Ball joint snapped in offshore tubular control arm!!!
I guess I got lucky today, had the ragtop out for only the second time since Thanksgiving, first time being Sat. Anyway, as I turned into my driveway, heard a snap, right front dropped and all went wrong. Shut the car off, got out to investigate, broken stud on the lower ball joint. Managed to coax it about 150 ft. to the shop by placing a floor jack under the control arm. Disassembled it, and replaced the ball joint. I earn my living as a tech, so I paid close attention as I disassembled to see if it was something I should have seen to cause this. Stud was tight in the OEM GM knuckle, had to whack it good a bunch of times with a small sledge hammer to knock it out. Comparing the new joint to the broken one, saw a scary difference in the ball joint studs. The ones supplied in the China tubular control arms were football shaped, below the taper that fit into the knuckle, they tapered back smaller again as it got to the "ball", which was where it snapped. The replacement joint had a taper to a heavier straight stud. The one that snapped measured about .620" where it broke, the replacement measured about .792" in the same spot. Car is now parked till I get a chance to replace the other lower ball joint. If you have these arms, I suggest you do the same. I got lucky, busted up my plastic inner fender, pretty sure it was original. I took some pics before and during repair, will add them soon as I can. I use my car a lot, weather permitting, these arms, and ball joints probably have about 8-10K mi. since the install. Very disappointing. Oh yeah, I'm ready for the "I told you so" chorus. Sadly, when I ordered the replacement joint, "You want a good one or a cheap one?". Me, "Give me a good one, a cheap one just snapped." Checked COO, "assembled in the USA". Probably with the same China crap parts. Sucks they have this wiggle room to say where stuff is made.
72 Chevelle SS conv
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Last edited by 72ragtop; Apr 5th, 13 at 9:33 AM.
Reason: added pics