.005" play in Ball Joints, when do you replace? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-21-2019, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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.005" play in Ball Joints, when do you replace?

Hi all.

I have an F350 that I took for an alignment a while ago, the tech said the ball joint were loose and he could replace them for $xxx

I removed the hubs and put an indicator on the ball joints. All ball joints show .005" side play and .005" vertical movement, exactly the same both sides.

The Ford specs are I believe .024" upper ball joint play, and .04" lower ball joint play.

My assumption is there ok and I was being told something by the tech that wasn't true, or incorrect.

I'm assuming that with that little play I will not have a problem getting it aligned (at a different shop)

Any thoughts.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-21-2019, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot to add.

The truck steers ok, no death wobble, but does wander a bit, like most F250/350's I've driven.

It has a Red Head steering box that improved the steering, as the old steering box was thrashed.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-21-2019, 06:47 PM
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I would drive on even a new joint will have some play until the weight of the vehicle is on them

Curious how you were measuring the slack -- since they are a ball and socket the only worry would be elongation of the socket or wear on the ball, allowing the joint to "slip" side to side when loaded
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-21-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydro View Post
I would drive on even a new joint will have some play until the weight of the vehicle is on them

Curious how you were measuring the slack -- since they are a ball and socket the only worry would be elongation of the socket or wear on the ball, allowing the joint to "slip" side to side when loaded
I measure with a dial indicator mounted onto the flange the caliper mounts to, and the indicator needle touching the nut of the ball joint.

Then with a bar clamped vertically to the flange the hub mounts too, push and pull on the bar to get the reading. As far as I can tell that's the Ford method of measuring play. The .024"/.040" values are for side to side play with the wheels off the ground.

The vertical play was measured again with an indicator, and a crowbar underneath the vertical bar to raise the carrier.

My inclination is too ignore the play as it's minimal and drive on.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-22-2019, 03:07 AM
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.005 is nothing, and still well within limits. Like @Hydro said, even a new joint will have a bit of play. Just as a reference, most pitch control link bearings (rods from swashplate to rotor head-controls blade pitch angle) have a limit of .020. Most pilots would start to feel a vibration at about .015 when flying. Kudos to you though for actually taking the effort to measure with a dial indicator.
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