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Thread: Lower ball joint replacement question

  1. #1
    DeLorean owner since 2011 Stainless's Avatar
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    Lower ball joint replacement question

    When I went to go get an alignment yesterday, the shop discovered that my driver side lower ball joint is shot, which is odd because the PO replaced them not long ago. Probably defective. I bought improved replacements for both sides from the DMCUK folks and they will likely arrive in the next few weeks.

    I read the instructions on replacing these in the workshop manual, but the manual's instructions require complete removal of the LCA. Having done this repair before on my Jeep, it seems like it may be overkill to completely remove the LCA, but perhaps there isn't enough room in there to press out the balljoint without completely removing the LCA. For the many of you that have done this job, can you confirm if it is necessary to remove the LCA?
    Jared L.

    June '81, manual, black inter. VIN 2087
    Other cars: 2012 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda 6, 1999 Jeep Cherokee
    DeLorean blog: http://deloreanblog.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    DeLorean owner since 2011 Stainless's Avatar
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    Someone has got to know the answer to this one.

    As a follow-up question to this, I was going through the repair list of the PO and one of them lists that he replaced the lower control arms with aluminum replacements from Hervey. I don't show these listed on his site anymore. Did he sell these at some point, and are these solid replacements for the originals?
    Jared L.

    June '81, manual, black inter. VIN 2087
    Other cars: 2012 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda 6, 1999 Jeep Cherokee
    DeLorean blog: http://deloreanblog.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    My press fits inside an OEM arm no problem:



    Don't know if the receiver would fit Hervey's solid arms.

  4. #4
    DeLorean owner since 2011 Stainless's Avatar
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    Thanks, but my question was whether or not I can press out the ball joint while leaving the control arm on the car and not completely removing it.
    Jared L.

    June '81, manual, black inter. VIN 2087
    Other cars: 2012 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda 6, 1999 Jeep Cherokee
    DeLorean blog: http://deloreanblog.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    As long as you jack the car up high enough for the press screw to clear I don't see why not. Leave the sway bar attached because non-Uding bracketed LCA's are wiggly as sin without it.

    Does your solid LCA have enough flat space for a receiver to press the old ball joint into? I can't imagine Hervey's aluminum arms are as thin as OEM or Bryan/Byrne arms around the ball joint (too weak). Just depends upon how much material they removed.

  6. #6
    DMC Midwest - 815.459.6439 DMCMW Dave's Avatar
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    Generally, once you have the knuckle lifted off the ball joint, and the c-clip removed, a good whack with a dead-blow hammer will knock it out. It can be on the car.
    Dave S
    DMC Midwest - retired but helping
    Greenville SC

  7. #7
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    Doesn't exactly instill confidence, does it? You're putting a lot of faith in that snap ring.

    James Espy told me he has seen OEM LCA's that won't even hang onto their first replacement ball joint. Hence the reinforcement collars.

  8. #8
    DMC Midwest - 815.459.6439 DMCMW Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbrooks View Post
    Doesn't exactly instill confidence, does it? You're putting a lot of faith in that snap ring.

    James Espy told me he has seen OEM LCA's that won't even hang onto their first replacement ball joint. Hence the reinforcement collars.
    The force on the ball joint in normal operation is trying to pull it through the arm. Removing it is the opposite. The snap ring is never carrying the weight of the car. I don't see the problem. Have you ever seen one fail in the manner you seem to be worried about? The snap ring is only keeping the ball joint from falling out of the arm when the car is off the ground.

    I do have the reinforcement collars available, but the main benefit is tht they keep the ball joints from clunking around in the arm. I've never heard of a ball joint pulling through the hole in the arm, although I have seen the arms tear in that area (typically well north of 100K miles or as the result of an accident.
    Dave S
    DMC Midwest - retired but helping
    Greenville SC

  9. #9
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    Ball joints clunking around loose doesn't instill confidence either.

  10. #10
    DeLorean owner since 2011 Stainless's Avatar
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    Here is a picture of my aluminum lower control arm.
    DSCN0735.jpg
    After close inspection, I think I'm just going to remove the control arm completely to do this job. It's a bit more work, but it will be easier to work on it when the LCA is off the car. I am going to replace both sides while I am at it. Below is a video of the loose ball joint and why it is getting replaced.
    Jared L.

    June '81, manual, black inter. VIN 2087
    Other cars: 2012 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda 6, 1999 Jeep Cherokee
    DeLorean blog: http://deloreanblog.blogspot.com/

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