Failed Inspection: Ball joints or wheel bearing? (1 Viewer)

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OK, just got back from my inspection. the guy who did the state inspection said that rocking the front driver wheel up and down (while on a jack) gave it an inch of up/down play. He says it's one of the ball joints and recommends replacing both upper and lower ball joints on the driver side, said passenger side is ok. He was a young guy.

Now a mechanic on the other side of the garage got interested as well as the garage owner. THe senior mechanic stated that it may just be a wheel bearing and that it might be able to be "tightened". He stated that the ball joints look ok.

So I have 2 mechanics in the same shop disagreeing. I just got the truck back home and will take a look myself but really don't know much about front ends. One thing it does is occasionally clunks on a hard right lock-to-lock turn. Maybe that sheds some light on it.

Any words of wisdom? Pointers on what to look for? Opinions on what I can look for to help me get a MUD diagnosis?

Going out back now (12.20 EDT) to take a look... UGH. Hate having a rejected sticker in MA. Cops are brutal with it.
 
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Well... number one is you don't have ball joints on a 60! You do have wheel bearings and they could be loose. But you also have trunnion bearings on the top and bottom of the front axle.

You can check by watching how the various parts move when the lifted wheel is rocked up and down. If the just the hub moves maybe wheel bearings, if the the end of the axle moves check the trunnion bearings.

But to have inches of movement, something is seriously wrong and should be checked ASAP.

Good luck,

Doug
 
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I would consider not bringing it back to that shop. You don't have ball joints, for starters. You have trunion bearings in the knuckles on your front axle. I'd buy a couple cases of good beer, then post up that you need a hand with front axle stuff. The parts are cheap, the work is easy (but very messy), and it's a great way to learn more about your Cruiser. There's almost certainly someone in New England who would enjoy lending a hand for a weekend, especially if you can provide good beer and an assortment of grilled meats.

There are a handful of things that jump out at me as possibilities... one is trunion (knuckle) bearings, another is wheel bearings as the shop suggested. There's a chance that if the suspension was unloaded from putting the truck on a lift, and you had some very worn spring/shackle bushings, that could be the source, but I'd think that someone would have seen the spring moving at the same time.

In short, there's really not all that much going on down there, and it shouldn't be too hard to pinpoint the location if you've got someone who knows these rigs well.

Eric
 
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Well... number one is you don't have ball joints on a 60! You do have wheel bearings and they could be loose. But you also have trunnion bearings on the top and bottom of the front axle.

You can check by watching how the various parts move when the lifted wheel is rocked up and down. If the just the hub moves maybe wheel bearings, if the the end of the axle moves check the trunnion bearings.

But to have inches of movement, something is seriously wrong and should be checked ASAP.

Good luck,

Doug
Ha! Doug's a faster typist than me! At least you've got a couple of concurring opinions now :)
 

GLTHFJ60

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If you had an inch in any direction with your front axle, you'd be having a lot more issues than not passing inspection.

Have you done a front axle rebuild yet? If not, I'd say do it and then go back to the shop and watch while they inspect the front end.
 
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Wow!! they actually this type of stuff at state inspections? All they do here is sniff your exhaust pipe.
Yes, I live in NJ and MA. For instance, NJ just went self inspect for all motorcycles. It was a joke anyhow, blinkers, horn, lights and reflective stickers - that's it.

MA is a different story, I took my MA bike to inspection and the wrench was all over it.

For this truck they'd test emissions and who knows if I'd pass. I plan to take out the smog stuff. In MA they do stringent mechanical for safety but no emissions for this year. Plus the truck is 99% in MA and not in NJ. MA = cheaper insurance.
 
Joined
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Messages
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NW NJ and Western MA
Well... number one is you don't have ball joints on a 60! You do have wheel bearings and they could be loose. But you also have trunnion bearings on the top and bottom of the front axle.

You can check by watching how the various parts move when the lifted wheel is rocked up and down. If the just the hub moves maybe wheel bearings, if the the end of the axle moves check the trunnion bearings.

But to have inches of movement, something is seriously wrong and should be checked ASAP.

Good luck,

Doug
Just got the wheel off a while ago, looks like only a bit of slop at everything from the disc out. Gonna have to see how I can possibly tighten it up. It's really just a farm truck/wheeler but cops love to ticket for inspection out here and the less I know johnny law, the better.
 
Joined
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Messages
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NW NJ and Western MA
Well... number one is you don't have ball joints on a 60! You do have wheel bearings and they could be loose. But you also have trunnion bearings on the top and bottom of the front axle.

You can check by watching how the various parts move when the lifted wheel is rocked up and down. If the just the hub moves maybe wheel bearings, if the the end of the axle moves check the trunnion bearings.

But to have inches of movement, something is seriously wrong and should be checked ASAP.

Good luck,

Doug
Oh, good to know about the ball joints, the young mechanic I felt was a putz. I don;t see and inch of play or whatever they were talking about. with the wheel on, maybe you get a quarter of side to side play on the upper or lower part of the wheel. With the wheel off, I rock the disc and nothing behind it seems to move, but the aisin hub seems to rock a slight bit.

might dig out the FSM and see what can be taken apart easily and looked at.
 
Joined
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Messages
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NW NJ and Western MA
I would consider not bringing it back to that shop. You don't have ball joints, for starters. You have trunion bearings in the knuckles on your front axle. I'd buy a couple cases of good beer, then post up that you need a hand with front axle stuff. The parts are cheap, the work is easy (but very messy), and it's a great way to learn more about your Cruiser. There's almost certainly someone in New England who would enjoy lending a hand for a weekend, especially if you can provide good beer and an assortment of grilled meats.

There are a handful of things that jump out at me as possibilities... one is trunion (knuckle) bearings, another is wheel bearings as the shop suggested. There's a chance that if the suspension was unloaded from putting the truck on a lift, and you had some very worn spring/shackle bushings, that could be the source, but I'd think that someone would have seen the spring moving at the same time.

In short, there's really not all that much going on down there, and it shouldn't be too hard to pinpoint the location if you've got someone who knows these rigs well.

Eric
Yeah, just did a tech day locally up here for KLR's and that was fun, no beers (bummer) but I brought a ton of pork sausages and brats and keilbasa from the local pork butcher. YUM.

I don't see the shackles move. On the front at least, the rear is worn out but that's more of a flat spring problem.

I see movement on the drivers wheel. I remove the wheel and see I can rock the disc and that and the hub tend to move a slight bit.

I do not see the inch of play they discussed, however.
 
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If you had an inch in any direction with your front axle, you'd be having a lot more issues than not passing inspection.

Have you done a front axle rebuild yet? If not, I'd say do it and then go back to the shop and watch while they inspect the front end.
The PO said he did it within a year of me buying it. He did not put many miles on it since. I've done less than a thousand I'd say. It's mostly a farm truck/wheeler and it does take some abuse.

And yes, I do not see the one inch of play. if I did, hell, i'd not be driving it!

I do see maybe a quarter inch of play with the 31" tire mounted.
 
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Ketchum, ID
Oh, good to know about the ball joints, the young mechanic I felt was a putz. I don;t see and inch of play or whatever they were talking about. with the wheel on, maybe you get a quarter of side to side play on the upper or lower part of the wheel. With the wheel off, I rock the disc and nothing behind it seems to move, but the aisin hub seems to rock a slight bit.

might dig out the FSM and see what can be taken apart easily and looked at.
The nut you'll need to tighten for your hub bearing is a 54mm (2 1/8). You can get this socket from a few different places, but in a pinch you can tighten using a drift and hammer (carefully!) Marlin, and a few others sell the socket (it's not a high torque application, so don't go spending $75 for a 3/4" drive real deal 2 1/8 socket when you can get this one for a little over $20.



I'd still think about servicing your front axle if it hasn't been done, as suggested by GLTH.

knuckle.jpg

I've outlined in red the part that will move if your knuckle (trunion) bearings are toast. If that's solid, then you're looking at wheel bearings.
knuckle.jpg
 
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I plan to take out the smog stuff. In MA they do stringent mechanical for safety but no emissions for this year. Plus the truck is 99% in MA and not in NJ. MA = cheaper insurance.
Why take it out? Who knows when they'll add your year back into the test schedule?
 
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The nut you'll need to tighten for your hub bearing is a 54mm (2 1/8). You can get this socket from a few different places, but in a pinch you can tighten using a drift and hammer (carefully!) Marlin, and a few others sell the socket (it's not a high torque application, so don't go spending $75 for a 3/4" drive real deal 2 1/8 socket when you can get this one for a little over $20.



I'd still think about servicing your front axle if it hasn't been done, as suggested by GLTH.

View attachment 510920

I've outlined in red the part that will move if your knuckle (trunion) bearings are toast. If that's solid, then you're looking at wheel bearings.

Ah, gonna check that. very informative pic. I think we have some massive sockets here for the case tractor and the drift hammer may work as well. Will just have to give it a looksee.

Gonna have to bust out the FSM to see where the hub bearing is....

back in a bit...
 
Joined
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Messages
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NW NJ and Western MA
The nut you'll need to tighten for your hub bearing is a 54mm (2 1/8). You can get this socket from a few different places, but in a pinch you can tighten using a drift and hammer (carefully!) Marlin, and a few others sell the socket (it's not a high torque application, so don't go spending $75 for a 3/4" drive real deal 2 1/8 socket when you can get this one for a little over $20.



I'd still think about servicing your front axle if it hasn't been done, as suggested by GLTH.

View attachment 510920

I've outlined in red the part that will move if your knuckle (trunion) bearings are toast. If that's solid, then you're looking at wheel bearings.
Eric, from one Eric to another, I owe you an adult beverage. I got into it and it was in fact the bearing inner nut and outer nut that had loosened. Somebody had been in there with a a carbon steel punch from the looks of it. Banged it up pretty good. I was able to use a soft metal drift (no brass on hand) and cinch both up!

Looks like we're good to go. no play up/down on anything now. wonder if the clunk will go away. Oh well, at least I can button it up and go inspect. One thing I noticed was that one cone washer was MIA the whole time. I know I didn't drop it. Oughta get one.

Thanks to everyone that provided info here. It was all helpful as well as my FSM and some creative tool stuff like drift subsitution, lack of a spring spreader pliers, mondo socket ,etc.
 
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Eric, from one Eric to another, I owe you an adult beverage. I got into it and it was in fact the bearing inner nut and outer nut that had loosened. Somebody had been in there with a a carbon steel punch from the looks of it. Banged it up pretty good. I was able to use a soft metal drift (no brass on hand) and cinch both up!

Looks like we're good to go. no play up/down on anything now. wonder if the clunk will go away. Oh well, at least I can button it up and go inspect. One thing I noticed was that one cone washer was MIA the whole time. I know I didn't drop it. Oughta get one.

Thanks to everyone that provided info here. It was all helpful as well as my FSM and some creative tool stuff like drift subsitution, lack of a spring spreader pliers, mondo socket ,etc.
That's great! It's nice (and rare) when the easy, cheap/free fix is the one that's needed. For me, it usually ends up being the one that you go in saying "I hope it's not the..." And if I had to buy a beer to everyone on 'Mud that helped me along the way, well, let's just say I'm glad I brew at home. I'm just happy to pay it forward and help a fellow Cruiser dude out.
 

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