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Lower Ball Joints

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My mechanist had my car on a lift and showed me how loose my wheels were due to my wearing lower ball joints. He said they needed to be replaced but not necessarily urgently.

What could happen if I wait too long?

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Wouldn't you regret this question when driving on the highway for example and your wheels collapse?

My advice, leave above to Johnny Knoxville and replace asap.

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My LS400 failed its UK yearly safety test on exactly the same joints last week as there was excessive play in them and I bought genuine Lexus/Toyota replacements and fitted them myself.

You could actually see the excessive vertical movement (2-3mm) in both when removed and the ball was pulled up and down in the socket.

The tram lining effect and the floaty feel at speed have both been eliminated after replacement and the car feels more precise when driving.

For the sake of around $150.00 for the parts replace them, complete failure could result in the front suspension failing and the wheel folding under the car and the obvious outcome of this.

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The tram lining effect and the floaty feel at speed have both been eliminated after replacement and the car feels more precise when driving.

For the sake of around $150.00 for the parts replace them, complete failure could result in the front suspension failing and the wheel folding under the car and the obvious outcome of this.

These are two excellent reasons to replace the ball joints now. Do not delay in replacing worn ball joints, I've seen a car spin out on the highway (3 cars in front of me) at 80mph after the wheel folded under the car. Not pretty.

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And to add, they are simple to replace. Takes less than 10 minutes per side.

It took me that long to get the split pin and nut off the joint! Then after breaking my screw type separator I had to resort to to hammer in type,it took a little longer than 10 minutes.

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It took me that long to get the split pin and nut off the joint! Then after breaking my screw type separator I had to resort to to hammer in type,it took a little longer than 10 minutes.

I forgot you guys have way more corrosion in the UK. Add 20 minutes for a rusted chassis.

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RDM, let me see if I got this right. You are saying that you can change a lower ball joint in 10 minutes? I have never done them on a Lexus but many on Chevys, Fords etc and it took me about an hour each with the press (free lend from Autozone) to get them out. Granted it took me 1/2 hour to figure out how to configure the press but still....

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You don't need a press since it's a bolt on, not press in type of joint. It's very easy, the ball joint is bolted to the spindle from below, drop those two bolts and it's free there, the actual ball joint passes through the lower control arm but since you're replacing it, a good whack from a hammer is all you need to loosen it. Then you just use a splitter to pop the tie rod end out and you're done. I'm not saying everyone could do it in 10 minutes, but someone with the tools and know how easily could. I did both of mine plus tie rods, tie rods ends, swaybar endlinks, and swaybar bushings in a little over an hour a few months ago.

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I did not know that since I have never replaced mine. I have all the tools including the pickle forks. Nice to know you don't need a press howver they work pretty easily as well once you get the thing set up right. Have you done anything with the uppers yet?

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Thanks guys. I made it to Miami from Charleston without my wheels collapsing! Good thing my mechanic told me it wasn't an emergency. They just had a little play in them. My wife and I are here eating Cuban food and thinking about moving here. It is a good thing I got a new radiator before I came because it is extremely hot down here. The sun feels stronger for some reason.

I'm going to look into these joints when I get home. I want to try doing it myself, but I risk !Removed! it up worse by trying to save a few bucks.

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do i need an alignment afterward?

You don't need a press since it's a bolt on, not press in type of joint. It's very easy, the ball joint is bolted to the spindle from below, drop those two bolts and it's free there, the actual ball joint passes through the lower control arm but since you're replacing it, a good whack from a hammer is all you need to loosen it. Then you just use a splitter to pop the tie rod end out and you're done. I'm not saying everyone could do it in 10 minutes, but someone with the tools and know how easily could. I did both of mine plus tie rods, tie rods ends, swaybar endlinks, and swaybar bushings in a little over an hour a few months ago.

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In 99% you don't need to allign afterwards. However, it depends somewhat on the state of your tie rods for ex. Just take the car for a spin and if you notice some tugging or other allignment issues, it wouldn't hurt to do it. (Uneven) wear on your tires would be a great clue too.

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I did not know that since I have never replaced mine. I have all the tools including the pickle forks. Nice to know you don't need a press howver they work pretty easily as well once you get the thing set up right. Have you done anything with the uppers yet?

I haven't, they're not replaceable like the lowers. I plan on buying a pair of new arms from Arnott when I get the $199 ready, that's a third the price of OEM arms.

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