Bad ball joint after transmission replacement

Transmission shop rebuilt our transmission. Picked it up, clunking noise, took it back, and they said a bad bearing. Second time we picked it up, new problems arose. Vibration, and a sharp pull to the right. Our regular mechanic said we have a bad upper right ball joint. It did not do this before we had the transmission work done. We know that they pulled the transmission twice, which I assume means taking the front end apart somewhat. Could this have impacted a perhaps already worn ball joint? Our regular mechanic said there is no way to know, but I am frustrated. It did not have the vibration and pull to the right before we took it in, and now it does. Would love some to hear some thoughts on this.


No way of knowing…Part of owning an older car (if applicable) is that parts break in the process of removal especially in salty areas.

Good luck maybe the transmission shop will cut you break if you trust them.

If it truly did not do it before and the shop affected it somehow…it was already bad.

Some people go blind the day they ate carrots, doesn’t mean carrots are bad for your eyesight.

A mechanic’s nightmare. They repair a flat tire and two days later the heap throws a connecting rod through the engine block. “It never did that before”. It has to be the mechanic’s fault! Apparently Becky is not pleased with the advice given here. Looks like we will never know Make/Model/Year/Miles much less RWD/FWD/AWD/4WD or stern mounted paddle wheel drive.

I’d give her a little time Sarge, she could be working or working…trying to recapture all the little Rebecca’s, so she can tie them back up.

I don’t think the Tranny shop can be blamed for this. It’s just a coincidence.

I suppose you could argue that the ball joint was already in bad shape, and while prying to remove the tranny…they shifted the ball joint and that brought about the noticeable problems.
But it would have shown up in short order, had it not been in for work.

Look at it this way. Better to have it diagnosed close to home and your mechanic, than to have the ball joint fall apart and you lose a wheel while 3 hours from home.


The year, make, and model of the car can affect the accuracy of our guesses greatly. And the mileage may be relevant too.

A BMW, or any car with a longitudinally mounted engine and tranny, requires different work to remove a tranny than a FWD Corolla does. And the amount of work under the vehicle will vary greatly depending on the vehicle too.

And the mileage matters too. If you can help us by giving us those tidbits of information, we can better help you to understand the problems.

It’s assumed the car in question is a FWD model if any suspension components had to be disassembled.
If the suspension was reassembled and any ball joint lock nuts or pinch bolts were tightened as they should be then any slop in the ball joint would be normal wear and not the fault of the trans shop. If a pinch bolt or nut was left loose I would assume the second mechanic would have stated so.

It’s also quite possible for a pull to develop when the suspension was disassembled and put back together because no matter how much cars is used the alignment could change.
That gets into the area of recommending an alignment after a job like this; most people don’t want to hear it.

And if one ball joint is worn out then I suspect all of the others are in trail… :frowning:

If this was a truck, or a RWD car, there is no way the ball joint has to be touched to remove the transmission

But we don’t know what this mystery vehicle is

That was my initial assumption too, but when I reread the post I realized that the OP doesn’t know how much of the front end was disassembled… if any. He just made an assumption.

Yosemite I’m only on my second FWD car. Mitsubishi Eclipse in 2002. Kia Forte in 2010. Transverse engines and transaxles are completely alien to me. I know the axel shafts would have to come out. I did not realize the ball joints could be affected. I also considered the lift could have been set incorrectly and caused suspension damage. Even if I had usable knowledge of modern automobiles. I have zero knowledge of what the vehicle concerned actually is.

Db, that may be true, but it’s also possible hat a ball joint on its way out could be affected by putting the car on the lift, and as sarge pointed out, improper placement of the lift’s feet could cause damage.

Sometimes the orientation of the ball stud in the socket (be it ball joint or tie rod end) can change when disassembled. That in itself can lead to problems with alignment.

If the transmission was worn out along with a ball joint then one has to wonder how many miles and what kind of driving this mystery vehicle has been through and what else is worn.

It varies by make, but generally when a transmission is pulled on a FWD car the lower ball joints are separated along with tie rod ends to allow removal of the halfshafts. Sometimes the lower control arm bolts can be removed and that will allow enough movement of the steering knuckle to get the halfshafts out.
Again, it depends upon the make and model.

I think Rebecca has left the building.

See Rebecca lured us to her post to answer a good question. Then she leaves us hangin.
My mom always warned me about those Rebecca’s!!!

Now we can answer those more pressing questions.

What grade oil should I put in my new KIA?
I just bought a new Jaguar should I use premium gas?
One brake light is out, could it be a fuse?
Should I change my oil every 5000 or go 20,000 miles.


What grade oil should I put in my new KIA?

I just bought a new Jaguar should I use premium gas?
Use diesel.

One brake light is out, could it be a fuse?
Yes. Replace all of them just to be safe.

Should I change my oil every 5000 or go 20,000 miles
First change at 5,000 and every 20,000 after that.

Yosemite My Kia uses 5W20 fish sauce. In warm weather you can substitute 10W30 kimchi juice.

Yosemite "Should I change my oil every 5000 or go 20,000 miles?"
Haven’t you heard? Modern vehicles require no maintenance whatsoever! Weld the
hood shut!

Don’t give them any more ideas then they already have Sarge.