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Old 11-09-2012, 07:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lower Ball Joints Replaced. Question

Lower ball joints replaced.

Is a new alignment required or recommended?
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Not required. If you replace an inner or outer tie rod end, then you need a replacement.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What if in addition to ball joints the struts were replaced? This is what I am doing now.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fct View Post
what if in addition to ball joints the struts were replaced? This is what i am doing now.
yep..
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hmmm.... I was always told that strut replacement doesn't require an alignment, unless the tack welds at the top of the strut mount in the car have been drilled. If not...no alignment needed for strut replacement, either.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hmmm.... I was always told that strut replacement doesn't require an alignment, unless the tack welds at the top of the strut mount in the car have been drilled. If not...no alignment needed for strut replacement, either.
new struts change the ride height.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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new struts change the ride height.
Negative... toe in is the only adjustment unless the strut towers have been drilled.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, I'll double check it anyways since I have lifetime wheel alignment with Firestone. They probably already regretted selling this package to me by now as I have already done more wheel alignments with them just this year than during car's entire previous history.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've owned my 2004 SES for 7 years and have had it aligned once with no detrimental tire wear or steering difficulties. As a matter of fact, I am just about at the point where I'll be getting new tires with the ones on it having 90K miles and still tread to go before hitting the wear bars.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, I have found the answer to my question. If you change struts, definitely check the alignment. Today I finished replacing struts and springs. I used Moog's G3 front spring coil and KYB G3 struts. I also changed the ball joint on one side (torn boot, the other one is still very fresh). I test drove the car and it now clearly shows a bias towards the left (as in leaning towards left if you release the steering wheel). The steering wheel is also not perfectly aligned. Note that I did not touch the outer steering end links, so this issue may not have appeared because of them.

I did the strut and spring upgrade because the car was very difficult to align. My alignment shop told me that they have done the best they could, and the car was still slightly leaning to the right. The told me to upgrade the struts and springs which might have become weak resulting in inconsistent alignment machine readings. I will go there on Monday to have the car aligned again.

Last edited by fct; 11-11-2012 at 03:06 AM.
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