Replacing Ball Joints?? Read this!! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 00, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Conn.
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Replacing Ball Joints? Read This!!!!
I've learned my lesson. I replaced all my front end parts with new parts. Today (11-19) I made a bank deposit and drove away from the ATM machine. Well the right front side of the car droped down.???
I got out and looked at the tire and the #$#$##@@ lower ball joint nut came right off the shaft, Nut and pin, Gone. It was stripped right off. The threads were still on the shaft. When I put the new nuts on I thought they were different but they were new(better). Wrong.
The older nuts that we took off were the oem style. I should have used them. I had the car towed home and fixed the problem. I put the older style ones back on.
Now I'm going to call the CO. and give them a earfull, It's about the nut and the bulge that I have in the fender. Small one but still It **** me off. I was lucky that it happened when I was just rolling. Imagaine if I was going on the highway!!!!!![speed limit of course, yeh right]
If you do change them check the castle nuts and make sure that they are the hardened ones. It'll save you a tow and other aggravations.

Bob 69 Blue 502

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 00, 01:24 PM
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What brand parts did you use?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 00, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 00, 03:31 PM
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Did they give you the wrong size nuts?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 00, 06:52 AM
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Let us know how they handled the situation. I'm checking mine! I just replaced them last month!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 00, 01:26 PM
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Not to try and cause a stink, but if the cotter pin and the nut were both gone, I would think that something was moving around and caused the cotter pin to break first, more than likely the nut was not tightened enough when installed. Is the other side still intact ? If so, I doubt that it was the fault of the parts. There are a bazzillion replacement ball joints on the road and you rarely hear of anything like this happening. I have done many of them, with several different makes of parts, and always used the new nuts that came with the ball joints.
Just my opinion, I could be wrong,

Bill Koustenis
Advanced Automotive Machine
Waldorf Md
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 00, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hi BillK. It's the weirdest thing. When I looked at the shaft of the Ball joint it had the threads of the nut in the grooves. I used a pick to get them out. When we installed the nuts they had a different look to them. Sort of not hardened. A silver look to them. I took off the Pass. side nut and when you feel the weight of each the new ones are much lighter than the original ones. I have a 68 sub. frame out back and took the 2 nuts off of it to put on the new ball joints.
I'm running a B/B motor (502) with all the correct parts for a B/B. I've done a total frame off resto on the car with new parts. It's funny to see some thing like this happen. It really gets you thinking for the night before the speedo needle was over triple digits.
Possibly, with the nut being of a different consistancy and tight or over tightened it could have started to strip and then it let go. McQuay-Norris was the Co.
Tring to save somebody a little headace.

Have a good Day, Bob

69 Blue 502
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 00, 04:04 AM
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I can attest to what Bob has said. The EXACT same thing happened to my '69 about 4 years ago. I had just returned from a 300 mile trip to the U.P. in Michigan for the St. Ignace show. On the way back, I had burned a collector gasket, so the next day, I replaced it, took it around the block to check for leaks, pulled into my driveway and BANG!! The driver side front dropped onto the frame and skidded to a halt. When I got out to survey what had happened, the front tire was sideways, and had wiped out the front fender!. Upon further investigation, I saw the nut from the lower balljoint laying on the ground, I picked it up and to my surprise, it was totally clean on the inside, smooth, the threads were gone. I checked the ball stud and guess what, the threads were still on the stud, in the grooves. Needless to say I was not happy. After a brief stint as an Engineer for TRW Steering Systems, I realized that this is exactly what will happen if the nut does not go through the proper heat treating process. I guess I was the unlucky one to get this lemon part, and my car paid the price. (The only good thing was the insurance company wanted me to pay for the new balljoint and installation, and they would buy the new panels and pay for bodywork, I convinced them that the only defective part was the nut, and I only had to pay $0.59 cents!!!) I only thank God that this thing didn't let go at 65 mph on I-75 the day before.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 00, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry to here about the loss of the fender Jeff. Yes we are both lucky that it didn't happen on the highway. I tell people what happened and they think I've lost it. Well, these things do happen. I put up this post after it happened and maybe it can save someone a big headache and heartache. We put too much time and money in these cars to let a .59* bolt mess with us, It's a blast driving these cars. I hope this helped some one.

69 Blue 502

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