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Wade Nelson

What can new ball joints do for you???

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    I just had new ball joints installed on my ZX. WOW, WHAT A DIFFERENCE.

    The old ones weren't DETECTABLY worn, you couldn't shake the wheel and say "oh, bad ball joints" even though the rubber boots were long gone. But at 200k I figured they were probably the originals....

    Driving it with the new ones --- it made a BIGGER IMPROVEMENT to the car's handling than all of the other bushings and other pieces I've replaced so far - tie rod ends, sway bar links, etc.

    The car is actually starting to drive half-way decent now! It has gone from homicidal (sway bar links & rear struts) to tempermental (tie rod ends, alignment, properly torque wheel bearings) to almost respectable (ball joints).

    I SUSPECT a fatter sway bar up front, and the prothane bushings on the rear arms are what's going to get me to home plate.

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    To clarify, the steering wheel moves EASIER, but the steering is tighter, more responsive to smaller inputs. I used to blame the steering rack for what felt like mild binding, but apparently it was the ball joints.

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    I put new ball joints on about 2 months ago. I have not noticed much improvement at all. Since I have noticed more steering shake. I had an alignment done right after putting in new ball joints and outer tie rod ends. but there are other things I need to work over, namely bushings and a closer inspection of the rack. On the easer side I plane on a tire rotation to see how that affects things. I feel good about doing it though as the old units were in pretty bad shape.

    I guess I could say there has been some minor improvements in responsiveness but that may be overshadowed by the shakes.

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    I've been suffering for a while with a lot of vibration in my 79 ZX. I knew the car had worn ball joints and bushings that were badly deteriorated. I just had all the bushings replaced, the rear differential mount, the ball joints and the tie rods (one of which looked like it was barely holding together).

    Huge difference in the ride and handling. There steering is tighter and even though there is no power steering it does turn easier.

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