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Old 09-13-2010, 03:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ball Joint Replacement

I have a 99legacy wagon that I had what I thought was the ball joint replaced. All they did was snap the head of the bolt probably a 14 mm head and call it replaced. Now at the dealership as joint about to fall apart and they are saying have to replace the whole knuckle assembly as they can/wont get out old bolt and rethread. Not sure if I should believe them or not as they want 600.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 99legacy wagon that I had what I thought was the ball joint replaced. All they did was snap the head of the bolt probably a 14 mm head and call it replaced. Now at the dealership as joint about to fall apart and they are saying have to replace the whole knuckle assembly as they can/wont get out old bolt and rethread. Not sure if I should believe them or not as they want 600.
First off after replacing my wheel bearing and taking appart the ball joint and cleaning it up for kicks I'm not sure what the dealer is trying to do.

The bottom suspension arm has a bolt through the end - this connects to a small hockey puck shaped fitting which the bearing housing essentially clamps to and rotates on. This "ball joint" is only held onto the car with a single bolt and the hub assembly is only held to that with a single bolt. The hub costs about $65 with a new wheel bearing mounted in it - the ball joint is probably a $40 part and would take about 10 minutes max to replace even if the bolt were to be damaged or frozen - you simply cut it off pound out the ball joint - clean up the swing arm and install a new one. Any Basic grease monkey with a large hammer and a few wrenches could do this.

Your service manager is blowing smoke up your ass priming the pump for a $600 job thats more like $300
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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By the way the Subaru ball joint and suspension set up is crazy simple and very light weight when you see it your like thats all it is? Seriously nearly any backyard weekend wrench turner can easily replace these. Now if the lower swing arm is damaged from say hitting something making it so the ball joint part will not mount correctly into the swing arm then you have an issue but that would be pretty **** hard to do to damage that part up inside a wheel.
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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First off after replacing my wheel bearing and taking appart the ball joint and cleaning it up for kicks I'm not sure what the dealer is trying to do.

The bottom suspension arm has a bolt through the end - this connects to a small hockey puck shaped fitting which the bearing housing essentially clamps to and rotates on. This "ball joint" is only held onto the car with a single bolt and the hub assembly is only held to that with a single bolt. The hub costs about $65 with a new wheel bearing mounted in it - the ball joint is probably a $40 part and would take about 10 minutes max to replace even if the bolt were to be damaged or frozen - you simply cut it off pound out the ball joint - clean up the swing arm and install a new one. Any Basic grease monkey with a large hammer and a few wrenches could do this.

Your service manager is blowing smoke up your ass priming the pump for a $600 job thats more like $300
I was out to the vehicle and saw it. The bolt that is just above the ball joint is the one that the head was snapped off
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was out to the vehicle and saw it. The bolt that is just above the ball joint is the one that the head was snapped off
Thats a bolt that passes through the hub assembly into a rounded notch in the side of the hockey puck looking top half of the ball joint that the hub sits on and simply pinned to with that bolt.

Which case they need to drill out the broken bolt and will need to replace the hub which you might as we'll have them use a hub with a new wheel bearing in it already they price out around $65 then they will need to remove and replace the ball joint given during the drilling process they will probably damage the hockey puck which the hub sits on and is part of the ball joint.

So technically speaking they Screwed up the hub while trying to remove the hub from the ball joint by breaking off the bolt that pins the hub to the ball joint. Then in the process of drilling out the broken bolt they will damage the ball joint.

Not sure if they can remove the hub with the ball joint attached which case if they could it would save you on labor by just having them knock the ball joint out of the suspension arm then removing the hub and replacing both with out trying to seperate the old one's

That bolt does not screw into the ball joint it passes across the edge of the hockey puck which has a groove in it then the bolt screws into the hub on the other side - so its more like a retainer pin rather than a bolt screwed into the top of the ball joint
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thats a bolt that passes through the hub assembly into a rounded notch in the side of the hockey puck looking top half of the ball joint that the hub sits on and simply pinned to with that bolt.

Which case they need to drill out the broken bolt and will need to replace the hub which you might as we'll have them use a hub with a new wheel bearing in it already they price out around $65 then they will need to remove and replace the ball joint given during the drilling process they will probably damage the hockey puck which the hub sits on and is part of the ball joint.

So technically speaking they Screwed up the hub while trying to remove the hub from the ball joint by breaking off the bolt that pins the hub to the ball joint. Then in the process of drilling out the broken bolt they will damage the ball joint.

Not sure if they can remove the hub with the ball joint attached which case if they could it would save you on labor by just having them knock the ball joint out of the suspension arm then removing the hub and replacing both with out trying to seperate the old one's

That bolt does not screw into the ball joint it passes across the edge of the hockey puck which has a groove in it then the bolt screws into the hub on the other side - so its more like a retainer pin rather than a bolt screwed into the top of the ball joint
It was the first place that snapped the head off and left it as I see it now and called it new. The vehicle went in for other issues and the dealer in checking the vehcile over noticed this and brought to my attention. Since the first place screwed me over I wanted to make sure that the dealership was on the level so to speak and the work required. As usual it is mostly labor
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It was the first place that snapped the head off and left it as I see it now and called it new. The vehicle went in for other issues and the dealer in checking the vehcile over noticed this and brought to my attention. Since the first place screwed me over I wanted to make sure that the dealership was on the level so to speak and the work required. As usual it is mostly labor
If your at a dealer the easiest way to negotiate costs is on the parts cost labor is well labor to your point. So ask your rep what he is charging you for the parts get exact numbers! The hub assuming they are replacing it with a new one - should be in the $65 range with a new wheel bearing already pressed in it. Guessing much cheaper if they are using an empty hub and simply re using your existing wheel bearing but I have no idea why they would do that.

The ball joint is super small and simple part I can't see it being more than $50

By the way snapping off that retainer pin / bolt is pretty easy to do given that stuff gets all rusted up and cruddy pretty easily.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default welded suspension

I brought my 2004 outback to the local Meineke yesterday for the annual state inspection. I was told it needed a ball joint and they showed me the movement, it was minimal but I told them to go ahead.
Well, big mistake. First the mechanic had so much trouble getting the old one out and when he finally did (after much pounding) he had so much trouble getting the new one in...citing rust as the reason. Anyway after about 2 hours total, it finally seated.
Now it still had to be attached at the top. The mechanic snapped the upper connection (not sure what it is called). I was fuming, so sorry I brought it there.
This was yesterday. I had to leave it there overnight. This morning I got a call and the manager said they welded it.WELDED IT. They said it was perfectly safe. How can this be. Would I be driving an unsafe vehicle if I take it back like this. What should I do. Please help me make this decision. I need my car back.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Ball joint picture

Its the bracket that attaches the ball joint at the top that was snapped and welded. How can this be safe. ball joint and axle questions n issues.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Its the bracket that attaches the ball joint at the top that was snapped and welded. How can this be safe. ball joint and axle questions n issues.
Someone can correct me if im wrong, but I believe the knuckle is cast iron which can be quite difficult to weld properly especialy in such a high stress area. If they snapped one of the ears that the pinch bolt goes through I would be very concerned about welding it back together. If the ear broke the knuckle needs replacing IMO other than that I'm not sure what else could be welded.
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