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2G Knocking sound, lower control arm boot cracked.

THiCC ECLiPSE GSeX

Proven Member
101
11
Apr 20, 2020
Burlington, Connecticut
So I was driving my car to work and noticed a knocking sound from the passenger side wheel well. Parked and got out to look, one of the lower contol arm ball joint boots is collapsed and has the bolt poking through. Do these cars have 2 lower ball joints on each side? I was told the car doesn't have any play there. I was also told you have to replace the whole lower contol arm, not just the ball joints. They quoted me $1200 😳 (in CT) to replace one lower arm on each side and alignment, is that fair? Seems high. Is this something I can do myself at home? And if so what tools will I need.
 
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luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
8,394
1,169
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
There are 2 arms per side (the straight lateral lower arm assembly MB242334 and the curved compression lower arm assembly MR296292) each with a ball joint going into the knuckle. Do this while watching the ball joints to see which is bad (
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).
On a 2g you usually have to buy the arm already with the ball joint. You can replace the arm yourself but it's going to be some work. As I recall I had to remove the driveshaft which is really stuck on there {rented puller https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/need-help.235884/post-50449790} just to be able to get a wrench on those ball joint nuts which are on the inside of the knuckle. Here's some more tips on removing the arms: https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/awd-drivers-axle-help.462647/#post-153254703. Aside from normal hand tools, you'll need a 32mm socket for the driveshaft nut (impact one if using impact air gun or it will crack), breaker bar and usually a 2' pipe to put over it to remove that driveshaft nut, the puller I mentioned above if driveshaft is stuck (which it usually is), ball joint separator.
 
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THiCC ECLiPSE GSeX

Proven Member
101
11
Apr 20, 2020
Burlington, Connecticut
Here is the driver's side:

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THiCC ECLiPSE GSeX

Proven Member
101
11
Apr 20, 2020
Burlington, Connecticut
Here is the passenger's side:



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luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
8,394
1,169
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
You can't tell by just looks. You have to move the tire with a pry bar and watch the ball joints - although the passenger side lateral ball joint boot looks cracked which is not good. BTW is that a crack in the passenger side damper fork (4th pic) or just an illusion?
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,298
2,843
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Here is the passenger's side:



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You mentioned a catastrophic failure. Where??
 

THiCC ECLiPSE GSeX

Proven Member
101
11
Apr 20, 2020
Burlington, Connecticut
It seems this is making the clunking sound when I turn or slow down sometimes.

Is this actually a grease fitting? Anything else gonna be a problem?

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You can't tell by just looks. You have to move the tire with a pry bar and watch the ball joints - although the passenger side lateral ball joint boot looks cracked which is not good. BTW is that a crack in the passenger side damper fork (4th pic) or just an illusion?
I think it's an illusion because there is a thin line of metal that goes down the side of the fork. I will have to inspect it tho.

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You can't tell by just looks. You have to move the tire with a pry bar and watch the ball joints - although the passenger side lateral ball joint boot looks cracked which is not good. BTW is that a crack in the passenger side damper fork (4th pic) or just an illusion?
Can I check play with the jack that came with the car? Or do I need more tools? Besides a crow bar.

You mentioned a catastrophic failure. Where??
It is at least a cracked boot and knocking. Outlined some pics in the thread.
 
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THiCC ECLiPSE GSeX

Proven Member
101
11
Apr 20, 2020
Burlington, Connecticut
Cracked boot here? That will make it knock?

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"The boot is collapsed and the bolt is poking through "

Where??
I think one side and not the other has a grease fitting? I don't know why that would be the case tho... I thought it was some kind of bolt. 🙃
 
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THiCC ECLiPSE GSeX

Proven Member
101
11
Apr 20, 2020
Burlington, Connecticut
The fitting is broken off or the ball joints has been replaced. Factory joints don't have fittings.
Ok, so someone replaced 1 or 2 of the original straight fronts, and the curved fronts I had done with MOOG replacements.

Also, if I replace them with aftermarket is there any good or recommended arms that have seperate replaceable ball joints?
 

THiCC ECLiPSE GSeX

Proven Member
101
11
Apr 20, 2020
Burlington, Connecticut
Ok, so the quote was for 4 lower arms and alignment, I am just gonna have them do the one with the cracked boot for now. Thanks everyone for the answers. 👍
 

CKOPOCT

Proven Member
146
78
May 27, 2017
North East, Maryland
Cracked boot won't cause clunking or alignment/drivability issues. The boot just keeps grease in and dirt/small animals out. When the boot cracks it allows water and grit to get to the joint, causing wear. It'll take a while, but eventually the grease will push out and get displaced by water and road grime. Once a boot loses its integrity you probably have a few months before you get noticable damage, depending on where and how you drive.

Unlike brakes and struts, there's no reason to replace joints in pairs; just replace what is bad or obviously soon-to-be-bad.
 

THiCC ECLiPSE GSeX

Proven Member
101
11
Apr 20, 2020
Burlington, Connecticut
Cracked boot won't cause clunking or alignment/drivability issues. The boot just keeps grease in and dirt/small animals out. When the boot cracks it allows water and grit to get to the joint, causing wear. It'll take a while, but eventually the grease will push out and get displaced by water and road grime. Once a boot loses its integrity you probably have a few months before you get noticable damage, depending on where and how you drive.

Unlike brakes and struts, there's no reason to replace joints in pairs; just replace what is bad or obviously soon-to-be-bad.
Thank you, all fixed now, replaced arm.
 

THiCC ECLiPSE GSeX

Proven Member
101
11
Apr 20, 2020
Burlington, Connecticut
Curious what it cost? nice pictures btw. super clear...
Too much, $480 parts/labor/alignment for 1 lower control arm. I am gonna start learning how to work on my own car. Lol. :D

I used flash in the pics to see all details.
 
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