'89 Esprit - Upper ball joint replacement - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Ontario, NY
Posts: 29
Garage
'89 Esprit - Upper ball joint replacement

Hopefully a dumb question: I need to replace the upper ball joints on my '89 Esprit. Obviously they simply bolt to the wishbone (I'm aware of the spacers/shims, so I'll be sure to keep track of where everything goes when I pull it apart). I have the torque specs, too, so all set there.

The question: does the shaft of the ball joint just "drop" into the vertical link before installing the nut, or is pressure required to get it connected?

Any and all hints, tips, and advice would be welcome!

Thanks in advance -

Steve.

1989 Esprit Turbo
BritInNY is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 06:22 PM
Integrator
 
MRDANGERUS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: N-East Central USA
Posts: 2,539
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritInNY View Post

The question: does the shaft of the ball joint just "drop" into the vertical link before installing the nut, or is pressure required to get it connected?

Any and all hints, tips, and advice would be welcome!

Thanks in advance -

Steve.
Steve,

You'll need a narrow Pitman Arm puller and a long handle ratchet or breaker bar to remove the faulty joint shaft from the upright. You may have to thin down the jaw ends little bit using a bench grinder.
To install the new part, there is no need for any special tools. Just insert the shaft, thread in the nut and torque it to spec.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by MRDANGERUS; 04-30-2019 at 07:10 PM.
MRDANGERUS is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Ontario, NY
Posts: 29
Garage
Perfect. Thanks for the detailed info - it should make the job go much easier. I also got to treat myself to a set of pitman arm/ball joint tools, so it's a good day!

I'll try to snap a few photos along the way just in case it helps anyone else when it's their turn.

Steve.

1989 Esprit Turbo
BritInNY is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 05:40 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,994
Another technique is to hit the side of the upper spindle really hard and fast with a heavy hammer. Leave the nut on, but loose. The shock forces the tapered joint apart. Sometimes that or even a puller won't work and you have to heat the joint up with a torch to get it apart. Be careful swinging that hammer!
David Teitelbaum
jtrealty is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Ontario, NY
Posts: 29
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrealty View Post
Another technique is to hit the side of the upper spindle really hard and fast with a heavy hammer. Leave the nut on, but loose. The shock forces the tapered joint apart. Sometimes that or even a puller won't work and you have to heat the joint up with a torch to get it apart. Be careful swinging that hammer!
David Teitelbaum
Thanks for the tip, David ... I think I shall keep the hammers in reserve in case other techniques fail. Hopefully it'll come apart easily - it's one of the cleanest examples I've seen, so no corrosion to deal with. It's also one of the more unusual ball joint failures that I've seen:
Attached Images
 

1989 Esprit Turbo
BritInNY is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:42 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,994
It isn't a matter of cleanliness. It is a tapered joint and it can lock up really tight. That and it has been together for a long time. I have had cases where a puller didn't work as well as the hammer trick, sometimes you need the shock to get it apart, not the slow pressure of a puller. if you do use the hammer you can't "hold back", you have to really smack it hard and fast. Works like magic but sometimes it takes several smacks to get it.
David Teitelbaum
jtrealty is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Ontario, NY
Posts: 29
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrealty View Post
It isn't a matter of cleanliness. It is a tapered joint and it can lock up really tight. That and it has been together for a long time. I have had cases where a puller didn't work as well as the hammer trick, sometimes you need the shock to get it apart, not the slow pressure of a puller. if you do use the hammer you can't "hold back", you have to really smack it hard and fast. Works like magic but sometimes it takes several smacks to get it.
David Teitelbaum
Ah. Thanks for the clarification ... good to be prepared. Hammers are now at the ready! The new ball joints and hardware were delivered from RD Enterprises today, and the tools arrived today too, so fingers crossed I'll get the work completed this weekend.

Thanks again for the hints and tips!

Steve.

1989 Esprit Turbo
BritInNY is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 01:59 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: St Pete, FL
Posts: 92
i put antisieze on the the tapered part prior to assembly to ease replacement next time
ragingfool35 is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Ontario, NY
Posts: 29
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by ragingfool35 View Post
i put antisieze on the the tapered part prior to assembly to ease replacement next time
Interesting! Sounds like easy insurance against future problems. Thanks for the tip!

Steve.

1989 Esprit Turbo
BritInNY is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 06:02 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,994
Assemble dry. You DO NOT want that joint to come apart easily. That's why it is a taper in the first place! If you do anything you wipe the parts as clean as you can and apply light machine oil to the parts and then tighten to spec. No lubricant on the threads or you don't get the nut to the right torque. Be sure to lock it with a fresh cotter pin.
David Teitelbaum
jtrealty is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 07:49 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: St Pete, FL
Posts: 92
why in world wouldn't you want it to come apart "easily"? it's not going to fall off when you turn the wheel. if there is a difference at all it is a 2 lb sledge vs a 5 lb sledge.

like most things you will find extreme opinions offered for and against. Google some research and decide for yourself.
ragingfool35 is offline  
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Ontario, NY
Posts: 29
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrealty View Post
Assemble dry. You DO NOT want that joint to come apart easily. That's why it is a taper in the first place! If you do anything you wipe the parts as clean as you can and apply light machine oil to the parts and then tighten to spec. No lubricant on the threads or you don't get the nut to the right torque. Be sure to lock it with a fresh cotter pin.
David Teitelbaum
Thanks David ... I did a little reading elsewhere on this topic, and it'll be assembled dry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragingfool35 View Post
why in world wouldn't you want it to come apart "easily"? it's not going to fall off when you turn the wheel. if there is a difference at all it is a 2 lb sledge vs a 5 lb sledge.

like most things you will find extreme opinions offered for and against. Google some research and decide for yourself.
You're correct that there are opinions for and against, but from the reading I've done the majority say "don't do it!" I'll stick with the dry installation since there's at least anecdotal evidence of damage to the vertical link (enlarging of the taper hole).

I still appreciate the input!

Steve.

1989 Esprit Turbo
BritInNY is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community > Lotus Discussions > Lotus Esprit

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WTB upper Control Arm Ball Joint Alex Ventura 2 Parts Wanted 1 04-24-2018 06:07 AM
Upper and Lower Ball Joint Cross Reference? amanda11270 Lotus Esprit 2 09-28-2013 10:24 AM
A-Arm ball joint replacement? How to? southwind25 Lotus Elise 0 03-28-2012 09:45 AM
A-Arm ball joint replacement? How to? southwind25 Lotus Elise 0 03-28-2012 07:01 AM
Need help on Honda ball joint separation ChrisH Other Cars and Comparisons 17 03-20-2006 10:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome