Solved: Adjustable Lower Ball Joint

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erco
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Solved: Adjustable Lower Ball Joint

Post by erco »

About 1/16" vertical play in my new ungreased ball joints, both the same. Normal? Tops are very tight. I can see that grease & spring tension would hold the lower in place, I just need to hear yay or nay from you pros.

Last edited by erco on Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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terribleted
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Re: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by terribleted »

I have not seen vertical play in new Corvair ball joint before. In fact if a ball joint has significant in and out movement is generally considered to be worn out. That looks crazy loose. I would send it back.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
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Located in Snellville, Georgia

joelsplace
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Re: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by joelsplace »

.
Last edited by joelsplace on Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
113 Corvairs, 5 Ultravans and counting
Northlake, TX

joelsplace
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Re: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by joelsplace »

I read somewhere that the early 60-61? ball joints were loose.
I would say those are junk too.
113 Corvairs, 5 Ultravans and counting
Northlake, TX

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terribleted
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Re: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by terribleted »

Ball joints job is to allow turning without having up and down slop in the spindle. Loose joint will bottom on every bump and thump and bang when the suspension compresses and decompresses.

Where did those ball joints come from??
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

erco
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Re: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by erco »

JC Whitney, ~30 years ago! Just took out of storage.

66vairguy
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Re: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by 66vairguy »

Wow --- unsafe junk. I've pulled old ball joints with 85K miles on them that were far better than what you showed in the video.

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terribleted
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Re: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by terribleted »

Maybe JC Whitney used incredible shrinking steel to make those/
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

erco
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Re: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by erco »

I'm happy to report that my ball joint is adjustable! I removed the lower A-arm to get a better look at my "junk" ball joint and it appeared to disassemble. There's a hex nut cast into the bottom cap with zerk fitting. That cap unscrews from the cylindrical ball joint to reveal a hex hole on an internal plate, which is actually the bottom spherical surface of the ball joint. Pretty sweet. So not only can I can adjust the preload and take out all that play, I can adjust for wear at 85K miles.

I'm pleasantly surprised that I can avoid delays and a return trip to my machine shop. Now the only question is how much preload to put on the adjuster cap. Time to add grease and find out.

JC Whitney rules!
Attachments
BJ1.JPG
BJ2.JPG

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terribleted
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Re: Solved: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by terribleted »

Now that makes more sense.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

erco
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Re: Solved: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by erco »

Sounds like these are not common today? Again, I bought these 30 years ago.

joelsplace
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Re: Solved: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by joelsplace »

NO preload. Non adjustable ball joints have a spring in them to take up the slop as they wear. The spring is preloaded and makes them stiff. Those don't have a spring so you'll want to just take the play out. It would probably be best to give them about .003" clearance for the grease. I wish I could get some like that.
113 Corvairs, 5 Ultravans and counting
Northlake, TX

erco
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Re: Solved: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by erco »

joelsplace wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:08 pm
NO preload. Those don't have a spring so you'll want to just take the play out. It would probably be best to give them about .003" clearance for the grease.
Thanks Boss, will do!

66vairguy
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Re: Solved: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by 66vairguy »

I've been around a LONG time and have never seen an adjustable ball joint like you have.

I like the idea, but I have serious doubts about the "adjuster" staying in place, especially with lube working into the threads! Is there a retainer of some kind to hold the adjuster in place??

I know the Vair steering box has a locking nut on the big adjuster to keep it from unscrewing.

joelsplace
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Re: Solved: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by joelsplace »

The locking part is in the picture. It has a 1"? hex with a threaded hole for the grease fitting I assume but it is really large.
113 Corvairs, 5 Ultravans and counting
Northlake, TX

erco
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Re: Solved: Floppy New Lower Ball Joint Normal?

Post by erco »

Yes, as the photos show, there are 2 threaded parts, first the spherical socket bottom (with allen key hole), then the outer disk (with integral hex nut and concentric zerk fitting hole) which acts like a jam nut. After the BJ socket is adjusted, it is held in place with the Allen wrench through the zerk hole as the outer disk is tightened to lock everything down, as with the steering box.

It's a simple matter to adjust before assembly when you can wiggle the ball joint and feel the fit by hand with no load applied. Once assembled and under spring load, less so. Readjustment after assembly is probably more like wheel bearings, where you snug down to zero clearance then back off an eighth of turn or so.
Last edited by erco on Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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