Just had my brake rotors replaced for warpage for the fourth time as the car
passed 100K. My mechanic told me that the driver's side front suspension
ball joint was badly worn and should be replaced ASAP. Unfortunately, he
told me, on the 97 Taurus, this requires replacing the entire steering
knuckle assembly, as the ball joint and stud is an integral part of it, and
cannot be replaced separately.
Urgency of repair - he said the ball joint it was pretty loose, but car
handles fine and has had no unusual tire wear patterns. I do intend to
follow his advice and repair ASAP, but is the car OK to drive in the
Does anyone make a repair kit so only the ball joint has to be replaced on
Should the lower control arm also be replaced? I would think not, unless
the tapered hole to receive the ball joint stud was excessively worn.
Typical parts cost and availability for the knuckle? - mechanic said it was
a dealer only item and in the several hundred buck range. I have a World
Parts Locator Super Search out on it - that service has saved me a lot in
knowing what I can get "dealer only" parts for - I have used the quotes to
leverage my local dealer to sell at best price.
Typical labor hours for the repair?
Why the heck would Ford make a commonly replaced relatively inexpensive
part, expected to wear out at some point, an integral part of an expensive
component that would likely NEVER wear out? (I think I just figured that
out, but it has nothing to do with engineering!)
Thanks in advance,