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abittenbinder
04-22-2011, 05:38 PM
I was organizing my desk and came across an old FedEx TSB on this very subject. That was a good reminder that I have long needed to post a Tech Alert.

Weekly phone calls from frustrated Sprinter owners facing expensive ball joint replacement during a State vehicle safety inspection was a very good reminder as well.

It appears that the majority of Sprinter ball joint inspections are being done incorrectly. And lots of money is being wasted by performing time consuming and expensive replacement of good ball joints.

The design of the Sprinter front suspension has the ball joints in constant compression, even when the vehicle is raised and the wheel is off the ground.

Traditional ball joint assessment methods are completely inappropriate for the Sprinter.

The factory recommendation (also FedEx recommendation): DO NOT even attempt the traditional method of measuring axial play (up and down play) by jacking of the lower A arm and then prying on the stub axle. This will likely show an 'alarming' amount of play which would result in a failing grade. Alarming for a traditional ball joint design but NOT the Sprinter.

Replacement should be considered only if the dust boot is torn (risk of contamination and loss of lube) or excess pivot friction or noise is present due to lack of lubrication (If the boot is not torn it is unlikely that lubrication will be an issue).

I recall reading of similar confusion in England when the national vehicle safety inspection (the MOT) was resulting in needless Sprinter ball joint replacements due to incorrect assessment. The authorities later issued a 'spec' (3mm if I recall) to quell the uproar but it still did not recognize the unique design, it only provided a pass/fail number the techs could apply using a traditional and incorrect measuring procedure.

Sprinter ball joint replacement is an ugly, difficult, and expensive job which, if done without care, can result in damage and also front wheel sensor issues.

Educate your local tech.

Doktor A

talkinghorse43
04-22-2011, 08:04 PM
I was organizing my desk and came across an old FedEx TSB on this very subject. That was a good reminder that I have long needed to post a Tech Alert.

Weekly phone calls from frustrated Sprinter owners facing expensive ball joint replacement during a State vehicle safety inspection was a very good reminder as well.

It appears that the majority of Sprinter ball joint inspections are being done incorrectly. And lots of money is being wasted by performing time consuming and expensive replacement of good ball joints.

The design of the Sprinter front suspension has the ball joints in constant compression, even when the vehicle is raised and the wheel is off the ground.

Traditional ball joint assessment methods are completely inappropriate for the Sprinter.

The factory recommendation (also FedEx recommendation): DO NOT even attempt the traditional method of measuring axial play (up and down play) by jacking of the lower A arm and then prying on the stub axle. This will likely show an 'alarming' amount of play which would result in a failing grade. Alarming for a traditional ball joint design but NOT the Sprinter.

Replacement should be considered only if the dust boot is torn (risk of contamination and loss of lube) or excess pivot friction or noise is present due to lack of lubrication (If the boot is not torn it is unlikely that lubrication will be an issue).

I recall reading of similar confusion in England when the national vehicle safety inspection (the MOT) was resulting in needless Sprinter ball joint replacements due to incorrect assessment. The authorities later issued a 'spec' (3mm if I recall) to quell the uproar but it still did not recognize the unique design, it only provided a pass/fail number the techs could apply using a traditional and incorrect measuring procedure.

Sprinter ball joint replacement is an ugly, difficult, and expensive job which, if done without care, can result in damage and also front wheel sensor issues.

Educate your local tech.

Doktor A

Isn't this method OK?

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=117083&highlight=jdcaples#post117083

abittenbinder
04-22-2011, 11:19 PM
Isn't this method OK?

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=117083&highlight=jdcaples#post117083

Yes, that is the factory approved method. It is important that the tech understand the difference between radial (lateral) play and axial (vertical) play.

Most state inspection technicians are improperly using support and lever testing which reveals axial play.

Axial play is not relevant to the Sprinter ball joint design and in that document Daimler cautions against even checking for it.

Doktor A

abittenbinder
04-22-2011, 11:30 PM
Isn't this method OK?

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=117083&highlight=jdcaples#post117083

I encourage Sprinter owners facing an official vehicle safety inspection to make a copy of that two page document and present it to the inspection tech BEFORE inspection.

Because the Daimler name appears on the document it should satisfy the tech and legally protect him from inspection license liabilities.

Doktor A

Altered Sprinter
04-22-2011, 11:37 PM
Local DOT in my home town, had to educated with Mercedes tolerances of within 3 mil for ball joint play.
Richard

abittenbinder
04-22-2011, 11:43 PM
Local DOT in my home town, had to educated with Mercedes tolerances of within 3 mil for ball joint play.
Richard

Again it is important to differentiate, 3mm lateral play NOT axial play.

Doktor A

Altered Sprinter
04-22-2011, 11:49 PM
Agreed in my case it was just ball joint free play of one millimeter,one the right hand side.
Richard

Aqua Puttana
04-27-2011, 12:21 PM
Doktor A,
First let me thank you for the alert. I haven't been able to find a document with the MB heading on it though. vic

For anyone.

I posted this over at Yahoo Sprintervan and no answer so far. So I'll try it here.

What about aftermarket parts? Are they the exact same MB design or a more conventional design such as supplied for other aftermarket ball joints. I would presume a conventional ball joint installed in a Sprinter should be tested in the "normal" way? Does anyone know if the MOOG design (for instance) mimics the MB design or is just a conventional replacement part?

If you buy a used Sprinter with replaced ball joints how do you know what applies to your new ride? vic

talkinghorse43
04-27-2011, 01:44 PM
Doktor A,
First let me thank you for the alert. I haven't been able to find a document with the MB heading on it though. vic

Just follow the link in posts 2, 3 or 4 above and you'll see the legend at the bottom of each page "copyright by Daimler AG" - that's MB.

jdcaples
04-27-2011, 03:23 PM
Here is another link to the same physical file on this forum's durable storage:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=28699&d=1292358186

Click on it and the Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) document will download as a PDF to the computer system you're using.

As always, you may subscribe to SprinterWIS (www.sprintertekinfo.com) to access Sprinter service information yourself. The site's front page contains a disclaimer

Coverage includes information starting with Model Year 2010.

That statement is not strictly true.

The document people are referring to in this thread - checking ball joint play - was harvested from that Mercedes-Benz web property for Sprinter service information (www.sprintertekinfo.com) and it applies to 2006 & prior Sprinters, which is clearly prior to, not starting with, Model Year 2010.


-Jon

Aqua Puttana
04-27-2011, 08:30 PM
...
at the bottom of each page "copyright by Daimler AG" - that's MB.
:doh: I was looking for something in the header. Thanks.

Here is another link to the same physical file on this forum's durable storage:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=28699&d=1292358186

Click on it and the Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) document will download as a PDF to the computer system you're using.

...

-Jon

Thanks also. vic

abittenbinder
04-28-2011, 12:38 AM
What about aftermarket parts? Are they the exact same MB design or a more conventional design such as supplied for other aftermarket ball joints. I would presume a conventional ball joint installed in a Sprinter should be tested in the "normal" way? Does anyone know if the MOOG design (for instance) mimics the MB design or is just a conventional replacement part?

If you buy a used Sprinter with replaced ball joints how do you know what applies to your new ride? vic

It is not the construction of the ball joint itself but rather the design of the front suspension that the ball joint is mounted in, that calls for the unique inspection procedure.

Compared to the OEM ball joint a poor quality replacement ball joint may well flunk the approved inspection process prematurely (compared to OEM) but testing is same.

Flunking defined as loss of integrity of rubber boot which would allow ingress of moisture and/or egress of lube and/or excessive LATERAL play.

Doktor A

NelsonSprinter
04-28-2011, 03:37 AM
Thanks Dr.A
I had my ball joints squeeking / creeking and replaced them by a low cost mechanic, but the sensor got knocked out of place and the Traction control ABS light came on. When I went to a Sprinter dealer to get the sensors back in place to clear the code, they said my ball joints had too much play and wanted to replace them for $500. I didn't tell them they had been replaced 8 days earlier, so I knew they didn't know what they were talking about and refused their advice. Now I know they were not in the know of this inspection process, and they're an Authorized Sprinter repair facility with a mechanic hired from UK

rlent
04-30-2011, 03:51 PM
I replaced my ball-joints @ around 175K ..... mostly just cause I figured it needed doing ..... a friend also did the same at a slightly higher mileage. Neither were inspected for excessive wear prior to replacement.

Both of us found significant wear, at least in this respect: on mine, on one of the two ball-joints, the ball stud would move around 1/8" to 1/4", perpendicularly, in and out of the housing, on my friends similar play was observable on both ball joints. I have no idea whether such play would cause the ball joint to fail a proper inspection.

When I had an alignment done a couple of months ago (335K ?), the tech that did it noted that the boots were torn on both ball-joints .... but that they both seemed tight. (I had observed that one was torn prior to the alignment)

I have the new ones and will replace them at the next major service (@ 360K miles) in 3 or 4 weeks. I figure at this point with the water/dirt intrusion they are probably toast.

My friend just replaced his a second time (@ 350K+) and reported upon inspection after removal that the portion of the housing/cup (top) that captures the ball stud was actually broken off and floating around loose inside the boot.

danthewolf007
04-30-2011, 05:00 PM
just replaced mine at 314k one was toast boot and rubber cover gone and a bit of wear on the joint.:smirk:

NelsonSprinter
09-28-2011, 11:49 PM
Save yourself over $500 on un-necessary repairs by reading #1 post in this tread,
Thanks Dr.A

JSMI
07-13-2012, 03:45 PM
DO NOT even attempt the traditional method of measuring axial play (up and down play) by jacking of the lower A arm and then prying on the stub axle. This will likely show an 'alarming' amount of play which would result in a failing grade. Alarming for a traditional ball joint design but NOT the Sprinter.

Holy cow! The tire shop next door to my office did exactly this and had exactly that alarming reaction -- they told me the ball joints are 10 out of 10 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being worst.

Thank you Doktor A, yet again. :thumbup::thumbup:

update: Dr. A. says to educate your local tech. I printed the PDF (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=28699&d=1292358186) and took it to them, and they still said "Yeah, some amount of play is acceptable, but yours is way out of spec." I asked for the spec and measurement, and he had neither -- I knew he wouldn't because the PDF says "checking the supporting ball joints for axial play is not required and is not possible." I even handed him the PDF and said "I believe you that it doesn't look right, but this bulletin from Daimler says the ball joint is not like the ones you've seen before." He didn't look at it and said that his 15-year techs have seen everything and the PDF is wrong. You can lead a horse to water...

Coast2Coast
07-16-2012, 08:49 PM
So I was wondering if there any write up on how to replace ball joints, what tools are needed? Is this something a general weekend enthusiast could do or is it recommended to take to a shop. Has anyone used the Meyle Ball Joints and had good luck with them?
Is it it advised not to replace them if the boot is not torn?

:thinking:

Decent write up here... I wonder if the Doktor approves of this method?

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7539

katkak
07-17-2012, 01:43 AM
I changed a ball joint on a 98 312D about 10 years ago, after removing the arm I didn't think there was anything wrong with the joint as I couldn't move it but changed it out anyway. As the lower arm is fabricated with an angle on it this makes it very difficult to get it onto a press without a bit of fiddling to get the angle right so the new joint is pressed in true. After doing the first one (and it was a 'B' of a job. I got in touch with our local MB commercial dealer and was told they are a preloaded joint, don't change it. :bash:
I didn't change the other one and took the van back for re-test, the inspector said the ball joint was still a fail and that I hadn't changed the other. This followed quite a discusion, I must admit to playing him up a bit as he tried to talk to me as if I was a nobber. I served my time as a mechanic in a workshop that repaired cars to commercials and also did MOT's so had a bit of an idea what I was doing. In the end I asked if he had any idea what he was looking at, hmmmmm kinda wish I hadn't when he went red. Sugested he call the local dealer, he refused a few times. I ask for an appeal, he called them. Came out of the office with a pass certificate.:cheers:
It's suprising how many test facilities still don't know about this.
Make sure you do! Save your self a load of money and :cry:

Coast2Coast
07-17-2012, 05:32 AM
If only it were this easy :bounce:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYYFrBYSL9s

LeakFinder
01-20-2013, 11:35 PM
I was organizing my desk and came across an old FedEx TSB on this very subject. That was a good reminder that I have long needed to post a Tech Alert.

Weekly phone calls from frustrated Sprinter owners facing expensive ball joint replacement during a State vehicle safety inspection was a very good reminder as well.

It appears that the majority of Sprinter ball joint inspections are being done incorrectly. And lots of money is being wasted by performing time consuming and expensive replacement of good ball joints.

The design of the Sprinter front suspension has the ball joints in constant compression, even when the vehicle is raised and the wheel is off the ground.

Traditional ball joint assessment methods are completely inappropriate for the Sprinter.

The factory recommendation (also FedEx recommendation): DO NOT even attempt the traditional method of measuring axial play (up and down play) by jacking of the lower A arm and then prying on the stub axle. This will likely show an 'alarming' amount of play which would result in a failing grade. Alarming for a traditional ball joint design but NOT the Sprinter.

Replacement should be considered only if the dust boot is torn (risk of contamination and loss of lube) or excess pivot friction or noise is present due to lack of lubrication (If the boot is not torn it is unlikely that lubrication will be an issue).

I recall reading of similar confusion in England when the national vehicle safety inspection (the MOT) was resulting in needless Sprinter ball joint replacements due to incorrect assessment. The authorities later issued a 'spec' (3mm if I recall) to quell the uproar but it still did not recognize the unique design, it only provided a pass/fail number the techs could apply using a traditional and incorrect measuring procedure.

Sprinter ball joint replacement is an ugly, difficult, and expensive job which, if done without care, can result in damage and also front wheel sensor issues.

Educate your local tech.

Doktor A

Dear Doktor.
Thanks for your eyes-opening aspect.
It just happened to me: the inspection condemned both ball-joints.
The Sprinter is my bread-maker and can't live (or work, better saying) without.
What would be the tolerance acceptable? You mentioned 3 mm…

Thanks again and gift yourself with a smile.
Uwe

Aqua Puttana
01-20-2013, 11:54 PM
Dear Doktor.
Thanks for your eyes-opening aspect.
It just happened to me: the inspection condemned both ball-joints.
The Sprinter is my bread-maker and can't live (or work, better saying) without.
What would be the tolerance acceptable? You mentioned 3 mm…

Thanks again and gift yourself with a smile.
Uwe
Herr Doktor is often busy. Allow me to try to assist as a Nurse Practitioner.

Here is an offical Daimler document. Others have been successful by printing and presenting the information to the inspection station personnel. The Daimler copyright is in the lower left. Good luck. vic

49694

abittenbinder
01-21-2013, 09:06 PM
Dear Doktor.
Thanks for your eyes-opening aspect.
It just happened to me: the inspection condemned both ball-joints.
The Sprinter is my bread-maker and can't live (or work, better saying) without.
What would be the tolerance acceptable? You mentioned 3 mm…

Thanks again and gift yourself with a smile.
Uwe

The 3mm of play spec., which I mentioned in the Tech Alert, is a national British inspection spec. It, as well as the MBenz document referenced in the above posting, are 3mm of LATERAL play NOT axial play.

This is evaluated with vehicle raised, wheels not in contact with the ground.

Lateral play is sideways play. MBenz does not approve of axial (up and down) measurement of play (using pry bars to unload the suspension). This axial form of measurement (used in measuring convention ball joint designs) is irrelevant in regards to Sprinters and can damage the dust seals.

Doktor A

mikejay
02-23-2013, 09:12 PM
Glad i found these posts as i have a 98 vw lt35 here in the uk with 31k miles on the clock its an rv. I took it for an mot yesterday and have 2 adviseorys on the bottom balljoints he showed me up and down play with his pry bar between the joint and bottom of the strut. And said i will need them replacing next year so i said they don't last very long as 31kmiles is nothing they said they are a heavy van so wear out quick. So i will be printing this doc off next time i go and i am now happy i don't need to find a way of extracting the ball joint just yet.:smilewink:

cdman1674
07-18-2013, 11:45 AM
O.K. so after reading this post (before taking my 2005- long wheel base- high top- 190,000 miles- with over 50,000 miles on Michelin tires - not pulling but had just change a bad tie rod myself) i decided to have the van aligned. I brought it to a local independent shop (local dodge dealership no longer services Sprinters and other nearby dealership can't do alignments) Well guess what? Both ball joints bad! So i asked what method did they use to check the ball joints? You would swear i insulted his mother " i've been doing alignments for almost 50 years yada yada yada" Picked up my van--called Mercedes dealership 60 miles east of me. I asked about their process for checking ball joints (after 6 calls got a shop foreman on the line) Quote "Mercedes specs call for absolutely no play in the ball joints"..... next 200 miles west of me... (after many calls got a tech on the line) he somewhat agreed that axial play alone does not condemn a ball joint that Experience should dictate if there is too much up and down movement??? Where are you guys getting your vans aligned? I am in South Louisiana...thanks

Aqua Puttana
07-19-2013, 01:54 PM
... I am asking because i don't think i have read on the forum if changing the ball joint removes the up and down slack?
Thanks:thinking:
I've thought the same thing.

Replacing with an OEM MB part might not fix the perceived "problem". I suspect that any aftermarket balljoint will be of a more traditional USA design so that the "problem" will disappear because the OEM style movement will go away.

I'm guessin' though so any comments based upon experience are appreciated. vic

lindenengineering
07-19-2013, 02:58 PM
Vic
Guys I have changed out a bunch of these.
We have used an OTC removal ball joint removal /replace tool with the lower wishbone insitu and with it removed from the frame and pressed out on a hydro press.

Yes they exhibit lots of "lift" when worn and you can feel it in the steering and when running over bumps.

Yes we use a bar to flex the suspension up and down to see the "lift" in the traditional manner.

When new they do not exhibit any lift.
Yes if you pry on them with excessive force you can see some internal deflection but it is different to wear consequences when present. In fact do enough of them and you will know the difference between internal cushion lift and that as a result of wear.

In any case I would recommend the use of a press and an adapter tool mandrel to replace them. The force required to press them out of the shoulder in the wishbone is often more than the in situ removal tool is designed to do.
Dennis

Dingo
07-19-2013, 04:57 PM
A PRESS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! , I either push with my thumbs or occaisionally grip & pull with my teeth

:lol:

they simply pop out ( I F%$£ING WISH )

Had one in a 20ton press that sulked until the arm received gentle heat & BANG one joint into sand bucket underneath , it just stops them whizzing round the workshop like grenade fragments

hermelv
10-16-2013, 11:24 PM
I want to thank you for posting this alert. Just had an MVI done and business manager wanted to replace both ball joints. After I showed him and the mechanics your posting and the Daimler service bulletin, they didn't charge me for the work performed and apologized. However, the same garage did replace the engine oil with 12 litres of oil instead of the 9 recommended in the owner's manual. I did 6 miles before the High Oil alert light came on and the mechanics had to come drain the extra 3 litres of oil while I remained parked off the highway. Why wouldn't mechanics and service managers read the owner's manual when they have to service a vehicle they're not familiar with is beyond me. There is no Sprinter dealers in our area and I am considering trading our new-to-us 2006 Leisure Travel Van for a 2009 Roadtrek on a 3500 Chev chassis so that we're able to get repairs without too much problem. We are disappointed as we really like the Sprinter's look and smooth ride.

HV

sfenn99
04-14-2014, 10:55 PM
Vic
Guys I have changed out a bunch of these.
We have used an OTC removal ball joint removal /replace tool with the lower wishbone insitu and with it removed from the frame and pressed out on a hydro press.

Yes they exhibit lots of "lift" when worn and you can feel it in the steering and when running over bumps.

Yes we use a bar to flex the suspension up and down to see the "lift" in the traditional manner.

When new they do not exhibit any lift.
Yes if you pry on them with excessive force you can see some internal deflection but it is different to wear consequences when present. In fact do enough of them and you will know the difference between internal cushion lift and that as a result of wear.

In any case I would recommend the use of a press and an adapter tool mandrel to replace them. The force required to press them out of the shoulder in the wishbone is often more than the in situ removal tool is designed to do.
Dennis

This may not be the correct forum. I have a 2007 NCV3 3500. A couple of years ago had a horrible groaning/screeching/metal-to-metal sound from right front suspension. The sound traveled up and down the strut so hard to find. Seemed to come from lower end at ball joint. Sound mainly occurred traveling slowly over bumps maybe with gradual turn happening also. Greased and lubed, externally, everything that moved or was connected to something else. Sound persisted. Since there are no zerk fittings I carefully created pin hole in ball joint rubber and using grease gun with needle end squirted StaLube blue wheel bearing grease in and the noise stopped. For awhile. What surprised me was the grease, or crud, that came out of the top seam of the rubber where it wrapped around metal. Now, I had driven through Colorado during a snow storm and where they were salting the roads. Since then have performed the same lube procedure a few times. But nervous of noise and possible wear, since the metal-metal noise does come back occasionally.
Thoughts and how-to's of changing ball joints on my 2007?
Thanks, Steve

toobiloo
06-05-2015, 01:11 PM
Ok. So I have a new to me 2003 Dodge 2500 Sprinter w/ 103K miles on it. I brought it in for inspection and it failed for both ball joints. I am located in Massachusetts. I then did some research on this site, found the technical document, and went back to the inspection station. The inspector looked and the paper work but was unmoved. He then showed me the movement that he is talking about by jacking up the front end, raising the tires off the ground and unloading the suspension. He put a crowbar under the tire and the was a lot of up and down movement at the ball joint (maybe 3/8 inch on one side, slightly less on the other.)

I am not a mechanic, and this truck is new to me so I want to replace the ball joints if need (the dust boot, etc. all seem in good shape) but, obviously don't want to replace them if it is unnecessary.

Is anyone aware of any inspection station in North Shore MA area that are familiar with the Sprinter? A good Sprinter mechanic that can definitely tell me if new ball joints are needed?

Thanks

Tobias

Coast2Coast
08-24-2015, 06:03 AM
If you are just swapping control arm for control arms that have ball joints and new bushings already in place, does that make this job a lot easier? I would assume so.

VanPhilly
09-15-2015, 05:20 PM
Just wanted to chime in with my experience: DO AS DOC A HAS RECOMMENDED. TAKE A PRINT OUT WITH YOU WHEN YOU GO FOR INSPECTION!!

Sorry for the caps, but I just had my van in for state inspection (Philadelphia, PA) and a service shop which "services fleets of sprinter vans for a long time" failed both ball joints. I made the mistake of not mentioning this before I left, partly because I assumed a shop that has experience with Sprinters would know of this. When they called for the quote, I questioned whether they were doing the right procedure, and the lady said she "We've done a lot of service so I think we would know yada yada yada, but would talk with the tech." I get a call about an hour later and she said they were not aware of the unique ball joint design and they just had a meeting with all of their tech's to discuss it. She said the ball joints were within the new spec and that I wouldn't need to plop down the $1k they wanted to replace them.

TL;DR: Sprinter are a unique beast. Don't assume a shop knows anything about Sprinters even if they claim to have lots of experience.

Thanks again to this forum, and specifically Doctor A for helping keep us in the know and keeping money in our pockets. You guys rock!

mham
10-15-2016, 03:38 AM
This thread is old, but I'm just coming across it now with a failed inspection. It sounds like this could possibly be a problem for me, but I'm wondering if this applies to the NCV3's as well as the T1N's?

Aqua Puttana
10-18-2016, 01:38 PM
This thread is old, but I'm just coming across it now with a failed inspection. It sounds like this could possibly be a problem for me, but I'm wondering if this applies to the NCV3's as well as the T1N's?
I can't say for certain, but it would seem to make sense that the design hasn't changed for NCV3.

From another thread.

I provide this document to anyone that does my annual safety/emissions inspection.

It specifies 901 - 905 models, but should work to submit for the NCV3 models.

80198

Another MB Ball Joint tech service bulletin exists.

02-05-2010 Sprinter Bulletin Service Bulletins V-B-33.20/01
(134kb) MY-All
Model 906
Check Front Axle Ball Joints

:2cents: vic


It would be great if someone could provide a copy of the NCV3 (906) Service Bulletin V-B-33.20/01 listed above.

For general information.

T1N = Models 901 through 905 designated VA

NCV3 = Model 906 (maybe other 9xx also?) designated VB

vic

jbbjjbt
07-13-2017, 02:21 PM
This thread just saved me $900. I had failed the state inspection. I took a printout in and miraculously the ball joint are now fine!

Jon

sergeiosv
09-29-2017, 01:46 PM
Добрый день Прочитал ваши проблемы с шаровыми, то это не проблема. У нас на Украине шаровые на 906 спринтере меняют сами водители без всяких сеъмников, благодаря кувалде и гайки откручиной с наконечника шаровой. Правда под рычаг подкладывают кусок трубы внутренний диаметр чуть больше выточки шаровой. И бют кувалдой по гайке положенной сверху. 3-4 хороших удара правда чтоб крыло не задеть и шаровая выходит. Забивают тоже кусок трубы чтоб пыльник проходил и шаровая выточкой упиралась. Трубу на пол а кувалдой сверху и так все очень хорошо становится на место.

Cheyenne
09-29-2017, 03:49 PM
Добрый день Прочитал ваши проблемы с шаровыми, то это не проблема. У нас на Украине шаровые на 906 спринтере меняют сами водители без всяких сеъмников, благодаря кувалде и гайки откручиной с наконечника шаровой. Правда под рычаг подкладывают кусок трубы внутренний диаметр чуть больше выточки шаровой. И бют кувалдой по гайке положенной сверху. 3-4 хороших удара правда чтоб крыло не задеть и шаровая выходит. Забивают тоже кусок трубы чтоб пыльник проходил и шаровая выточкой упиралась. Трубу на пол а кувалдой сверху и так все очень хорошо становится на место.

And for those of you not conversant in Russian, Google translate comes to the rescue...

"Good afternoon I read your problems with the ball, then this is not a problem. In Ukraine in Ukraine, 906 sprinters are changed by the sprinters themselves without any seeders, thanks to a sledgehammer and a nut unscrewed from the spherical ball tip. The truth under the lever is put a piece of pipe inside diameter a little more than the recess of the ball. And they beat with a sledgehammer on the nut laid on top. 3-4 good shots the truth so that the wing does not touch and the ball goes out. Screw a piece of pipe, too, so that the dustbin would pass and the ball spout would rest against it. Pipe on the floor and with a sledge hammer on top and so everything is very well in place."

sergeiosv
10-01-2017, 05:27 PM
Good evening. thank you for translating, though machine translation is not that, but still you can understand if it's required.

Jodean
11-03-2017, 02:46 AM
so ya i took mine in for alignment, it had been chewing the front tires since i bought it, and now eating my newer tires, cuping bad on outer edges. sounded like i had bad wheel bearings which i just replaced but it was the tires, swapped them to the rear and noise went away

guys puts on lift, ball joints do move up about a 1/4" or more with a pry bar. I tried at home later today and i cannot get any movement side to side but i dont have the giant bars like they do at the alignment shop.

all steering components are solid as well

can these joints actually still move that much and be good yet? both sides are almost identical i got 189k miles

guy cliam they should move some but not this much

goes straight down the road

abittenbinder
11-03-2017, 04:42 AM
guys puts on lift, ball joints do move up about a 1/4" or more with a pry bar.

can these joints actually still move that much and be good yet? both sides are almost identical i got 189k miles

guy claims they should move some but not this much.

The Sprinter ball joint design is ALWAYS under compression even if the vehicle's wheels leave the ground.

The factory stance is DO NOT test them as you would test a conventional joint design. NO pry bar. You may damage the boot of an otherwise good ball joint.

Visual inspection of boot integrity and no evidence that grease has escaped is all you should allow someone to attempt.

If you experiment on your brother-in laws Sprinter with the 'pry bar' inspection method by unloading the joint, you will indeed discover VERTICAL variations between a new fresh joint and a high mileage joint, but this discrepancy is irrelevant.

'Wear' occurs in the ball and socket BUT the constant spring loading of the joint will not permit play or separation.

There is enough material to tolerate 'wear' and still provide safe service for the life of the vehicle if the boot remains intact and the grease remains inside (this will prevent noise or stiffness).

Noise, stiffness (aka, lack of grease) warrant replacement.

Feel free to check for LATERAL play by rocking the wheel side to side. That should not be present.

Doktor A

Cheyenne
11-03-2017, 08:29 AM
JoDean,

There is a publication from Xentry specifically stating how to check T1N Ball Joints, I will attach a copy for you.

A particular point of note is this quote "Due to the fact that supporting ball joints are frequently replaced unnecessarily, we would once again like to point out that checking the supporting ball joints for axial play is not required and is not possible"

And then there is a test procedure for acceptance.

Keith.

91332

Jodean
11-05-2017, 03:59 AM
ya i read all of this post and this pdf which i cant really understand what they are saying, "check" for any movement while jacking doesnt really tell me anything.

Im having the guy align it against his will on monday, but really was just seeing if anyones "good" joint actually moves 3/8" up and down or if im going to go end over end into the ditch.....

check for movement, how?? lol

this guy was prying with a pry bar not at the ball joint but just lifting the tire while the crossmember had the jack under it, thats how you could see the movement, he was prying the tire up, not at the actually joint and that caused the 3/8" movement up and down

I still cant under my own strength get any movement out of anything, but not sure how to actually check without some tool i would create to put pressure against the two tires pushing out or something?? NO clue, and the pdf is about as vague as it can get.

Mike DZ
11-05-2017, 12:11 PM
As I understand the PDF - the front spring is always providing tension on the top of the ball, even when the tire is jacked off the ground. So the up and down flex you get with a large steel bar is really just flexing the spring and tells you nothing about the ball joint. In non-sprinter designs, the ball joints are unloaded when the tire is jacked up, so the flex is actually in the ball joint.

It took me a few reads of the PDF and some other documents and carefully examining the force arrow diagrams to come to this conclusion.

Midwestdrifter
11-07-2017, 11:58 PM
Eric Experience showed me a tool he made for checking loaded ball joints. Basically its a 3" diameter pipe with a long handle at one end. Jack the van, and then place the wheel on the pipe with the pipe placed fore-aft. All the vehicles weight will be on the pipe.


Have someone watch the ball joint, then use the level to rotate the pipe back and forth. This will place lateral loading on the ball joint. If it moves more than a mm or so, the joint is worn out. On my van with 150k miles, there is no appreciable movement. This is despite the BJ having plenty of up/down play when unloaded.

Aqua Puttana
11-12-2017, 02:22 PM
First. Thanks as always for the input. :thumbup:

... Jack the van, and then place the wheel on the pipe with the pipe placed fore-aft. All the vehicles weight will be on the pipe.
...
:hmmm:

Maybe a bit more detail as to where the pipe is placed? It sounds like getting it in the wrong place/position could be less than optimal.

... Have someone watch the ball joint, then use the level to rotate the pipe back and forth.
...
Is that "lever" or is a level included in the testing?

vic

Cheyenne
11-12-2017, 03:00 PM
First. Thanks as always for the input. :thumbup:


:hmmm:

Maybe a bit more detail as to where the pipe is placed? It sounds like getting it in the wrong place/position could be less than optimal.


Is that "lever" or is a level included in the testing?

vic

Perhaps a photo please as a picture speaks a thousand words !!!

Keith.

Midwestdrifter
11-13-2017, 10:33 PM
Perhaps a photo please as a picture speaks a thousand words !!!

Keith.

Here ya go.

Its made of three pieces of fitted pipe.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4517/38344407346_590105beeb_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/21qn7pu)IMG_20171113_182108 (https://flic.kr/p/21qn7pu) by J Luth (https://www.flickr.com/photos/129334372@N04/), on Flickr


Place it under the wheel in this orientation. Then use the handle/level to rock the wheel left/right. A helper can view the ball joint to look for free play.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4547/37685389674_6a965903a5_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Zq8tpQ)IMG_20171113_182200 (https://flic.kr/p/Zq8tpQ) by J Luth (https://www.flickr.com/photos/129334372@N04/), on Flickr

Ned D
05-05-2018, 06:25 AM
This thread is super helpful.

I recently bought a 2006 T1N. Before purchasing I had it checked out and was told one of the ball joints was at max. allowable play while the other one diagnosed with excessive play. They also recommended replacing the sway bar end links, saying those had excessive play as well. I'm not much of a suspension expert and a pretty amateur mechanic (but learning!). Lastly, recommended front alignment (although maybe just because of other items being recommended for change?).

I've only had the van a week and driven it maybe 100km on the highway. It drove great and I didn't notice any suspension issues whatsoever, the ride was a bit stiff/bumpy but there was absolutely zero weight inside and it is a van meant to haul, so I didn't think much of that.

Should I just ignore these recommendations and wait to see if any symptoms show up?
Below is a quick excerpt from the report I got:


Front suspension components
Finding: Alignment

Recommendation: Recommend 2 wheel alignment with other suspension recommendations

Finding: Sway-Bar End Link excessive play - worn out

Recommendation: Recommend replace front Sway-Bar End Links

Finding: Front Lower Ball-Joint(s) excessive play - worn out

Recommendation: Recommend replace front right Lower Ball-Joint

Midwestdrifter
05-05-2018, 07:38 AM
Your sway bar bushes are a bit worn. No hurry, but a replacement would be helpful once you get some weight in the van.

I would leave the ball joints be unless they have excessive play when loaded. The unloaded (prying with a bar) test is not accurate.


There is no reason to do an alignment unless you replace some alignment critical parts, or you have tire wear issues. How do the tires look? Take a depth gauge and check the wear inside to outside. If you are seeing accelerated wear or feathering on the inside/outside edges, that would be cause to investigate an alignment.

Ned D
05-05-2018, 05:23 PM
The tires are brand new, the dealer I bought it from said the previous tires were completely shot. Good chance the alignment needs a look since the previous tires were so shredded, but won't be able to see for a bit on the new tires. The tires they put on were just cheap-o no name brand, so if they get a bit beat up before I notice the wear, oh well. I'd like to get some better ones eventually, but also no point in doing that now with brand new tires having just been installed.

I'm converting it to a camper, so I'll be slowly adding weight as I move along. Headed on a big road trip in 7-8 weeks so maybe I'll do that before then.

Thanks for the advice.

gilee
06-18-2018, 04:33 PM
Hi everything,
and thank god I read this post before I start jumping into fixing/replacing my ball joints.
And thank you Dr. A for this.

I have a 2005 Sprinter, and trying to convert my registration to RV, and DMV Inspection failed me today, ... mostly little things, but one of them is wheel too much play. told me most likely ball joint or tie rod.
I will need to jack up the Van to check myself.

From reading this entire post, and links, the PDF files I downloaded it.
I want to confirm before I go out to check the wheel's play myself.
I see most people talk about "3mm of LATERAL play NOT axial play"

Sorry if I don't quite understand Lateral and Axial....
Once I checked up the Van, with front wheel hanging in air.
What should I check?
1) Lateral means - pull and push the Wheel in and out for play?
2) Axial Play means - wheel has up and down play? (which this is NOT matter?)

Thank you guys!!
I hope this applies to me and I can avoid an expensive repair. :thumbup:

silosignal
06-20-2018, 04:56 PM
Lateral Play

https://goo.gl/images/E5rYRx

autostaretx
06-20-2018, 08:30 PM
That Google image:

98233

So the "lateral" apparently means *vehicle* side-to-side, not just *wheel* side-to-side.

Thanks
--dick