Ball Joint Carnage - Miata Forumz - Mazda Miata Chat Forums
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NA (1989-1997) NA Miata discussion within. The MX5's first generation, the NA, sold over 400,000 units from 1989 to 1997.

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Old 09-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #1  
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Default Ball Joint Carnage

Bad times for the Miata
Had a bad day, I was backing out of a parking spot and heard a very loud clunk, got out to see what it was and found my front passenger tire sitting about about a 45, little bit of an exaggeration. I found that my lower ball joint had snap clean off. Had to get it towed home, luckily the guy was good and able to get the car up, home, and in my garage without any further damage. Just got done ordering my new OEM ball joints from GoMiata.com so I am hoping that I will be driving it again soon.

Any body know a good way to check my upper ball joints. The pass side knuckle is now moving freely, it feels smooth and I can feel/hear any grinding or anything but I am worried that the extreme angles and dragging may have damage it.

If I need to replace the uppers am I better off just replacing the entire control arm?
I found some used ones at
The Partsgroup - Mazda Miata & RX8 Used Parts for $85 each
Treasure Coast Miata - Your Used Miata Parts Super Store for $35

Suggestions???









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Old 10-01-2013, 05:50 PM   #2  
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Damn! That's a bad day!

I don't know a good way to check them except with a prybar and looking for movement.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:00 PM   #3  
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Dang, glad that didn't happen when you were driving on the freeway. Crap, you're a better internet shopper than me. If I knew TreasureCoast was that cheap, it's probably cheaper than the ball joint itself and the time involved to press it in. I'd just swap the whole control arm. At that price, I'd just get both.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:04 PM   #4  
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Did you notice any signs of impending failure? Or did it surprise the crap out of you? I have a 90 with uncertain lineage so I want to know what to look/listen for.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:25 AM   #5  
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Sorry for the delay, My steering was very hard, I had to two hand even at speed. I didn't think about it two much because this was my first miata and it had PS problems since I got it so I depowered the rack, I thought it was just they hard to turn, come to find out my lower ball joints had all but frozen in place. Also I had some creaking noises that I was about to inspect before this happened.

Basically what I have read is that if they are not OEM ball joints they are junk, if you do replace check out all the sites and find some OEM ones.

After the fix if I didn't know because I took it off, I would guess the PS was still hooked up because the steering is so light.

Last edited by Ctracy5; 10-26-2013 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:58 AM   #6  
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Steering should never be that hard in a roadster. I had a Jensen Healey with no power assist. The only time steering was an effort was parallel parking.

Thanks for the words of wisdom.
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