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Dimensions so I can buy new ball joint boots

Discussion in 'Land Rover Discovery' started by Stanleysteamer, Mar 5, 2020.

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  1. Stanleysteamer

    Stanleysteamer Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    This is so I can buy the right size ball joint covers for the front knuckle ball joints, the ones that are the real barstewards to get off as opposed to the others/steering ones that are not so hard. Parts 2 and 3 on this diagram. http://new.lrcat.com/#!/1232/35470/35580/2694
    The places that flog them give three sizes and I dont want to have to buy two sets of three just to ensure I get two correct ones.

    And yes, I know that ideally I should be replacing the knuckle ball joints, but we are moving back to France in three weeks and I have so much to do, unexpected hospital appointments as wel,l that I will be taking them with me, and my tools, to do them over there. The rain over here plus need to use the vehicle quite often is all militating against me doing it soon. And there is no play in them, the boots aren't even split just "deteriorated". The tools and/or time and/or force needed to remove these ball joints is quite putting me off. (I work single-handed)
    Once i get there and the weather gets warmer I might try changing the ball joints but if they ain't bust they don't need fixin!
    anyway thanks in advance.
    Stan
     
  2. PopPops

    PopPops Active Member

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    I'm not going to be as much help as perhaps you want, if I was in France where I should be (terminally ill family member caused our return), I could have measured the old ones, but I seem to remember the "taper" of the lower, the larger, was 24mm diameter as I had to buy a new splitter as I had nothing that big (Landys have been a bit of a culture shock in the scale of all the bits!). The upper is smaller, but I can't really remember the size.

    I replaced the ball joints themselves, I was going to just change the covers but JM has said you will probably find the joints have play anyway when you dismantle it all. Mine had play, but the covers were split, I assume yours aren't yet. I couldn't detect any play with it all assembled though.

    I did the job in my Landy Barn, I have to work solo too and am your age, all but a gnats ... The worst part of the job by far was splitting the ball joints and by the time it came apart the joint was in a very sorry state (I used a pickle fork splitter), not something I would have wanted to put new covers on! I used one of those G clamp kits (21 piece I think) and the easiest part of the job was pressing out the old joints. Getting the hubs out also took an age, they were solidly rusted in.

    Hope this is a tiny bit of help....

    Cheers.
     
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  3. Interceptorxj

    Interceptorxj Well-Known Member

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  4. Stanleysteamer

    Stanleysteamer Well-Known Member

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  5. Stanleysteamer

    Stanleysteamer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks poppops.
    The size thing is interesting, I thought both were the same size so that is that gone out of the window.
    I did say and repeat that I may well find the whole wretched thing will need replacing.
    I'm not scared of ball joints and I have a special way of separating the hub from the axle, which I do not know why it isn't more widely used.
    So thanks for that and I will use you dimension to start thinking about what I am going to order.
    Where abouts is your place in France? We will be there beginning of April for 180 days, southeast corner of the Tarn in the Montagne Noire.
    Wish I had a Landy Barn. I have to do all my work outside. although I am considering building one in France as I am considering giving up on working on cars over here in the winter, too bluddy miserable!
    Cheers
    Stan
     
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  6. NPG

    NPG Active Member

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    Here's an image of the lower ball joint (FTC3571) that I found on the web at BRITCAR. Since the image aspect ratio and scale are common to both the ball joint and the ruler, I suppose you can use a vernier caliper to measure the distance between different points on the ball joint and then use the image ruler to read the actual size.

    Capture.JPG
     
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  7. jamesmartin

    jamesmartin Well-Known Member

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    you usually find when the steering knuckle is released bottom ball joint is buggered ,ive still got a set of gaiters a customer supplied years back never used as new ball joints were ,he left to live in france ,not to far from oradour sur glane,was supposed to go and stop with him for a few days on our round europe trip 2 years back,but the kids wanted to go home
     
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  8. sierrafery

    sierrafery Well-Known Member

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    I'm affraid that you'll heave to measure yourself cos there are different sizes depending on manufacturer, when mines were replaced my mechanic mentioned that the replacement (Moog) had bigger rubber gaiter(so presumably stronger) than the previously fitted Lemforder even though it had the same LR p/n.

    you can see differencies if you watch those parts which have the dimensions shown here https://www.onlinecarparts.co.uk/oenumber/ftc3570.html or here https://www.onlinecarparts.co.uk/spares-search.html?keyword=+FTC3571&page=2
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
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  9. PopPops

    PopPops Active Member

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    Hello Stanley,

    I was a bit worried that I may have given you incorrect size information, but have a look at https://www.mister-auto.co.uk/ball-...overy-mk-ii-l318-2-5-td5-4x4-139hp-1998-2004/ cone sizes etc are given here. Upper and lower are certainly different sizes. I also take the point by Mr Fery that the covers could also be slightly different between manufacturers.

    Yes, I did note that you said you may replace it all, my experience was all the hard work was getting to that stage!

    We are in the north Charente, 16350, "nearest" village Champagne Mouton. We are not residents, just coming and going as we please (for now!). Having a Landy Barn is great, but I've moved most of my facilities over there now. I agree with your comment on the weather, finding a weather window to replace the rear calipers at Christmas was difficult.

    Before I get slapped on the wrist by the Thread Police, good luck. Did it pass the MOT by the way?

    PP.
     
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  10. Stanleysteamer

    Stanleysteamer Well-Known Member

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    Hi PP,
    To answer your last point first, yes, it did pass. It was the pass certificate that told me about the boots as I had been so busy doing other stuff to get it ready, and the weather was against me, I didn't check them.

    I have yet to go back to the rest of the thread as I've only just logged on and read your post but I will do so and take into consideration what you, SF, NPG and JM have said.

    I am amazed that you say getting the actual final ball joints out was not the hardest work. All the other threadsI have read about have found getting them out was a total bas tard. Problem being that although I can do it anywhere, I will not be over here and I don't fancy having to pay stupid money to buy the special tool in France when I can get one for under £30 here. so the quandary I am in is, do I buy it anyway and take it with me?

    The vehicle has done 165k so I suppose it is very likely it will need them, despite the MOT centre not finding any play in them. and also, getting to the point of replacing the boots, it is only one further final job to replace. Decisions to be made really quickly now as so busy. At least wifey is prepared to buy "me" the special tool as a birthday present! I pointed out it would be a present for the Disco, not me and we had a laugh about it, i said it'd be like me nuying her a pan for a birthday, at which point she said she would like a special big deep frying pan for doing a certain dish we have started doing for dinner parties! So maybe that's what will happen.

    I also note that Rave says to take the front shock and spring out to make it all easier, which I fully understand, although it also says to take the cross member off too. Although I haven't crawled underneath it in the rain, I don't know why that should be necessary.

    I am torn between getting a giant pickle fork type separator and the sort you wind it out with with spacers. I never use the former, I always use either a coupla big hammers or a scissor type but I am not sure which one of the scissor type to get as have no idea of the size necessary. So I expect I'll get the wind out kit with all the extra spacers and bits.

    Charente huh? We went on holiday there once. It was very flat, all the marshes and stuff. We had a lovely time but we prefer to be high up so are at 600 metres in the Montagne Noire.

    Interesting that your chap also went to France, @jamesmartin Once Brexit is sorted out maybe we should have a convention somewhere in France. there are a ton of us with places over there!

    Regarding separating the hub from the axle, here is a tip that I found to be the easiest way. And it is similar to that used for separating ball joints. Just crack the bolts that hold it together, maybe a quarter turn, go round the outside of the hub, clouting it not too hard with the hammer, then go round all the bolts heads giving them a good whack in an outward direction as if each one was a nail, working diagonally. This should free them, if not, then undo them a bit further and repeat. This worked fine on the rear ones, So I assume it'll work ok on the fronts, although I do appreciate the hubs turn. So maybe two hammers simultaneously on two diagonal bolts?

    Right, decision made, I will order all four joints and the special tool, and take the whole lot with me.
    Thanks again @PopPops for the link, the prices look good. All I need to do now is see if they do the axle/hub seals too then I'll be set up.

    thanks all and I'll let you know probably months from now, how I get on.
    Maybe, like the Starter motor thing, I might do another thread on doing the job, with pics. That'll encourage me, as you all know how much I like writing!
    Cheers all
    Stan.
     
  11. jamesmartin

    jamesmartin Well-Known Member

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    ball joints get easier to replace once theyve been replaced already at about 4th 5th replacement they tap in and out very easily,first time is usually very difficult
     
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  12. JUKE179r

    JUKE179r Well-Known Member

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    First time ball joints are a royal PITA. Make sure you have the correct tools before starting.
     
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  13. sierrafery

    sierrafery Well-Known Member

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    I confirm that as i watched my mechanic last time when he changed them(4'th set since i own the vehicle) and he hit once the knuckle with a hammer and the ball joint popped out just like that
     
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  14. Stanleysteamer

    Stanleysteamer Well-Known Member

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    According to Rave there should be yellow stripes painted each time and after the third the whole thing should be changed, lol, so no wonder they just tap out!
    I'm now hoping to find two stripes!:):):)
     
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  15. sierrafery

    sierrafery Well-Known Member

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    That's a bit exagerated IMO
     
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  16. jamesmartin

    jamesmartin Well-Known Member

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    very often it is but lr have to cover their back for the odd one were 3 is the limit, as an individual like you and me etc you can take an informed decision on,how many replacements is suitable with the job in front of you,same when i give advice that differs from the manual,that comes from experience
     
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  17. PopPops

    PopPops Active Member

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    Hi Stanley

    I actually ordered the ball joints from LRdirect, BUT, they don't come with the nuts, which was a surprise when I opened the box, so I had to order the nuts separately. I got Lemforders, as per JM's recommendation. I also got caliper & hub bolts and the axle seals (and I replaced the discs and pads too as these were completely knackered). Some of these were from JGS4x4. I got everything delivered to France. The delivery lady moaned at me when she had to lift the box of discs etc out of the van!

    I agree that everybody says getting the balljoints out is a PITA. I don't think mine had been replaced before (nothing in the full service history either) but it's a 2004 and 140k at the time. I spent a lot of time de-rusting the joints. I have no real other tips and was expecting a real fight, but lots of oil on the G clamp thread, a 3/4" socket set and extension bar of about 1m on the ratchet, tighten up, hit the area, tighten up, hit, tighten and they all slowly moved. Once on the move, as I had de-rusted, they moved steadily. I didn't remove the shocks, springs or the crossmember and only jacked up one side at a time, which I think was an advantage because of the angle the axle was at. Remove the top one first to allow for the G clamp thread to go through the hole. There are millions of youtube videos out there too. It was good exercise in the summer, no need for any gyms!

    Pressing them back in took some fiddling to get it all aligned perfectly, I also cleaned the hole well. Pressing in the top one IS a PITA due to the shape of the axle. I gently tapped them in to start them and then knocked them in with the help of one of the adapter pieces in the kit.

    Thanks for the tip on removing the hub. I invented your method too! But even so, hammer blows only moved the hub 5 microns per hour (it seemed).

    Have fun!

    PP
     
  18. Stanleysteamer

    Stanleysteamer Well-Known Member

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    And this wasn't the hardest part of the job! Wow! I don't even possess a 3/4 " socket set! Although I do have extensions to a breaker bar pretty well this long.
    After my last post it did strike me that I could have a good look in the service history, which is quite big although not completely full. Haven't looked at it since I bought it! But if this job has been done at least once I will be a bit happier. I'll be geting the stuff in the UK before taking it with me.
    In France, if I need a tool, I'll probably use ManoMano who have been good so far and sometimes unbelievably quick. New swimming pool pump in under 24 hours from ordering. Pretty well unheard of in France usually!
    Thanks once again. I will certainly be soaking them in WD etc. It reminds me of the fun I had getting the spigot out of the rear axle on the 300tdi the first time I had to do it. Similar job in many ways, except that the tool you make or get hold of has to be different. Great satifsfaction once you get it beaten!:):):)
     
  19. PopPops

    PopPops Active Member

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    I guess as I was expecting that pressing the joints to be so difficult that when they moved with little persuasion I thought it was easy, relatively! I'm getting old so I tend to use extension bars on ratchets rather than just heave as I would have done years ago!

    My dear old dad bought me the 3/4" socket set for my birthday many many years ago when I had bent, twisted or snapped everything I had 1/2" trying to get a front hub nut off one of my Citroen CXs. At least I can't break the 3/4" stuff!

    I'm sure we all look forward to Stanley's Guide to Replacing Steering Knuckle Ball Joints!

    Cheers.
     
  20. Stanleysteamer

    Stanleysteamer Well-Known Member

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    I have a pretty long breaker bar, 1/2" that I use with an extension tube as like you I am getting on and arm strength was never my thing! But it was OK for doing up the axle hub nuts on my rear axle so it ought to be OK. I would never use it with a ratchet, I broke my thumb the other day when a 1/2" ratchet "let go". Even more annoyed as I never start the nut with anything other than a breaker bar.

    Still would love to know what size nuts I need to order with the ball joints but am going to check out the vehicle's history first before ordering the special tools.

    More later when i have the time. Have yesterday had to position a ladder in a death defying manner, using ratchet straps, to measure up for, manufacture and fit bits of wood to our soffit's end to stop crows nesting in there. Lovely to wake up without the noise of blo ody birds scratting around about 2 metres away from our heads! So got up a bit too late! (Couldn't get to them from inside the loft!)
     
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