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Old 11-15-2007, 08:44 AM
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Ball Joint Replacement

Anyone try to replace the ball joints yourself yet?

I think one of my front ball joints is bad (still gotta jack her up and check), and I've read through the service manual to see how bad it should be. BTW: If its the upper ball joint, you have to replace the upper control arm. If its the lower ball joint on the tension strut you have to replace the tension strut. The lower ball joint on the lower control arm is servicable once the lower control arm is off the car.

I was wondering if anyone's done it or know how hard it would be to do?

Thanks.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:52 AM
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How did you determine your ball joint was bad?

My Daytona is currently (at this very moment) sitting in the dealer bay with a brand new set of outer tie-rod ends due to noise and excessive play. Just wondering what your symptoms were.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:04 AM
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I know the tie rods are good. Three different people (myself, my father, and our usual non-dealer affliated mechanic) have checked twice over the last month.

There is a creak in the front suspension when the wheel is anything but straight and I change gears or brake to a full stop. For example, when swinging out to back into my driveway or a parking spot. I can also recreate the creak standing still but turning the steering wheel lock-to-lock (it creaks when it hits the locks if that matters). The creak can also happen going over a bump, again assuming the wheels are not pointed straight ahead.

Been to the dealer for it three times and they haven't replaced nor been able to diagnose the problem.

I'm suspecting the ball joints based on another thread (http://www.chargerforums.com/forums/...d.php?t=58000). This weekend I will put the car up on the jack and use the test in the service manual (short version: pry bar between the arms and see if they move at the ball joint by more than .05").

And by all means, if you suspect something else let me know. I don't trust any of the dealers around here (been to a few), plus the one I've had it too for this has no clue, even though I took the tech for a ride to reproduce it.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:39 AM
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I wouldn't discount the control arm bushings when it comes to noise like that. I've even seen sway bar bushings (old) make "old spring" creaks during suspension movement like that, but usually only on cold days.

Of course, the rack should not be overlooked. There have been people here who have had their racks replaced due to noises and such.

The way you described how to reproduce it, I would take the easy route and drive the car onto a lift such as what is used to align cars (ie. with the car's weight on the wheels on the lift "tracks") but not drive the front wheels onto the floating pads. With someone underneath the car trying to locate the noise, you can then try the lock-to-lock thing but maybe holding the brakes hard (to increase the force of the friction trying to restrict the wheels from turning). Lots of noises can be induced when forcing a steering rack in this fashion... you can even detect side-to-side rack movement in the case of damaged rack-to-frame bushings!
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleTransAm View Post
I wouldn't discount the control arm bushings when it comes to noise like that. I've even seen sway bar bushings (old) make "old spring" creaks during suspension movement like that, but usually only on cold days.

Of course, the rack should not be overlooked. There have been people here who have had their racks replaced due to noises and such.

The way you described how to reproduce it, I would take the easy route and drive the car onto a lift such as what is used to align cars (ie. with the car's weight on the wheels on the lift "tracks") but not drive the front wheels onto the floating pads. With someone underneath the car trying to locate the noise, you can then try the lock-to-lock thing but maybe holding the brakes hard (to increase the force of the friction trying to restrict the wheels from turning). Lots of noises can be induced when forcing a steering rack in this fashion... you can even detect side-to-side rack movement in the case of damaged rack-to-frame bushings!
Thanks for the advice. I'll see if my mechanic will let me use his alignment lift after hours some day soon. Are the control arm bushings an easy fix?
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:02 PM
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No idea. Never done it on the Charger.
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Old 11-16-2007, 01:24 AM
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Could be your swy bushings. I had a similar problem and regreased the bushings, can't hear a thing now.

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