Replaced upper/lower ball joints, deep creaking from under front

Brakes, Steering & Suspension

  1. jogirob

    jogirob Well-Known Member

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    I replaced the ball joints on my 74 Charger about 3 weeks back. I had the car on jack stands for about a week waiting on new brake calipers and hoses. After I buttoned everything down and torqued everything to spec I took it on a ride and heard some deep creaking coming from under the front of the car when going over road undulations. I don't get the creaking when braking, or going over speed bumps or going up and down my drive way. I was hoping it was just the car suspension components settling back in.

    Good to knows:
    -The driver side lower control arm had a thread on type of ball joint, I didn't find this out until I pressed it off. It was slightly more difficult to press off than your standard press fit ball joint, I guess I'm just that strong. I replaced it with the correct press on type ball joint. The control arm didn't look to be damaged from this.
    -I received the calipers to a 72 Charger. It has a different hose connection type (direct screw on rather than a banjo bolted line) fortunately I also had the 72 brake hose so everything paired up just fine.
    -I completely disassembled the steering knuckle since I was having problems installing my ball joint tool with all that hardware in the way. Properly torqued it all down.
     
  2. zyzzyx

    zyzzyx FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    It's Almost Halloween?????
     
  3. jogirob

    jogirob Well-Known Member

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    Woooo spooky chassis problems from the great unknown, woooooo :wetting:
     
  4. hsorman

    hsorman FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    I'm not an suspension expert by any stretch, but my first thought when hearing squeaking is either (a) metal on metal from worn out suspension - this shouldn't be the case for you, (b) inadequately greased polyurethane; it squeaks like crazy, or (c) new joints that weren't greased enough.
     
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    • flypaper

      flypaper Well-Known Member

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      did ya change out the lower control arm pivot bushings?
      or did you just roll with the worn out ones...
       
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      • beanhead

        beanhead Well-Known Member

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        I'm not familiar with the 74 but this part of your post confused me....are you saying you pressed out a threaded ball joint, and then pressed a new one in the previously threaded control arm? (On the earlier stuff they were supposed to be threaded). Just spitballing here but you may have fooked up the control arm just enough to where the ball joint moves just a bit under the heavy loads?
         
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        • 4mulas

          4mulas Well-Known Member

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          I was confused by this too, but took a look at a micro phish for parts and found a listing for a thread in lower ball joint. However the most common is a press in lower ball joint.
          Your point of - if some actually threaded in a ball joint where they shouldn’t have and then the OP pressed it out and then pressed in a new one may have foobar’d the control arm is a good one. I can see that.

          The other thing I can think of is that maybe his control arm actually required a thread in ball joint and he has now foobar’d the control arm from pressing out the old and one pressing In a new one when it actually required a thread in one.

          I am not sure what the differentiating factor is between the two control arms, maybe someone can enlighten us.
           
          Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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          • ddpsnake

            ddpsnake Well-Known Member

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            did you have the control off
             
          • 1 Wild R/T

            1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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            Did you grease the new ball joints throughly? They arrive with just enough grease to keep them from rusting... If you didn't you might get lucky but I've seen lots of joints damaged to the point that even after greasing they creak & groan till they get replaced...
             
          • dryheat

            dryheat FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            So I'm confused ... did you replace the lower ball joint assembly with this mancini-racing-lower-ball-joint-right-hand-19.gif or did you replace just the ball joint in the one that you had?
             
          • 1 Wild R/T

            1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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            74 doesn't use those, upper & lower are similar in design.... Lower ball joint looks like one from a Chevy....
             
          • R/T Boy 67

            R/T Boy 67 Well-Known Member

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            Sway bar?
             
          • jogirob

            jogirob Well-Known Member

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            The lower control arms are supposed to be strictly press in ball joints according the the FSM. I was surprised when I saw threads on the old ball joint. Threads on these balljoints are so coarse and sharp they can bite into non threaded control arms like nothing. You do have to put something like 200ft-lb's of torque when tightening these so I could see why one wouldn't be the wiser when having to strain to get it to screw on, or maybe the PO only had a thread type and tried to make it work? I think because the lower arms are non threaded, i was able to press it out without a problem. When I pressed in the replacement it took a normal amount of force, it wasn't too easy, it wasn't too hard. I had already done the other side so I had a feel for it. I did pre lube the ball joints. Prying on the control arms with a crowbar showed a good tight fit on the bushings.

            Anywho, the creaking is gone. I only use this car on the weekends. Took a good 4-6 drives for the creaking to go away.
             
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            • pdiz

              pdiz Well-Known Member

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              My 1973 Road Runner has threaded ball joints on the LCA. I think I read somewhere that 1973 was a transitional year for them (they could use either), but maybe I'm remembering wrong. That being said, I wonder if the LCA is different for threaded versus non-threaded? I know the ones that use the threaded design were shipped without any pre-cut threads because the threaded ball joint would cut its own threads into the control arm at installation time. Don't quote me on this. That being said, I'm not sure if I would necessarily trust a press-in ball-joint in a LCA that already has cut threads, but it looks like you're good?
               
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