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.
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.
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.
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
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.