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That doesn't look right. Shouldn't need spacers. Should "just work". Either the part you got wasn't machined properly, or something wasn't installed correctly. Did old and new parts look the same?
 
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If you haven't compared them side by side yet, I should think this would be the time to do it.
 

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The cotter hole is too high on the new and the new has a 12-13 threads vs. old 10. Don't know if it's the wrong application or difference in mfr. Two threads looks like enough to throw the cotter too high.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The ball joints are exactly the same except for the location of the cotter pin hole. So under torque (36lbs) the new ball joint places the knuckle nut several threads below the cotter pin location. Several knowledgeable folks have indicated that using washers to fill the space to the cotter pin hole would be ok. I am trying to understand the risk associated with using washers.
 

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I don't see any reason you couldn't do that. If you do the washer shim route, just recheck the torque after a few drive cycles. If everything's still tight, enjoy the drive!
 
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