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Old 10-31-2010, 05:02 PM   #1
Elvis1977
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Default Lower ball joint replacement

I have a 98 Accord 4-cyl. with 201k miles. I am the original owner and the lower ball joints are original. One boot (dust boot) on the passanger side has a hole in it and is leaking slightly. With 201k miles should I go ahead and replace both lower ball joints or just replace the dust boot that has a hole in it? I'm planning on keeping the car forever. Thanks.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Lower ball joint replacement

it would be much easier and cost effective to just replace the boots that are torn, as long as the joint is still good. add some new grease if you only do the boot job.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Lower ball joint replacement

At 201k the lower ball joints on both sides could fail soon right? Maybe I should just replace them both and be done with it. What do you guys think?
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lower ball joint replacement

not necessarily. they should never "fail", just start to wear and get loose. There will be much more work involved to change the joints compared to changing the boots. if you test the joints by jacking the car up under the lower arm and trying to pry the wheel up, you may find some slack. if so, replace the joints. if not, I'd save some time and money by installing a boot and regreasing. will probably go another 100k if you caught it soon enough.
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lower ball joint replacement

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Originally Posted by Elvis1977 View Post
At 201k the lower ball joints on both sides could fail soon right? Maybe I should just replace them both and be done with it. What do you guys think?
At 201K i wouldn't expect a whole lot more life out of them, but if you're going to replace them and plan on keeping the car buy genuine honda ball joints, you wont get that kind of ridiculous mileage out of cheap parts store ball joints.

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not necessarily. they should never "fail", just start to wear and get loose. There will be much more work involved to change the joints compared to changing the boots. if you test the joints by jacking the car up under the lower arm and trying to pry the wheel up, you may find some slack. if so, replace the joints. if not, I'd save some time and money by installing a boot and regreasing. will probably go another 100k if you caught it soon enough.
They'll get loose first, but they will eventually fail and seperate if left alone. Seen it before. Lower ball joint seperates and first thing your car's in the ditch. That said if theres no play in the joints then you can always just put a new boot on and check for play at least once a year.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lower ball joint replacement

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At 201k the lower ball joints on both sides could fail soon right? Maybe I should just replace them both and be done with it. What do you guys think?
Check for freeplay in the joint using a pry bar between the lower control arm and the knuckle while the wheels are off the ground.

If you can feel any play, replace the joint. No play = no need to replace.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Lower ball joint replacement

lower ball joints are cheap...just replace them.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Lower ball joint replacement

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At 201K i wouldn't expect a whole lot more life out of them, but if you're going to replace them and plan on keeping the car buy genuine honda ball joints, you wont get that kind of ridiculous mileage out of cheap parts store ball joints.



They'll get loose first, but they will eventually fail and seperate if left alone. Seen it before. Lower ball joint seperates and first thing your car's in the ditch. That said if theres no play in the joints then you can always just put a new boot on and check for play at least once a year.
I agree. All I meant was that they don't just come apart without first getting worn.

if you are dismantling the suspension for other things, then go ahead and replace the joints. if not, it will take some work to get the axle and other stuff disconnected to replace them. it's easiest with the knuckle off the car.
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