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Old 07-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Front end alignment / ball joints

After replacing my ball joints and taking it in for alignment, the guy that does my alignment asked if I knew which ball joint was torqued first, upper or lower. I didn't know and asked why it would matter. He said fords have a potential binding problem if the upper (i believe) is torqued first.

I was a bit taken back, but not really being a mechanic I thought I'd bring it up on this board. His concern was that it will cause premature ball joint wear and a tendency to cause the truck to veer.

Does anyone any info or experience on this fact.

Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:21 PM   #2
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I have never heard of this but that doesn't mean it couldn't be a problem. I just changed caster/camber bushings to gain some extra alignment degrees and their procedure says to (once apart) partially tighten the lower ball joint stud to 40 ftlbs then install and align the bushings then tighten the upper ball joint stud to 80-100 ftlbs and the lower ball joint stud to 95-110 ftlbs and install cotter pins- in that order.

There is a lot of experience in this forum so I'm sure if it's ever been an issue on this generation truck someone here will know about it.
RSH
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:17 PM   #3
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You right about this forum, that why I brought it up… Figured somebody would be knowledgeable on this.
Sounds like the procedure you quoted does somewhat coincide with what he was implying. The guy that did the alignment is an “old timer” and is not the type to mislead. I was just a bit surprised to hear of such a thing. He suggested that I lube the joints weekly and bring the truck back in six weeks for him to check again.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:01 PM   #4
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That same procedure did mention something about the joints not being fully seated will keep the bushings from seating properly. This would be very obvious though.
I actually expected more responses by now.............
RSH
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:56 AM   #5
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RSH –
Thanks for the follow-up, I was surprised that there wasn’t more responses by now also. Perhaps it’s an area that few are familiar with… The problem I have been fighting is really with the tires. They have been saw-toothing since I lifted the truck five years ago. I did the complete Superlift with longer arms etc. and since that time have fought the issue. Long story short I replaced the joints again and have been trying to solve the issue. Thought I’d reach out here and see if there might be some one that was knowledgeable on the issue. The alignment came right in, but the truck does seem to still wander a bit. The guy at the alignment shop indicated that it possibly was a result of the ball joints binding, but not truly knowing thought I’d bring it up and see what others might know or suggest before I dump any more money into the problem.
Thanks again - Marty
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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OH................. yeah the TTB tire wear issue. It will drive a person insane. The geomerty of the TTB trucks wasn't that good even from the factory. Once you lift it the angles get worse even when the front end is in alignment.
Basically the angle that the tie rods are on is on a different axis than the axles and as the trucks suspension goes up and down the steering causes the tires to literally scuff from side to side since the steering is bolted to the spindle (or end of the axle). So as the suspension compresses going down the road the tires are are being pushed and pulled form side to side during this same movement. This is why TTB tires look like the lugs on a front tire look higher in the front of the lug than the back. Does that make any sense?

This article should help:
http://www.therangerstation.com/Maga...ering_tech.htm

When you installed your lift did you do a drop pitman arm. This won't cure the problem but will help a little. Basically getting the steering in better line with the suspension.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:55 AM   #7
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BINGO……. Just the article and explanation I was looking for. THANKS!
I know the kit did come with one, whether it was actually installed, guess I’ll need to verify… Saw the K-link you did on your truck, nice job. Wondering if you tried the longer drop arm mentioned in the article first or just skipped that step and moved to the full upgrade?
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:16 PM   #8
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Well after checking, I can report that I have the super-runner steering linkage and corresponding correct SL drop arms. I’m thinking now that the wander is a result of caster adjustment and need to invest in getting the fully adjustable bushings. I did look at the possibility of adding the longer pitman arm, but believe unless I modify the dropped idler arm I’ll just cause binding.
Thanks again for the great link. It did answer a few questions, and will “steer” me in the right direction…
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:16 PM
 
 
 
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