Does a bad ball joint cause premature brake wear? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums



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Does a bad ball joint cause premature brake wear?

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Old 02-15-2006, 09:49 PM
xtmsports xtmsports is offline
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Smile Does a bad ball joint cause premature brake wear?

Hi guys, I have a 98 Expy 5.4L. 2wd.

About 10 months ago, installed new front rotors and pads(Duralast Gold from Autozone).

About 4 months later, I had to turn the rotors and got warrany replacement Duralast brake pads.

6 monts later (NOW), the rotors are bad and the pads have about 20% left.
Major brake vibration and pulsating.

I got new tires this weekend and the guy told me that I have a bad driver side upper ball joint.

3 questions:

1) Do you think the ball joint would cause premature brake wear? Although both sides seem to be worn down to the same amount prematurely. I always had lots of bad brake dust on the front wheels.

2) If the ball joints didn't cause premature brake wear, then what would cause that?

3) How do I test/know if the upper ball joint is really bad and if it is bad, what problems would I encounter if I continued to drive on it? The guy is quoting me $165 to replace the upper control arm and align my expy.

Please assist, thanks, you guys are great here.!
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:58 PM
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FTE Herman FTE Herman is offline
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I doubt that a loose ball joint could cause premature brake wear but there could be others that disagree with me.

Brake wear can be caused by many problems, but I'll ask: what type of driving does the vehicle see? A lot of highway miles? A lot of in-town? Combined?

The way you determine a bad ball joint is to support the vehicle on the frame with the tire off the ground. Then, using a large lever, for the tire/suspension assembly upward. In a bad joint, you will see movement in the joint prior to the upper control arm moving.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:04 PM
xtmsports xtmsports is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkiefus
I doubt that a loose ball joint could cause premature brake wear but there could be others that disagree with me.

Brake wear can be caused by many problems, but I'll ask: what type of driving does the vehicle see? A lot of highway miles? A lot of in-town? Combined?

The way you determine a bad ball joint is to support the vehicle on the frame with the tire off the ground. Then, using a large lever, for the tire/suspension assembly upward. In a bad joint, you will see movement in the joint prior to the upper control arm moving.
I do a mixture of both. When I do highway driving, I am towing my seadoo. City driving is mostly the wife running errands.

The rear pads wear replaced at the same time the fronts were replaced, yet they still have a lot of miles left on them, then almost seem to have no wear.

Could it be that I need new rear rotors? Maybe the rear rotors are too worn down and are not even being used, thus the fronts brakes are taking all the load?

Also, will the bad ball joint cause my new tires to prematurely wear down?

Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:13 PM
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I would say that it was the rotors and pads that you used were the problem. Auto zone and advance auto are really bad about having the cheapest quality on the market. Also 165 is not a bad price to replace the control arm and realign it. You should repalce the pad and rotors from some where like carquest or napa. The front brakes do about 60-70% of the braking any way so they will wear faster. I had the same problem with both of my navigators, i switched to a good quality pad and rotor and did not see the problem again.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:19 PM
xtmsports xtmsports is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordsuvparts
I would say that it was the rotors and pads that you used were the problem. Auto zone and advance auto are really bad about having the cheapest quality on the market. Also 165 is not a bad price to replace the control arm and realign it. You should repalce the pad and rotors from some where like carquest or napa. The front brakes do about 60-70% of the braking any way so they will wear faster. I had the same problem with both of my navigators, i switched to a good quality pad and rotor and did not see the problem again.
Very interesting, that may explain Autozone's lifetime guarantee on the pads.
I always figured that since it had a lifetime replacement guarantee, it meant they stood behind their product and it would last a long time. I remember Raybestos used to have that lifetime guarantee, and Raybestos are pretty good pads.

Anyways, I got new good quality rotors from Fast Undercars and I got replacement warrany Autozone Pads. Hopefully they last.

I just thought maybe the ball joints cause premature brake wear. Thanks.

Still debating on whether I NEED to had the ball joint/control arm replaced. The repair manual said that the ball joint is not serviceable.
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:41 AM
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The BJ won't cause premature brake wear.

A worn out upper BJ without the lower having gone bad is pretty rare. Usually the lower one wears out quickly.

Worn ball joints will cause premature uneven tire wear and steering issues.

The upper control arm runs about $75 from NAPA.

If you can upgrade those pads to ceramics they will last longer and will have minimal (almost non-existant) dusting. To protect your rotors, NEVER let a shop use an impact wrench on them to install your tires. INSIST that they hand torque the lugs and give them the required torque value.

Make certain that you lube the caliper slides.

Bet your wife drives like a jackrabbit when you aren't watching.... Will wear out brakes pretty quickly.

Steve
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:36 AM
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Its probably a sticky caliper thats causing the premature wear, or as projectSHO89 said, somebody is probably riding the brakes hard.
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:51 AM
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I assume Automatic. I have seen time and time again where people drive with one foot on the brake. Even if they are not pushing hard enough to enguage or slow down, it does cause the pads to push against the rotor and cause premature failure. Just a thought, check driving habits of people who drive it.
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