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hi, my girlfriends v6 96 bird has lately had this horrible creaking/groaning noise occasionally when turning (coming from around the front drivers side wheel). it doesn't really do it over bumps, i don't think, but when i jacked the car up it made the noise too. i looked over everything and saw a few bushings were somewhat worn but the tie rod ends and ball joints looked okay. those are the things i'm really worried about.

anyway, i jacked the car up, and tried to move the top and bottom of the wheel in and out, and move the wheel left to right, there was maybe a quarter inch of play when trying to move the wheel left to right but that was it. i bought a needle attachment to try to "inject" grease into the lower ball joint, but when i tried to put the needle through the rubber, the needle broke.

my question is, how do i inject the ball joints with grease? i've heard this can be done, but i'm not sure where to put the needle? also, anybody else have an idea where this occasional creaking noise could be coming from?
 

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If you don't have a grease fitting that is sticking out of the ball joint, then they are sealed units and the best way to deal w/ that is replace the entire unit.

Jay
 

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If you have a 1/4 inch of play from side to side, are you sure that the tie rods are okay? It could be a ball joint problem, but it could be tie rods too. Or a wheel bearing. The factory ball joints are sealed, permanently lubed, low-friction units. You can buy replacements from Ford or Moog, etc.
 

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The ball joints on these cars are notorious for wearing out, simplest fix is to just buy replacements. My uppers on bother sides are shot, so this is in my future as well.
 

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If you have a 1/4 inch of play from side to side, are you sure that the tie rods are okay? It could be a ball joint problem, but it could be tie rods too. Or a wheel bearing. The factory ball joints are sealed, permanently lubed, low-friction units. You can buy replacements from Ford or Moog, etc.
Thats the first thing I thought as well. there should NOT be that much (if any) play from side to side on a power rack and pinion car.
 

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Buy the ford ball joints; the aftermarket ones have a lot of friction by comparison.

If you think its the ball joint, fix it asap.

If it fails at speed, the lower arm and everything hits the ground...Not pretty, and potentially deadly.

Use search, there's some pretty good pics here, somewhere. (if they're still here.)
 
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