Rear Balljoint Replacements

Brendan Ryan

Daily Driver
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I finally got to replacing the balljoints on my rear control arms, wasn’t too difficult. I also replaced the rear toe link bushings. Both parts came from Bielstein Germany, prices were good and shipping was very reasonable.
I wanted to put zirc fittings on them for serviceability in the future, so I practiced on my old balljoint. It totally worked, I pumped some grease in there and it made my old balljoint feel amazing! I even kept my old balljoints because of this.
Not sure what everyone thinks about this, but I think before someone shells out money and time to replace these, maybe try installing a zirc fitting first, and pumping some grease in there. And I know we can get new balljoint covers from Vic’s or Midwest Bayless. Just an idea, real cheap, buy zirc fittings from your local auto parts store, then slowly drill and tap according to the size zirc you are using. DO NOT INSTALL THE ZIRC FITTING LIKE I DID IN THE PICTURE. In this location the fitting will interfere with the axle
 
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Dr.Jeff

True Classic
This is an excellent idea. Being able to lube any movable joint makes a huge difference. Especially if you start doing it BEFORE it wears out. Definitely worth doing, thanks for posting it.
 

lookforjoe

True Classic
Very nice! Can you post a link to the vendor/item for reference? I think Eurosport UK had/has the balljoints also, I'd like to compare pricing.
 

Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

Waitin' On Parts...
At current exchange rates, seems like the prices are better with Bielstein as compared to Eurosport. Do either or both waive their respective VATs on foreign sales?
 

Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

Waitin' On Parts...
View attachment 26247 View attachment 26248 View attachment 26249 I finally got to replacing the balljoints on my rear control arms, wasn’t too difficult. I also replaced the rear toe link bushings. Both parts came from Bielstein Germany, prices were good and shipping was very reasonable.
I wanted to put zirc fittings on them for serviceability in the future, so I practiced on my old balljoint. It totally worked, I pumped some grease in there and it made my old balljoint feel amazing! I even kept my old balljoints because of this.
Not sure what everyone thinks about this, but I think before someone shells out money and time to replace these, maybe try installing a zirc fitting first, and pumping some grease in there. And I know we can get new balljoint covers from Vic’s or Midwest Bayless. Just an idea, real cheap, buy zirc fittings from your local auto parts store, then slowly drill and tap according to the size zirc you are using
Not to throw cold water on your idea, but drilling an already assembled joint like these is inevitably going to get drill swarf into the joint, just can't be helped, even doing the old "grease on the drill bit" trick. And how would you know at what depth to stop drilling so you don't contact the ball inside, damaging its mating surface?

One other thing, can't make out the markings on the heads so not sure what grade of capscrews and nuts are supplied with the kit. For this fastening application I'd want 10.9 which is the equivalent of SAE grade 8.
 

Brendan Ryan

Daily Driver
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Not to throw cold water on your idea, but drilling an already assembled joint like these is inevitably going to get drill swarf into the joint, just can't be helped, even doing the old "grease on the drill bit" trick. And how would you know at what depth to stop drilling so you don't contact the ball inside, damaging its mating surface?

One other thing, can't make out the markings on the heads so not sure what grade of capscrews and nuts are supplied with the kit. For this fastening application I'd want 10.9 which is the equivalent of SAE grade 8.
If you drill very slowly, you will see plastic be pulled out of the joint when you are almost through. There is a plastic cover surrounding these joints on the inside. I honestly could not see any metal shavings inside the joint after drilling, if you use a well sharpened bit, it should be pulling long shavings out of the housing. I’m just giving people ideas, if you have a joint that is loose, why not try it before going through with a full rebuild, that’s all I’m saying. And honestly, in my opinion, I really don’t think any significant metal will get into the joint if you use a good bit and drill oil. And if you knick the ball a touch, I don’t think that will ruin anything either. But once again, these are only my opinions, and I’m only throwing an idea out there. And the new ball joints come with 10.9 bolts and nylok nuts
 
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Dr.Jeff

True Classic
Back in my MBA days of corporate management I spent some time heading up the QA program for a engineering company. We did various types of non-destructive testing, including being able to bore an inspection hole into a clean metal tube. There are several tricks to help keep shavings out as you drill. But in this case it is simple. A combination of using a magnetic drill bit, inverted drilling, proper lube, and good technique. Any drill bit can be magnetized sufficiently by using one of those little magnetic cubes with a hole that you pass the bit through. If you remove the A-arm it can be inverted to drill the hole from below (gravity is your friend). A little heavy grease for lube. And a sharp bit at slow rotation speed and firm pressure to achieve the long coiled slivers Brendan described. After you drill it you can use another thin magnet to extract any residual metal dust, if you suspect there may be any. But in my opinion, with these being rear arm ball joints it really isn't that critical, like it might be on the front suspension with greater loads and much more movement. I'll being doing it to mine and would have no problem doing so with new ones also. Like everything, personal preference and comfort levels may be different for everyone though.

As a side note, there is (was?) a company that rebuilt these ball joints by drilling a hole and injecting some type of plastic filler into them. Yet another approach was to cut them open and replace some internal components with similar ones, then weld them back together. I suppose if those operations can be done then adding a zerk fitting is no issue.
 

Brendan Ryan

Daily Driver
DON’T DO IT! The zirc fitting hits the stub axle located where it is. I had to remove the fitting and plug the hole. I can always come back later, insert my zirc and grease it, but that’s a lot of work. If you are going to try this, the fitting will have to be placed in another accessible spot.......pretty bonehead move on my part!!
 

JimD

Waiting for Godot...
Moderator
DON’T DO IT! The zirc fitting hits the stub axle located where it is. I had to remove the fitting and plug the hole. I can always come back later, insert my zirc and grease it, but that’s a lot of work. If you are going to try this, the fitting will have to be placed in another accessible spot.......pretty bonehead move on my part!!
Brendan,

You might want to edit the original post and add this note to that info in case someone doesn't read till the end of the thread. Not me of course, I read every thread word for word. :D:p:cool::rolleyes:
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
Ya, after posting that I went out and looked at them. As you say, each side would be best with the zerk fitting pointing toward the front of the car for the best clearance and access.
 
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