Loose upper ball joint

Xmodgeek

Member
I was checking my brakes today and noticed a click and movement when moving the spindle turns out the upper ball joint is loose up top. The pinch bolt is torqued to spec, Probaly a little over now and still loose.

Any ideas? I don't recall it being loose when I installed them a few months ago.

 

Mounce

Well-Known Member
What brand is that? Stock control arms? Very interesting.

It's like the stud is undersized, luckily the pinch bolt doubles as retainment itself besides just pinching but that's definitely jank.

Looks kinda like a mevotech joint like I recently installed just a different line.. but same zerk and bolt. Gotta watch the nut and bolt, as you might know the nut is deformed to lock it, maybe that's throwing off the torque needed vs a stock non locking nut.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
If you still have the old ball joint and access to a micrometer or caliper, check if the stud sizes are the same. I'd try tightening it down more.
 

Mathoran

Active Member
Looks like the Mevotech TTX line. I put those in my Envoy a few months ago as well but haven't had this issue. The Green boots turn brown pretty fast.
 

TollKeeper

Well-Known Member
To me it looks like the bolt looks to long, and if the threads dont go past where its at right now, its not going to pinch it correctly.
 

TequilaWarrior

Well-Known Member
To me it looks like the bolt looks to long, and if the threads dont go past where its at right now, its not going to pinch it correctly.
+1
Looks like the bolt has a shank to it and the nut is tight to the shank / i.e. what @TollKeeper said "if the threads don't go past where it's at right now, it's not going to pinch it correctly".
Replace the bolt with one that has a shorter shank(unthreaded part and preferrably grade 8 or better), tighten to spec and check it again.
 

Mounce

Well-Known Member
Bolt length is 100% not the problem. A bolt will torque to whatever you want no matter the length depending upon its grade of course. (too much torque for the grade and it snaps) You could have a 1 foot bolt and it still work fine as long as it's tight enough.

Gotta factor in how steel performs and remember that the only portions under tension are between the nut and bolt head. Thusly length is a non issue.

Three actual options to this.

1. Bolt is not actually tight enough

2. Stud is undersized

3. Control arm bore is worn

In that order.

Basically if the bolt being too long for this application is affecting his issue... He could just chop the bolt shorter and call it a day using the exact same bolt. No new bolt needed. But this is not the problem.
 
Last edited:

TollKeeper

Well-Known Member
... unless it's a shouldered bolt, then it completely makes a difference
 

Mounce

Well-Known Member
Shouldered as in? If the bolt cross-width is too small sure... That's the only thing I left out. But even then tight enough and the pinch will do the holding and the slop won't been seen.
 

TollKeeper

Well-Known Member
Shouldered as in the threads don't go all the way down to the Head.
 

Mounce

Well-Known Member
Well op, pull a bolt out for us and lay it across the pinch.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
As per the circled part. it could be too short thread wise.
 

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Mounce

Well-Known Member
Doubt it but I'll gladly accept being proved wrong. That's such a unlikely issue that I've never seen nor heard of nor considered that it would really surprise me. In other situations sure but not on a ball joint pinch bolt.

If that's true then I've got problems because I just installed 4 of the same on our trailblazer.

...well two. The other two are standard conical bolt joints. But 4 of the same brand.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
If it's a Mevotech, it wouldn't surprise me if they use the wrong bolt.
 

Mounce

Well-Known Member
I'll pull one in a week and a half when the home shop is cleared back out and I have an off day if op doesn't beat me. Mine has the same bright silver long bolts without the issues.
 

Mounce

Well-Known Member
OP's bolt could differ.. I have mevotech ttx ball joints.. But no threads passing the ball joint stud. It is shouldered past the stud. Shoulder is visible through the pinch gap. I'll pull it to make sure when I can but I'm still doubting that theory.

4th idea of bolt cross width being undersized is still unknown to me and is the only variable I can see. Unfortunately the shadow that looks like that being the case in my picture (above the bolt) is just from a shadow from light placement laying on the wheel.

20190429_205933_HDR-1.jpg
 

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