Ball joint tip on lower control arms touching rotor!

Hi again guys!

I have a problem. Yesterday after installing the lower control arms in my brother’s garage, I went home and everything seemed fine. I went again to his garage to finish replacing the other side’s lower control arm. A couple of blocks to his home I hear a scraping noise in the right front!

I thought it was the plate behind the rotors touching it, I tried to pushed it with a screwdriver but apparently it was not that. I put my hands behind the rotor and I can feel the metal edge on the ball joint area touching the rotor!

The scraping sound described is the same as in this video: Scraping sound

I found a “fix” by someone but I am wondering if this is a good idea at all: Fix

Do you think I should replace my new control arm? I bought them from ebay =/

Or… what did I do wrong? because it was not making that noise when I went home, but started when I went back to the garage. Could it be an alignment problem?


Non OEM parts sometimes do not fit perfectly.Compare with your old part and see if they look the same. Just a 1-2mm difference is enough to cause that scraping noise


What was goal of job? Bigger rotors? Or just a stock control arm replacement effort? Does new arm alter camber on purpose? Ala suspension raising/lowering goals?

You just found out how poor cheap parts from EBay can fit. Makes me wonder about the structural quality, too.

Don’t do the fix shown on YouTube, The part is wrong, don’t compound it by cutting it and other parts making things worse. Buy a better quality part. You, your family and everyone driving near you will be safer.

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I replaced the strut mount, control arms and inner + outer tie rod

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But they were not making noise for about 10 miles of driving, could it be possible too that the alignment has changed? Maybe too much positive camber?

Say I get new parts, what do you think about the parts Oreilly sells? Duralast and such…

I compared them and they look about the same. Will take another look

I’d sure check that camber to see where it stands.

Given the issues you’ve had… go to the dealer and buy real Mitsu parts. The parts houses might be a bit better but they won’t be the same quality as OEM and this is a rather critical part.

Actually positive caster would contribute to the problem, especially if the adjustment was made at the knuckle and not the top mount. But there should be enough clearance for the total range of adjustment.

As for appearing later… the ball joint did wear-in a little as well as squeeze some grease out of the way of the loaded side.

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I will see what I can do and report back. Thanks a lot!

Mustangman, when you say at the top mount, do you mean the strut mount?

If the ball joint stud moved closer to the brake rotor after driving the pinch bolt is loose.

Yes, top mount and strut mount are the same in my world.

Strut mounts sometimes have adjustment for camber and caster. Sometimes the caster adjustment is the the strut to knuckle (or spindle) bracket. Most times, these days neither are adjustable but there IS some slop in the bolt holes that can be used to get a car in spec if it is just a little bit out. And sometimes folks file the holes oval at the strut mount and/or the strut’s knuckle bracket to get a bit more adjustment.

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If the replacement part is an exact match to the one you removed, I’m guessing either the part didn’t get placed correctly, and has come loose, or the alignment has changed. Normally when a strut mount, control arms, and tie rods are fiddled with, a new alignment is required. Suggest to check the appx camber and toe using a tape measure, level, protractor, etc. Google will show you how to do that. You may discover one of those parameters is way off.

So guys… Here is what I just found out. Yes the alignment was off but I can’t do anything to the camber at all. The outer tie rod also had to be turned in some more because I had too much toe in.

No matter what I did I couldn’t create a gap large enough so that the tip of the join doesn’t touch the rotor. I was about to either hammer it like the video or grind it because it took two days of my time and I was getting desperate.

I went to the Home Depot and rented a grinder and was about to grind that tip, but then I figured it was a terrible idea because I would be weakening the structure of the arm by taking parts off it.

I took the replacement arm out and put the old one in and it goes in easily! The gap between the tip and the rotor is huge.

The joint is still somewhat tough to move around, the main problem is the torn bushing. So I will just return these arms to the eBay seller. It may be because the part is for the same model of car but for another year… Who knows? Those who upload stuff on eBay don’t really know what they are doing.

I didn’t know a squat about suspensions or how to replace them. The first time installing just the arms took me 4 hours!

I took the strut, the sway bar links, the tie rod ends and the arms about 3 or 4 times! Now I am fast as hell! Under 8 mins the control arm is out.

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I just found out that the shape itself looks exactly the same but the rubber part on one of the ends of the arm was way thicker than the old one.

You were right Mustangman… Incorrect part. I suspect it might be a mistake by whoever uploaded the part on ebay and listed it as compatible to my vehicle, rather than quality control issues. I will return them and pay more for better arms.

My new rotors are now scratched. I am so pissed. Are they still safe to use? I put the old arms back… Drove around town, on the highway. Didn’t noticed any difference in braking but the rotors might wear the pads faster I think?

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I had a problem recently w/the fitment of a replacement part. I purchased it an a local independent auto parts store, who then begin an investigation what was wrong. They first ordered up some more parts from different vendors to compare. I went back to the store when they arrived and at one point the auto parts store had 4 different vendor parts all out on the counter and measuring the different dimensions, comparing to the one I took out … lol … finally they figured out the problem and gave me the correct part. When you deal w/parts by mail order, that type of study is just not available, and will continue to make your diy’er auto repair jobs a little more difficult. If you have no other choice, just grin and bear it. But if you have a good auto parts store to work with, suggest you take a visit there next time, rather than ordering parts by mail.

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The rotors should be OK

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You are right George, I learned my lesson. Thanks!