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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't confirmed it yet but I have a suspicion that I've got a failing ball-joint on my passenger side. If it's the upper, that is no problem but what I need to know is if it is the lower, is my best option to replace the whole arm or have a new ball-joint pressed in?

I'm getting a clicking/grinding when turning that is coming from that wheel. I'm almost positive it isn't a bearing or CV because I'm very familiar with the sounds those make nor is it my steering which pretty much only leaves the ball-joints as the culprit. Right? The clicking only occurs at very slow speeds like when I'm turning into or backing out of a parking spot. It's random or not in sync with drivetrain rotation.

So which is it? Replace the arm or take the arm to have a new bj pressed in?
 

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Brooklyn br0
'01XE 4x4 3.3AT Locked SAS 35's
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I’ve changed the ball joint on the LCA and would think it is much easier (and cheaper) to do than changing the whole LCA.
 

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You can do it without taking the a-arm off, you do need to pull the half shaft to get to the nut. But after that it is pretty much straight forward. You will need to do some grinding to get the old one out- they bend over the tabs so that the original nut will never come loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cool. Good to know. I've never fooled with a pressed in ball-joint like ours so I was wondering. I'm surprised my ball-joints have survived this long with all the abuse I've put it through. I was expecting one to go soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Awesome! Thanks John. I totally forgot Stu did that.
 

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your noise sounds like what i have too except mine is on the drivers side. same symptoms - going slow, turning, grinding sound.

the dealership and the 4x4 shop both said they thought it was coming from my pitman arm bolt going through my centerlink. let me know if this fixes your problem!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmmm... interesting. I'll look at that for sure. I wonder if the bolt through the idler arm is in a bind on mine. I pulled the CL a few weeks ago to regrease the joints after being in the mud and water and I was in a hurry so I re-installed it without jacking it up and had a b**** of a time getting the bolt back through. That could be it.
 

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Drake, you ever find out which it was?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yep. Ball-joints were fine. One of the bolts on my centerlink was in a bind from when I did some work on it. I loosened up the castle-nut on one side, turned the wheels back and forth a few times, tightened it back up and it's been fine ever since.
 

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I know this is an old thread. It just came up in a search, I'm trying to narrow down my problem.

I am not sure if my passenger lower ball joint is bad or not, I get a popping noise when turning left at slow speeds on that side but only when it is <50 F and my passenger says she can feel it bumping in the floorboards. When it's warm outside, no problems. I know the boot is torn pretty badly on my passenger LBJ. I figured shooting some grease in it would make the noise kind of go away to confirm that is what the problem was but... didn't really help.

Should I be checking the centerlink (if so, how?)? Or should I assume its a ball joint?
 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 3.3L AT
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I know this is an old thread. It just came up in a search, I'm trying to narrow down my problem.

I am not sure if my passenger lower ball joint is bad or not, I get a popping noise when turning left at slow speeds on that side but only when it is <50 F and my passenger says she can feel it bumping in the floorboards. When it's warm outside, no problems. I know the boot is torn pretty badly on my passenger LBJ. I figured shooting some grease in it would make the noise kind of go away to confirm that is what the problem was but... didn't really help.

Should I be checking the centerlink (if so, how?)? Or should I assume its a ball joint?
Does it only do this at full lock?
 

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No, mainly any turn to the left even just slightly. but it also happens sometimes when i accelerate from a stop going straight as well.
 
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