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  1. #1
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Default bad ball joint pics

    Can sleep better after seeing what's been going on.
    Parked car 11-13. Gosh 13th was on a Monday not a Friday
    Good luck nothing dramatic happened was doing 5 mph a block away made it home.
    Pics are zoom-able.

    Metal shavings. Fraction of an oz less unsprung weight...
    Name:  ball joint ds shavings 3030 50 20231116_173945 (12).jpg
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    Arrow points to where outer edge of control arm scrapes the brake rotor.
    Bendt what is left of the rusty brake shield out of the way to see better.
    A new ball joint will pull the control arm up off the rotor.
    Name:  ball joint ds loaded arrow 1010 20231116_220756.jpg
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    Last edited by gr79; 02-16-2024 at 07:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Glad you caught it quick, that could have really sucked.
    '85 GT

  3. #3

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    Impressive! Hopefully it didn't stretch out the hole in the control arm. That happened to me.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Focus ST
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  4. #4
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    ZephyrEFI- What happened with the stretched hole New arm? Welded or bolt in bj?
    Am told there are versions that will press into an oversize hole.

    From the bottom, bj looks to be firmly attached and flat on the control arm.
    Ford says replace the whole arm.
    Currently arm set #2 is on the car. They are FPP cataloged ones.
    Parts cost is not a whole lot more. Bonus would be new bushings. Current ones look ok.

    I asked the shop about that once they said nah can do just the bj. Of course that was a while back.
    Labor diff between bj only or whole arm replacement will not be a whole lot more to spring for.
    Will have to call them how much is labor now including going all the way including a strut swap.
    Would like to do just the bjs and struts.

    Source for new 79-93 stock style rear lower control arms with rubber bushings:
    https://buyacp.com/parts/rear-lower-...ide-fm-es031a/

  5. #5

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    Yeah, it should be clear they are stretched out. There were signs when I did it. The balljoints went in really easy. But having no experience with such things, I put it all back together only to find the joints pushed themselves right back out when I put the car on the floor. Not gonna work, haha.

    If your current arms are not high miles like mine were, you are probably fine.

    Sent from my SM-S901U using Tapatalk
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Focus ST
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  6. #6
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Default nest step in plan to move car to shop for repair

    Est have 100k on the current flcas. PS looks fine.
    Hitting a jarring chuckhole weeks ago did not help. Tire and rim are fine no damage or leaks.

    Make it way easier to move the car, especially by being able to drive it into a repair bay.
    Have to call the tow co and shop to find out how they deal with moving a car with wheel drag.
    LCA only scrapes in one spot. Is clear and free at least 180 degrees of tire rotation.
    Shop is not far away like 5 miles. May be able to have it towed slowly on rear wheels or a dolly.
    Main concern is once the Mustang is at the shop. Having to drag it inside bumming the mechanics out having to do that.
    They know the car and truck and are always blunt frank with details of what the deal is.

    Maybe will safety chain or strap the lca to the spindle or frame just in case.
    Everything to be arranged weeks in advance. Weather here now is cold and could snow anytime.
    Last edited by gr79; 02-16-2024 at 07:39 PM.

  7. #7
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Warmed car up and went back and forth in driveway to gauge wheel drag.
    Listened for a free spot where there is no rotor/arm scraping noise.
    In a certain spot, car drags like the parking brake is on.
    Could drive car more and grind down the metal enough to freewheel again.
    Cast iron brake rotor vs thick gauge stamped steel control arm edge.

    New pr of struts arrived from RA. Same Monroe 71828s made in USA. Last replaced in 2002, 160k.
    Boxes are hd and have hand slots in the right spot. Lot easier to grip box doing the storage shuffle.
    Nice little packaging touches Monroe did not have to do but did.
    Last edited by gr79; 02-16-2024 at 07:55 PM.

  8. #8
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Went to straighten it out on the drive and heard the DS ball joint fail all the way.
    Arm dropped on the wheel rim. Joint ball is still on the knuckle. Snapped below it.
    It wont move now stuck similar to a FT LT brake total lock up.
    Wheel will not rotate, wont steer either. Front wheels are straight
    Have not driven it since November.

    Time to schedule shop visit and flat bed tow.
    So fortunate it happened in its parking spot on driveway and no drama.

    Will be tricky to move it off driveway onto flatbed.
    Rear bumper is almost at the curb, street is only wide enough for 2 cars to pass.
    Car wont steer, front wheels are straight.
    Oh well the tow company will figure it out.
    Face the car to the rear of flatbed as for drop off in front of a shop bay door.

    Thinking about jacking the arm off the rim and strapping it up to frame of something.
    The wheel should stay down since the knuckle is not connected to the ball joint anymore?
    If can get the arm off the wheel rim and strap it up, car can roll.
    But the arm is supporting car weight.
    The arm looks ok. Scraped up at the end, but no gouging from dragging on wheel rim.

    Shop uses Moog parts. Good. They will have grease fittings. OEM does not.
    Any thoughts are humbly welcome.

  9. #9
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    Tow truck will likely use go jacks. Shop may do the same or they could ask the tow driver to push the car into the bay on the go jack.

    If you feel crappy that you're gong to inconvenience someone, you could always pick one or a pair up. Lot's of affordable options.

    https://www.northerntool.com/product...ity-each-61133

    https://www.northerntool.com/product...capacity-37809

    https://www.harborfreight.com/automo...ies-67338.html

    https://www.harborfreight.com/automo...lly-64601.html
    '85 GT

  10. #10

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    Fyi @qikgts - Northern Tool links are bad.
    1985 Mustang GT (Mothballed...Desired restomod parts acquired...Top of my project list for my 2024 retirement!)

  11. #11
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Default thank you for ideas

    Yes was thinking of the wheel dollies. Forgot about gojacks.
    Youngest brother has dollies but may be in use and on the other side of town.
    Sounds reasonable for tow co and shop to have them.
    Will ask tow co and shop tomorrow about them. Will get some if needed and write it off as part of repair.
    Family owned shop is well equipped and said drivers always come in and check where to offload the car.
    They specialize in frame and suspension. Did a good job on the Mustang clutch replacement.
    Can get in tomorrow if i was ready. Few months ago 2 week wait.
    Plus a new bus route stops right in front.
    Will follow the tow in the Ranger, but need a ride to pick car up.

    Thinking of using one of my engine leveler chains to secure arm. Jack up arm off the rim.
    Run chain thru the arm spring pocket hole and loop it around the lower part of strut.

    The only concern about inconvenience is the weather. Forecast is high 80's low 90's.
    My fault putting off something that could have been done months ago.
    Or if i had a garage. Did the LCAs and struts in brothers garage 2001.
    Have new struts may throw them in car just in case.

  12. #12
    FEP Super Member erratic50's Avatar
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    Wild

    the balljoints on my 86GT lasted until just shy of 500K miles

    they were still good when I removed them, but I couldn't see leaving them in there

    the A arm bushings were a dirty bastard to replace-- never again will I rebuild a crusty old set of A arms. The new Dorman arms are SO much easier to work on. Cuts the time required in 1/4

    i went to X2 balljoints and SN95 spindles when I rebuilt my frontend

    I run SN95 balljoints with SVO/SN95 spindle adapters and SVO spindles on my 85

    Both are an excellent upgrade. The improved Ackerman makes a noticeable difference when cruising around the parking lot or at speed

  13. #13
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    I threw the oe FLCA's into a ditch. Should have kept them to restore as a backup set.
    Live and learn. Could not find them a few years later. Ditch was reworked.

    Went to Menards today and picked up a new tow chain.
    Idea is to jack up car by the lca.
    Thread the chain down the spring mount seat holes inside the spring. Down the top and out the bottom.
    Wrap and hook it good around the lower part of the strut at the knuckle mount.
    Hopefully the arm will be temp secured off the rim long enough to move it to shop.
    That way the chain should also secure the strut and wheel so they wont spread out.
    I see HF has a Daytona go jack on sale for 100. Will get one if i need it.
    Next week predicted in the 90's so trip to shop is on hold due to weather.
    Way to hot to drive in a black non a/c car anyway.
    https://www.menards.com/main/tools/a...7167451381.htm

  14. #14
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Default where there's is a will there's a way

    Perfect summerlike weather day. Trial fitment of chain went great. Worth the time planning.
    Trial was done on the good side of front end to figure best chain routing and duplicate it on the ds.
    One of the chain end hooks needed to be cut off so chain would fit thru spring pocket hole.
    Did that first. Cut 2nd link with Ryobi 18v 3" cut off tool. That thing is gold. Did not even nick the vise paint.
    Took a long break on the patio and 80's heat before trial fit.
    Chain dropped easily thru spring assy. Routed inside the rim, around the strut, above the caliper avoiding pinching tie rod end and brake line.
    The hook end fit nicely into the end of the chain sticking out under the spring. 54" chain have almost 12" left over.

    Name:  ball joint chain trial 1010 20240614.jpg
Views: 55
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    The bad side. Ball joint ball (the rusty orb) pulled out of socket.
    Geez look at how far the control arm drops. At least it was stopped by the rim. Good to know considering what could have happened.
    Plan Sunday? = jack up and secure everything with chain allowing car to roll again.
    I have new struts in box for later install. Same p/n.
    Car will be hosed to remove tree fuzz collected where there is oil film and grassy webs underneath.
    Wheel should turn. Does rub rear of fender splash liner. Won't try to steer it if possible.
    Name:  ball joint pop 1010 20240614.jpg
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  15. #15
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    It really doesn't seem like it would be that bad to jack it up under the control arm, remove the wheel, brakes, spindle and press a new ball joint into that arm. Biggest pain might be getting the old ball stud out of the spindle. I can't remember what those spindles look like, but you might be able to pop it out with a tie rod end puller.
    '89 XR-7 5 Speed
    '95 SC 5 Speed
    '91 Crown Vic P72 351W
    '97 Thunderbird
    '85 Ford LTD Squire

  16. #16
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    I have a joint press kit and all the tools, 10t press. Air tools.
    Prob is ford says not to replace the ball joints but to do the whole arm.
    That ball. Let the shop figure that out. Get both joints installed right.
    Yah i want that old ball stud a a souvenir to add to the parts jar of doom.
    The shop has tools for heavy truck work. Can realign front at same time.
    From what i gather, the arm, spindle, rotor, can stay on the car.
    Write the extra cost is as like having a couple more car payments.
    Budget allows others to do heavy repair. I do it now only if an emergency.

    Went to a car cruise yesterday. Took side streets to avoid traffic.
    Happened upon a flatbed bringing home a bb Camaro with a broken rear axle.
    That guy was good. Quickly set the car right into the garage like it was on a spatula.
    Asked him about my situation. Said no problem winching it on and sliding it off.

  17. #17
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Wohoo progress
    Jacked under the lca and chained the ds wheel same routing as trial on the pass side.
    The turbine rim slots helped routing. Able to see and thread the chain thru one slot to take slack out.
    Working from front to back, reached behind wheel, pulled chain back thru wheel and over to the spring.
    Dropped the free end of chain down the spring. Jack placement allowed chain to drop thru lca spring hole.
    Control arm is now off the rim, tire spins free again. Chain is real close to rim but ok.
    Had to fiddle with the chain hook connection to a chain link to get max amount of slack out.
    The HF jack worked perfectly. Was low enough to roll under the lca at the spring pocket area.
    Not taking a chance steering and bending a tie rod or something since the lca is not connected.
    The strut is chained to the lca. Chain loops down the spring top to bottom.

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