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Do I need a new ball joint?

Posted by Dave_G 
April 17, 2010 04:42PM
Here's question #2 of 2 that came up during today's project.

I was replacing the rubber boots on the front CV joints of my iX today, and when I was trying to get the control arm separated from the knuckle, I noticed the following small tear in the rubber boot for the outer ball joint:

The ball joint itself isn't showing any symptoms (yet) of wear. Is it possible to just replace the boot without doing the whole ball joint? Do I need to replace the ball joint (assuming I can find a place to do it without having a get a whole new control arm)?

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
April 18, 2010 10:50AM
Quote
Dave_G
Here's question #2 of 2 that came up during today's project.

I was replacing the rubber boots on the front CV joints of my iX today, and when I was trying to get the control arm separated from the knuckle, I noticed the following small tear in the rubber boot for the outer ball joint:

The ball joint itself isn't showing any symptoms (yet) of wear. Is it possible to just replace the boot without doing the whole ball joint? Do I need to replace the ball joint (assuming I can find a place to do it without having a get a whole new control arm)?

I think the IX cars have replaceable ball joints, the dust boots I haven't seen anywhere but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Is there any up and down play and how many miles are on them. You can usually tell if they're tight by how the car sounds/feels when you hit a pot hole but...

Rick
April 18, 2010 01:43PM
Quote
rkj
I think the IX cars have replaceable ball joints, the dust boots I haven't seen anywhere but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Is there any up and down play and how many miles are on them. You can usually tell if they're tight by how the car sounds/feels when you hit a pot hole but...
Yeah, I'm told the ball joints are replaceable. Not that that's a job a really wanted to deal with right now. sad smiley

There's no play in them that I've noticed. My concern is that with this tear, they'll wear out sooner rather than later. I don't know how many miles are on them. There's 156K on the car, but I don't know if these are originals. They probably are, though.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
April 18, 2010 02:31PM
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
rkj
I think the IX cars have replaceable ball joints, the dust boots I haven't seen anywhere but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Is there any up and down play and how many miles are on them. You can usually tell if they're tight by how the car sounds/feels when you hit a pot hole but...
Yeah, I'm told the ball joints are replaceable. Not that that's a job a really wanted to deal with right now. sad smiley

There's no play in them that I've noticed. My concern is that with this tear, they'll wear out sooner rather than later. I don't know how many miles are on them. There's 156K on the car, but I don't know if these are originals. They probably are, though.

If you decide to keep the ball joint for now I'd recommend pumping some grease in there through the cut then mend the split with Permatex ultra copper gasket maker. Dave, this stuff sticks to leather and rubber (and everything else probably) like you wouldn't believe (let it cure overnight in a warm place), just make sure the surface is cleaned well; I use thinner and then 99% alcohol, the kind with no oil.

Rick
April 18, 2010 02:37PM
Quote
rkj
If you decide to keep the ball joint for now I'd recommend pumping some grease in there through the cut then mend the split with Permatex ultra copper gasket maker. Dave, this stuff sticks to leather and rubber (and everything else probably) like you wouldn't believe (let it cure overnight in a warm place), just make sure the surface is cleaned well; I use thinner and then 99% alcohol, the kind with no oil.
Cool, great tip! I've never used that stuff before, but I'll give it a try and see how it goes.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
April 18, 2010 06:20PM
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
rkj
If you decide to keep the ball joint for now I'd recommend pumping some grease in there through the cut then mend the split with Permatex ultra copper gasket maker. Dave, this stuff sticks to leather and rubber (and everything else probably) like you wouldn't believe (let it cure overnight in a warm place), just make sure the surface is cleaned well; I use thinner and then 99% alcohol, the kind with no oil.
Cool, great tip! I've never used that stuff before, but I'll give it a try and see how it goes.

It surprised me eye popping smiley
May 03, 2010 11:58AM
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
rkj
If you decide to keep the ball joint for now I'd recommend pumping some grease in there through the cut then mend the split with Permatex ultra copper gasket maker. Dave, this stuff sticks to leather and rubber (and everything else probably) like you wouldn't believe (let it cure overnight in a warm place), just make sure the surface is cleaned well; I use thinner and then 99% alcohol, the kind with no oil.
Cool, great tip! I've never used that stuff before, but I'll give it a try and see how it goes.
Update: the gasket maker experiment was a failure. It just doesn't hold, despite making them as clean as I could get them. Furthermore, I found later that the outer ball joint boot on the right side was also torn. And when I was cleaning them to prep them for the gasket maker, I managed to extend the tear on both of them about 180 degrees around the ball joint. sad smiley

All is not lost, though. I found this nifty product, which supposedly does a good job:
BMP ball joint boots

I've ordered a pair and will report back when I install them.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
May 03, 2010 07:30PM
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
rkj
If you decide to keep the ball joint for now I'd recommend pumping some grease in there through the cut then mend the split with Permatex ultra copper gasket maker. Dave, this stuff sticks to leather and rubber (and everything else probably) like you wouldn't believe (let it cure overnight in a warm place), just make sure the surface is cleaned well; I use thinner and then 99% alcohol, the kind with no oil.
Cool, great tip! I've never used that stuff before, but I'll give it a try and see how it goes.
Update: the gasket maker experiment was a failure. It just doesn't hold, despite making them as clean as I could get them. Furthermore, I found later that the outer ball joint boot on the right side was also torn. And when I was cleaning them to prep them for the gasket maker, I managed to extend the tear on both of them about 180 degrees around the ball joint. sad smiley

All is not lost, though. I found this nifty product, which supposedly does a good job:
BMP ball joint boots

I've ordered a pair and will report back when I install them.

Much more better thumbs up
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