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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I replaced both front ball joints and tie rod ends on my 99 3rd gen 7500 miles ago. When I first drove it, it made a crunching/clunking noise. It didn't seem like I had tightened the ball joint bolts up enough by hand, so I took an air impact wrench to it. This snugged things up nicely and no more clunking/noise, until just a few days ago. It seems like the drivers side started making the same clunking noise it made when the bolts were loose. I pulled the wheel off and checked it out, and the pinch bolt and outer ball joint to control arm bolt (outer meaning closer to the wheel) seemed a little loose. I took the air impact wrench to the pinch bolt and it immediately stripped and started spinning. Next, I tried to tighten the ball joint bolt by hand, but after a little resistance, that one started spinning. It is definitely stripped, as I was holding the opposite end of the bolt with a wrench while I tried tightening it.

Why are these bolts stripping out? Is the bolt stripping, or the nut (I would assume the nut would be weaker?) Did I do something wrong, or did I just get cheap/crap hardware with the replacement ball joints? Lastly, does the pinch bolt need to just stay in its groove, or actually be tight? I need to drive this as-is for the next week before I have time to work on it..
 

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Do you recall the brand or vendor? Some parts are just cheap shit. On the Ball joint yo control arm bolt, is just the nut stripped and spinning, or have the knurls/splines strip?(nut and stud spin together)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The stud is not spinning, only the nut.

1. They are MOOG, with the grease fittings
2. I've never seen any torque specs for the ball joints. The old ones required a LOT of force to remove, so I didn't think an impact wrench would hurt it any.
3. Yes
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Does anyone know what size bolts are on the ball joint? I don't know if I will have to grind them off to remove them. Also, what is this torque spec that I should install the new hardware at?
 

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Yeah, I put a cheap set of ball joints on my mine. And right away I over-tighten the cheap pinch bolt & the nut started spinning. Luckily, I was able to back them off. The tread & nut was shot. So I did buy some new stronger bolts at the hardware store. I can't remember what size bolts they were, however all I did was take in the old pinch bolt & matched it to the new one. I hand-tighened the new ones, no extra torquing, just enough to be snug.

I also had the "clunking/noise" after installing the ball joints. As soon as I simply placed a washer and a lock washer on the new pinch bolt, the sound went away. I can't say the lock washer & the sound going away were related, but it worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did the same thing - just replaced all the hardware. I found the torque specs and torqued accordingly. Used lock washers this time around to keep it from loosening.
 
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