Diagnosing ball joint problem

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rogus

Master Mechanic
Mar 14, 2020
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The driver side front tire is sitting noticeably lower than on the other side. I was initially thinking this was a spring gone bad but could it be a ball joint? If so would it more likely be the upper rather than the lower. The a-arm bushings look good. It also doesn't like steering to drivers side. Thought that might be the power steering but I am beginning to wonder. Can anyone give me advice on this?
 

403Olds

G-Body Guru
May 31, 2014
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More than likely a spring or body bushing issue. I have seen the springs break down in the lower a-arm, and it's hard to see. If you end up replacing balljoints, the 1/2" taller ones will lower the car and help the handling.
 
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rogus

Master Mechanic
Mar 14, 2020
323
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More than likely a spring or body bushing issue. I have seen the springs break down in the lower a-arm, and it's hard to see. If you end up replacing balljoints, the 1/2" taller ones will lower the car and help the handling.
Would the spring also account for the rough turning to that side while driving? It takes more effort to turn left than right. It also produces some groaning noises while doing so.
 

403Olds

G-Body Guru
May 31, 2014
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South Central Ohio
Would the spring also account for the rough turning to that side while driving? It takes more effort to turn left than right. It also produces some groaning noises while doing so.

No, that's definitely something different. Just as something to look for, I'd check the clamps on the tie rod sleeves to make sure they are oriented correctly, and not making contact during turns. Otherwise it could be a balljoint issue, but usually they just have play in them.
 
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rogus

Master Mechanic
Mar 14, 2020
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No, that's definitely something different. Just as something to look for, I'd check the clamps on the tie rod sleeves to make sure they are oriented correctly, and not making contact during turns. Otherwise it could be a balljoint issue, but usually they just have play in them.
Ok. Appreciate it.
 

Rt Jam

G-Body Guru
Mar 30, 2020
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When ball joints are worn. They have a few thou of play in them. Not something you will notice with your eye when comparing ride height.
 
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rogus

Master Mechanic
Mar 14, 2020
323
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More than likely a spring or body bushing issue. I have seen the springs break down in the lower a-arm, and it's hard to see. If you end up replacing balljoints, the 1/2" taller ones will lower the car and help the handling.
Well recently changed out upper and lower a-arms/ball joints/spring on this side. Although the clearance increased it's still not the same height as the passenger side. Hopefully in a few weeks after I recover more from surgery I can tackle the body bushings.
 
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