Top Ball Joints

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Top Ball Joints

Postby par » Sun 05.07.2020, 23:43

Put most of the Elan back together after doing a few things (more scope creep) and when i fitted the wheels I noticed a fair bit of play with the top ball joints, is there supposed to be a bit of movement in the function of these or do normal parameters apply?

Reason for questioning is they were both replaced with new items from SJ Sports when I refreshed the suspension a few years ago and have only done a few thousand miles on them. I am sure I read something about premature wear on some batches of ball joints on here but cant seem to find it now :?
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Re: Top Ball Joints

Postby KenS » Sat 26.12.2020, 18:56

In the process of dropping the front suspension, changing the steering rack, refurbishing bushes, bearings and ball joints - I have found the same, new top ball joints were fitted about 18 months ago, but now show something like 0.7mm vertical play. I pressed the spigot/ball out and found the ball has a machined finish that you can feel with a finger nail, I would have expected a polished finish, as the taper spigot is. Also very little grease, what was there was dry and crumbly. At this moment I plan to re-boot an old pair of ball joints from my spares box which have no discernible play in them. I would be interested if anyone knows if any of the suppliers have better quality parts or if they will all be supplied from the same source.
(photo has most of the grease wiped off, but there wasn't much!)
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Re: Top Ball Joints

Postby Simon_P » Sat 26.12.2020, 19:43

Same here - checked the spare before replacing it and the blob of grease had completely dried out.

So before fitting new ones check they have grease in the right place.
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Re: Top Ball Joints

Postby lotusnut » Thu 04.02.2021, 18:12

Has anybody managed to find out which vehicle these joints were from, I thought they were Elan +2/Triumph units but although they look the same are in fact wider on the housing, not sure about the pin size though. Mine are OK, but taking the top arms off to clean and repaint, the bolts holding the joint on are seized solid, so at present it would appear I may have to destroy the ball joint to remove it.
1991 Elan SE Turbo, 1976 Elite 501,1975 Elan +2S 130/5 and Passat TDi Est.
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