Ball joints came out! Is this an isolated case or a problem?

James

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Hey folks,

This is kinda of a crazy one. Thought I would post it to see if anyone else has had this problem or is this a freak one off case.

We were out a few weeks ago, met up with some other JLUR owners from this form for an easy trail. There were three JLUR and one JKUR, I was leading the group.

Again nothing major or difficult on this run. About halfway through the day we came to another right hand turn on a flat graded road, the Jeep in this photo has the Mopar 2” lift with 35” tires and was following the three previous jeeps line. Nothing major! Flat graded road.

He said he heard a pop and the front driver side tire slammed towards the passenger, the guy taking the photo yelled stop, something broke! They yelled for me to come over to see what happened. I have to say my jaw was hanging down in surprise, I have never seen ball joints pop out like this before. We were going really slow into the washes. So speed was not a factor.


We spent the next 5 hours in the hot sun dealing with this problem. Since the upper and lower ball joints were no longer attached and we were a good drive from a major road for a flatbed, we needed to get these ball joints back into place.

The first problem was getting the Jeep stabilized on jacks in the supper soft dirt, we ended up using some concrete blocks we found.
Once stabilized I started working on taking the front wheel off to see what needed to be done. The axle u joint was broken and the odd part again was both upper and lower ball joints were completely out. I pull the axel out of its shaft and remove the ball joints from the steering knuckle. What I found odd and again I’m no mechanic was the nuts for the ball joints were finger tight. There are cotter pins holding them in place, I just thought these would be tighter. I took both off with my fingers once the cotter pins were removed. Is this normal?

I used a deep socket and 5lb sledgehammer to reinstall the upper ball joint. The upper one went in fairly easy (thought it should have been a lot harder and again I’m not a mechanic) I just remember doing the ones on my TJ and omg a bitch with the correct tools!
I started to work on the lower one. Yes Dorthy, this one is what I expected, a complete bitch to get in and took me a long time. I had to take a few brakes and even switch hands a few times. I even dug a deeper hole underneath it to be able to get a better swing on the hammer. After a lot of bad words and swinging for the fence it was in good enough. I installed the knuckle and wheel. We were back in business to get him to a main road for a tow truck.

The owner took his Jeep to a dealership and omg they are saying the entire front end needs to be replaced. They are quoting the entire axel and knuckle to be replaced.
And it’s not covered by any warranty!

My concern, is there a problem or is this a freak one off deal?



Again this is not my JLUR it is one of the members from here.

Any thoughts?

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Shenanigans

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Wow. Not good.
 

Smarrtazz

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Holy Hell! It’s a good thing you guys are mechanically inclined. I hope this is a one off...good luck :)
 

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Hey folks

the Jeep in this photo has the Mopar 2” lift with 35” tires and was following the three previous jeeps line.

The owner took his Jeep to a dealership and omg they are saying the entire front end needs to be replaced. They are quoting the entire axel and knuckle to be replaced.
And it’s not covered by any warranty!

My concern, is there a problem or is this a freak one off deal?



Again this is not my JLUR it is one of the members from here.

Any thoughts?
Take to another dealer, this should be warranty (unless for some ungodly reason he is past the 36,000 mile mark which I highly doubt). At first look I saw the after market parts so that could explain the “no warranty” but if it was a Mopar lift it should all be covered. Who did the lift install?
 

J.R. Quimby

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I have 11,700 miles on my JL, most of that with the 2" MOPAR lift and 35s. I just did 3 days of trail running and have lots of trail running before that. This may not be one off, but its certainly a very low instance of occurrence?
 
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James

James

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Hopefully a freak one off. Unless the inner C is wallowed out...the whole housing shouldn't need to be replaced and it should be covered under warranty. I'd have it towed to a different dealer.

The balljoints have ridiculously low torque numbers (as do the steering linkages)...I suspect this is due to the change to aluminum for the knuckle.
Hey

It was FCA who declined the repair.
 
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James

James

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Take to another dealer, this should be warranty (unless for some ungodly reason he is past the 36,000 mile mark which I highly doubt). At first look I saw the after market parts so that could explain the “no warranty” but if it was a Mopar lift it should all be covered. Who did the lift install?
Hey
He has 4,000 miles on it, FCA declined the repair.
He filed for help with FCA today, we will see what happens.
 
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James

James

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Take to another dealer, this should be warranty (unless for some ungodly reason he is past the 36,000 mile mark which I highly doubt). At first look I saw the after market parts so that could explain the “no warranty” but if it was a Mopar lift it should all be covered. Who did the lift install?
He did the lift, the dealership did the spring pad isalotors.
 
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James

James

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I have 11,700 miles on my JL, most of that with the 2" MOPAR lift and 35s. I just did 3 days of trail running and have lots of trail running before that. This may not be one off, but its certainly a very low instance of occurrence?
Hey

I completely agree, here is my JLUR, I have 8,000 miles on it 90% of the miles are off road, I did the lift, wheels and tires at 200 miles. No major problems and I use mine off road.
This was one of the reasons I posted this, I have never seen ball joints pop out going slow making a turn on flat ground. The owner of the broken JLUR is new to the Jeep world and is freaking out it broke the way it did, especially after watching me in my JLUR doing stuff that he would not do.

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Bearded_Dragon

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That's scary! Luckily nobody was hurt and it happened off-road at low speeds. I cannot see how FCA would decline coverage, ridiculous!
 

Torero

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I would like to know on what basis is or was the warranty claim denied?
Glad I didn’t pay for any extended warranties if something like this is denied.
 

Andy2434

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Pleased to read that no one was hurt in that incident. Will be following for updates.
 
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I would like to know on what basis is or was the warranty claim denied?
Glad I didn’t pay for any extended warranties if something like this is denied.
Hey

Great question,
I been talking with the guy every few days. He said the claim was rejected and sent him two repair options at his cost. They texted it to him vs a phone call. I guess it would take too much of their time to make a phone call, right?

The cost to repair is $8k range, I started laughing at this cost. It needs a axel u joint, clean up the treads on the ball joint a steering linkage, reseat the ball joints and alignment. The guy was going under 10 mph.
 

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