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Mutley

So will this idea WORK???

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Right so i have a Defender 300tdi 90 with the standard steering drop arm set up....

As the ball joint in these things ware out at regularly intervals due to age, use and lack of GREASE!?!...I fancy the idea of a greaseable ball joint (i am contemplating the Disco conversion at some point, but money and circumstances dictate otherwise at present). So being a tight git and plus save most things i pull off the motor, i had this idea!?!

A while back having renewed the front prop shaft i decided to remove the grease nipples from the old one, then found the bits to an old drop arm ball joint. I drilled a 5mm hole in the old ball joints base plat and tapped it out with a 6mm tap. Then fitted the grease nipple..

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If i use this instead of the standard base my theory is i SHOULD have a greaseable ball joint???.....Can anyone see or tell me why this will not work ie a missed something in my simple way of thinking?

Cheers Andy 

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That makes sense to me! Can't see why it would not work

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Cheers for the vote of confidence, i will wrestle this in place tomorrow and not forgetting to remove the small top clip off the rubber boot on the ball joint to allow the old grease to escape when fresh grease pumped in. 😉

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Right so after a lot of expletives coz this is NEVER easy!?!...... I fitted the modified base to the drop arm ball joint....

20200609_094244.thumb.jpg.4fd61f6217bd09f7f4570396d2d42015.jpg

And then added

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A dust cap to finish!.....

Now how good, effective this is i am not sure? Some goodly force was needed on the grease gun!?! This i have put down to the small compact area it's going into plus the inside cup that the ball joint sits in has only a small hole in it, oh and then there's the odd "O" ring too!?! So this maybe the issue for difficulty of grease gun use?

But theory being some grease is better than none, only timewilltell!?!

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Did this mod my Defender many years ago. Easy to pack the joint with grease and top up at each service. Joints last a lot longer as they don't dry out. The rubber boots fail occasionally, but are easily replaced.

 

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So somewhat disappointed with the lack of grease flow, i went to have another look at things. I noticed that the ball joint was rigid very stiff? I removed the grease nipple and a small amount of grease oozed out, which is what I expected, but then the ball joint was free moving again so result on that score!?!

I cannot fathom why the grease wont flow through the ball joint, the bottom cup inside has a small hole so should not be an issue i was thinking?.....But then as the ball is sitting in this with a lot of downward pressure could this cause a seal???.....I tried to lift the ball joint and alleviate the pressure by jacking up the drag arm a fraction. Result was no different!?!.....But then you have the top cup and by lifting the ball joint you are transferring the pressure upwards into this and again creating another seal!?!

Anyone got any ideas ie is my thinking right and any solutions to this, seems smit should be simple but not turning out to be???

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Your idea is sound,however it looks to me that the grease nipple is too far through the base plate, Put a washer under the grease nipple head and see what happens   HTH

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@mmgemini why would it make a difference if the grease nipple is screwed in to far, surely it makes no never mind if it's two thirds in or all the way in??? Can you explain your reasoning please as i is a bit dim at times and it's not protruding through the other side to foul on anything, virtually flush as i recall?

Cheers Andy 

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Just checked the photos, mmm maybe sticks out a mill or so but stll wouldn't have thought it would foul on anything due to the spring!?!

I will do as you say mmgemini and see what happens and report back ;)

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Probably air locked when the ball is forced up into the seat. Anyone who has applied heat to a BJ and had it explode will testify how well they seal.

This may render the idea ineffective if you can't pump grease in when the spring pressure is on.....

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15 hours ago, Mutley said:

@mmgemini why would it make a difference if the grease nipple is screwed in to far, surely it makes no never mind if it's two thirds in or all the way in??? Can you explain your reasoning please as i is a bit dim at times and it's not protruding through the other side to foul on anything, virtually flush as i recall?

Cheers Andy 

I was wondering if the grease nipply was sitting tight on the ball and  A stopping the grease getting right through  B tending to sit on the ball

 and tighten the ball. Just back the grease nipple off a turn and see what happens

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What you need to put the base back in is one of these 😁.

image.png.be23346374de9e150967bce8aa8ae28d.png

Tighten the bolts and relieve the stress on the circlip and it comes out or goes back in much easier.

The grease nipple would need to be fitted after the circlip but that should be no issue.

As regards pumping grease in, is it possible the spring is compressing the ball into the bearings enough that the grease isn't getting past to grease the top part?, might be worth seeing if you can move the joint about a bit whilst putting grease in and see if that helps.

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Well i slackened off the grease nipple, moved the ball joint around and the result is still the same sadly!?!....

I fear HoSS could well be right in that the spring pressure combined with the upper and lower cups makes for a good seal and therefore renders this a futile exercise!?!....

The theory was good but the actual practicality would appear not so? Yet i can't help feeling this should be achievable in some way???

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What if you push the ball joint down from above somehow - i.e. compress the spring, marginally ease the seal at the top of the cup and then fill with grease and fill a tiny bit more as you remove the pressure on the balljoint to fill the void created (not too much otherwise you will find it hard to move again).

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Could you cut some shallow channels in the ball to allow grease to flow.

Would obviously need to stone or similar the ball after to ensure there were no burrs.

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I wouldnt score the ball, that will lead to failure sooner than any unmodified one. But i wonder if you could drill down through the bolt?

Stick it in a lathe, likely just the last bit through the ball is surface hardened

It would need to be capped to stop water ingress.

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4 hours ago, Mutley said:

Well i slackened off the grease nipple, moved the ball joint around and the result is still the same sadly!?!....

I fear HoSS could well be right in that the spring pressure combined with the upper and lower cups makes for a good seal and therefore renders this a futile exercise!?!....

The theory was good but the actual practicality would appear not so? Yet i can't help feeling this should be achievable in some way???

I don't think having more grease on there is a waste of time

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13 hours ago, mmgemini said:

I don't think having more grease on there is a waste of time

I totally agree mmgemini but i am not convinced grease is actually getting in there via this method???

Yet you can get greaseable Track Rod Ends!?!.... Which are ball joints, hence why i thought this idea would work!?! I am guessing that the build of the track rod ball joint is somewhat different to the brop arm ball joint?

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As an aside since you mentioned the Disco arm conversion. I got fed up of replacing these ball joints and drop arms, it was pretty much a guarantee that I'd have to replace it annually for the MOT so bit the bullet and got one of Gwyn's conversion kits and have not regretted one bit.

Haven't had an ounce of bother from the steering setup since I fitted it and despite completely overhauling the steering joints etc., on a couple of occasions using the swan neck style the steering never felt anywhere near as tight as it does with the Disco arm. Had I been aware of the difference the Disco setup caused to the lack of play in the steering I'd have swapped it a long time before - it was an utter transformation.

But as you say it's not a trivial swap cost wise, having said that a non Britpart ball joint repair kit isn't peanuts. I did a couple of swaps using the usual culprits at a few quid for the ball joints, got fed up with those. Eventually I stumped up and bought a genuine kit which I think was the thick part of £50, the wonderful irony was that I then needed to replace one of the track-rod end joints I think and those were seized solid and decided sod it and bought Gwyn's kit instead.

After 4 years I've finally opened up the genuine ball joint kit because the 6x6's ball circlip kept popping out, luckily not been going far and it's fallen out either at my place or my parents down across a few valleys so always found the bits. Last time I managed to misplace the plate on the bottom so opened up the kit to purloin it from there and also reused the circlip, really made sure it's home this time. I think the previous occasions I hadn't fully seated it so with the solid suspension on that thing it eventually shook out. I've given it the last chance - if this pops out again I'm cutting it off and speaking to Gwyn about a Disco conversion. Need to do some measuring to see if the tie-rod is the same length.

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