Car problems solved (mostly)

Wheel bearings adjusted, ball joint changed despite recalcitrant suspension.

I was round Steve's house at 9:45 this morning to try to sort out the problems that had become apparent over the last week. By the time Phil arrived just after 10, we'd fixed the nearside wheel bearing - it only needed adjusting not replacing. The offside bearing was dispatched in similar fashion, and then the trouble began.

The offside lower wishbone spherical ball joint was the worst of the two, so we tackled that first. As is always the case, my suspension didn't want to come apart. Even after we got the lower wishbone free, it took another age to get the ball joint out. Steve and Phil were disgusted that a circlip hadn't been used to hold the old ball joint in place. Instead whoever put the suspension together used what was little more than a stiff bit of wire bent to form about 340 degrees of a circle. Phil did a good job of getting it out, and Steve did a great job of fixing it so that we could reuse it again!

All told it took about two hours to change the offside ball joint, and then it was getting close to the start of the French Grand Prix, which Steve wanted to watch. We decided to call it a day, and possibly change the other ball joint some other time. The theory was that I probably wouldn't notice any problem due to the ball joint, and should see a big improvement because the wheel bearings had been so bad. That did prove to be the case - the car is now a lot better.

Many thanks to both Steve and Phil for doing most of the work and supplying all of the skill.

This page is It was first published on Sunday 21 July, 2002 and last updated on Sunday 21 July, 2002.