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Old 11-07-2017, 09:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Samurai Ball Joints Source?

Hello everyone,

I recently got a 1987 Samurai to do some 4wheeling with, and I got some new tires since the old ones were pretty low on tread and a bit dry rotted. I took it to a shop to have the tires mounted balanced, and aligned, but they weren't able to do an alignment because the ball joints all had play in them. I asked them if they would be able to replace those, but they said that since they couldn't find a parts dealer that stocked them, I would need to find them online myself. After a few hours scouring every site I could find, the only thing I could think of was to post on a forum about it. If anyone has any knowledge on where to get this part, it would be much appreciated!
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If it's ball joints you are looking for, Samurai don't have "Ball Joints" as the term is commonly used in front suspensions. They have king pins with tapered roller bearings. If, however, you are looking for "tie rods" and "drag link", which use a type of ball joint at the ends, they are available from some Suzuki parts dealers, but quite expensive.
https://suzukicarparts.com/parts/198...RING%20LINKAGE
You might check some of the EBay sellers, or, used Samurai parts sellers, for some acceptable used ones.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Zelgin-

Thank you for the reply. I will give the shop a call and see if they can get those parts through their sources for any cheaper, and I'll hunt around. They said that they "found front upper and lower ball joint to have play can not do alignment", so what do you think the parts they were referencing were? Basically, which of the parts you mentioned corresponds to an upper ball joint and which corresponds to a lower? Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If the shop you're dealing with tells you that you need upper & lower ball joints when the vehicle they have just examined doesn't use them, I'd suggest you find another shop, one that pays a little more attention to what they are doing - if they had looked at the vehicle, they should have known there were no ball joints.

The king pins are what correspond to the ball joints.
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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On second thoughts, does the Samurai you bought still have the original axles underneath it? Could the shop be looking at an axle with ball joints and can't find the replacements because they're looking for ball joints for a vehicle that never had them?

Either way, I'd be looking for another shop, one with more experience with Samurais.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As said the is no upper and lower ball joints like you would normally find on a vehicle with independent suspension, they are taper roller bearings. I would think they meant tie rod ball joints. Just a diagram so they can clarify what needs replacing. I know in the UK the tie rod and drag rod are not easy to find.

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Old 11-08-2017, 02:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just so you're aware of it, top & bottom ball joints are not unique to IFS vehicles, there are live front axle vehicles that use them, typically those with open knuckles (the Samurai uses a closed knuckle) - many of the Dana axles used on Jeeps are open knuckle and have top & bottom ball joints where the Samurai has king pin bearings.

In the thread starter's second post he does state that they "found front upper and lower ball joint to have play", so it is clear what they are referring to.

If the shop he went to deals primarily with Jeeps or other large 4WDs, and have no experience with Samurais, it is entirely possible for them to think the Samurai has worn upper and lower ball joints, but, that would indicate to me that they either seriously lack experience or are not paying attention, or the vehicle does in fact have ball joints because the axle has been swapped at some point.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Fordem-
I believe that the axle is original, the previous owner didn't mention anything about having swapped it. I bet the shop just didn't know, so I'll try to find a better shop that knows a little more.
Darrell-
Thanks for the picture, that is really helpful!
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