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  #1  
Old 04-29-2012, 11:00 AM
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Help! front lower or front outer ball joint? Which is which?

Hi, my ball joints need to be replaced, but I am confused as to what they are called: lower outer or lower front. Here is a pick of the one I need to replace, it isn't the one next to the wheel hub or the one up high. Thanks for any help!

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Help! front lower or front outer ball joint? Which is which?-0428121910a_01.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2012, 11:08 AM
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You're looking at the outer tie rod end, not the ball joint.

Generally, it's just slightly more money (and less effort) to replace the entire tie rod, rather than bothering with the end (the part that threads into the main body of the tie rod).

Be careful with the manufacturer that you choose. The Chinese Uro is definitely out.

Also, understand that you need an alignment after replacing those tie rods, so consider any other suspension work required at the same time.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:11 AM
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Centered in your picture is an outer tie-rod end, not a ball joint.

If that's what you need to change, that's good, because it's cheaper and easier to change than a ball joint, though you still need an alignment after.

Avoid the URO brand.

Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:20 PM
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Thanks!! So are "front" and "outer" ball joints the same?
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by matthewdear View Post
Thanks!! So are "front" and "outer" ball joints the same?
With ball joints, there are no "front" or "outer".

You've got "upper" and "lower". They are not the same.
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:00 PM
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Tie rod ends are not all the same. One has a left hand thread the other a right hand thread - I think the outer ones are right hand threads and the inner ones are left hand threads => if I've got that wrong someone please correct me...

...I'm sitting here imagining my mole grips on the middle rod and how I was adjusting the toe in and out...
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:47 PM
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speaking of alignment, is it possible to do a DIY alignment? i used to work at a tire shop and we had a guy there that could align the old ford trucks by sight; at first we let him do it by sight and then we put it on the machine and he was always dead on; after a few trucks we checked with the machine we just let him do his thing and didn't even bother putting them on the machine...but of course these were old fords from the 70's and early 80's, but just wondering if it is possible to do a DIY alignment on our cars
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:11 PM
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pffft. 70 fords were simple compared to the MB front end... I suppose it's possible to get it right with DIY, but it's not simple or a BY SIGHT method at all... you cannot lift the vehicle, you need to measure the toe, front and rear of the tire, and adjust to zero difference. and then there is caster and camber... I'm not sure how a DIY would measure those...
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:54 PM
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Replacing tie rod ends does not affect camber or caster. It only affects toe in. Toe in can be adjusted by measurement in your drive way if one knows what he is doing, but a person who does not know what tie rod ends are called is not going to be able to do it himself.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadetree77 View Post
speaking of alignment, is it possible to do a DIY alignment? i used to work at a tire shop and we had a guy there that could align the old ford trucks by sight; at first we let him do it by sight and then we put it on the machine and he was always dead on; after a few trucks we checked with the machine we just let him do his thing and didn't even bother putting them on the machine...but of course these were old fords from the 70's and early 80's, but just wondering if it is possible to do a DIY alignment on our cars
Here's what I did

How I adjusted the toe in / out, camber and caster on my W123 300D

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1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
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Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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