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Warning! T2 Lower Control Arm Issue


Tinman
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On one of our back country rides, my lower control arm dropped - the ball joint near the outer CV-joint dropped out of its hole.

AT SPEED; THIS COULD RESULT IN A SERIOUS ACCIDENT OR DEATH.

Worse yet, the issue wasn't one of breakage - it's a design defect.

As you can see from the pics, the bolt used to retain the lower ball joint has a shaft (non-threaded portion) that's too short. The threads actually hold the ball joint in place, not the bolt shaft. This, and the fact the bolt material sucks, means that it's easily stripped, as you can see from the marks.

My temp fix - buy a grade 8 bolt with a longer shaft (see pic2). But I'm still not comfortable. I'm thinking of shallow tapping a 8 mm hole on top, just so I can add a retaining bolt.

Have you guys experienced this, and if so what is your fix?

post-1520-0-79761000-1337603200_thumb.jpg

post-1520-0-09751700-1337603215_thumb.jpg

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Good photo of what happens, Here's a better fix than just a shanked bolt, I tried that and it still fell out, http://www.utvboard....ndpost__p__4883 , and here's lenny's post, http://www.utvboard.com/topic/778-front-ball-joints-need-checking/page__view__findpost__p__2085 and on my fix, I found that the nut was too long and need to be replaced with a jam nut because the full nut would hit the A arm.

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Good photo of what happens, Here's a better fix than just a shanked bolt, I tried that and it still fell out, http://www.utvboard....ndpost__p__4883 , and here's lenny's post, http://www.utvboard....ndpost__p__2085 and on my fix, I found that the nut was too long and need to be replaced with a jam nut because the full nut would hit the A arm.

Thanks for the link Kinarfi! It always helps.

I had looked at the MUST DO list and didn't find this, so I had supposed I was the first :)

I'm going now to buy a 12 mm tap and 4 bolts. Figured that with the little meat left, a 12 mm is a good compromise instead of the 1/2. HAD NO IDEA THERE WAS AN ISSUE WITH THE UPPER SUSPENSION ARM! Figured that with the shock pushing it down, it would be hard to have the ball joint shaft slide out...

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Lenny - what if you just drilled it out for a 12 mm using a hardened bolt and lock nut and did not tap it out. It would then be more like a clamp and with the hardened bolt you could torque it very tight. The shoulder on the bolts I am using match up with the stock ones so there is no problem there with mating to the ball joint notch. What do you think? Any opinions?

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There's prob not exact way to do it.. I think it comes down to your own preference most of all.....I like both ideas very much......I'm sometimes the easy way guy and others the hard way...Never know.......I feel anything is better then stock...LOL as long as includes a grade 8 and a nylon lock nut...

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Lenny - what if you just drilled it out for a 12 mm using a hardened bolt and lock nut and did not tap it out. It would then be more like a clamp and with the hardened bolt you could torque it very tight. The shoulder on the bolts I am using match up with the stock ones so there is no problem there with mating to the ball joint notch. What do you think? Any opinions?

That wold probably work fine but I would use loc-tite on the nut. Be sure the bolt threads and nut are real clean or the loc-tite won't work as well. Make sure the nut is grade 8 too.

Lenny

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The loc-tite used correctly is far superior to the nylock nut. I'm talking the red loc-tite which is something like #272 which is the non removeable type. It will remove anyway but sometimes requires a bit of heat. I sujest a standard grade 8 jam nut.

Lenny

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Went with 12M X 55 X 1.75 and the shoulder was exactly the same as the stock 10M. Easiest way to do was to pull the wheel and jack up under lower control arm to put pressure on both upper and lower joints. Drilled out with a 15/32 and this included the ball joint area as I left them in like Lenny and Kinarfi said to do but not after doing only one with the joint out and then not being able to get the bolt to go through without hammering it in. So learned my lesson on the other 3 and left the joint in and just drilled away. Went back and did the other one the right way. Did not tap but rather put a washer on the nut side and used a Nylock nut which by the way is grade 8 along with loctite. So there are Nylocks that are grade 8. Was able to torque to 100 pounds and the clamp that locks the ball joint in has no gap in it unlike before where there was a decent amount there. Besides being clamped tight the shoulder on the 12M will hold it in there very well. Wish I would have done all of this when I changed out all the ball joints with zert fittings and new urethane bushings but OH well. Thanks for bringing this up Tinman. I know this goes way back to 2009 when Lenny and Kinarfi and others had problems. I figure better safe than sorry as it would cost a helluva lot more if it popped out at a higher speed in bad terrain. Done now and on to the next project whatever that may be. Thanks Guys!

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Kinarfi - I have very little bolt thread past the nut - only a few threads. The other night when I did one side I did check when completed and it wasn't hitting anything. Had the wheel off and was able to go back and forth without interference. Will check again the other side too but think there is no clearance problem at all.

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Kinarfi - I put a pretty clear picture of the A-arms / ball joints in the picture gallery. If you look at that you can probably tell if it is a different configuration or not. I was able to get both the upper and lower ball joints in the picture along with the surrounding area. Might be different but that is hard to imagine it would be.

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