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Issue with Steeda X11 balljoints / SLA Boss Comp LCA's

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captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,954
1,698
Phoenix, Az
I have a koni strut coming out for replacement, and while I was inspecting the suspension before disassembly, I found a lot of play in the tire while in the air. I was able to move it laterally about 1/4", and I could see the strut move relative with the wheel. I did some poking around and enlisted some help and could see that the ball joint seemed to have some play in it, on both my arms.

They were purchased in June, installed in July and have logged about 4500 miles (spent most of their time in a paint shop, long story). They were greased on install long with the bushings (they have a zerk on the bottom).

I called Steeda for support, they recommended regreasing them. I've done so and the play has tightened up some (to the point where play in the wheel can be felt, but its much more dampened and more like 1/32"), but my concern is that this is excessive, and that from the factory, the tolerance was much more tight (0-0.3 mm (0-0.012 in) per the service manual). Steering did clean up a bit, but now I'm curious how often they'd require regreasing, and how long until the grease is just pushed out letting the void/tolerance just open back up.

Steeda will take the arms in for inspection (I don't have any stockers) or I can buy another set, but I wanted to get some opinions before I move forward. I'm concerned that with just street use, this could be an issue with those balljoints, and they're not a fun part to replace (removing the rack is a huge PITA to get at the front LCA bolt). I have zero track miles on them, and I bought these arms for that specific purpose.

Also, are the balljoints serviceable as in can they be pressed out and replaced should I want to source a different brand? I wouldn't be as concerned if this was just one side, but being both isn't a good sign.
 
1,482
408
Are those the Steeda LCAs that come with the X11s? Does the LCA have the stock hydro bushings still in them? What about the poly rear bushings?
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,954
1,698
Phoenix, Az
Video as requested:

From the front of the wheel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPJheREmoFI
(hard to see, but the strut body rotates with the wheel, indicative of something other than the wheel bearings)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkduGvWpx4g

It looks like the arm and tie rod pivot a bit, but I think that's due to the change of the relationship to the spindle.

This is after "regreasing them". Will take the spindle off the balljoint and manually check it for play this weekend.
 
Do you ever have brake shimmy by chance? I wonder if a worn ball joint can exacerbate that issue

Also, have you looked into Howe Racing threaded ball joint as another option?
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,954
1,698
Phoenix, Az
I hadn't looked into it, I wonder if I can use it.

In short, yes it does create a shimmy for me, I can feel it through the wheel, feels almost like the old shimmy from the old rack, but much less pronounced.

Steeda is shipping a fresh set of X11 balljoints, but I'll also look into the howe ones, I wonder what's involved in doing a threaded balljoint on this car.
 

steveespo

Lord knows I'm a Voodoo Child
Moderator
4,015
1,957
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Cookeville TN
Takes about 3 hours a side for me. Jack the car, pull the wheel, calipers, rotor, pop the lower arm out. Set the press, crank out the old BJ, set up the new one , crank it in ensuring it is going in square and bolting everything back together. Drop the car and repeat. A little wipe of bearing grease on the new BJ helps it pop in without galling on the control arm. I also tried to use an impact gun to remove, but was worried it would damage the control arm so I stopped and used the breaker bar as recommended in the directions with the press.
Steve
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,954
1,698
Phoenix, Az
the new joints are in, the tool made it easy. 2.5 hour job with breaks for beer, posting useless stuff on facebook, etc.

The new ones were greased, however I gave them a few pumps after install to be safe. the driver's was more loose than the passenger, but when you put the old joints in a vise and check for play, you don't find a whole lot. Not sure what the issue is with these, but my wheels definitely don't move now.

We will see what Steeda finds (thanks again for the great support), and how these fare after a couple months.
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,954
1,698
Phoenix, Az
Well back to square one. The play is back in the replacement set. These I had greased on install, before a track event and right after. They made 1000ish street miles and one track event.


Frustrating as the play results in sloppy steering and a "tram lining " effect as the tires can move on their own.
 
captdistraction said:
Well back to square one. The play is back in the replacement set. These I had greased on install, before a track event and right after. They made 1000ish street miles and one track event.


Frustrating as the play results in sloppy steering and a "tram lining " effect as the tires can move on their own.

Funny you mention that. Check out what mine is up to--

[youtube]9dLmev5pUP8[/youtube]

If I figure out where to find the correct Howe Industry threaded ball joint, that's the way I'm going next. Otherwise, it's back to stock.
 

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