Lower Ball Joint Failure

Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
36
Location
Adelaide, South Australia
Alright so it was my turn... What a f**king s***ty thing to have happen! Thankfully I had almost come to a stop the moment it let go as I was preparing to reverse into a carpark on the side of the road pictured. The strange thing is, the actual ball joint hasnt failed in my situation, but the 4 bolts that hold the ball joint bracket onto the rear of the hub have failed. Two of them have worked themselves loose and were not there post incident and the other two sheared off causing the incident (I presume).

So this raises a couple of questions for me.

1. Is this typically what happens when people experience a lower ball joint failure? The LBJ bracket bolts fail?

2. I recently replaced the CV boots both sides on this car and throughly inspected the bearings to be in good working order. When doing the drivers side, one of the bolts had seized and snapped off during removal requiring some handy work with a welder to remove. As such when I replaced the bolts, I applied a quality anti-seize paste to the threads of the original bolts to prevent future seizing. Is it possible the anti-seize paste has allowed the bolts to work loose resulting in this incident?

As a result of this incident, the CV joint on that side failed also. I managed to fix the car on the side of the road by picking up a 2nd hand CV joint from the local wrecker (just to get me by till the new ones arrive) and 4 new high tensile bolts to reattach the LBJ to the rear of the hub. It's now driving fine and I have all new uppper and lower ball joints, sway bar linkages and CV joints on order and hopefully will have them installed this weekend if they arrive in time. One thing i've learned from this experience and i'd like to share with others is to not reuse old bolts in critical components like this. In a pinch? Yeah thats fine but for the cost of $20 woth of bolts, go and buy all new ones when you take these old ones off for maintainence purposes - expecially as it's well documented that the 90/95 series all have this as a known problem. I'd also maybe suggest tightening the bolts by hand. I used a rattle gun and may have been too heavy handed with retightening old bolts! 2-3 minutes before this pic was taken, my 9yo son and I were doing 110km/h on the freeway. It makes sick to my stomach that this could have happened at high speed. I've been doing a lot of maintainence and upgrade work around this car lately (as and when I can afford) and was 99% confident my LBJ's were fine despite the warnings I have read about. So this really got me by surprise!

As they say, check your balls! and buy new bolts for them too! I found my bolts at Mitre 10. Bunnings didnt have the 1.25mm thread sizes on the M10s bolts. Repco and Supercheap range was a bit random too and didnt have what I needed at the time.

Bolt sizes for each side are: 2 @ (M10 x 1.25 x 25mm) and 2 @ (M10 x 1.25 x 50mm). The 50mm ones I had to cut down to about 40mm to fit.

If anyone can provide answers to my questions above, that would be great and I hope someone finds this useful!

Heres a great linnk on how to inspect your balls! Lower Ball Joint (LBJ) Inspection, Prado 90 Series - https://mighty90s.com/forums/discussion/72/lower-ball-joint-lbj-inspection-prado-90-series


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Joined
Jan 13, 2022
Messages
64
Location
Apex NC
1. My understanding, from the 4Runner guys here stateside, is that the typical LBJ point of failure is the balljoint itself and not the bolts.

2. I've never used anti-seize on suspension bolts.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2022
Messages
64
Location
Apex NC
...that being said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone here. I've done plenty of things that resulted in valuable lessons too.

Just glad you're OK and neither you nor your son got hurt.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
36
Location
Adelaide, South Australia
...that being said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone here. I've done plenty of things that resulted in valuable lessons too.

Just glad you're OK and neither you nor your son got hurt.
Thanks mate!

I re-watched the "how to" YouTube video where I got the anti seize idea from and realized where I got my wires crossed. The person applied anti seize to the sleeves of the ball joint bolt holes and to the ball joints themselves, NOT the threads of the bolts! They also applied a bit of lock tight to the threads which actually makes sense. Looking forward to replacing all these old components and doing it right!
 

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