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 Post subject: Mazda 323 ball joint mod
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:41 am 
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Hi, I just replaced my control arm bushings this morning and noticed a lot of play from the ball joints. Shipping for new control arms is gonna kill me and I already paid for the bushings, so I'm planning on doing this mod http://www.trinituner.com/v3/forums/vie ... 7&t=323551. Does anybody know the year of the Mazda 323 this ball joints come from?
Feel free to post some alternatives as well (if there are any), Thank you in advance.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:55 am 
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Thats quite a good donor balljoint, shame he didn't lower the roll centre when he fitted it...


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:18 am 
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Why would I want to lower tho roll center, wouldn't that decrease front roll stiffness?...just saying, correct me if I'm wrong. My suspension is stock so far and I'm using 15" wheels, so I won't lower the car... due to clearance issues and it would also be a nightmare on the streets we have here. I was thinking about adjusting the camber though, but I'll have to do a little research first.
About the ball joint it self, I was able to find similar ones but there was never info about the pin diameter... I need the 16mm ones, but sometimes they are 18mm; hence my question above. If someone did this already, please send me the part-numbers so I can get the right ones :)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:06 pm 
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I have been sending e-mails for at least a week now and every seller keeps asking me for the car information so they can "look it up in the database". They don't even know what they are selling... having multiple models and pin sizes listed as "direct fit" on the same car. Anyway I'll keep sending e-mails until one online store knows the pin size of their ball joints... I'll keep you guys posted.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:59 am 
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That link you quoted is our local forum here. I sent the OP a PM asking what year Mazda it was from...he’s an active member so I’m hoping to get an answer soon. Sit tight.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:48 am 
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jankoelbola wrote:
Why would I want to lower tho roll center, wouldn't that decrease front roll stiffness?...

If you lower your car then lowering the roll centre corrects the geometry somewhat, it won't fix bumpsteer but will fix the excessive camber change, if you are keeping the high ride height or only lowering slightly then it's not something you need to worry about, besides I realised this balljoint is probably not much taller than the original one so won't change the roll centre much at all.

Judging by the box which has 'Laser' on it, ie Ford Laser, it will be from the mid eighties until mid ninties model, possibly BG 323.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:43 am 
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http://www.amazon.com/Aftermarket-B09234550-Suspension-Ball-Joint/dp/B006ZNAJ8Y

Mazda 323 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 Lower Lower Ball Joint
AFTERMARKET
Mazda GLC 1981, 1982, 1983 Lower Lower Ball Joint
FRONT - AFTERMARKET
Mazda GLC 1984, 1985 Lower Lower Ball Joint
FRONT - AFTERMARKET

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:39 am 
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PBC137 wrote:
That link you quoted is our local forum here. I sent the OP a PM asking what year Mazda it was from...he’s an active member so I’m hoping to get an answer soon. Sit tight.

I contacted him as well a couple of days ago, but he didn't have the part-numbers anymore.... he could not remember what year Mazda it was from, as he bought the joints locally. I don't blame him of course... he did this mod years ago. He is a member here and posted about his mod as well viewtopic.php?p=342916#p342916.

crnolic wrote:
http://www.amazon.com/Aftermarket-B09234550-Suspension-Ball-Joint/dp/B006ZNAJ8Y

Mazda 323 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 Lower Lower Ball Joint
AFTERMARKET
Mazda GLC 1981, 1982, 1983 Lower Lower Ball Joint
FRONT - AFTERMARKET
Mazda GLC 1984, 1985 Lower Lower Ball Joint
FRONT - AFTERMARKET


Wow sir you just found the exact same ball joint that Markimark used... I don't know if you did this consciously, but if you look at the first picture on his tread, you will notice part# B09234550 on the box, just like the one in your link :D thanks!


Dattman wrote:
If you lower your car then lowering the roll centre corrects the geometry somewhat, it won't fix bumpsteer but will fix the excessive camber change, if you are keeping the high ride height or only lowering slightly then it's not something you need to worry about, besides I realised this balljoint is probably not much taller than the original one so won't change the roll centre much at all.

I think this article http://www.meganracing.com/new/tech/faq ... 0Adjusters? gives a good description of what you are saying... things got clear for me after reading this.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:25 am 
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i searched by that part number :lol:

B09234550 i couldn't see the 0 so i searched 94-550 a found it :D

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:50 pm 
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crnolic wrote:
i searched by that part number :lol:

B09234550 i couldn't see the 0 so i searched 94-550 a found it :D

yeah I tried that too but wasn't so lucky :P
I just got an e-mail from one of the e-bay sellers... this joint http://www.ebay.com/itm/150784917098?it ... 23&vxp=mtr (MOOG Part # K9607)has apparently also a 16mm pin diameter. Cross-reference with Rockauto shows that it fits 86-89 mazda 323.... the other joints listed are either 18mm, 16mm from european markets (expensive shipping) or without the info. So if I get more positive responses from the sellers I mailed, I'll put the other alternatives on the list.

edit: that one from Amazon is on E-bay as well...
1- http://www.ebay.com/itm/MAZDA-BALL-JOIN ... 73&vxp=mtr
2- http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mazda-Suspensio ... 84&vxp=mtr
There are other listings with the same part# as the MOOG ones and all fit mazda 323 86-89, so I guess that's another alternative as well.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:37 pm 
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Be careful about this mod. The 2nr who did the mod admitted recently to having issues with the setup. Apparently the plate that was welded in is either wearing away or being worn away by the ball joint.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:11 pm 
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PBC137 wrote:
Be careful about this mod. The 2nr who did the mod admitted recently to having issues with the setup. Apparently the plate that was welded in is either wearing away or being worn away by the ball joint.

It might has something to do with the material of the control arm or the plate itself. As steel gets old, it looses it's strength... and that process is accelerated when welding takes place on cold formed/rolled profiles or sheet steels. I don't know the name of that phenomenon in English, "Staal veroudering" in Dutch though :P . If we look at the control arm closely...

image_id: 22354

the housing for the cylindrical bushing is welded to the arm by factory; so I doubt the control arm was formed cold. But who knows... there are many types of steel production processes out there and a part made in China doesn't has to meet the same requirements as in other countries :shock: so I guess that's where the concept of "quality" comes into picture.

The shape of the control arm cares for strength (bent sides... like a UPE-beam), which is why they can be so relatively light. So with this mod all the strains are concentrated on the areas where the new ball joint is bolted to the arm... and that thin steel can't do the job anymore. He welded the plate on top to avoid flex, but apparently is wasn't enough. I'll have to come up with a way of strengthening the arm without adding too much weight... Ideas?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:34 pm 
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I was having trouble with Amazon (it kept changing my shipping address at checkout), so ended up ordering this ones from Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/300482729424?ss ... 1439.l2649 Part no. K9607
Cross-reference with the same part numbers from MOOG, so they should be 16mm as well. I'll have them in about two weeks, so this will probably get done before Christmas.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:35 am 
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A little update.... the parts arrived last week. I've been really busy and fixing other stuff in the car as well so I haven't been able to finish this yet. I was surprised though, when I noticed that the left control arm was bent :shock: Some hammering and some ghetto-fixes got me back on track

image_id: 22442

So anyway this is the ball joint I got

image_id: 22441

As you can see, it has no steel wire clip to hold the top of the boot closed against the pin; as opposed to the tie rod end in the picture. Do you guys think it's supposed to be like that... or should I use a tie-rip or steel wire to avoid dirt from getting in there?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:44 am 
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update:

No one replied so I decided to just keep the boot closed with a tie-rip. The joints are now installed on the car but it hasn't really been road-tested yet cuz I'm having some trouble with the brakes. I'll update the thread regularly so everybody knows if it's worth it or not.

decided to remove as less material as possible from the control arm
image_id: 22449

made the holes in the right place
image_id: 22450

welded a plate at the bottom (can't remember the thickness). It has to be bent a bit so it gets the shape of the arm... holes after the welding of course (used 2.5mm 7018 electrodes)
image_id: 22451

some paint
image_id: 22461 image_id: 22452

knuckle bored to 16mm
image_id: 22453

and voilá
image_id: 22458 image_id: 22457

btw I had to get longer bolts cuz the ones I got were too short

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:04 am 
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update: The welded section is visually OK.... as I don't see it wearing out or anything like that. The car has been tested on speeds greater than 180km/h with no strange feels or vibrations on the steering; at least no new problems showed up anyway. All I can say is that so far it's like I've got a newer car(new bushings were installed as well), as far as suspension goes anyway. Don't like the fact the car in too jumpy though, maybe I need to get stiffer springs.

I will keep updating this thread regularly, so we all know if this mod is worth it or not.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:22 am 
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So far so good :) will take pics when the new phone arrives.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:08 pm 
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How is this mod holding out so far??


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:28 pm 
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katastrophic wrote:
How is this mod holding out so far??

Actually I lifted the car today and checked everything... so far so good. There's no play anywhere and nothing is out of place, we'll see how it is after a few more months.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:00 am 
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cool!!!... What type of welding did you use?? Arc, AC or DC.. what amperage? TIG or MIG??.. Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:26 am 
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katastrophic wrote:
cool!!!... What type of welding did you use?? Arc, AC or DC.. what amperage? TIG or MIG??.. Thanks

I used what I had access to... ARC WELD with 7018 electrodes. Can't remember amperage though, just adjust till you get the right balance.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:37 pm 
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great... Arc welding will do.. one more question.. i can't see too clearly from your pics...

i saw that you welded your plate to the underside of the control arm (the side that would be facing the ground when the control arm is on the car) correct me if i am wrong...

also did you weld the plate directly to the control arm??? or did you weld it with a gap so that the Mazda ball joint would be sandwiched between the plate and the control arm, like in the picture below..??

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:21 pm 
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Is that a picture of your own work or did you find it on the web?
I welded the plate to the underside, I think it's better that way because the folds of the control arm will be welded to the plate; keeping the arm form deforming.
The ball-joints were bolted at the bottom (no sandwich). That way all sides of the plate can be welded to the arm, which isn't really flat so the plate has to be bent a bit in order to make both surfaces fully mate each-other.
If that's not your own picture, I would recommend making the holes in the arm first, than doing the welding and finally making the holes on the plate. That way the joints will be exactly were you wanted them in the first place.

Don't forget to post pictures and updates, as it could help others in the future :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:58 pm 
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thanks so much for your help.. :D :D

the pic is from the link below, which you posted at the beginning of your post..
http://www.trinituner.com/v3/forums/vie ... &t=323551..

Yupps.. I'll post pics and updates when I do the mod... Hoping to do this mod in mid April..


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