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92 corsica ball joints


michaeletr's Avatar
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03-07-04, 02:54 AM   #1  
michaeletr
92 corsica ball joints

Can someone please tell me how to test my ball joints to see if they need to be replaced
Thanks mike

 
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the_tow_guy's Avatar
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03-07-04, 05:45 AM   #2  
Generally speaking (and I'm really taxing my memory on this) you would jack the front end up and support it under the lower front control arms. Then get a long bar and use it as a lever to apply upward pressure under the tire/wheel and check for up & down free play.

What makes you suspect ball joints? High mileage and lots of front end play?

 
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03-07-04, 04:04 PM   #3  
No, that's incorrect. That's a strut front end and the ball joints are "non load bearing". They are checked with the wheel off the ground and hanging free. Due to the fact that they are not load bearing, they very rarely wear out. I'd take a real hard look at the inner tie rod ends though. That's where you'll find the wear.

 
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03-07-04, 09:48 PM   #4  
Isn't it fun to get an answer to a question you didn't ask?
I can understand why some people constantly bang their head on their keyboard.
Your balljoint is not entirely "non-load bearing". There are heavy side forces at work. And since the joint requires lubrication, if it dries out, then it wears out.
The Haynes manual (yes, I know. One previous expert used to say Haynes is useless. It's not complete and it has lots of mistakes, but for the home mechanic, it is still very useful just the same.) says to check balljoints by jacking the car (Corsica/Beretta) up (on jackstands) with the wheel hanging free, and: 1) work a pry bar up and down between the bottom of the joint and the inside of the wheel, and 2) work a pry bar around in between the side of the balljoint and the steering knuckle boss. If there is any play between the balljoint and the steering knuckle in either case, replace the joint.
That's the answer that goes with your original question.

Now I digress back to another answer you didn't ask for. I have a '90 Beretta (body/suspension same as the Corsica) which had "wobbling" problems. I replaced both balljoints (one was definitely worn out) but it did not solve my problem. Then I shook the tires back and forth as vigorously as I could to find one of them very loose. And that's how I found a bad tie-rod problem.
The inside end of the tie-rod has a large 'eye', inside of which is a steel bushing (bolted to the steering unit), and the area in-between is filled with plastic. The plastic gets brittle with age, cracks and falls out. Wobble!

 
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03-08-04, 12:03 AM   #5  
mike from nj
there is a big difference between a load bearing and a non load bearing ball joint.

LB: supports the weight of the entire vehicle

nonLB: controls the stability of the knuckle only, has basically no weight on it. side forces are a minor concern when you picture the weight of 3/4 of the vehicle on something less than 1 square inch.


one will always wear out faster than the other, lube or no lube.


(one previous poster, however, no expert)

 
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03-08-04, 03:08 PM   #6  
Thank you Mike
After all that, what I stated was correct. The ball joints are mostly sealed units and rarely wear, cause very little ride disturbance and the inner tie rods do wear and cause ride disturbances all the time. There's one in every bunch I guess.

 
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03-08-04, 08:46 PM   #7  
ilketile
all good answers but most of the time on these cars it is not inside tie rod but outer tie rod which as some one said it packed in rubber and designed to wear out at about 50 thousand miles

 
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03-09-04, 05:01 AM   #8  
Can tell how long it's been since I worried about worn out ball joints (think it was on my '64 Buick Special). Forgot about different engineering on strut vehicles.

 
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03-09-04, 08:50 AM   #9  
Originally posted by ilketile
all good answers but most of the time on these cars it is not inside tie rod but outer tie rod which as some one said it packed in rubber and designed to wear out at about 50 thousand miles
Not true at all. The inner tie rod ends usually wear at 2 to 1 from the outers. GM tie rods have no rubber internally and as a rule will last over 150K if the tires are balamced properly. The only one using rubber in their outer tie rods is Ford.

 
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