Ball joints replace or service?

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DH70
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Ball joints replace or service?

Post by DH70 »

I had significant play on my steering, so got feedback from various people who checked the vehicle. Most obvious fix was to fasten the drag link/tie rod link which was loose and grease ball joints. It helped a lot, but still not 100%.
Ball joint boots all in good condition, however tie rod moves easily when turning it like a bike throttle, so not much resistance (no other directional movement).

Initially I was told to replace the drag link. However, after the adjustment mentioned above, another mechanic suggested I have the ball joints serviced. (Mr Ball Joint in Cpt quoted 650 to do 4 which is reasonable, although not sure it's a reliable option.). And after a quick peek this morning, our friends at Nissan say there's absolutely nothing wrong.
What to do?

If I replace the tie rod ends, any recommendations where to purchase?
And if I replace perhaps a good option is to get 4 new tie rod ends and fit a drag link like the one Peter is advertising.

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Re: Ball joints replace or service?

Post by Peter Connan »

Ball joints cannot be "serviced" other than just pumping in grease.

Some people "re-manufacture" them, by pumping a lot of polyurethane in and baking in an oven.

It works for some apllications, but not all. I initially had this done to mine just befora a trip to Bots in 2012. By the time we got back (3500km) they were worse than ever.

The tie rods are available from Partquip, the trick is just to find someone who knows what they are.
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Re: Ball joints replace or service?

Post by DH70 »

Thanks for that Peter. Apparently they pump teflon into them, but as I suspected, probably not the best option for a heavy vehicle like ours. Will you be manufacturing more of those draglines or is this a once off? I see another batch will be done again :thumbup:
Last edited by DH70 on 22 Sep 2016 10:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ball joints replace or service?

Post by Dustin »

Hey Donnie

If you're struggling to find bits and pieces, drop Marinus (Marino4x4) an email on sales@terrainparts.co.za
He imports Terrain Tamer parts from Oz.
See what the pricing compares to local parts.
a.k.a. Datsun Dustin

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Re: Ball joints replace or service?

Post by SJC »

DH70 wrote:..... however tie rod moves easily when turning it like a bike throttle, so not much resistance (no other directional movement).

Where did you get yours?
Last edited by SJC on 08 Jun 2017 14:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ball joints replace or service?

Post by davidvdm »

From 88 onward, Partquip has a ball joint TR05680. Autozonr Stock number POA.TR05680...... But I don't trust Partquip further than I can throw it... Checked with Fredrick at Interspares, but Teknorot does not make anything for the Patrols, absolutely nothing.

I was hoping to do tie rod and draglink over on the Sani that runs the 1980-83 Safari front axle. It seems I am also in a hardplace to find them. No one even has them listed anymore.

I was willing to drop back to the TR05680 ball joint, but it does not fit. It will fit the pitman and taper, but the standard tie rod tube has a M25 bolt size, and the ball joint above has a M21 bolt.

By the way, when I went looking for the ball joint, I just wanted something big and overkill. I browsed the Partquip book and found this ball joint with M21 bolt and said "thats what I want". Had the stock brought in, and only after it arrived, I asked the guys from what car it was. I was pleased to hear it was for the Patrol from 88 onward. The Cruiser only uses a M18. So we see again why the Patrols hold up so much better.

I am now speaking to the guys from Arora Heim joints to see what I can replace everything with, and what the cost will be. He tells me that M21 is already overkill, and M25 is just plane ridiculous. I want to try and get to the situation where I use the same ball joints or Heim joints for both the Tierod and Draglink to ease the amount of spares to carry. I like the "one spare fits all" situation :mytwocents: . I need to build a new draglink and steering pitmans on both ends, either way, so thats cool, I was just not bargaining on having to build a new Tierod as well.
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Re: Ball joints replace or service?

Post by DH70 »

Last year when I had this issue, I got a set of TR05677 ball joints, but never used them (still boxed in my garage). It's a Partquip box and I think I got it from Diesel-electric. I decided to leave the tie rod as is, because I was told the ball joints are ok if they don't have much resistance (as described in my original post, the "bike throttle" motion), but not ok if there's up and down movement (usually makes a clanking sound). Hope this makes sense:) Had my wheel alignment done December and the guy there agreed.

Anyway, I decided to change only the removable ball joint on the drag link as it was a bit loose (got a used ball joint from Peter C). The fixed side ball joint was ok at the time, but I noticed a month ago my steering was drifting a bit and discovered the fixed side ball joint is loose. Might wait until I get my hands on an adjustable drag link and then fit the two new TR05677's. As per David's post, I just hope the bolt size is ok with these.

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Re: Ball joints replace or service?

Post by davidvdm »

Excuse me for resurrecting this thread, but I need to sort out a death wobble on the Sani running a C200 axle from a 1980 Safari bakkie. I know the Tie rod ends are a bit poked. Well they are still fairly stiff and I can't get any movement on them by hand, but the rubbers are shot, I may as well attack the DW from a point. There were a bunch of part numbers thrown around on this thread, but I can't seem to find anything that positively fits the MQ Safari Tie Rod application.

Midas and Autozone have nothing listed, and to try and match something out of the book is impossible, as they don't specify thread pitch, and shaft taper and size in the book so that i can try and find something. My big problem now, is that the car is stuck up in Parys, and I am now living on the West Coast. I want to dash up to Parys and spend no more than a day or three up there and get this thing sorted so that I can drive it back down to the Cape. Now with the Lockdown, things are not any easier either.

Has anybody got a part number for these two Tie Rod ends that would fit a 1980-83 Safari bakkie, I don't need the passenger side to have that steering arm link as I run a high steer arm off the kingpin bearing. If I can even just match the ball joint shaft taper and size so as to build a new Tie Rod, that would help a lot.

Sani is running 33's at the moment, and will get 35's when these tyres are done, so I am expecting more wear and tear on these parts, especially as it will be used 99% of the time in thick soft sand on the farm here. DW at 65Km/h will not be a problem once the car gets home, but I can't see myself driving that thing just under the DW for 1300km to the Cape, hauling a trailer for good measure.
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Re: Ball joints replace or service?

Post by ricster »

Dave, Check your kingpin bearings. maybe take the shim out and see how it feels. Just make sure you have the correct bearing pressure otherwise getting the steering to return to center will not happen and this could be dangerous when driving!!
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Re: Ball joints replace or service?

Post by davidvdm »

I removed shims top and bottom about 5k km back. Never checked the preload on it, but did notice that Castor bigger than 5deg will leave you in full lock and not return. Radias arms are running at around 7deg, so I have a fair amount of castor change as the suspension unloads, like when I hook the caravan and it lifts the front end up.

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1997 Nissan Sani MK3 2.7TD - Hillbilly (SAFANI)
MQ C200 SFA
MQ H260 LSD Rear
MQ Transfer as second low range
5" Lift
33"x12.5x15" tires on 8.5J rims - Want 35's
DIY rock sliders
DIY Snorkel
Madman EMS

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