Front Left Knuckle/Ball Joint Replacement

nghtshd88

Well-Known LVC Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
472
Reaction score
36
Location
New Jersey
Front lower ball joint just went out, sounds pretty bad and my alignment even changed a little. Really don't want to keep driving for obvious reasons.. Last thing I haven't replaced up front recently besides the LCA itself. The knuckle with joint is or $500-$600 unless I get mevotech which is $120 something. Really dont feel like take the hub assembly off again..

Is it possible to just get the ball joint and press in/out without taking the hub off??

If so what is a good joint to buy moog? Finally some warmer weather coming and want to get it apart asap.

Got the passenger side knuckle with joint a few years ago and still sitting on it.
 
...Is it possible to just get the ball joint and press in/out without taking the hub off??...

No, it's not. The knuckle is aluminum. It has to be very carefully heated to press one in. To do that it has to be removed from the car, and the hub removed from the knuckle. You will be taking a chance. The knuckle could just suddenly crack apart some time later on the road after being stressed like this. I haven't heard of this actually happening, but it is possible. There are certainly posts on here about them breaking while trying to press the joint in, and about them being slightly distorted in ways that were not apparent, but then causing lots of problems.
 
Thats what I had thought.. well 500+ or mevotech? Think ill try mevotech. Its just too much of a difference.
 
Hopefully, Mevotech quality has gone up, because I bought 4 of their knuckles and had the ball joints go bad in a matter of a couple of months. So bad that the internal friction was enough to unscrew the ball joint from the nylock nut by 2 turns in a 90 mile drive. (rather than internally allow rotation, the joints froze so solidly that they instead rotated the entire joint that was locked in with a nylock nut that had been torqued to 110 lb ft) You are correct that your alignment is probably off, with anything deteriorated inside the ball joint, your front end geometry can be way off. In my car with the bad joint, the car would shift a half lane at highway speed going over bridge transition joints. Very scary. A quick solution which could help is to poke a needle style grease gun through your ball joint weather shield rubber and load it up with grease. Preferably with that wheel off the ground to that the pressure will be off what is left of the ball and allow grease to get between the worn out surfaces.
 
Well that sounds very disconcerning. 4?? Really didnt want to spend that much on the knuckle. Maybe will try to score an oem low mileage piece.
 
what year is your LS? I have a used one knuckle and ball joint. Was going to put it in my car but I have the 14mm and this is 16mm and would not fit. Let me know if you are interested.
 
And IF you decide to try this... make sure you buy the high $$$ Moog ball joints with the "metal gusher bearing". Anything with a plastic insert around the ball joint will just melt.
 
I would only buy the best joints if I was but that does seem more involved then what im willing to do anymore. Going to try a used oem knuckle that is in good shape for the time being. Probably the safest and least costly route doing it myself. At least the hub assmebly will be lose (recently changed).

Have an accessory pulley that went bad, window actuator needing replacement and rear speaker to replace. Just did both rear hubs, alignment new DWS.. need to repair my LSE bumper. It never ends.

Probably be in the market for something newer by spring
 
Last edited:
I can tell you for a fact, that by the time the knuckle is heated to the point that the old ball joint will lightly tap out, (and drop to the floor), the temp of the knuckle where the hub bolts in... is close to 700 degrees. The heat will crawl right up the knuckle... from the ring that holds the ball joint. I kept checking various places with a temp gun as I was doing this. Surprisingly... the ring where the ball joint was, only hit about 450F.

And yes... I did get one ball joint cocked just enough that it wedged in the hole and wouldn't go in. So I had to tap it back out and throw the ball joint back in the freezer again for about a half hour... and start over. And I let everything cool to ambient temp before I reinstalled the knuckles.

Would I do this with a Mevotech knuckle??? Hell NO !!!!
 
what year is your LS? I have a used one knuckle and ball joint. Was going to put it in my car but I have the 14mm and this is 16mm and would not fit. Let me know if you are interested.

PM'd you.
 


I've had my passenger side ball joint replaced by a mechanic without issue, just make sure you let them know to be careful and that it's aluminum and easy to crack.
 
Men who complain about the LS repair costs have never been married.
 
If you are concerned about separating the hub assembly from the knuckle, just add a new hub to the order. They should be cheap enough to make sense to replace while in there, and add some anti seize to the fitting up of the two parts.
 
i just got the ball joints in the mail from rockauto. I did order the moog ones and I have the ball joint press kit. I will be doing the uppers also at the same time
 
i just got the ball joints in the mail from rockauto. I did order the moog ones and I have the ball joint press kit. I will be doing the uppers also at the same time
Uppers? Do you mean in the upper control arm? Why not just replace the whole arm? I used the Lemforders.
 
On the uppers I bought the Moog UCAs and also the lower moog ball joint. watching that video i feel it wont be horrible with the tool I got at HF for the ball joint.
 
On the uppers I bought the Moog UCAs and also the lower moog ball joint. watching that video i feel it wont be horrible with the tool I got at HF for the ball joint.
I bent my harbor freight ball joint tool. I also had to have a machinist create a receiver cup out of one of the supplied receiver cups because you run out of room quickly while setting up our ball joints for removal and replacement. The best one I have seen for this is the snap-on ball joint removal tool.
 

Members online

Back
Top