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Check your upper ball joints :eek:

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  • Check your upper ball joints :eek:

    As outlined in other threads, our Itvees use the K80014 upper ball joint. These joints are directional, meaning they are only supposed to flex in one direction, and must be installed in a particular clocked position. You can see in the photo below, the channel that the ball swivels in, and only in one plane or direction:
    click to enlarge:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	ITV - K80014 Upper Ball Joint.png Views:	0 Size:	194.3 KB ID:	6241

    On initial inspection of one ITV, I found 3 of them were properly installed, with the indicator (small hole, dot, notch or punch mark on-top) directly towards or away from the tire, like so:
    click to enlarge:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	ITV Upper Ball Joint Alignment.jpg Views:	0 Size:	143.1 KB ID:	6242

    However, one was improperly installed, both out of alignment and missing the grease fitting, allowing dirt and water inside:
    click to enlarge:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	ITV Bad Joint Alignment.jpg Views:	0 Size:	782.5 KB ID:	6243

    Misalignment can cause effects such as suspension binding, joint damage (as others have seen here), control arm damage, loss of travel, and improper alignment as suspension moves while driving.

    Re-positioning or replacement (I found a complete joint under $10 with some shopping), involves wheel removal and partial suspension disassembly, but is relatively straight-forward in your garage or driveway. See Rasmusrentals videos for some guidance.

    Pulling the joint requires a ball joint press, which is like a C-clamp with adapters, and can be used directly on the vehicle without further disassembly. They can be found under $50 online and up, or many local auto parts stores rent them for free with a deposit. Inspect your ride!
    Last edited by W427; 06-10-2021, 10:22 AM.

  • #2
    I have come across a couple of bent ball joints, I didn’t check to see if they were incorrectly installed, I am now thinking that they may have been and that is why they bent, since they couldn’t pivot.
    awesome post that’s good info to share.



    • #3
      For those that have a upper ball joint spare can you measure the mating surfaces to replace the boot ? Found a source ot poly boots instead of rubber ones that should last longer.


      • #4
        Here are some numbers, rounded, in inch (mm):

        Body boot groove - 1.72" (44mm)
        Stud boot groove - 0.7" (18mm)
        Groove-to-groove C-C - 0.8" (20mm)
        Groove-groove (outside) - 0.9" (23mm)

        Boot seal dimensions ±0.050" (±1.5mm) smaller.
        Uninstalled boot height OAL - ±1.42" (36mm)
        Installed boot height OAL - ±1.1" (28mm)

        Click image for larger version

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        Happy to provide some approximate measurements, but my first comment is repeated from another thread, and that is you can get complete ball joint assemblies with rubber, poly or silicone boots for around $10 or less. I initially looked for the same thing, but unless very inexpensive, the best value may be a complete joint even if only using the boot. I look forward to your findings!


        • #5
          Much appreciated. I searched the forum but didn't find anything regarding your measurements. Best pricing I could find on the MOOG uppers were $22. I did see some generic ones for less.


          • W427
            W427 commented
            Editing a comment
            Your call on that, but I figure most owners would be lucky to put a few thousand miles on it in their lifetimes. If you plan more, then go for it! I found the one Moog I needed for $8 with some shopping. Aftermarket ball joints are not a high-failure item, but again, your call. 👍