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Stiff Ball Joint - Knocking?

AlexGSi2000 Mar 6, 2015

  1. AlexGSi2000

    AlexGSi2000 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    Two questions on the B6 section this week! - I must be losing the plot.

    Last night I was trying to investigate a knocking coming from the front end - I would describe the sound as worn anti-roll bar droplinks - knocking over uneven/pitted road surfaces.

    Upon taking the wheels off I found the droplinks to be fine - including the roll-bar bushings.

    Started trying to wiggle the suspension arms round - I noticed a very slight "notchiness" which was audible when trying to move in a circular motion in both upper front arms.
    (knocking originally started on the nearside, but I now have the same knocking on the offside - so essentially two knocking sounds making the same noise)

    I removed the suspension upright and removed the arm - what I noticed was that the ball joint was very stiff - the same on the other side.
    I replaced the arms with the Meyle HD kit around three years ago, I dont remember the ball joints ever being that stiff when I fitted them. All other ball joints seem fine.
    My question is - would stiff ball joints cause knocking/notch sounds through the chassis?
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  3. Mike.M

    Mike.M Well-Known Member

    I would say loose ones would make knocks not stiff ones, unless the stiff ball joint is not allowing the arm to move and the other end is causing the knocking.
  4. SuperV8

    SuperV8 Member

    How stiff?
    They normally have a little stiction but once moving should be smooth and not too stiff, they would actually get looser with wear.
    The only way for them to get stiff would be for water/corrosion to get in or if maybe the back of the joint has been whacked/used to jack from?
    What are the boots like? any signs of water ingress?

  5. AlexGSi2000

    AlexGSi2000 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    No signs of water ingress Tom - I replaced the arms and made sure they were set up correcly (ie. bush bolts tightened when the wheel was in normal position)
    Used plenty of anti-sieze to ensure the pinch bolt wouldnt get seized again - came apart really nicely.

    The ball joint boot appeared fine - removed the clips to expose the joint and found plenty of the white grease and clean metal.

    All the bushes were fine - as for the ball joint - it was difficult to move by hand, it would move but was really tight.
    There was no knocking from the bush when I was moving it by hand but when trying to twist and rotate the arm, because the ball joints were tight they kind of "jumped" or notched - resulting in a dull clunk sound.

    Needed the car back together for the weekend, so ended up picking up some Lemforder arms from ECP - first thing I noticed on the new arms was that the ball joints were a lot more keen to move, I could do so by hand.

    Re-assembled, went for a drive and the noise appears to have gone or is certainly less apparent. IIRC the reason I replaced the arms three years ago was due to a ball joint being loose on the same arm.
    Will see how she drives over the next few days.

    Also sent an email to Meyle regarding the stiff ball joints - they have forwarded to thier testing dept to mull over, will be interesting to hear the result.
    Im thinking that due to the coilovers the nylon ball joint insert may sit in a different place causing premature wear?

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