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Sorry, couldn't help the title lol. I got my tires replaced today and the tire ppl said my ball joints on the front suspension are going bad. One has a ton of play in it and the other is a bit loose and obviously U gotta replace both at a time. So the replacement parts are like $60 a piece which isn't bad for such a large, strong part that has to hold up under some extreme conditions. But they say because the way the V6 cougar is set up, their official database rating is over 4 hours of work for the left one and like 1 hour for the right one. I've run into the whole uneven difficulty and arrangement of parts myself but damn. So that's like $350 in labor that I really don't have money for. Actually I don't have the $ for the parts either at the moment lol. So yeah over $650 total is pretty unacceptable but I know what will happen if the ball joint collapses and I don't wanna severely damage my brand new front tires! And I don't really want to leave them as loose as they say they are and have the walls of the new tires wear faster than normal.

I should say though that I plan to inspect the ball joints myself tomorrow to see how bad they are. But with my old tires I heard a lot of whoom whoom whoom...whoom.......whoom........whooom as I was slowing down or turning between 15 and 40 MPH and heard some other interesting sqeaks and crunches and pings and other noises coming from that area lately when going over bumps and stuff. Strangely, the short time I've driven on the new tires, I didn't hear any noises at all. Might be a coincidence. I'll test it further tomorrow. Anyway if it really is bad, does anything about the symptoms, price quotes, or labor sound like total BS to anyone or is it all kinda just what it is.
Also, are there any other common places that would fix it with a lower labor rate? Even somewhere that would do it without aligning it cuz I can get just that done there later. Or I might as well ask, is it fairly simple to do on my own with no specialist tools? (doubt it lol)
 

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Re: a question about balls

1. what is up with your math? $350 labor + 2x60 is $650?
2. what are you asking? if the price is accurate, if you can do it yourself or something else?

suggestion: ask your question without 10 side stories all mixed into the same paragraph.
 

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Re: a question about balls

one question? what is up wih your title. and if thats what they quoted you then pay it, because if you dont know how to do it yourself, pay someone, thats better than having a half @$$ed ball joints on your car when you'll probaly slam into someone or crash your car. my 2 cents, PAY THE SHOP TO DO IT
 

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Re: a question about balls

1: you can replace just the ball joints. the labor time should be the same IF your only replacing the ball joints. if your replacing the lower control arm also then yes the labor rate is different on each side.

2. you might check the bearings if your hearing noises while turning.

3. always get a second opinion.
 

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Re: a question about balls

Of course you can replace one side without doing the other. Why would you do them both if only one is bad?

The ball joints are riveted to the control arms from the factory, so it's mostly easier to replace the control arm and ball joint together, and the whole assembly isn't that expensive. The reason one side is so much more than the other is because you can't easily get one of the control arm bolts out of the subframe - it hits the transaxle case.

The other option is the drill out the rivets and replace just the ball joints themselves.

You will need an alignment when this is finished.

To find out if one is bad, jack up the car so the wheel is a few inches off the ground, and put a long pry bar under the tire. Pry up and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: a question about balls

1. what is up with your math? $350 labor + 2x60 is $650?
2. what are you asking? if the price is accurate, if you can do it yourself or something else?

suggestion: ask your question without 10 side stories all mixed into the same paragraph.
I'm asking ALL of that lol. And they add in all their other BS and by the end of the receipt it was in the $650s. I think the main addition was the cost of an alignment.

And yeah I do plan to get a second opinion and I'll also see if they want to just drill the rivets and swap just the ball joint since that's all that's damaged. The couple times I was working around the control arms they looked sturdy and fine. From what I gathered, they do want to replace the entire arm and that's why they would take an uneven amount of time.

Of course you can replace one side without doing the other. Why would you do them both if only one is bad?
as a rule, I've heard you shouldn't do just one of anything symetrical on the suspension or alignment is difficult or impossible and even if it gets perfect, it won't stay that way for long
 

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Just so you know about replacing the ball joints. Its an industry standard to replace them both at the same time. Taught that in school and reasoning being that if one is going bad other one is on its way very quickly. Also is that one will have more play than other and affect handeling. (Des was right on this)

On you doing it i wouldnt recommend it Des, just based off of most your previos posts. You are best getting it done at a shop. Ive seen ball joint jobs go bad quickly. Havent done it on the cougar yet but majority cars need some specialy tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
(Des was right on this)
technically the unbelievably hot lady at the tire shop was right, I just agreed cuz it made sense based on what I knew hehehe

and the topic title....come on, ball joints....balls...it's a question about balls in ball joints lol
 

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My experience was based on my F150, which is the only only I've replaced in awhile. That was 20,000 miles ago, and the other is still fine :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well I just jacked my car up and yeah, they're all rusty and bad looking but as far as I could tell they were really solid. Then again I can't just exert a thousand pounds of force on it like going over a bump while driving. They probably have some big fancy machine that can determine how much play there is in the ball joints but I'm still not gonna take their word on it. I'm gonna get a second opinion ASAP. It still feels and sounds kinda funny while driving a little, especially when the steering is maxed one way or the other like when backing out of a parking stall.
Oh and it's really cold today and for the first time my IACV was making noise while driving slowly so I gotta probably get a new one of them. At least I think I have a tool to get it off now. This sucks, I have $0 to spend on car repairs and it's totaling around $900 just this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
no, I just gotta do more private and business computer repairs :biggrin: too bad a major one for a clinic pretty much fell through today.
 

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It still feels and sounds kinda funny while driving a little, especially when the steering is maxed one way or the other like when backing out of a parking stall.
Sounds funny? feels funny? Sounds like it could also be a wheel bearing going bad maybe?

and the labor for having someone else do ball joints is usually worth it... cause they can be a major pain. Esp as wade has mentioned the driver side control arm is right under the transmission case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I found someone that will do it for $500 with parts and labor. That's still waaaaaaaaaaaay more than I have and it completely sucks cuz like 2 days ago I just paid off the last of the amount I borrowed from my parents to buy the cougar but I gotta borrow some again for that grrrrr. The second place showed me how much wiggle the tires had and said yeah it's past the recommended limit for both, left side worse, but it's not as "sky is falling" as Expert Tire made it sound of course. They said there's no way it's gonna fail completely any time soon and sheer my tire off. But I just got brand new tires and with what I know about physics I agree with his assessment that driving 80+ miles a day back and to work would start to put excessive wear on the front tires after just a week or two. If it quivered a little around a corner or just randomly as much as the ball joint is letting it, then snapped back, physics dictates that it would be very, very bad for diagonally opposite tire walls on each side would both receive some serious stretch and sheering so that's extra bad with the way I drive lol.
:cry: so I guess I'll continue being poor. I'm gonna charge the people closer to retail for the PSU I gotta fix on the computer repair tonight for this lol. Plus those jerks owe me $55 as it is. I gonna break their legs if they don't pay up hehehe. Btw anyone wanna donate to the Peter's poor and needs ball joints foundation or PPNBJF lol (that's my name btw)

P.S. if I'm backing up and turning the wheels all the way one direction and the car kinda hops and makes interesting noises, is that the ball joint or the bearing or something worse?
 
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