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Unread 11-05-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
Will_4R
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Default Lower Ball Joint Squeal

I have an annoying squeal from the lower ball joint on the drivers side whenever the suspension compreses or the wheels turn. The dealer said there is nothing that can be done except replace the lower control arm since the the joint is not greasable. They suggested just leaving it since the joint seems fine and there isn't excessive play.

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this or has suggestions?
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Unread 11-05-2010, 12:59 PM   #2
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Does it only happen when the wheels are turned in a direction and then the suspension cycles?
If so the steering stops are creating the noise. Some folks here put some grease on it and it went away.

If it is the lower balljoint, then I would highly suggest having it replaced. A balljoint that makes noise is a safety risk as you can loose your wheel at highway speeds. Basically they are telling you it is making noise (which means the metal is wearing out), but it is OK?????
Perhaps the boot can be replaced and it can be regreased. Again check for what some folks here have done.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 01:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
Does it only happen when the wheels are turned in a direction and then the suspension cycles?
If so the steering stops are creating the noise. Some folks here put some grease on it and it went away.

If it is the lower balljoint, then I would highly suggest having it replaced. A balljoint that makes noise is a safety risk as you can loose your wheel at highway speeds. Basically they are telling you it is making noise (which means the metal is wearing out), but it is OK?????
Perhaps the boot can be replaced and it can be regreased. Again check for what some folks here have done.
The noise isn't dependent on the direction the wheels are turned. It squeals regardless when the suspension cycles (even on generally smooth roads). It also squeals when the truck is stationary and hte steering wheel is moved even slightly in any direction from any position.

The dealer told me they are dry joints with no grease fittings and the boots can't be changed or removed (or the joint for that matter). A quick search shows that aftermaket lower ball joints are available for the 2003 4Runner, so there must be a way to change them without buying a new lower control arms. If this is the case I am surprized that Toyota don't have an OEM replacement. I'll do more research and see what I come up with.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 07:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will_4R View Post
The dealer told me they are dry joints with no grease fittings and the boots can't be changed or removed (or the joint for that matter).
Go to a competent dealer and tell them to scroll down on the parts pic to reveal the boot and grease, it's a little tricky to replace, part number 43345-69025(LH) $27.21:

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Unread 11-05-2010, 07:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unionjack View Post
Go to a competent dealer and tell them to scroll down on the parts pic to reveal the boot and grease, it's a little tricky to replace, part number 43345-69025(LH) $27.21:[/IMG]
Thanks! So it can be done. I guess I will try a different dealer this time. Thanks for the pic as well. I was looking at the suspension components page in the FSM and it is not as detailed as what you posted. Thanks again for helping a newcomer.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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Yeah it was kind of funny the day I called to order the part and the parts guy was like "no go dude you need the whole arm" I calmly told him to scroll down a little and he thanked me for educating him on Toyota parts
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Unread 11-07-2010, 08:48 PM   #7
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I was just in the garage playing with it, and had my wife move the steering wheel while I looked for the source of the sound. I don't think it is the ball joint. It sounds like it is coming from the inboard end of the tie rod. Also, the sound, which a few days ago was loud and consistant, is now getting quieter and more intermittant. I hear it more while turning the wheels to the right than to the left, and it seems to come and go throughout the cycle. Also, it used make the noise when bouncing up and down on the front bumper, which I can't get it to do anymore. Although I did hear it today while out driving both turning and going over bumps. I can't find any grease seaping out of the ball joint, but it is hard to tell. The thing is covered in mud, and grease from my just repaired leaking CV.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 11:17 AM   #8
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I just spoke to the dealer, same one I took the truck to last week, and gave them the part number for the replacement boot. Now they have changed their story and say in fact there was play in the ball joint, and that just re-greasing it won't help. I won't be dealing with them anymore. I will wait a bit and see what happens, and if things get worse. If they do, I find another dealer.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 11:38 AM   #9
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Clean it up a bit and see if you can notice anything. Maybe try to get a stetoscope (sp?) to put on various parts whole someone turns the wheel.This might help to locate the source of the noise.

Good luck, and find another dealer.
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Unread 11-17-2010, 05:01 PM   #10
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The squeal is totally gone now. Must have been some dirt of dust in the wrong place that eventually worked it's way out. I have been offroad in mud, dust and rocks several times over the past few weeks too.
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Unread 11-17-2010, 05:08 PM   #11
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Cool. I'm glad the dealer didn't get to take you for a ride.
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Unread 02-25-2011, 01:21 PM   #12
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Just called my dealer and got the same story. They don't have replacement lbj's whole arm for 560 something.
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Unread 02-25-2011, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by java230 View Post
Just called my dealer and got the same story. They don't have replacement lbj's whole arm for 560 something.
I got quoted $2000 for a new arm here in Canada. I had another shop install a Moog-brand lower ball joint.
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Unread 02-25-2011, 07:32 PM   #14
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You can usually pick up good LCA's (stock) from people who upgrade. The FJ guys are good sources for LCA in good condition (low miles).
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Unread 02-26-2011, 10:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by java230 View Post
Just called my dealer and got the same story. They don't have replacement lbj's whole arm for 560 something.
Replacement LBJ: Moog
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Unread 03-10-2011, 10:26 PM   #16
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My 4Runner just developed a similar noise to what you guys are describing here. It sounds like it is coming from the passenger side LCA or UCA, but I'm not completely sure. Any ideas on what I can do to get rid of this problem. I spent last weekend driving through mud, puddles, and very rocky terrain.
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Unread 03-11-2011, 08:32 AM   #17
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jack the front end up and check for play in the wheel. mine was squeaking but wasnt the BJ's
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Unread 03-11-2011, 09:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by java230 View Post
jack the front end up and check for play in the wheel. mine was squeaking but wasnt the BJ's
I jacked it up but I didn't feel any play in the wheel. I put jackstands under the frame and let the wheel droop and then lifted just the tire with the floor jack. What is the best process for lubing the control arms? Would dust or muddy water cause this kind of squeak?
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Unread 03-11-2011, 11:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledgehammer View Post
I jacked it up but I didn't feel any play in the wheel. I put jackstands under the frame and let the wheel droop and then lifted just the tire with the floor jack. What is the best process for lubing the control arms? Would dust or muddy water cause this kind of squeak?
I would suggest cleaning the suspension pieces with Simple Green and a good stream of water,to insure everything's mud free.Then spray some synthetic lube into the LCA bushings,UCA bushings and the swaybar bushings.

Just go through the process of elimination, then see if anything improves.
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Unread 03-12-2011, 08:16 PM   #20
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I pressure washed the front end and then lubed the UCA and LCA bushings as well as the lower shock mount. I figured out the noise was coming from the lower shock mount after twisting the coilover back and forth. The noise disappeared for a mile or two, but is now back to the same squeak as before.

I think tomorrow I will have to pull the shock out and grease everything up when I put it back together. Any suggestions on what grease to use?
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