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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having an issue with a lower ball joint in my stock LCA. It seems like the new ball joint doesnt press into the CA like it should. It only took a couple of taps from a hammer to get them all the way in. My question would be is this safe? Should I have someone tack weld them in? I would think that there isnt any pressure pushing down on these rather than pulling up.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
 

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Ball joint bore is either stretched out from a previous joint R&R or the LCA is cracked which is NOT uncommon.
Look it over very carefully.
I personally am not a fan of tack welding ball joints in place...I'd replace the LCA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input. I looked at it real good and I dont see any cracks. I thinks its stretched. Eventually I want to go with tubular stuff but the money tree needs watering. I am not a fan of tack welding this either but I may need to do it until the money tree grows a little more:D. I figure with the amount of driving I do these new ball joints would probably last 10 years! I do take it to the track from time to time so I just want to make sure nothign comes apart at 118 MPH! Thanks again!
 

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For simple peace of mind, I'd place a WTB ad here in the Classifieds for a replacement stock LCA. Easy to find and should be able to purchase one pretty cheap.
I usually keep a few around but have none right now. :( I'd have given 'ya one.
You'll probably get guys responding here telling that they've welded ball joints and continued driving billions of miles with no issues.
But like I said...IMO, peace of mind...especially in a drag race application.
 

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I don't understand why it's an issue PROVIDED THE ARM ISN'T CRACKED.

Ball joints in my 'Camino practically fell into place. Been there for about ten years, although not many miles.

The stamped hole in the control arm is formed so that the edge of the metal butts against the flange on the ball joint. Even if the interference fit is gone...it's not like the ball joint can pop out against spring tension.

I don't lose a minute's sleep over it.
 

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A lot of people tack weld them in to be safe. Also, when the suspension is all together the ball joint will be pulled into place, making it pretty difficult to 'fall out'
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't understand why it's an issue PROVIDED THE ARM ISN'T CRACKED.

Ball joints in my 'Camino practically fell into place. Been there for about ten years, although not many miles.

The stamped hole in the control arm is formed so that the edge of the metal butts against the flange on the ball joint. Even if the interference fit is gone...it's not like the ball joint can pop out against spring tension.

I don't lose a minute's sleep over it.
I figured its being pulled on instaed of pushed on.... I tack welded it just in case... Come to find out this LCA is definitley not an original peice! its quite a bit lighter that original ones and almost burnt thru it tack welding it! :sad: Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinease I guess....
 

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Even if the ball joint was a loose enough fit where you could slip it in and out by hand it would never be a problem because its got constant pressure due to the design..That would be extreme but point being it wont fall out.
 

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Gee...kind of wonder why the MILLIONS of factory LCA's are gone thru the quality control hassle of making sure the ball joints are a PRESS fit?? :confused:
For many, many model years...
Come to think of it, some styles even go as far as having to be screwed in. :rolleyes:
Especially in a race application, unforseen shyt happens all the time. I'd at least would want to cover all bases possible to avoid compromising safety.

And in my line of work, cutting corners is unacceptable...zero tolerance.
 

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How can the ball joint come free of the control arm in any situation that DOESN'T involve major damage to other suspension components?

It sure isn't coming out by itself.

Slip-fit is simply not an issue. Having the ball joint so loose in the arm that it wobbles around would be a problem. But simply having a lack of press-fit...no.

It's not the press-fit that retains the ball joint in position on the control arm when the arm is mounted on a car. The press-fit retains a ball joint when the control arm is sitting in a parts bin waiting to be installed on a vehicle. It's not a safety issue, it's an inventory control measure.
 

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