Wheel bearing and ball joint replacement?


Old 11-02-07, 10:27 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 358
Wheel bearing and ball joint replacement?

Oldsmobile Bravada, Year (?), 110k miles

This is my buddy's car. Front tires wearing on the outer edge. Took the car in for wheel alignment. Told to have ball joint and wheel bearing. $600+ repair cost. I don't want him to spend money more than necessary.

I visually checked the ball joint. The rubber boot is okay. I will put the car on a jack and shake the front wheel for wheel bearing free play.

1) How do I confirm worn ball joint?

2) If positive camber is problem, can it not be adjusted with shim?
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Old 11-02-07, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 73
jack the lower control arm up to take the load off the ball joint and grab the tire and move it

most likely they are right the ball joints will be bad

the bravada and blazers always go thru ball joints we see tons of them

Old 11-02-07, 09:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Jersey
Posts: 526
First check the toe.
If the toe is out it affects the camber.
You should have a zero toe.
Ball joints are easy to check.
Put the front end up on stands under the the lower control arms and grab the the wheel at 12:00 and 6:00 and rock back and fourth top to bottom, if you have play the lower ball joints are worn and must be replaced.

To check the tie rod ends do the same but grab the wheel at 9:00 and 3:00 and rock side to side, if you have play the ends must be replaced.

PA State Certified Safety and Emissions
Old 11-03-07, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Livonia, Michigan
Posts: 923
I highly suspect the tech's diagnosis on the wheel bearings. I work for a wheel bearing manufacturer and one of my duties is to handle the warranty.

How did the tech determine the wheel bearings need to be replaced? All too often I see wheel bearings are misdiagnosed. It is also rare to have both wheel bearings go bad at the same time. In fact, if a wheel bearing spalled so bad that there's play, then the driver would have long ago noticed a noise coming from the bearing.

When you check for wheel bearing play, keep in mind you may be getting play from the suspension components.

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