to the right of it ( on the right hand side) where the steering links to it!?! :P

so is this one easier so fix and where do i get that from and whats it called exactly?

#9 dklawson

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 09:11 PM

That's a steering "tie rod end". Most sources for Mini parts should have them (Mini Spares, Mini Sport, DSN, etc).

To replace them you need to use a ball joint splitter. (Others will tell you ways to improvise, but I prefer to use a scissor-type ball joint splitter). Mark the position of all nuts on the moving arm with white paint. Remove the split pin from the shaft of the rod end (the one that goes into the arm on the steering knuckle). Loosen the nut next to the split pin you just removed. Back the nut out until it covers the ends of the threads. Insert the fork of the ball joint splitter between the steering arm and the tie rod end's body. Place the scissor arm of the splitter against the nut. Tighten the splitter securely then whack it's bolt with a hammer to break the tie rod end free. Remove the splitter and nut. Loosen the jam nut securing the rod end from the steering rack arm. Loosen the nut only enough to free the rod end. Now hold the steering rack arm with pliers and unscrew the tie rod end.

Put the new tie rod end on by reversing this process. Use the white paint as a guide to make sure you've got the new rod end in almost the same place as the old one. (Obviously the splitter isn't involved). Then take your car to a specialist for a front-end alignment... just to be sure it still steers straight.

#10 Dan

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 09:19 PM

In this country its a track rod end though!

The split pins haven't been fitted for a few years now, there's a nyloc nut instead. And there are flats on the trackrod to hold it with a spanner now but DK wouldn't know these things being as he is across the pond!

#11 dklawson

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 12:28 PM

Far away and too old! Sorry Dan, thanks for the translation and the update. I'm frozen in time with a 40 year old car.

Any additional comments to help him replace the "track rod end"?




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