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My ball joint popped out this morn. Looks like the cause is because the hole on the steering knuckle is worn oblong. So I need to replace the drivers side. The OE is discontinued. I'd rather not do used on an almost 25 yr old steering part. Anyone know of a good aftermarket alternative?

'95 Roadmaster Wagon
OE part #: 18021052
 

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There is nothing like the stock one. Get a good used one, and make sure the nut is tight on the ball joint.

The only possibility is a custom race spindle. They are expensive, and you will have to buy both sides to keep them the same. They are fully adjustable, so you must know what you are doing to make the work correctly...Ackerman, pivot alignment, etc.
 

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I have 2 available off of a 96 Impala SS that of course will fit your wagon.
(both sides)
$100 each plus $30 shipping.
Paypal to [email protected] as "friend or family" to avoid fees
if your interested.

Nab
 

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The only Aftermarket Spindle I've seen for our cars is the Belltech dropped Spindle. This lowers the FE an inch or 2. Chck with them and see if they have the ability to make one up in stock form.

Another option depending on how bad yours are, maybe consider going to a 5/8" balljoint. If the 9/16" spindles arent wallowed out too bad, you could maybe have a machinist ream out the Bore to accept the larger BJ. I have an article somewhere that was in the ImpalaSScene magazine that listed the size for the reamer or a good machinist could figure it out from a supplied 5/8" ball joint. If you do this, you will also need to source Lower control arms for the larger ball joint but at least you got some options there.
 

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The drop spindle will move your wheel out about 3/8 of an inch. You will also need a 17 inch wheel to keep the end of the shock from hitting the ground before the rim in case of a flat. If that happens, it rips the lower suspension arm off, and damages a lot more than the shock end.

The reason that the lower hole is elongated is because the nut was not tight enough, and over time the motion of the stud wore the hole out. Just make sure you tighten it down properly, and a replacement from a donor should be sufficient for the rest of the time you own the car, and probably the next owner.
 

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...The OE is discontinued. I'd rather not do used on an almost 25 yr old steering part...
There's zero reason as to why you can't use a used part so long as it: is not bent, doesn't have scored bearing surfaces, the stud holes aren't oblonged, or the caliper abutments are worn.

25 years is still "young" for a part that's had a high factor of safety designed in to it.


The only Aftermarket Spindle I've seen for our cars is the Belltech dropped Spindle.... Check with them and see if they have the ability to make one up in stock form.
The dropped spindles are unique castings that utilize dedicated, specific casting tooling. It's not something that can be changed to allow for a different spindle height without a completely new tool.
 

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Circle track and oval track racers use these. The ones for the right side are more difficult to find, because they are on the outside of the track, and usually damaged in wrecks. Do not worry about the age of the part, they are not a wear item.
 

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. Do not worry about the age of the part, they are not a wear item.
I believe I remember Bill (NavyLifer) saying there are Wear points on these spindles. I can't remember the specifics but Bill was pretty certain about it.

Edit - maybe it was this thread where Bill describes it but I seem to remember a more recent thread.

Btw - the original issue the OP had with the BJ taper getting wallowed out...there was a time where GM used the improper torque on the BJ nut, allowing it to loosen up in the bore and eventually wear out the opening and even snap off the BJ stud. This could have been the original cause of your issue.
 

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The ball joints bolt to the spindle, there are bearing races on the insides of the bearings, and the tierods also bolt to the spindles. No surface rubs on anything directly. The only part that could wear is the threads for the nut that holds the wheel bearings in place, and the nut does not move except when installing the hub.
 

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I believe I remember Bill (NavyLifer) saying there are Wear points on these spindles.
The wear points would be on the caliper abutment where the caliper contacts the knuckle casting and slides back and forth. However, since the calipers don't actually move that much, the wear is typically extremely minimal to non-existent.
 

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1996 Chevy Impala SS
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Sup y'all curious if anybody has a pair of steering knuckles available for 96 impala would be highly appreciated. If so how much willing to let them go im out if Cali. Thank you.
 
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