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Old 01-29-2009, 03:59 AM   #1
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Default Loose upper ball joints

I was checking the car to prepare it for an upcoming trackday and found that I had some looseness in the front suspension. I checked my hub bearings and adjusted them and there was less, but I still had some play. I kept checking and found that my upper ball joints were loose on the upper A-arm. I spot-welded in place them since they were good and based on the fact that they aren't available separately. I'm glad to eliminate that once-mysterious free play in the fronts.

Has anyone else experienced loose upper ball joints?
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:54 AM   #2
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yeah I think mine are... or something up there is loose for sure. Makes awful knocking sounds on sudden braking and such
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:16 PM   #3
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Yup! That's exactly what I was having, especially when taking tight turns or going over speed bumps.


Edit: I just realized that there's a suspension sub-forum. Apologies.

Last edited by 99mx5; 01-29-2009 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Thread in wrong sub-forum
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:46 PM   #4
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Mine problaly are too, sometimes when I tap the brakes I get a knock noise, and I know its not my calipers moveing around.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:24 AM   #5
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I found that I could reach the upper ball joint through the wheel while I rock the top of the tire with the other hand to detect if there's any play.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:32 AM   #6
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I should check mine when they come off for bushing replacement. I have been chasing down a serious knock when setting the car in a turn or basically any camber change at any speed. Replaced end links w/ heims, bored out poly bushings for sways, replaced tie rod ends. I do know I have one cam bolt on the control arm that is toast.
Hmmmm.....I didn't think they could become loose. But sounds like its time to dust off the welder.
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:00 PM   #7
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I'll post pics of the spot-welded ball joint after work. It was hard to get close enough to see with the welding mask on.
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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Hmm. My 99' got a weird "knock" noise a while back. Like the moment I apply brakes from a roll, I'd get a tight and short "knock" from the front end. Never thought to check the ball joints. Thought it was the sway bar binding in the bushings perhaps. Gonna check this for sure next time the car's in the air.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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I have this noise, pretty sure my left BJ is loose. I'll get to it sometime.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:31 PM   #10
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99mx5 where were you when I first had problems with this?

https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/t16954/
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:03 PM   #11
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I was with the clunking just like you, until a few days ago.

Here's a Pic of how I welded it. I put spot welds all around it.


Last edited by 99mx5; 02-01-2009 at 01:17 AM. Reason: Added pic
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:45 AM   #12
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/\ Its that simple huh? Sweet, ill have to do that.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:57 AM   #13
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I went to a trackday today, the fix worked like a charm
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:04 AM   #14
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i dont know if im having the same problem too, but i get kind of a continous sound. like a clank clank clank sound coming from the front driver side. It almost sounds as if something metal and hollow was hitting together. i checked everything but can't find anything loose. i even replaced the lower ball joint, tie rod end, wheel bearing. I just found this thread, will check the upper control arm ball joint tomorrow as well. It seems to happen during accel and decel, the noise gets faster as the car gets faster. Also, when i apply the brakes, the noise goes away. This all happened after track day.

Anyone have any suggestions for me?
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:43 PM   #15
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When you checked everything, did you also check the brake mounting bolts on the hub knuckle and the bolt for the caliper? The caliper axle and bolt should also be greased. A sticky caliper will make also noise.
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:18 PM   #16
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brake mounting - yes
hub knuckle - yes
caliper bolt - yes
greased - yes

im running out of ideas

LOL
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:09 PM   #17
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Thanks for the pic.....seems straight forward. I will do this first before pulling the control arms for bushing replacement, just to see if this indeed has been my culprit for a very long time now.
Here is what it sounds like sometimes......
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:52 PM   #18
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Machismo, how are your sway bar mounts? I've heard that they can break, especially if you put on a stiffer swaybar.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:41 PM   #19
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Mounts are fine.....they have been questioned and thoroughly looked at. I also added the brace and support blocks to counter act the stiffer sway bar. I've heard of a few folks ripping the mounts completely off the car from aftermarket sways.
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