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57wagon

1957 Ball Joints

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Not sure if this is the proper place to post this, if it needs a redirect tell me!

Yesterday I decided to have the car alligned, as I had not done it since I installed the power steering system and related components. The dreaded call came in...needs lower ball joints, an inner tie rod and an idler arm. The tie rod and Idler are no big deal. The CHOKER are the ball joints. $400 PER SIDE on an exchange basis! OUCH!

So, can anyone tell me the reason why these are so expensive (besides being a 1 year only part) and if there is someone out there rebuilding them at a cheaper price? Perhaps even a part that crosses with the '57 joints? Any help here would be much appreciated, as I really do not want to sink that kind of money into the car right now, but at the same time I want her to be safe and in control! HELP!

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Only '57 ball joints fit '57. Somewhere out there someone has been rebuilding these, I will do some research, you should too. Do be aware that the lowers were designed with about 1/16 inch free play in them and almost all front end shops will tell you they need to be replaced when they do not. Occasionally there are NOS offered on ebay.

Dan

'57 76C

'57 56R

'63 4467

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And the way to check this is with two people. Jack the car up so the front tire is approx 5 inches off the ground. Get a long large screwdriver slip it under the tire. While one person tries to move the tire upward have the second person observe the movement of the assy versus the ball joint. If there is a lot of slop, then yes they need replacement. As always observe all safety proceedures, blocking tires and staying out from underneath the car. Hope this helps.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> $400 PER SIDE on an exchange basis! OUCH!

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Yup. That's right. They are being rebuilt but that's the rebuilt price, that's why they need your core. What the above guys say about .062 play being built into the lower joint is correct. The shop manual doesn't cover that but it's detailed quite well in the service updates. I don't have a scanner or I'd send it to you. Maybe someone else can help with that.

I've read somewhere of the steps nneded to replace the 57 A-Arms with 58's to get around the ball joint problem. The trouble is the 58's are pressed steel and look nothing like the 57's. If you don't care about that and use your car a lot that might be an option for you........Bob

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Thanks to you all! I will pass this information on to my mechanic and se what he has to say about how much play was there.

And I like the idea of using the '58 parts, but I do not want to deviate from the front end of the '57. Something about all of those forged and cast bits that just look so nice.

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I found the service bulletin. It say normal lateral play at tire circunfrence can be as much as 1/4 inch. If more than that they say to replace the ball joint........Bob

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You can use the spindles and upper and lower control arms from a '59-'60 without the air ride suspension. See this thread:

'57 suspension upgrade

My parts interchange shows:

Lower A arm: Buick '59-'60 (w/o air ride), 1185792 ®, 1185793 (L)

Upper A arm (w/ shaft): Buick '58-'60, 1193956 ®, 1193957 (L)

Spindles: Buick '58-'60, 1388196 ®, 1388197 (L)

Upper ball joints: Buick '58-'60, 1388875 (R or L)

Lower ball joints: Buick '58-'60, 1388876 (R or L)

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