Coming out of Loblaws, while turning left, BANG!, lower balljoint just
snapped (right side)
2:30 hours later, it's now sitting at a mechanic's.
Lower arm seems fine, steering linkage and tie rods too.
Now my question. It's the ORIGINAL balljoint (no greasing nipple), can
it be changed by itself, or do I have to have the control arm replaced too?
As usual, Haynes is useless...
Thanks a lot guys...
Your mechanic might be able to press a new OEM ball joint in their or
just get a reman'd control arm with an aftermarket ball joint with
nipple. All comes down to price, a reman'd control arm with an
aftermarket ball joint could cost less than an OEM ball joint pressed
into the original arm by your mechanic. Ask for options. And ask
yourself if you really want to grease an aftermarket ball joint every
six months. The OEMs are "lubed for life", i.e., no grease nipple, as
Lower arm was OK, he put in a MOOG ball joint, and assured me tie rods
and everything else were OK... (but that I needed a new battery, but
that one I figured out by myself last night when I stupidly forgot to
turn off the auto-lamp feature and had it die on me after only 2.5 hours :)
(besides, whenever I have the oil changed, they always grease
everything, every three months or 5,000Km (ok, last one was at 6,500Km :)
I really should've taken out the Contour's *new* hi-capacity battery
before trashing it :)
Overall, it will cost me 178$ CAD tomorrow, could've been *A LOT* worse.
Upper arm was sitting about half an inch from my AC line :)
Quick question about the replacement battery, I'm about to go with
Canadian Tire's Eliminator battery, or something equivalent...
I don't mind spending some money on it. Right now it has an 850 AMP
battery. Any ideas?
Find a battery with a good warranty, Sears has a good deal, but ask
how long before they start "prorating" the warranty claim. The one by
me goes 36 months for a free replacement, after that you start paying
a little more for each month beyond 36. They'll typically go after
five years or so.
If I remember correctly, DieHard is manufactured by Johnson (same as
Thanks, I'll check it out this weekend. Cool thing, my cousin has 25% at
(I just don't think SEARS still has any automotive parts in Quebec)
If they do, they sure don't advertise them...
The guy who fixed my snapped balljoint gave me a 137$ (Canadian Dollars)
for a 1080 CCA (at -18C) amps battery, which sounds really good. Didn't
have time to inquire more, had to go to work...
As I said, I don't mind spending money on a good battery (since I need
that to start the car). Right now, I've got the standard lead-acid
stuff... Canadian Tire sells one that has 6 cylinders in it, plates all
rolled up together, and I've heard of *oil* batteries (I might be mistaking)
What about Marine batteries?
I want something good... (although at -24C it still started right after
whining a bit)
Besides, I'm gonna get a bigger alternator (stock one right now) since
I'm thinking about powering 2 or 3 10-inch subwoofers (might even go
with 2 12") with something nice like a 400-600w AMP)
(Don't worry, I'm not ricing it up, it just lacks some ooomph)
Marine batteries are designed more for a steady current over a long
time, while automotive batteries are designed for surge current when
starting. Unless you are going to be parked using your high output
sound system for long periods of time, stick with the automotive
battery. The 1080 CCA should be plenty. With a sound system that may
draw upwards of 50 amps, swapping the 100 amp alternator for a 200 amp
one is probably a good idea. The 200 amp one is standard on police
Crown Vics, due to the lights, siren, etc.
They make 'dual purpose' batteries which have the properties of both a
car and marine battery. This is a compromise solution but it's worth
considering when you have a sound system that needs a lot of amps,
especially when the engine is off. You could also use a dual battery
system with a regular battery for the car and a deep cycle battery just
for the sound system. Do some Googling for more info' on how to do this.
IIRC, the dual battery system requires the use of a battery isolator,
else you risk the marine battery load drawing its battery down, then
sucking the life out of your cranking battery, too. Other than that,
it's pretty much wire 'em up in parallel, with the isolator on the hot
That's a "Marine Starting / Deep Cycle" battery - basically the
deep-cycle lead-calcium chemistry, but also has heavy enough grid
construction to supply limited cranking current bursts.
Kind of pointless, you can jump-start the car just fine with a
regular deep-cycle if you aren't trying to spin a 454 or 460 big-block
at sub-zero outside temps.
The other special battery is the 'Absorbed Glass Mat' or 'Starved
Electrolyte' battery, the Optima Spiracell or Gates/Hawker wound-cell
construction battery. Will take extreme vibration, can be placed
inside the car because they won't leak or outgas unless REALLY abused.
But they're also $150 and up. (Ouch!) Don't waste your money unless
nothing else will work for the application.
The other wrinkle is on some cars you have to add a "voltage sense"
lead to the alternator from the diode isolator, since the alternator
output has to be bumped up about .7V to compensate for the forward
voltage drop in the diodes. The added lead tells the alternator what
voltage the batteries are really seeing.
The instructions come with the diode isolator, and are fairly easy.
--<< Bruce >>--
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