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I am replacing my lower control arms, since they are bent. I have one from a parts car and one I'm getting from OGTS. Should I replace the ball joints since they are out? The ball joint move freely, but I don't know if I know what "play" is supposed to feel like. The ones on the car now feel good also, but I don't know if putting used from one control arm into another is a good idea.

Is removing/installing them from the arm that difficult?? It looks like on the bottom is a "cap" with a notch in it. Is this what has to be removed, then use the tool to remove?
 

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I just replaced my upper and lower ball joints with parts from OGts and the price per ball joint was $55 ea. I feel that in a car over 30 years old, the money is well spent and cheap insurance too. OGTs sends a set of suspension notes that detail installation and removal. The notch that you are speaking about is no longer an issue. The ball joints that I removed moved freely, the new ones had more resistance. Hth. Jarrell
 

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Opeler
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Lower ball joint "notch"

This thread seems as good as any to bring up the notch again. Pressed in my new OGTS lower ball joints without RTFM and when I later did RTFM, I noticed the reference to the "notch" which needs to be aligned. Didn't see a notch in the new OGTS lower ball joint...is there still a longer valley in the ball joint which needs to be aligned?
 

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Guys, I replaced the whole suspension stuff on Willit? and noticed the new balljoints from OGTS did have some resistance to movement which I attribute to new, fresh grease in the units. If the balljoints move freely it means one of two things, they are worn or the grease is not all there or a combo of both. I agree with Jarrell, new balljoints are the way to go, do it once, then you don't have to think about doing it again for a long time, maybe another 30 + years. :D
 

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Notch

The notch was in the older manufactured ball joints because they had a restricted range of motion in one axis and unrestricted in the other. The stem of the ball joint moves toward the centerline of the chassis and not toward the front and rear of the car. The newer ball joints are not restricted in movement in either direction. If there is no locating notch on the ball joint then alignment is not an issue.
 

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Old Opeler
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Ball Joints

Replacement ball joints have no notch because they do not need to be aligned like the originals - they are made slightly differently so mugs like us can't put them in out of alignment!
New ball joints are harder to move because the ball is loaded against the inner bearing surfaces with a spring. If the old ones move easily it is due to WEAR. A little wear is tollerable but they should not be "floppy"
The lower ball joints simply press into the Lower A-Arm from below - if you are replacing the A-arm then it is a good time to replace the ball joint while you can carry the unit to a bench press - they are a lot more "fun" to replace in the car!
HTH
 

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Whew! Already had UCA's, LCA's, and the spring reassembled...some bits with thread-lock. Glad I won't have to pull anything apart (well at least not for the ball joints).

Thanks for the quick replies!
 

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Pathologic Opeler
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ball joint

if you want your car to drive like a a brand new car, then replace all 4 ball joints, along with the poly bushings...all the parts are like $400...its a lot$$bUT

my car had that done to it.it drives like brand new, i taKE that back, the suspension is better than new. I had a brand new opel manta in 75, so i can compare.its better than my 75 manta as it was new.

a new ball joint has no movement in it. you can not budge it with your hands.
 

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I went out and bought 2 lower ball joints that autozone ordered (of course one of the two was totally off and more like a pickup truck sized one) but the other one looks close, but the stud diameter is larger and longer as well, the taper seems to be the same and the area that pressed into the LCA is the same diameter. What do you guys think they? They were $40 a piece so I am all for saving 1/3 the cost of what ogts would charge. Can anyone notice anything that may be dangerous with using this different looking one?
 

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This is the replacement and will work but if you do not have the stock front spring you will need to cut a grove in the spring to clear the lower ball joint housing ( It will hit the new ball joint ). HTH
John
 

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So is this basically the replacement ball joint that ogts sells?
 

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I would suspect so. You can buy these and the outer tie rods from a number of Auto Parts stores , HTH
 

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Cut a groove in the spring??? Wont that create a weak point? Doesnt sound good.
Joe
 

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Often times with the lowering springs a little valley will need to be ground out at the spring eye. Of course removing metal from anything will weaken it, but in this instance it shouldn't be a problem. After it is ground all edges and running scratches in the grain of the metal should be polished out so they don't raise the stress in the area too much. I ground my spring a little when test fitting it with the stock ball joints, but with the new ball joints it may need quite a bit more grinding.
 

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Cutting the grove in the front spring for clearance is in the instructions that comes with the lowering spring .
My front spring has been that way since 1971 with no problems .
HTH
John
 

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Well I went back to autozone today to pick up the replacement of the initial ball joint I bought that was way off (truck ball joint) and I received another style yet. This one holds most of the same dimensions, but the TP of the stud is different and a little shorter and the flange on the bottom is thinner yet so I like the prospect of that, this one I bought looks almost identical to the stock one. So now I just want another ball joint like this one, so I will return the one from the first batch and try again. One thing that I noticed is that the ball joint I bought today is tight but it can easily be moved by hand when the other one I have I put it in the vise and I could hardly get it to budge. Is the easier one to move possible defective?

(the latest one I bought is in the left of the first picture and on the right in the second picture)
 

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I have used both designs the "thin" one give more clearance at the spring ( less grinding on the spring ).It is normal for different "feel "on the joints with the two different designs . I would prefer to have a matching set of the " thin " design. HTH
John
 

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When you find the correct ones, please post the modern part number for us.
Jc
 

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The unfortunate thing is that all of the ball joints I have gotten so far share the same part number. Though I will post the number tomorrow when I go out to the shop.
 

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I bought the polyurethane ball joint boots fro OGTS. Tie rod ones too. do they just rest over the regular protector boot? as an added layer, but sloppy fitting?

they do not fit like the regular if removed. and no way to put retainer wire around it either.
 
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