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Don't Loose A Ball Joint At 65 MPH !

Use this forum for general conversation amongst yourselves when you don't have anything better to do. We like gossip! Try to keep the technical out of it.

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Post Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:30 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5661
Location: Ohio USA

This happened last night. What a ride until it came to a halt ! Pic is today, after I got her hauled back home. Initially the wheel was on it's side. Pa

Image

Post Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:44 am

Posts: 426
Location: Tucson Arizona

Love Ohio roads........ :evil:

Glad you and yours are alright.

Post Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:05 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5661
Location: Ohio USA

Yep ! Ohio roads ! :x Thanks Kurt. We were very lucky. Pa

Post Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:06 pm

Posts: 1633
that wouldn't be a Jeep by any chance? Cherokees ( Liberty to those of the star-spangled persuasion ) have a bit of a rep for that...
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:08 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5661
Location: Ohio USA

Not a Jeep. It is a full size, full frame, Mercury Marquis. The one where you change the complete lower control arm because the ball joints are part of the lower control arm assembly.

Post Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:03 am

Posts: 1633
I found out a long while ago, there is a universally-applicable method for dealing with suspension problems encountered on US-made pick-ups and 4x4s


ditch it and buy a Land Cruiser....
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:12 am

Posts: 975
Location: Markt Einersheim, Germany

Ouch!!

Pa, I had a front driveshaft universal let go one time, boy howdy did that beat the hell out of the driveshaft tunnel!

Glad you and yours are OK..

George

PS got the scans. THANKS Again!!

Post Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:24 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5661
Location: Ohio USA

45Brit wrote:
I found out a long while ago, there is a universally-applicable method for dealing with suspension problems encountered on US-made pick-ups and 4x4s


ditch it and buy a Land Cruiser....



I liked me ole Merc though. 28.8 mph on the highway, power full 4.6 v-8, luxury ride.....Gonna miss the ole beast.

Thanks George. This is the first time I ever lost a ball joint. Blew front tires out on cars and bikes before, but I.... for unknown reasons, had at least some control over stopping them. This incident was completely out of my hands though. I ain't never that lucky with lottery tickets. :lol:

Glad the scans made it through to you. Book will go off to you soon. Pa

Post Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:59 pm

Posts: 1633
29mph cruising, that sounds like a Jeep....
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:18 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5661
Location: Ohio USA

Well.....I bought it real jeep. I mean cheap. :mrgreen:

Post Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:12 pm

Posts: 1019
Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA
45Brit,
Don't know what you do to Jeeps over there. My 85 Cherokee has almost 350,000 miles with the original ball joints, my 94 has just over 200,000 with original ball joints. I use them both in the dirt regularly.
Dusty

Post Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:32 am

Posts: 1633
the 'Cherokee' over here is what you would call the 'Liberty'. That model had and history of recalls for front balljoint problems. I also had problems with the front drive shaft CV joints, and I gather this is common.

the model you call 'Cherokee' is sold as 'Grand Cherokee' over here, when it is sold at all.

Jeeps are like most US-made products in Europe, uncompetitively priced due to shipping costs and duties. If you can stand the reliability problems, you will probably buy a Land Rover because it cheaper ( if not much ) and UK-made, if you need something which starts every day of the week and doesn't break down all the time you will have a Nissan, Mitsubishi or Toyota. The Ford Ranger is quite popular with the 'construction pick-up' trade, of course this is basically a Nissan ( as was the Maverick before it ) but there is no car version sold through the Ford dealer network.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:33 pm
44u

Posts: 304
Location: oklahoma usa
You're very lucky the car did not flip. It's also a good reason to go in about once a year and inspect suspension parts to try and head things like this off.

Not trying to stir up a ruckus here, but let me add this since I've been a mechanic for most of my life. (aircraft and "foreign cars".)
Anyone who thinks that cars made by GM, Ford, or Chrysler suffer from inferior ball joints while Honda, Nissan, Toyota, etc. do not are not informed as to where those ball joints actually come from.

Every one of those car makers do not produce their own ball joints. They're subcontracted out from a supplier (usually TRW) so it doesn't matter if you buy a Big 3 car or a Japanese one; the joints all come out of the same TRW factory.

It's not only suspension parts involved. Electrics, fuel injection, air bags, brake components, driveline parts, and even cigarette lighters are farmed out. This also applies to complete transmissions. The transmission that sits in a Chrysler or GM car is made by the same company (JATCO or Aisin for instance) that produces them for a Nissan or Honda, etc.

Post Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:27 am

Posts: 1633
wherever they come from, the Jeep 2002-3 Cherokee/Liberty has a history of recalls for ball-joint replacement, which isn't usual for a vehicle of that type.

I'd also comment about mine, that it had two new front propshaft joints in 70,000 miles - this means a new propshaft since the CV joints ( not UJs on this model ) are integral and need cutting and jig-welding to replace. This appears again, to be a well-known failing of the model. This simply isn't good enough and looking at the vehicle on the ramp, I'd say the acutely-deflected shape of the drive-train, and relatively small CV joints for what is, after all, a large heavy vehicle in its class, is partly to blame.

as for bought-in components, this is nothinhg unusual. My Cherokee had a Mercedes engine, which was the best part by far. The earlier VM diesels are notoriously troublesome
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:51 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5661
Location: Ohio USA

Funny thing is....she did get inspected and the ball joints showed no excessive wear at the time of the inspection [mid spring of this year]. All other joints did show wear and were replaced. Idler arm, 4 tie rod ends, pitman arm, and center control arm were replaced. What I believe happened is this.....the ball joints have no provision for greasing. When the lube finally dissapeared, they were then running dry. I did notice screaching sounds periodically in the steering but felt no poor handling.

Post Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:34 pm

Posts: 604
Location: Largo, Fl

Hey 45 brit, since one of your favorite pastimes is to come on here and tell us all how to fix Inferior American made vehicles with european parts why not just pull your Amal carb off of your 45 and sell the rest to the scrapyard! Then you can just go buy a new BSA to ride and go get a new Triumph or MG to drive when not riding your new BSA. Oh yeah.......never mind!

Post Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:11 pm

Posts: 2683
Location: Los Angeles, CA
45Brit wrote:
the 'Cherokee' over here is what you would call the 'Liberty'. That model had and history of recalls for front balljoint problems. I also had problems with the front drive shaft CV joints, and I gather this is common.

the model you call 'Cherokee' is sold as 'Grand Cherokee' over here, when it is sold at all.

Jeeps are like most US-made products in Europe, uncompetitively priced due to shipping costs and duties. If you can stand the reliability problems, you will probably buy a Land Rover because it cheaper ( if not much ) and UK-made, if you need something which starts every day of the week and doesn't break down all the time you will have a Nissan, Mitsubishi or Toyota. The Ford Ranger is quite popular with the 'construction pick-up' trade, of course this is basically a Nissan ( as was the Maverick before it ) but there is no car version sold through the Ford dealer network.



I guess that you don't know that the Jeep is actually built in Canada. One of your countries great provinces.

Post Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:36 am

Posts: 1633
from what I read in the papers over here I will soon need to learn Italian to read a GM service manual...


I hate to say it, but from what I have seen in recent years, US engineering has gone right down the toilet. Jeep's reputation has collapsed. Was a day when the Wagoneer was the vehicle of choice for onshore oil and construction work in the Middle East - not now. I spent the latter part of last year working on an offshore construction project in Africa which did no good at all for the reputation of a well-known US manufacturer of specialist compnents. If you want to see horror stories about H-D build quality, go to the HDRCGB forum and pick up some of the threads about peeling paint, rust and split wheel-rims.

I love my 45 and the fact that it's still chugging along after all these years is pretty good, but it was after all built in a different time. My Cherokee had a German engine, which was probably the best part of it; the earlier Italian-built unit was pretty infamous, which probably won't surprise anyone. However Jeep is perceived as a US brand, and sold under the Stars and Stripes; if there is a failure to properly specify and manage the quality of bought-in parts, that failure belongs in Detroit, or Toledo, or wherever Jeep is managed from. Same applies to problems with brake and wheel-rim failure of H-Ds.

another comment I would have to make, is that the design of the half-shafts on Jeep is such that if the shaft breaks, you are likely to lose the whole wheel and inner shaft. On most 4x4s, the wheel is bolted on via the brake assembly so if you break a half-shaft, you can simply disconnect the drive shaft and drive in 2wd. Even Land Rovers have this feature, although it took long enough to get it.

I note that a lengthy thread on the HDRCGB forum has concluded that the best H-Ds for reliability and service life, are the early 90s Evos.


No 1 Son has a Hinckley Triumph and it's pretty good...
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:34 pm
44u

Posts: 304
Location: oklahoma usa
Since I've been a "foreign car" tech for 30 or so years let me add something.
There is no way on God's Green Earth that a company like TRW is providing junk parts to the Big 3 and saving all of the good stuff for the Toyotas and Hondas.

Sticking to the ball joint issue here, I will say that when a Recall is issued for a certain vehicle this does not mean the car maker is admitting to an inferior ball joint. Only that a certain number of cars suffered from a certain number of complainers and the car makers consider this a financial issue of weighing the Recall costs against the potential of lawsuits and bad press.

Something to keep in mind is that when a ball joint fails there is always a reason behind it; rough roads, environmental conditions such as dust, sand, road salt, driving through deep rain water, (never see that on the news, huh?), etc.

And if anyone thinks the Japanese always do the honorable thing then do a net search about the CEO of Mitsubishi being arrested for - covering up a ball joint recall.
Do a net search for 2 top Toyota execs who were arrested for - covering up a ball joint recall.
One you won't find with a net search is Subaru covering up a defective steering rack pinion spring about 20 years ago. I've seen this one performed by the Subaru reps (to avoid a paper trail) and this problem was leading to a tiny glitch called an "uncontrollable speed wobble at freeway speeds".

I'm not anti-Asian car (owned 3 or 4 of them along half a dozen Europeans) at all but I will say that that in my mechanic career I prefer working on the Asian cars for one reason; problematic and money makers.
Anyone who thinks differently should actually go to work for a Honda, Nissan, or Toyota dealer for about 10 years or so and see what they think.

Post Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:38 pm
44u

Posts: 304
Location: oklahoma usa
And Pa, you're right about the dry joints. They probably went dry and suspension parts with no grease zerks is a pretty common thing with all cars.
Many replacement parts come with zerks thank goodness.

A year or so ago a ball joint broke on my daughter's Mitsubishi but thankfully it happened as she was turning a corner at slow speed. I had checked those joints about 8 o 9 months prior and they were fine.
This car was also under a Recall for ball joints but according to Mitsubishi, their inspection showed they "were fine".
Obviously not.

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