Go Back   Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums > Bronco > 1978 - 1996 Big Bronco
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?


1978 - 1996 Big Bronco SPONSORED BY:

Welcome to Ford-Trucks Forums!
Welcome to Ford-Trucks.com.

You are currently viewing our forums as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join the Ford-Trucks Forums community today!





 
Reply
 
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 08-29-2009, 04:32 PM
hatchet's Avatar
hatchet hatchet is offline
Senior User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 439
hatchet is starting off with a positive reputation.
how to tell if ball joints are bad?

how do you tell if the ball joints are bad when your buying a used bronco?is there a way to tell by looking at them?


Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-29-2009, 05:14 PM
greystreak92's Avatar
greystreak92 greystreak92 is offline
Post Fiend
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Gateway to the West
Posts: 9,032
greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.
Not really. If you can get a front wheel off the ground you can do the wiggle test. Otherwise there isn't much you can do with the weight of the truck on the suspension.
__________________
The only stupid question is the one you DON'T ask!

Big Bronco FAQ's

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-29-2009, 05:55 PM
fordbroncodave's Avatar
fordbroncodave fordbroncodave is offline
Senior User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 311
fordbroncodave is starting off with a positive reputation.
get someone inside and turn the steering wheel a little in both directions when the engine is off and keys in the ignition on position
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-29-2009, 10:28 PM
hatchet's Avatar
hatchet hatchet is offline
Senior User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 439
hatchet is starting off with a positive reputation.
ok but how do I tell if there worn?how to you tell by looking at them?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-30-2009, 12:43 AM
greystreak92's Avatar
greystreak92 greystreak92 is offline
Post Fiend
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Gateway to the West
Posts: 9,032
greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.
You don't. Ball joints under the weight of the truck are almost impossible to determine their serviceability. If you are particularly concerned about a truck you are considering purchasing, ask the seller if you can raise the front wheels one at a time and check for play in them with the wheel wiggle test. An educated seller will either be happy to let you or immediately admit they are worn. An uneducated seller can be convinced that you won't buy it unless they let you check.
__________________
The only stupid question is the one you DON'T ask!

Big Bronco FAQ's

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-11-2009, 04:06 PM
polky polky is offline
Junior User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 87
polky is starting off with a positive reputation.
You can't wiggle teat because thats your bearings your checking. Lift your truck and place a solid pipe under tire and lift up and down. Have someone looking at your ball joints if there is movement they are bad.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-11-2009, 11:34 PM
greystreak92's Avatar
greystreak92 greystreak92 is offline
Post Fiend
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Gateway to the West
Posts: 9,032
greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.
Quote:
Originally Posted by polky View Post
You can't wiggle teat because thats your bearings your checking. Lift your truck and place a solid pipe under tire and lift up and down. Have someone looking at your ball joints if there is movement they are bad.
Not true. The wiggle test will reveal ball-joint issues if you know what you are doing. If you are testing for ball joint wear you need to grasp the wheel at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock and rock it by pushing in at 12 o'clock and pulling out at 6 o'clock then reversing this maneuver. The pipe isn't necessary. If the balljoints are indeed bad, you will be able to affect enough movement and be able to tell. If you need the pipe to get them to move, its unlikely the ball joints are that badly worn.

I've done this test myself hundreds of times and can always get a definitive result. If you are really that concerned check the tread near the inboard shoulder for cupping as well. (Cupping is a wear pattern that causes the lugs of the tread to wear in a sawtooth pattern along the edges of the tread). While a bad bearing can cause minor cupping, ball joints are more often the culprit.
__________________
The only stupid question is the one you DON'T ask!

Big Bronco FAQ's

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-12-2009, 07:42 AM
helirich helirich is offline
Posting Guru
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,272
helirich is starting off with a positive reputation.
If the ball joints are really bad, you can see movement with the weight on the wheels. I recomend looking under the front while someone rocks the steering wheel. You can see alot. Here is a list.

The steering box could be loose. (on the frame)
The sector shaft could be loose. (bad steering box)
The pitman arm could be loose. (on the splines)
The drag link to pitman could be shot.
The drag link to right wheel could be shot. (tierod end)
The tierod end at the left wheel could be shot.
The tierod to draglink could be shot.
The balljoints can be loose.
The axle pivot mounts could be loose.
The wheel bearings can be loose.

In addition, you can look down from the top and see if the pitman arm moves imediately when the steering shaft is twisted. (play in the box)

All of these can be seen if you make sure you know what you are looking at and what it is moveing in relation to. One thing, the wheel bearings will not move (even if their shot) when the brakes are on or hanging up.

I assume you are worried about the balljoints because it is one of the more difficult things to repair on this list. If you are that worried, jack it up and do as Greystreak says. It will be much, much easier to see movement that way.
__________________
90' Bronco, 351, MSD Ign., SS 3" exhaust,
38" x 15.50 R15 Dirt Grips, 14" x 15" Alcoa wheels
6" lift w/ cutout flares, 40 gal. fuel tank
F diff - lockright locker, 4.88's
R diff - Powertrax locker, 4.88's
Cast diff cover w/ carrier braces
Rear full float axles, truss, Above spring traction bars
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-13-2009, 03:03 PM
polky polky is offline
Junior User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 87
polky is starting off with a positive reputation.
if you can feel your ball-joints by wiggling your tire your joints are completely shot. as far as tire cupping if you have mud tires they will cup reguardless. i would check all that helirich noted.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-14-2009, 12:36 AM
hatchet's Avatar
hatchet hatchet is offline
Senior User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 439
hatchet is starting off with a positive reputation.
hey guys thanks for all the tips im had my buddy come along and the ball joints were bad.the guy didnt want to the lower the price cause of the bad ball joints so my search for a bronco goes on.to bad though it had no rust at all on it.even in the door jams and under the doors were rust free, hard to find here cause of the winter salf on the roads.I really didnt like the 5.0 it had in it anyway to me a bronco needs a 5.8 to have some *****.later.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-14-2009, 10:37 AM
fordbroncodave's Avatar
fordbroncodave fordbroncodave is offline
Senior User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 311
fordbroncodave is starting off with a positive reputation.
the 5.0 has plenty of *****. its just the transmission that makes it feel like crap.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-14-2009, 02:09 PM
helirich helirich is offline
Posting Guru
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,272
helirich is starting off with a positive reputation.
I hope I didnt scare you off. The ball joints are not really that hard, just time consuming. The ball joint press can be bought from Harbor freight or even barrowed from some auto parts stores. At the same time, you can check out u-joints, wheel bearings, brakes, hubs and seals.

A Bronco with perfect ball joints may be hard to find. But a Bronco with no rust is neerly impossible to find. (especially in Conn.)

I like the 351 for towing. But the 302 is a good engine.
__________________
90' Bronco, 351, MSD Ign., SS 3" exhaust,
38" x 15.50 R15 Dirt Grips, 14" x 15" Alcoa wheels
6" lift w/ cutout flares, 40 gal. fuel tank
F diff - lockright locker, 4.88's
R diff - Powertrax locker, 4.88's
Cast diff cover w/ carrier braces
Rear full float axles, truss, Above spring traction bars
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-14-2009, 02:42 PM
fordbroncodave's Avatar
fordbroncodave fordbroncodave is offline
Senior User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 311
fordbroncodave is starting off with a positive reputation.
northern states have much worse looking broncos then the west and east coast but the ones down south are way better then the best ones in minnesota.

mine was from new jersey in 2000 (assuming there was minimal rust), now it looks worse then the ones in the scrap yard. its getting rough but its also getting painfully difficult to control the rust. the factory bondo is chipping all over this.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-14-2009, 04:30 PM
alxsnmr alxsnmr is offline
Posting Guru
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: St Louis
Posts: 1,547
alxsnmr is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
If the truck is rust free, ball joints are far cheaper to replace than a rusted out fender, tail gate, door jambs, and floor boards. If you didnt like the 5.0, a 5.8 upgrade is something else that is far cheaper than the rusted body panels, not to mention painting them after the fact. Not to mention the fact that the new ball joints are greaseable units unlike the factory ones that are non-greaseable.

Also, someone else mentioned that perfect ball joints are going to be harder to get, especially if the truck has had larger tires and/or heavy loads on the truck. These are wear items anyway, if you replace them now it is better than replacing them later when it is much less convient of a time.
__________________
Stock 1978 F250 Custom regular cab 4x4 with 351M and 4 spd.

1991 Bronco silver anniversary, 5.8L EFI, E4OD swapped for C-6, custom trimmed rear fenders finished in rust.

2009 Fusion SE 2.3L 5spd Red/black cloth n leather
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-14-2009, 10:29 PM
greystreak92's Avatar
greystreak92 greystreak92 is offline
Post Fiend
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Gateway to the West
Posts: 9,032
greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.greystreak92 has a great reputation on FTE.
Quote:
Originally Posted by polky View Post
as far as tire cupping if you have mud tires they will cup reguardless. i would check all that helirich noted.
I would check all that too but his question was regarding ball joints.

If ANY tires exhibit cupping in the wear pattern there is a problem. There is nothing about "mud" tires that makes them cup when any other tire won't. Sorry, but cupping is avoidable with a front end that is in good condition unless you are running tires that are just too big for the suspension to handle.
__________________
The only stupid question is the one you DON'T ask!

Big Bronco FAQ's

Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2009, 10:29 PM
 
 
 
Reply

Go Back   Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums > Bronco > 1978 - 1996 Big Bronco

Tags
1989, 1992, affect, bad, ball, bronco, f150, ford, joint, joints, pitman, sector, shaft, shot, test, twisted

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ball Joint Roasted7 Super Duty & Heavy Duty 6 04-08-2011 07:26 AM
Bad ball joints 2000 excursion 7.3L Diesel jingvalson Excursion - King of SUVs 7 09-26-2006 09:56 AM
before i go and get some ball joints..... guthrie&co 1999 - 2003 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel 17 10-21-2005 03:21 PM
Ball Joints and Front suspension HIDEE101 1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 3 02-08-2005 08:10 PM
ball joints & Wheel bearings mrak 1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1 03-11-2003 12:11 PM



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 AC1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertising - Terms of Use - Privacy Statement - Jobs
This forum is owned and operated by Internet Brands, Inc., a Delaware corporation. It is not authorized or endorsed by the Ford Motor Company and is not affiliated with the Ford Motor Company or its related companies in any way. FordŽ is a registered trademark of the Ford Motor Company.

vbulletin Admin Backup