Long story as short as I can make it:
So, I have two Miatas.. My NB is my autox car, and my NA is my "winter beater" (I call it my "ice racer"
). Well, the NA has pulled a bit to the right ever since I got it, but really not that bad at all.. I finally took it in to get an alignment done a couple months ago, and the guy said they couldn't align it because my lower balljoints and my outer tie rod ends were going out. He said it wasn't a safety issue yet, but that I should look at getting them replaced at some point in the near future.
I ordered all the parts off Amazon (love prime) and paid for overnight shipping. Had the weekend blocked off, my buddy needed help swapping his diff (1.6L diff broke under stock power in an AutoX--yes, it does happen) and we were going to do my suspension parts after.. Well, the suspention parts came late--got here on Monday.
It snowed that week, dropped down to 20*F and hasn't been above freezing since. Neither of our garages are heated, and I didn't feel like paying the money for a shop to do a job I figured I could do.
It wasn't clunking or anything like that, I figured it was fine..and I get my quarterly bonus for my Q4 work here in a couple weeks, was planning on just getting it done then.. turned out it was a bigger safety issue than the guy thought.
Thankfully this happened at like 5mph on a back road in WI. I turned left and there was a rather loud sound (I honestly thought one of my tires blew out from the sound and the feel of it).
Anyways, here you go:
Not a good sign...
"Well, there's your problem."
Good thing I had these lying around...
Moral of the story: When your balljoints are "starting to go bad", it's ALWAYS a safety issue. I'm finding it hard to be too upset about this, because I'm just feeling grateful it didn't happen on a bump on the freeway.
Now go ahead and flame away.