Does the "slot" or "groove" on the face of the ball joint go toward the chassis, or toward the tire? I had a machine shop press them out, but I was not there at the time. Seems to me it could go either way, based on the "slot" shape where the ball joint stud is situated.
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The slot goes towards the tire. Putting it inline with the chassis could cause it to bind when the suspension is fully depressed. Some of the new ball joints for Pantera do not have the slot and can be installed in any orientation.
How do you know if they need replacement? I have the whole rear suspension out at the moment. The ball joints appear very firm - nice and tight and I have new rubbers for them .
If they are tight then they are fine. Maybe double check the lower fronts. They have been voted most likely to fail.
The front rebuild is an adventure that still awaits!! I am mired in the rear rebuild at the moment!
Mind you -judging from the read it may be exciting !
OEM upper ball joints still in good condition is believable- if the sealing boots are still intat. FWIW, upper ball joints seldom fail since they're only loaded in turns or on bumpy roads. Most failures are the lower ball joints since they carry all the car/driver weight nearly all the time. Adding zerk fittings to ball joints without them is simple and extends their life a LOT! Steering tie-rod ends too. There used to be cheap kits sold to do this.
I have new boot seals and will install shortly. I was going to install Zerks on the lower pivot shaft area on the uprights while I have the shafts out , as its pretty straight forward when everything is apart.
Where do you normally locate the Zerk fitting on the ball joint and do the ball joints have to be removed before the mounts are drilled to take the fitting?
I have plenty of Zerk fittings - just trying to match the thread type for the holes. I think its a NF thread ?
On the lower inside side of the casting about in the middle. File a flat spot in the cast-in lettering so the zerk can screw all the way in. Also file a couple of small half-round notches in the ends of the internal spacer. When the nuts are tightened, the spacer is held hard against the thrust washers so grease put in from the outside cannot easily get to the inside of the spacer where the stud is.
If you have some extra money, I use Hall's innovative system where the lower stud ends are drilled 1/8" OD about 3" deep and 2 connecting holes are drilled crosswise thru the stud. Then with a zerk in each end of the stud, you can add grease this way without drilling the carrier. If you have a drill press, a very sharp drill bit and use care & lots of lube, you can drill the stock stud at home & add the zerks. Greased from this direction, you still need notches on the ends of the spacer because grease now cannot get to the bushing surfaces & the outside of the spacer.