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View Full Version : TR4/4A restoration - ball joints, TR4



Willie_P
05-18-2011, 02:55 PM
Relative newbie here;

I am in a full frame off restoration of a Tr4 that has the later type ball joints.

My car is only showing 55,000 miles on the ODO and I drove it occasionally for two years before starting the restoration. It drove well.

Since I have everything apart; should I go ahead and replace the ball joints? (I believe I have the originals now, since they have the grease fitting on the top).

Also, should I replace the tie rod ends as well?

Thanks- wes

tdskip
05-18-2011, 03:10 PM
Hi Wes - if everything is apart now is the time but as the quality of the replacement parts can vary so get some opinions here. Personally I replaced everything on the TR4a which only had 45K on it since it sat for 20+ years and I had no idea of the condition of the inner surfaces of the ball joints and tie rods.

Andrew Mace
05-18-2011, 03:27 PM
Frankly, if I couldn't detect any play or "rough" movement, I'd leave them. If they're greaseable, they likely are original. I know on original Herald/Spitfire balljoints there is an "A&amp;A" mark (for Alford &amp; Alder, a Triumph subsidiary that supplied suspension bits). Is there such a mark? Not that you have to preserve the originality, but the OEM quality was really pretty good, especially compared to <span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-style: italic">some</span></span> currently available bits.

TR3driver
05-18-2011, 03:57 PM
I may be a natural cheapskate, but I'd reuse them if they are in good shape. Both tie rod ends and upper ball joints seem to last a long time on these cars, and they are readily replaced with the car assembled if they wear out later on.

Check the boots, and replace them if they show any signs of deterioration.

Willie_P
05-18-2011, 04:42 PM
...you guys are hitting the nail on the head of what prompted my post; a xx,xxx mile OEM ball joint might be better than a brand new one made in some far off (not the UK!) land made of questionable metallurgy.

lbcs_r_fun
05-18-2011, 04:44 PM
...you guys are hitting the nail on the head of what prompted my post; a xx,xxx mile OEM ball joint might be better than a brand new one made in some far off (not the UK!) land made of questionable metallurgy.


You've got that right!

T

KVH
05-18-2011, 06:01 PM
I guess I'm going to disagree. It's a frame off, so why not put some new ball joints on the car? Life is short. Go for it.

I don't think Moss or any of the big three (or any of our good vendors) are likely to sell a bad ball joint.

My feeling comes from having been in a car that had 70K miles on it when the left ball joint broke. I realize no one expects one to break, but it was scary when it did.

If it ever happened again, I'd like to feel that I have both a good excuse and some recourse.

TR3driver
05-18-2011, 07:53 PM
a) I'd bet money it was not a Triumph part that broke.

b) Not likely to get any satisfaction from a modern replacement.

c) They sure have sold a lot of other defective parts, why not ball joints? And to the best of my knowledge, none of them have offered any relief from bad parts, beyond replacing the part and sometimes paying shipping both ways.

The sad truth is, a known good part is frequently better than a new one.

Andrew Mace
05-18-2011, 09:24 PM
They sure have sold a lot of other defective parts, why not ball joints? And to the best of my knowledge, none of them have offered any relief from bad parts, beyond replacing the part and sometimes paying shipping both ways....and that's what I've gotten: no more (and no less). Case in point: reproduction tie rod ends for a Spitfire...that were actually drilled and tapped off-center. Good news? Possibly a one-time error, as the quickly sent replacements were fine. Bad news? The rubber boots disintegrated after six months of storage -- no use of the car was involved. (More good news: new boots were also sent <span style="font-style: italic">gratis</span>.)


The sad truth is, a known good part is frequently better than a new one. :iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

hondo402000
05-19-2011, 06:08 AM
I bet the rubber covers are much better, on the originals if you decide to replace the joints I would keep the original rubber covers and use them on the new ones, the rubber on new ones IME crack in a few years

Hondo

Willie_P
05-19-2011, 06:11 AM
as an update; I found the ball joints last night and tie rod ends (all removed from a long, long nap in a plastic baggie, still covered in the grease).

The tie rods are stamped A&amp;A and the ball joints have a cast "LO..." number on them.

I have them in the cleaner now for inspection.

The rubber boots look good except one that I may have mangled in my original dissassembly process.