How To Tighten Ball Joints


When your car gets old, things begin to break down. You will eventually need to fix these problems, or you will be investing in replacements!

One of the most common issues that cause cars to stop working are tight ball joints. A tight ball joint can prevent your vehicle from operating efficiently due to friction caused when the balls roll freely within the socket. This article will go into detail about what ball joints are, how they work, and some easy ways to check for if they are too tight. Hopefully you will learn something new here for future maintenance of your vehicle!

What are ball joints?

Ball joints connect the wheels to the frame of the car. They have a socket that fits onto the end of each wheel and two spherical bearings that fit inside the socket. The bearing is shaped like an octagon with spokes coming off it. These spheres rotate as the tire contacts the road, allowing your car to move easily. If there is not enough space in the ball joint for both balls to sit properly, then more force is needed to push the ball out which could potentially damage the parts further.

Why would my ball joints get loose?

Your car may experience this problem if either the front or rear suspension has broken down and no longer works correctly. As time passes, the rubber bushings used to keep the balls lubricated dry up and lose their elasticity, making the ball joints even tighter. This happens because repeated use removes the fluid that helps them operate smoothly.

Use a torque wrench to check the tightness of each ball joint

how to tighten ball joints

It is very important to make sure that you do not over tighten your car’s joints in order to get good performance out of them.

That would cause excessive heat, which could potentially damage the parts or even burn up the rubber compound in the gasket area.

Also, if one of these components becomes loose too soon then it will lose its fluidity and may actually freeze inside the socket, making it impossible to remove without special tools!

So how can you tell if a ball joint is properly tightened? There are some tricks that professional mechanics use when tightening down vehicle suspension parts.

They place a piece of cardboard between the part being torqued and the surface where the tool bit comes into contact with the metal, this helps prevent any drag friction from occurring and throwing off an inaccurate reading. They also rotate the part being worked on either vertically or horizontally to see whether there is enough space to work with before inserting the screw driver tip.

Tighten each ball joint using the following tips

how to tighten ball joints

When tightening a car’s ball joints, make sure you know which one needs loosening before moving onto the next one. If you do not, then your vehicle will suffer in performance or even break down!

There are two main reasons why a car’s ball joint can become loose-ball clearance. The first is due to dry lubricant running out of the bearing area. This happens when there is no fluid in the system anymore or it has completely dried up.

The second reason is when rubber pieces break off the shaft from excessive torque. Both of these occur because the motor does not have enough power to turn the axle fully, so it becomes tight.

This could damage the wheel bearing or bone fracture if repeated for long periods of time, so always check that your wheels are level before starting to tighten any ball joints.

Make sure the joint is sealed properly

how to tighten ball joints

The next thing you will need to do is make sure that the ball-joint seal has proper fluid has penetrated it, and that there are no cracks in the grease or paste used to lubricate the joint.

If you run into trouble trying to remove some of the old glue, kerosene, or engine oil, using paper towels or brushes should help get the job done.

Once you have cleaned as much of the residue off the balls as possible, use fresh lube of your choosing and re-glue the joints together.

Use lubricant on the joint

how to tighten ball joints

While it is important to have adequate fluid in your cartilage, how tight your ball joints are really matters more. If you tighten too much of them, then they will lose mobility and can become very painful.

Ball-joint laxity or “looseness” occurs when the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones becomes thinned or even completely absent. As time passes, this can be due to age, underlying medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, or excessive use of the affected joint.

It is extremely common for people to feel stiff after their feet and/or ankle get cold. This is because as our body temperature drops, blood flow to the extremities is reduced. When this happens, the muscles contract and pull tighter on the skeleton.

This is why athletes often experience sore legs right after practice or games. Unfortunately, some individuals develop chronic stiffness which interfebs with their activities.

How to fix loose ankles

There are several treatments available to help realign and retain the normal function of the ankle. Each one has its own unique benefits and risks so it is best to try the most effective first.

Regular exercise is an integral part of healthy living, but if you are experiencing pain while doing anything beyond walking, then it may be time to see what options exist for you.

Use grease on the joint

When tightening a ball joint, make sure you have enough lubrication before moving onto the next one. If there is not enough grease in place, your joints will tighten more easily, but too much grease can prevent them from functioning properly.

If you are having trouble loosening or tighting a ball joint, try using some oil first to see if that helps. If it does, apply just a light layer of oil and let go with smoother arms.

You can also use paper towels to soak up any excess greese before working on the next part of the car. Make sure to put aside some time to do this because it takes longer for the oils to evaporate when doing so in a hot environment.

Use a plastic baggie over the joint

how to tighten ball joints

The next step in tightening your ball joints is to use a plastic bag as a cover. Simply place the bag over the joint, hold it in position using a paper clip or stick, and tighten down the top closed with your fingers.

This will help prevent lubricant from escaping and being wasted, and will also ensure that none of the grease gets trapped inside the socket or pin area where it could dry out and cause damage later on.

Once you have finished this process, make sure to wash your hands well! You don’t want any greasy residue left behind which might lead to skin problems.

Use a wooden or plastic dowel to compress the joint

how to tighten ball joints

The next step in tightening your ball joints is using a dowel, either wood or plastic. You will need to use both ends of this tool to achieve the best results!

The hard part about doing this is making sure you don’t overdo it when compressing the ball joint. You want to make sure that you have enough pressure to eliminate any play in the joint, but you do not want the parts to crinkle on each other.

It is helpful if you can test your tightened ball joint before moving onto the next one. If there is no change in how the car rides or feels when riding up a ramp or driving down the road, then your ball joints are too tight.

By taking your time and testing out each ball joint, you will get the perfect feel for them.

Use a finger to compress the joint

how to tighten ball joints

One of the most common causes of loose or painful ball joints is using too much pressure when tightening them. When you do this, your body can tighten up the joint capsule, which if not done right will cause more pain and cannot be fixed without replacing it!

Instead of applying direct pressure with your index finger as shown in the picture, try using only your thumb or palm. This way you are spreading out the force over a larger area and may feel that bit better. It also helps to use a tool called an open-end wrench to make sure you have enough room to rotate the joint away from the opposite wall before tightening it down completely.

If needed, apply some light pressure for a few seconds first to see whether that works, then increase the pressure slightly and see how that feels before fully tightening.

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