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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Question, if the Driver side upper ball joint rubber on an 88 Saab Spg has deteriorated, and has torn apart, would you change the other 3, (Upper, Lower) on both sides, at the same time you replace the torn one?
Assuming the 3 remaining ball joints, that aren't showing signs of deterioration, but are the same age as the torn one, are due to fail?
Then if the 2 bolts that are holding the torn ball joint are the same age as the ball joint itself, would you change them, Nuts, bolts (8 Total), since you are going to be right there. Thank you.


 

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Detritus Maximus
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Nuts and bolts should be okay, unless they are one time use nuts.
You don't have to change all the ball joints, but if it were me and I expect to drive it much, I'd probably change them along with other age related maintenance, like rubber brake lines.

Just on the off chance, I am going to a junkyard tomorrow that has a 1980 Saab turbo in it. Anything you need?
 
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You only need to replace parts that are bad or marginal. If there’s no slop and boots are good there’s no need to change them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nuts and bolts should be okay, unless they are one time use nuts.
You don't have to change all the ball joints, but if it were me and I expect to drive it much, I'd probably change them along with other age related maintenance, like rubber brake lines.

Just on the off chance, I am going to a junkyard tomorrow that has a 1980 Saab turbo in it. Anything you need?
Its an 88 Spg, and I could use a drivers side door pull like this one,Saab Classic 900 Black Interior Driver's Door Handle | eBay, and this, Dash screws (set of 4) Saab 900 1986-1993 | eBay.
The screws are all torx. The Ebay items I posted, are the top price of what they are worth. The only other item would be a Fog light housing and they were only found on the turbos and the Spg group from the 80s. Thank You
I stored this 15 years ago when my son graduated High School. Told him if he got good grades, kept his nose clean, I would loan him the money for a newer car, He wanted a Nissan 350 Z. Found a good used one in Charlotte at a dealership, rode down and came home with it. Gas prices, Auto shows and being between projects brought this about so I am rebuilding the front end.
 

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I can agree with Kwschumm, IF you have the ability to leave well enough alone.
I have ( I guess) a bad habit of digging in and struggle with ( if it's not broke don't fix it).
And if I didn't do them all It will always be on my mind ( I should have just done them all ), I was right there.
Then I will hurry up and wait for the others to fail so I can do it all over again.
Question
If it is just a torn boot and has sat for ? years Can't you just replace the boot if the ball joint is fine?
 

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Can Opeler
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I typically only replace ball joints once they are well out of tolerance (except on my race car).
If the dust caps are bad get some new poly urathane ones. Ball joints can last many decades if they stay sealed and greased.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A major difference between my Gt and my Saab, is the upper and lower ball joints are bolted in, so replacing the ball joints is just a matter of unbolting the old ones, and bolting in the new ones, no need to worry about orientation of the ball joint. Plus stripping the old nuts when you retorque the new parts with old parts.
So since I am right there, and one joint was torn, I figured I'd opt on the side of prudence and caution, and replace all the ball joints,(4) and all the mounting bolts,(8) for a total of 150.00. Cheap insurance for Driving and steering. With the performance brake pads for the front and rear, I'll have less than 300.00 invested into a semi rebuilt front end. The only thing that would be missing would be shocks. My records indicate that I replaced the originals at 150,00 miles. I'll post some pictures later.
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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Late to the party, but I usually find that if one is worn, the same on one the other side is on its way out too. Now, uppers and lowers can wear quite differently as the loading on them is almost always very different, plus the parts selection may make one or the other more prone to wear. One will carry the vehicle's front weight and the other will not, and that can make a big difference in wear rates.

I'll admit that replacing one, 2 or all is more of a matter of my time and convenience, and the work involved! Soybeans were easy, and I think he made a good move... those on a 4WD truck typically suck to R&R due to the need to remove the hubs and axles to get to them.
 

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Also late to the party I ran a suspension refurb business for years and I left what got changed to the customer.
I would examine all joints measuring tolerance then tell the customer if road worthy or not, and sometimes to me depending on the vehicle I might advise replacement despite legally road worthy if I believed it would make a noticeable difference to the way it drove. On older cars particularly all joints may not be the same age so you can't use age as a definitive gauge.
Some customers replace everything and other just what they have to.
I tend to like rubber boots myself and the joints will die much quicker if boots are not maintained.
Orientation does matter on the gt top ball joints .
Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Correct on the Opel Ball joints. I learned this many years ago. On my Saab though it doesn't matter. If you use the link to the picture. 88 1988 Saab 900 Ball Joint - Suspension - AC Delco, APA/URO Parts, API, Centric, Delphi, Lemfoerder, MAS, Mevotech, Moog, Quick Steer, Front, Front Lower, Front Upper, Lower, Upper - PartsGeek
You will notice the item nos. on the upper and lower ball joints are the same for both the 19.73 ones. Also notice they bolt in. Also notice the price difference on the one with just 1 nos. You can buy the ball joints (upper, lower), and a bolt kit for a lot cheaper than a single one.;) Did I mention I am cheap? I didn't measure for tolerance as it's my butt that is on the line. I'm not running a business, however in your line of business that would be correct, ethical and cover your butt legally.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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People complain about the safety inspections here in the US as the government being too intrusive, but it is still far more lax than many other countries. Where I live, safety and emissions are every two years, no longer annual. What is passable now can change a lot before your next inspection.
Ever wonder how many times, when you hear about some big accident that 'they lost control' that it was suspension/steering failure? Because things don't fail....people just magically 'lose control'.
I have had a ballpoint break on me. Fortunately, I was moving at a walking pace pulling up to a gas pump, not doing 80mph on the highway...like I was 30 seconds earlier.
 
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I worked on thousands of cars, truck, busses and despite always doing the right thing I always cringed inside when I heard about big crashes, head ons, rollovers. Probably the best thing about retirement, I know I shouldn't have worried but I did. I will add in 15years of running and operating there was never any incidents, thankfully. Safety first. always do a quick check run a hand/spanner over every nut, bolt, split pin.
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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I have had a ballpoint break on me. Fortunately, I was moving at a walking pace pulling up to a gas pump, not doing 80mph on the highway...like I was 30 seconds earlier.
Reminds me of a story with a work acquaintance with a Kadett. He took it for a state inspection, and one lower ball joint was very loose... like 1/4" of play when I checked it for him! The ball joint passed, and when my friend pointed out the big play in that ball joint, the garage guys just got all huffy and claimed it was 'in spec'. (Which it was not.. 1/8" play was the spec limit for state inspections then.) Well, my friend went for lunch at a local fast food place later that day, and when he walked back out, the Kadett was sitting at a crooked angle... that bad ball joint had broken while sitting still LOL. IDK what the garage did for him after that but I could not believe they even argued over it. You can't just make up some of this stuff....
 

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Detritus Maximus
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The biggest complaint is that 'they messed up something else when working on my car'....do you blame your surgeon for your unhappy intestines when they had to move them out of the way? Anything that has been happily undisturbed for 30 years or more does not react well to being disturbed.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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GT Alex,
I need a set of Bathurts Globes for a Mustang.....something off an XA/B/C would work....
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
And America is the most litigious country in the world, just ask Joe Brown "On the hurt line"
Lol
 
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