How can brand new ball joints be bad?

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by earlysecond, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

    5,620
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    Aug 9, 2002
    Altoona, PA
    When I did my subframe I replaced both upper and lower ball joints. I bought all of the components at Auto Zone. I took the car to get aligned this a.m. and the guy showed me the play in the joints. It was sick! I can't understand how the components right off of the shelf were bad but there was a ton of slop in the wheels in all directions. Did I just get ripped off. I doubt it as the guy went nuts over my car and is selling me replacements installed for about what it cost to buy them. I am always leary that I am getting the shaft. I would have been really suspicious if I had not seen it with my own eyes. (he let me hang in the bay and we were talking about restos) The only other person that touched the joints was the machine shop that pressed them in. I trust that my machine shop (of which the owner and I have become fishing buddies) knew what they were doing. I still don't get it???
    Any explanation welcome.
    Brent
     
  2. El Guapo

    El Guapo Veteran Member

    1,531
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    Feb 18, 2004
    Greensboro, NC USA
    Sometimes you get what you pay for. I've never had good experiences with Autozone mechanical parts. It's the cheapest stuff they can find, usually. I only buy oil and filters from that place anymore.
     
  3. Powerglide350

    Powerglide350 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    7,755
    0
    Jul 8, 2001
    Moriches,NY
    I have been through no less than 10 axles from Auto Zone on my daily driver. I finally demanded that they give me a new part instead of the remanufactured garbage.

    Stick to buying oil and Jesse James posters there.
     
  4. 67lemanster

    67lemanster Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    12,660
    2
    Oct 20, 2003
    I AM ILK
    did you remember to grease the ball joints before driving or are they self contained grease w/no fittings for grease. mine had zerc fittings and needed grease. it would seem without grease and driving any distance would make them go bad fast. just a thought though. tommy
     
  5. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

    5,620
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    Aug 9, 2002
    Altoona, PA
    Thanks guys.
    The fittings required grease and I greased them properly. There were less than 5 miles on them (just around the block) The only other thing that I thought of today was that I used the joints to compress the springs. I had no motor so no weight when I rebuilt my front end, therefore the joints took all the tension of the joints. I went ahead and had it all replaced and lined up. Just came back from a short jaunt (my first more than a mile from home ever!) and the front end is solid and handles well. I doubt that Autozone will give me my money back but I will try. The machanic just laughed when I told them where I had purchased them! He gave them all back to me and replaced them all with DANA parts which he assured me would last. I also got a new centerlink today, it was the only part that I could not replace when I had it down. Thanks for assuring me that I am not too crazy.
    Brent
     

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