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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've owned my truck for 2 weeks now, noticed a clunk from the front end early last week. Took it to my purchasing dealer (Ford Dealer) since I think they are responsible for the repair.

They found the passenger side lower ball joint bad, so they ordered a whole lower control arm for $450! I think that is a little silly, since the ball joint itself would have been a fraction of that cost.

To top it off, since they aligned it, my steering wheel is crooked when driving...that is one of my biggest pet peeves! Hopefully my Dodge dealer will fix that since I have to have the tie-rods inspected due to a TSB.

My question is, is it normal to replace the control arm for a simple ball joint failure?
 

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Yes and no...I have not looked at my 09, but I know on some cars/trucks, you cant remove the ball joint, you have to replace the control arm, because the ball joint is welded to it.
 

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in the service manual they have procedure for just replacing the balljoint. perhaps the techs were just lazy.

I hate the tilted steering wheel as well.....take it back andhave them do it again.
Yes, do for sure. The tilted steering wheel is a sign that the alignment is, in fact, off.

In some cases (not all mind you), it is possible that the Ball Joint will not come off the control arm with any reasonable effort. If a tech has to spend 6 hrs getting your ball joints off your truck, he isnt making any money beyond 1 or 2 hrs at most. Therefore, its more beneficial to the tech just to replace the control arm.

I know it sucks on your end because you might end up paying more...but imagine if they charged you shop rate for 6+ hrs of labor? Instead of doing that half of the time, they just change out the whole control arm instead, so they can charge everyone the same amount of labor time. So in a way, it saves you money. If that tech is working on that problem longer than his service manual allows, he does not always get paid for that time, but the shop may charge you the extra hours of labor anyway. Trust me, I have had ball joints kick my ass all around the shop before, but then sometimes, they just come right out. :LOL:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info...I am for sure taking it in this week for them to fix the alignment...that just drives me nuts.

I guess I never thought of the shop time that way...makes sense I guess. I just thought it was strange that they did it that way. Doesn't matter to me I guess, they picked up the bill since the truck was so new (to me anyway!).

I am loving my new Ram!

Also, thanks for your service Army, both here and to our country! :smiley_thumbs_up:
 

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On the newer rams, you end up destroying the control arm to get the ball joint out. They use rivets that go thru the control arm and the ball joint, what usually happens is the control arm pinches the joint so tight that you almost always destroy them getting them apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was looking at that! Looks like they did the right thing.

As for the steering wheel, it is going to the Dodge dealer for a tie rod recall, and they said they will fix the other dealer's f'up on the alignment rack as far as the steering wheel goes!

Before you ask, this dealers service department is the best in town, but their sales department is another story. I've bought 2 vehicles from them in the past, and got hosed both times...that is the reason for not buying there!!!
 
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