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  #1  
Old 08-05-2018, 08:18 PM
kimmc kimmc is offline
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Default We were real lucky recently...

Earlier this week while visiting local wineries with my wife driving her '59 TBird convertible, I noticed some new noises from the front end. I could not find anything obvious so my friend and I were going to take it for a drive today to try to figure it out. While backing out of the shop, the car's right front suspension crashed to the concrete. Upon inspection we found that the ball joint castle nut had come off the ball joint shaft allowing the lower 'A' arm to disconnect and slam into the concrete. (Fortunately, it didn't happen when my wife and I were on the freeway.) After looking at the parts more closely it appears that the bore diameter of the castle nut was too wide so the threads in it were "flat-topped" and did not have a "sharp" edge like threads should have. The consequence was that the nut eventually lost it's grip on the ball joint shaft, sheared the cotter pin off, and fell off allowing the lower 'A' arm to disconnect from the suspension. Crash! Information from my log, indicates the part (C1AZ-3050) was purchased from eBay for about $50. Both after-market lower ball joints were purchased at the same time so we removed the castle nut from the lower ball joint on the left front of the car. That castle nut also had the same "flat top" threads that the other nut had. Threads of the shaft appeared OK, but the after market castle nuts are of poor quality. I am attaching a picture of the failed nut (on right), the other nut from the left side (middle), and an OEM castle nut from an original ball joint (left). One can clearly see the stripped threads in the failed nut, the 'flat-top' treads in the nut from the left side (both ball joints purchased from a single vendor at the same time), and the OEM castle nut with sharp, full threads. The lesson here is that one should carefully inspect the threads of castle nuts that come with after-market ball joints. And I am not telling my wife about this one!
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2018, 09:27 PM
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DKheld DKheld is offline
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Wow - - going to take a look at mine before my next trip.

Mine probably would have failed by now and no strange noises lately but worth a look.

Thanks for passing along the info and as you mentioned - glad it happened in the driveway rather than the freeway and all are OK!

Eric
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2018, 09:39 PM
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It's scary to think how many of us are forced to drive our classic cars with sub-standard parts because that's all that is available. It's a good lesson for all of us to check our suspension parts every so often before it's too late.

John
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2018, 11:00 PM
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This makes a good case for buying 'name brand' products. I notice, your OEM nut has more threads as well which is why it is taller.

Always give your parts a good visual inspection before assembly. If you find something you don't like, stop. - Dave
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:14 PM
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Unfortunately there are no "name brand" lower ball joints available for our Squarebirds unless they are new old stock which are rare. We have no idea where the new parts are made or what their quality standards are.

John
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2018, 01:35 AM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is online now
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I totally understand the quality of inferior parts, but I question why the threads would strip out unless there is a lot of pressure or tension put on threads. If any of you changed a lower a lower ball joint, it is pretty difficult to get the ball joint to release from the taper in the fit. It would make me question if the ball joint was properly torqued in the taper fit. Just saying, should we condemn the part or the installation?
Nyles
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbird1044 View Post
I totally understand the quality of inferior parts, but I question why the threads would strip out unless there is a lot of pressure or tension put on threads. If any of you changed a lower a lower ball joint, it is pretty difficult to get the ball joint to release from the taper in the fit. It would make me question if the ball joint was properly torqued in the taper fit. Just saying, should we condemn the part or the installation?
Nyles
Sorta sums up my line of thought too.
In my experience those tapered fittings are a bear to get out of the hole.
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:49 PM
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Good point, Nyles. We don't know if his replacement joint had a stud with the correct taper or how it was torqued. All we see is a nut with less than 75% thread depth.

Come to think of it, I've never seen a ball joint cut loose on its own. I'm sure there's more to this story. - Dave
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:48 AM
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Supposedly lisc'd by Ford @ least.............

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Old 08-07-2018, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OX1 View Post
Supposedly lisc'd by Ford @ least...
I'm not so sure about that. Ford never made their ball joints. They bought them from MOOG, TRW, Federal Mogul, etc. What brand is this? I don't see the box. A licensed part should have a Ford oval stamped into the sheet metal. I don't see one.

I notice this ball joint's 'clam shells' are tack welded together. That's also a new one on me.

I realize these parts are hard to find in any brand because all of our factories moved to the Orient but this offering is still caveat emptor so be cautious. I am mildly optimistic that manufacturing will come back home but it will take a while. - Dave
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