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SS Lower ball joint replacement

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Old 08-18-2017, 01:24 PM
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SS Lower ball joint replacement

I know that this topic has been discussed before, but was wondering if anyone managed to find a lower ball joint replacement for the SS lower control arm?

One forum suggested that there could be a possibility that a ball joint from a Cobalt may be a possibility, just not listed or ever noted if one was found to work, but would get the parts person on the right track. All the FE1 and FE3 replacements I've found use a 20mm stub and my parts supplier shows that the FE5 replacement as being the same part?

I'm in the process of redoing my lower control arms, and want to use the problem saver bushings but don't want to have to buy the bushings as well as the LCA just because of the weird sized ball joint.

OR, has anyone found a ball joint with a 20.5mm nub, and if so from what model or part number.

Thanks

Also, in my search for the LCA bushings, the only difference between the part numbers turned out to be the zinc coating for the FE5 arms.
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:39 PM
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Even the Moog parts book is wrong. I suggest taking a micrometer with you to the parts store and lie to the counterman. Tell him you have a Cobalt, a Malibu, an Aura, a G6-G5, Saab 9-3 etc. Then measure.

Let us know.

Zinc coating should be on all HHR bushings because of the aluminum arms, other cars have steel arms. Another place where the books are wrong.
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:53 PM
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Moog has the problem solver bushings with the zinc coating now.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by donbrew View Post
Even the Moog parts book is wrong. I suggest taking a micrometer with you to the parts store and lie to the counterman. Tell him you have a Cobalt, a Malibu, an Aura, a G6-G5, Saab 9-3 etc. Then measure.

Let us know.

Zinc coating should be on all HHR bushings because of the aluminum arms, other cars have steel arms. Another place where the books are wrong.
So peeling thru MOOG lower ball joints, searching similar makes and models, so far I've found that the Malibu, Aura, G6 and the Saab 9-3 use a ball joint that uses a top nut to secure the ball joint to the steering hub, so no use looking at those models.

The Cobalt lists the same part number as the HHR, which is the 20mm nub. The Pontiac G5 has a similar ball joint under a different part number and the Saab 9-5 has a really different part number, so I guess I have a couple different ones to measure to see if they are the missing link. There is also a different brand under the HHR, but I'm guessing its going to be another 20mm nub.

It is interesting that any of the pics I've seen of the replacement LCA for FE5 suspension all have a black steel replacement ball joint and the MOOG ball joints are zinc coated. This sort of goes against the thought of the bushings being zinc coated? Regardless, maybe the ball joints are from some other manufacturer completely, maybe Mevotech or something like that.

Pretty sure the parts guy is going to hate me by the end of the week, LOL.

Originally Posted by Oldblue View Post
Moog has the problem solver bushings with the zinc coating now.
Yes, thats why they had the first part number K200792, as replacement except for the cast LCA. The same part but zinc coated designated for the cast LCA. Everything is the same size, just the zinc coating due to the dissimilar metals. This even adds more to my search for the ball joint, as stated above.

Thanks, and if I get this figured out I'll post my results.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:52 PM
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I would not trust pictures of auto parts; they use "stock" photos too often.

At NAPA lots of "ball joints" are complete LCAs. You'll be looking for a small square box and it's in a extra large pizza size box.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:44 PM
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I've had the K200792 non zinc coated for a few years , no corrosion problems.
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:47 PM
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Keep searching. The FE5 are NOT the same as FE1/FE3. Using them will F__ your knuckles and wheel bearings up. BTDT.

The parts guy needs to help you, not be irritated that you want the correct part...
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:04 PM
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The follow up.

Well, after searching all the places I have access to, I wasn't able to find a replacement ball joint for the FE5 lower control arm. Most places/counter people sure depend on what the book says, and are less than interested in physically looking at parts, a sad reflection on our society.

Regardless, this turned out to be a good thing though. As when I had the car in the shop for some recall work, they did a quick check, and determined the car needed the ball joints replaced. I took that as meaning the ball joints would need replacing, not that the car actually has/had the wrong lower control arms.
So when I got under the car to change the belt, I was horrified to see the stamped steel arms. From all my exploring looking for a replacement ball joint, I knew right away that I had the wrong ball joints in the car. But now instead of my plan to rebuild the components on the arms, I had to get complete replacements.

I wasn't happy to see the new arm still use the stock bushings, so I figured that since I was in this deep, that I would replace the new bushings with the problem solvers, right away. They just look like a far superior product over the stock ones.

The actual R&R of the arms is pretty easy, and with the wrong ball joints in, they come out very easy. I made sure that the steering hubs where not beat up, and they looked like they survived regardless of the ball joint rattling around in them. Put the new arms in and the negative camber looks much better. Ill have to get a wheel alignment done, but I'm thinking of getting new struts, and if I'm doing that, maybe some lowering springs or other.

So, long story short. Since the car is 8 years old, I had hoped that Chev would offer the ball joints as a individual replacement item, but seems they haven't. Replacement arms are the only fix.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:06 PM
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You can get ball joints, just not from GM. And if your dealership ( it was a GM dealership, wasn’t it) installed the stamped steel junk LCA’s the should be refunding your money.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldblue View Post
You can get ball joints, just not from GM. And if your dealership ( it was a GM dealership, wasn’t it) installed the stamped steel junk LCA’s the should be refunding your money.
All the HHRs use a 19.96mm nub on their ball joints, the HHR SS with the FE5 suspension uses a 20.5mm nub. Its not available as a individual part, only as a complete lower control arm.

If you know otherwise, please supply a make and part number, as this is how my whole adventure began, with someone saying the are available. Every listing I had access to brings up the wrong part, because someone decided all the HHRs used the same ball joint.

Yes it was a GM dealership, but not what I had the car in for service for. It was the previous owner who installed the wrong parts, I suspect so it would pass safety certification.
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