2015 Dodge Journey Ball Joint Adventure! (Never buy from CarParts.com)
One of my not so fun tasks this vacation was to tackle my Journey's front suspension issue. I didn't know what was going on, but ended up being the main cause of my noise in the front end was a bad Left side Ball Joint. I was ready for this! I had already purchased all of the components for the front suspension as I wanted to replace it all anyhow.
I purchased most of the components from CarParts.com. The Moog Ball Joints they sent were perfect. However they were poorly packed in a simple padded USPS type envelope. I don't believe I got much of a deal on them anyhow. I also bought my loaded struts from there as part of the same order. I ordered SET-TS172509-F which CarParts.com described as Monroe Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly. They were not Monroe shocks.
On top of that, they promised 3 day delivery. They arrived separately, one after about 7 days and the other after about 15 days. They did however try to bribe me with a $100 voucher for wine. Surprisingly it was valid and worked, so I did end up buying some wine.
They did however fit and I ended up using them. But I was unhappy and instead of complaining to a company which as far as I am aware is based out of China, I will just blacklist them in the future and let my readers know NEVER to order anything from this site if they actually care about what they are specifically ordering and when they will receive it. I'd just say don't use this site. RockAuto is a great site... I don't know why I didn't go with that to begin with.
The job began slow. The Left side's ball joint was bad, so I wanted to tackle that first. The Dodge Journey's Ball Joint's are kind of screwed up. Probably designed by people with Common Core math - because you cant properly use a compression tool to remove and insert this ball joint. I am sure there is a custom tool available. But the typical ones you rent or buy will not really fully do the trick.
My snapring was so rusted in place I ended up saying fuck it and used my cutting disc to cut it off. And like the dummy I am I ended up going a bit far and cut into the actual wheel hub. Was able to get the ball joint out with the help of an air hammer, and then welded the wheel hub back together. Don't pay attention to the lack of safety gear. No chest hairs were harmed in process.
I inserted the new ball joint and ended up having to hammer it in (using a compression cup over it). Sadly the wheel hub weld fix didn't seem solid so I ran a few more beads over it. I am hoping it holds out and to be sure I actually said fuck it and welded the Ball Joint in place too. But at the same time I ordered a new Wheel Hub assembly (not from CarParts.com) and plan on just replacing that out at the first sign of trouble. I don't trust that fix really. I kinda messed up.
I like using my cutting disc, and ended up cutting more of the bolts for the items I was replacing off. One of them was the old Ball Joint connecting to the control arm. Again I was a bit dipsy and couldn't figure out why I wasn't able to just pop the cut off bolt out. Well, turns out it is tapered. So a friend who stopped by gave it a few whacks from below and it shot out!. I had tried tapping on it from below prior to that too, but it didn't budge for me when I attempted. So I dunno. He is just magical.
Aside from those two issues, which were honestly mostly self induced, the biggest pains were trying to unclip the speed sensor cable from inside the engine compartment. That was a long reach for a fat guy like me. The other issue was removing the plastic from the wiper shrouds. I didn't fully remove it, as I didn't want to remove the wipers. But I just hate those plastic anchor 'bolts' or rivets. Otherwise, the stabilizer (aka sway bar?) links and the struts went in fairly easily.
Having never owned a vehicle with such a loaded strut assembly in place, I was surprised to discover that the whole strut turns and moves as part of the steering. I had previously only owned vehicles with wheel hub assemblies that were the only things that moved with the steering. I can see how this set up had less moving parts to deal with, but I am amazed that this set up doesn't bind up over time. Or does it?
The other side went a lot smoother, as I was just doing the strut and stabilizer link, which was really about an hour long job.
Anyhow, I figured I would have to get an alignment, but it seems to be driving nice and straight.
Woo! Good job Roadwolf. You still have it in ya. Sorry for the fat guy pics, lol Tho I have heard some people find it attractive to see a guy working.