MacPherson strut lower control arm ball joint play and suspension geometry

Should lower ball joint have play?

There should be little to no play if the ball joints are both in sound condition. Take notice of any play that seems excessive, or noises present when rocking the wheel in and out, and where the sounds or play seem to be coming from.

What is a MacPherson strut ball joint?

Ball joints are spherical bearings connecting control arms to steering knuckles. As a wheel moves up and down, the suspension pivots through ball joints, allowing the wheel to move independently from the chassis.

How much play is acceptable in a ball joint?

The old rule of thumb that ball joints with more than . 050 inches of play are worn does NOT hold true for all vehicles. Some ball joints should have NO visible play while others can handle up to . 250 inch or more of play and still be considered okay.

Does a MacPherson strut have a ball joint?

Vehicles with a MacPherson-strut suspension systems utilize a lower ball joint and an upper strut bearing instead of an upper ball joint.

How much does it cost to have lower ball joints replaced?

The average cost of replacing a lower ball joint is $250-$350. In most cases, lower ball joints cost between $80 and $150. Labor usually ranges from $150-$250. In addition, you can buy performance parts well in excess of $350.

How do you check ball joints on a Macpherson strut?

To check a ball joint for axial (vertical) play, leave your vehicle on stands and place a pry bar or 2×4 under the tire and gently lever the wheel up and down. If the ball joint displays a lot of movement then you are likely outside of the manufacturer’s specs and the ball joint needs to be replaced.

How much does a ball joint repair cost?

Average Ball Joint Replacement Cost



You can expect to pay around $300 in most cases, including both parts and labor. Most ball joints cost about $100 to $150, while the labor costs will run you $150 to $200. An independent repair shop will almost always be cheaper than the dealership as well.

Is MacPherson strut good?

It’s also a stiffer option and some people say it introduces more control to a car’s handling. The fact remains that the MacPherson strut is a brilliantly effective way to combine strength, spring and stability at a low manufacturing cost.

What is MacPherson strut front suspension?

The MacPherson strut is a type of automotive suspension system that uses the top of a telescopic damper as the upper steering pivot. It is widely used in the front suspension of modern vehicles, and is named for American automotive engineer Earle S. MacPherson, who invented and developed the design.

What type of lower ball joint is found on a MacPherson strut suspension?

In the popular McPherson strut suspension, there is only a lower ball joint. In this design, the lower ball joint is a follower, with the bottom of the strut connected directly to the steering knuckle and wheel.

What cars use MacPherson strut?

The MacPherson strut was originally developed by Earle S. MacPherson in 1945. This simple suspension system is still used for many modern vehicles, including the Ford Mustang. There are many variations on the classic MacPherson strut design, but the fundamentals remain the same.

Is the lower ball joint part of the suspension?

Found in the suspension of virtually all modern cars, ball joints are an important part of the suspension system.

How much play is acceptable in any front end component?

Stop pushing on the vehicle and count how many more times it bounces before it comes to a stop. If it stops within two bounces then the shocks or struts are fine. If it continues to bounce then they need to be replaced.

Which ball joint is the load bearing ball joint?

lower ball joint

The lower ball joint is the load-carrying joint in this type of suspension, while the upper ball joint is the follower, with no significant load to support.

How much does a ball joint repair cost?

Average Ball Joint Replacement Cost



You can expect to pay around $300 in most cases, including both parts and labor. Most ball joints cost about $100 to $150, while the labor costs will run you $150 to $200. An independent repair shop will almost always be cheaper than the dealership as well.

Are struts and ball joints the same?

Struts actually replace the ball joint and upper control arm components that are present in traditional suspension systems, with the exception of most luxury models, which have struts and retain their ball joints and control arms.

How can you tell if a ball joint is load bearing?

If the coil spring is seated between the frame and the lower control arm, the lower ball joint is the load-carrying joint.

How do you check lower control arm ball joints?

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Hold on a second. Right there see it's excessive movement. This doesn't move in unison with that and that's how you can tell if a lower ball joint is bad.

How much does it cost to fix a suspension joint?

The average cost for suspension ball joint replacement is between $240 and $331. Labor costs are estimated between $152 and $192 while parts are priced between $88 and $138. This range does not include taxes and fees, and does not factor in your specific vehicle or unique location. Related repairs may also be needed.