Is your standard “If you can’t see ball joint movement with the naked eye, they don’t need to be replaced” . . . ?!
What if you can shake the wheel at 12 and 6, clearly feel the ball joints are wasted, yet your eyes do NOT perceive a mile of movement . . . ?
I’m not sure exactly what kind of suspension setup that Voyager had. My above comment is based on a typical vehicle with upper and lower control arms, a-arms, if you will
Now let’s cut to the chase
On that Voyager you mentioned . . . did you decline the ball joint replacement, because you doubted the ball joints were worn, and the mechanic was either testing them the wrong way, or was lying?
Or did you decline, because you felt they weren’t yet worn enough to justify replacement?
For me, the distinction is relatively important, FWIW
Let me rephrase . . .
“This guy’s smoking dope. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these ball joints.”
or . . .
“Yeah, there’s some play, but in my opinion it isn’t worth replacing them at this time.”
I’ve replaced many ball joints that were TOAST, you could feel the slop, and you could see the slop, yet the tires were wearing evenly. In my opinion, whether the tires are wearing evenly doesn’t much influence my decision whether a ball joint is bad. If it’s toast, but the tires are wearing evenly, it’s still getting replaced.
Mind you, I’m fleet, as you know. So the customer isn’t going to decline the repair. Because I say what needs to be done, and that’s the end of it. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, BTW. I get a truck in for a scheduled service. I do my thing, then I fill out a parts requisition form, and my boss signs off on it, without questioning me, because he trusts my judgement. He does raise questions with some other guys, so it’s not that my boss is just blindly agreeing to everything.
I don’t mean this to seem like an attack
I very much respect your expertise
But in this instance, we don’t quite see eye to eye