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Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

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BrianV70
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Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by BrianV70 »

2000 V70 XC AWD/SE 127,000 miles. Prior owner was not nice to this car.

I have a vibration at 63+ MPH. I also have a wooden sounding knock/creak sometimes at low speeds turning over uneven surfaces, like entering a parking lot with a curb ramp. The car also seems to wander on the highway, or when braking especially on a road with a steep crown.

A recent visit to our indy mechanic resulted in a new left (driver's side) control arm/ball joint. The outer tie rods, sway bar links, front struts, and spring seats were all done within the last 7,000 miles. They thought the other control arm looked OK "the boot seal is still intact". They said the knock was coming from the left control arm which they replaced. They showed me the part and it was clearly toast - a lot of play in the ball joint.

I still have the same knocking sound.

So here's the question:

1) Will a bad control arm/ball joint cause a vibration at highway speeds that feels like an unbalanced wheel?

2) I've watched the FCP and Robert DIY videos on replacing a control arm. I think I can handle it. Worth the gamble to replace the right side control arm myself?

Oh, and I also have a single "clink" sometimes when shifting into gear. May be coming from the right, but hard to tell.

I only need to keep it another 10-12 months, and drive less than 10,000 miles a year.

Thanks everyone
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erikv11
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Re: Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by erikv11 »

BrianV70 wrote: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:34 pm I have a vibration at 63+ MPH. ...
This sounds like dead on an unbalanced wheel.
BrianV70 wrote: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:34 pm ... I also have a wooden sounding knock/creak sometimes at low speeds turning over uneven surfaces, like entering a parking lot with a curb ramp. ...
This sounds exactly like a bad spring seat. Did they replace them when they did the struts? If so, did they use cheap aftermarket ones? Failure in 7k is not unusual for those. Check the top nut with a big wrench.
BrianV70 wrote: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:34 pm ... The car also seems to wander on the highway, or when braking especially on a road with a steep crown....
This sounds dead on like a bad control arm ball joint.
BrianV70 wrote: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:34 pm ... 1) Will a bad control arm/ball joint cause a vibration at highway speeds that feels like an unbalanced wheel?...
Not to my knowledge, but seems possible if the ball joint is really toast.
BrianV70 wrote: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:34 pm ... 2) I've watched the FCP and Robert DIY videos on replacing a control arm. I think I can handle it. Worth the gamble to replace the right side control arm myself?...
I agree, a control arm swap is an easy job, it is just sort of heavy duty. Big heavy fasteners (nuts and bolts), need a big hammer, make sure you pre-load the bushings. If you have the tools, go for it.
BrianV70 wrote: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:34 pm ... Oh, and I also have a single "clink" sometimes when shifting into gear. May be coming from the right, but hard to tell....
I would speculate control arm bushing at the subframe. See if it goes away when you change out the arm.
BrianV70 wrote: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:34 pm ... I only need to keep it another 10-12 months, and drive less than 10,000 miles a year. ...
The control arm I would fix, the unbalanced wheel(s) too. The spring seat(s) you can wait on.
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Re: Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by abscate »

A bad ball joint will definitely cause wandering on braking, and if it Is pulling right then it’s the right ball joint / control arm

If you chock , jack , and block and wiggle the wheel you can usually detect ball joint play visually

The integrity of the seal has little To do with the condition of the ball joint.

Make sure you get the right ones , there are both two bolt and four bolt control arms used on these cars. Search by VIN or roll under.

Mine took 2 hours for both last week.
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Re: Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by BrianV70 »

Thank you both.

I forgot to add the I had my all season tires mounted and balanced
after they did the left control arm. (my snows were still on). The vibration was still
there, possible eliminating the unbalanced wheel problem.

This shop did the spring seats 6 months ago with OEM parts.

Further thoughts? I may try to jack her up today and look at the right side. l
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Re: Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by bmdubya1198 »

You have an AWD car, so you will have the 4-bolt control arms. Deepsouth has a great writeup, so I would recommend reading over that. viewtopic.php?t=59076
Make sure you order the correct ones!

It's a little different than the traditional 2-bolt arms, and only a little more of a pain to replace.

As for the creaking sound, that may be your subframe bushings. My car creaks like crazy when I'm turning tightly in a parking lot or out of my driveway. That could POSSIBLY cause some wandering in the front end, but that may be something else on my car. I know I've replaced just about everything else in my front end (struts, mounts, spring seats, inner/outer tie rods, control arms, axles). It probably won't cause a vibration, though.
'00 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 200k
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'07 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 174k
'91 944 Turbo Dark Green/Beige 175k
'92 245 Base White/Beige 249k
'98 V70 GLT Black/Beige 205k
'99 BMW 528i
'01 Mountaineer 5.0
Sold-
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 253k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
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1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
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BrianV70
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Re: Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by BrianV70 »

Regarding the 4 bolt design, I stopped reading at "jack up the engine"... That's a little more hard corp than I want to take on.
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Re: Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by bmdubya1198 »

BrianV70 wrote: Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:41 pm Regarding the 4 bolt design, I stopped reading at "jack up the engine"... That's a little more hard corp than I want to take on.
It really isn't as bad as it sounds. I had to jack up the engine a little to change the passenger side mount, and it was easy. Just get a block of wood that can distribute pressure safely across the oil pan.
'00 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 200k
'03 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 118k
'07 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 174k
'91 944 Turbo Dark Green/Beige 175k
'92 245 Base White/Beige 249k
'98 V70 GLT Black/Beige 205k
'99 BMW 528i
'01 Mountaineer 5.0
Sold-
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 253k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
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Re: Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by abscate »

This is really the value of MVS. A technical manual will scare you off, a guy who actually has done it will move ypu forward with confidence, verve, and elan.
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Re: Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by bmdubya1198 »

I’ve found MVS (and other forums) much more helpful than any repair manual!
You don’t always get good pictures or diagrams in manuals, and you can’t ask the guy questions who did the job. Plus the discussions within these writeup threads add value to the writeup itself.
'00 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 200k
'03 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 118k
'07 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 174k
'91 944 Turbo Dark Green/Beige 175k
'92 245 Base White/Beige 249k
'98 V70 GLT Black/Beige 205k
'99 BMW 528i
'01 Mountaineer 5.0
Sold-
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 253k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k
BrianV70
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[SOLVED] Re: Will bad control arm/ball joint cause vibration?

Post by BrianV70 »

After having a rear wheel bearing and the left control arm done and tires balanced (winter/summer swap) the source of the vibration turned out to be really bad alignment (front and rear toe).

There's still a bit of shimmy/vibration at 65-70, but much better and fine for an 18 year old car that doesn't see a lot of miles.
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