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Old 09-17-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
Hockeyman
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Default Shotgun Approach - Ball Joints Front and Rear

Fam,

I've owned my 94 LS coupe for 9 months now, put about 5K on it and been using it as my daily driver to work. Been a fantastic car to drive around and hasn't let me down yet. The car has about 245K on it at the moment.

I'm getting clunking/banging from the front right side suspension when making sharp turns over bumps or up an incline. The obvious culprit here is the lower ball joint. I am also getting clunks and creaks from the left rear at all speeds, it is starting to become really loud and annoying. I assume the ball joint is also the culprit here, but I am not sure if I need upper or lower. Can someone chime in?

Thinking about doing the shotgun approach here, replacing all 4 corners upper and lower. On rockauto i've seen the complete control arm packages that already have ball joints installed, as well as the individual ball joints. Now I have no problem doing the install on the individual ball joints, but is there any advantage if I replace all the control arms as well? I wouldn't think they would need replacing, but they may include CABs...do these ever go bad on our cars?

Any insight would be great on what I should purchase, as well as brand. Of course I want the best for my coupe, without putting too much strain into my wallet. My shopping cart is about $500 on rockauto now with everything I want...really don't wanna spend that much if I don't have to

While i'm at it, might as well ask another question. I'm averaging about 21mpg using 93, 50/50 mix city/highway. Is this normal mileage? I do drive a bit spiritedly. Plus these cars are dogs under 3K RPM so I often shift higher.


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Old 09-17-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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if you Suspect THe Lower Ball Joint In Front Are Bad Then I Suggest You Stop Driving The Car Immediately Before The Wheel Falls Off. Best Way To Check Is To Jack Up The Car And Shake The Wheel O To 3 And 12 To 6 Position. The Clunking Noise CoulD Be The Hanger Bolts For The Upper Control arm.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:52 AM   #3
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Thank you, but I really need answers to the questions I posed. Can you help?

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Old 09-17-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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I think what Dreams is saying is that you need to diagnose the problem, not just throw parts at it.

If you think a loud clunk is coming from your ball joints then park the car until you can diagnose and repair it because we have had members tear up their cars when the ball joint broke loose and crammed the wheel into their fender.

The best idea is to get that car lifted up and inspect those parts you are thinking of replacing. But if you really want to just throw parts at it then go for it.

* The upper ball joints are made into the upper control arm, welded in.
* The lower ball joints are in the knuckle, not the lower control arm
* Lower control arm bushings do go bad
* A bad trans mount *could* sound like a suspension knock on the passenger side to the untrained ear.
* The struts could be shot and make a nasty noise when the UCA hits the frame.
* Various other things *could* be the problem.

Best bet is a good inspection... you could even pay a little shop time to have a tech diagnose it for you. (That might actually save some money in the process)

About your mpg:
I get about 18 out of my 91 with a 3.5 sitting in it. (No performance mods worth mentioning)

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Old 09-17-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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Could be your axles aswell making clunking
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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Thank you Rich. I've had the car apart a few times when I was restoring it, and the front lower ball joints did show some wear and I believe this is the culprit for the knocking noise in the front. The reason I want to throw parts at it - ball joints should be replaced in pairs, and it will give some peace of mind. Shocks and struts are brand new and aftermarket.

Any input on the rear noises? Not sure if the uppers or lowers are the main culprit back there.
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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Axles are brand new up front as well.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:06 PM   #8
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Oh Lord save me, isn't there a diy or wiki for this ? For the front uppers have the front wheels on the ground and try to move the upper a arm. For frt lower jack up vehicle and see while lifting wheel if there is any movement in ball joint. Rear upper, jack up vehicle and see if there is any movement in wheel using force at 12 and 6. (trying to rock the wheel) Never saw a rear lower go bad though I'm someone here has. Frt lowers can be had from the dealer for $50 or so if someone remembers the part# for the TL recalls.
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