Did I ruin my new balljoints?

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Nov 20, 2014
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I bought new Mevotech control arms for my 06 HHR and the ball joints had a grease fitting on them so I installed them and greased until grease came out, now I don't know if that was the right thing to do, I read online and some post say to burst the boot with grease, just grease until it swells, so did I ruin my new balljoints by putting too much grease in them and causing the boot seal to rip?
 
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If the manufacturer assembled the ball joints with grease zerks, the seal probably has a built-in relief. Many of the older vehicles had this feature. Greased them until grease appeared at the relief. Regards
 
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I would say the entire point of there being a zerk/fitting is so that you can regularly put fresh grease into the ball joint so there is no risk even if the seal is compromised. Now if this was a non-greaseable joint then sure you want to make sure the seals are whole.
 
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SOP is to add grease until the boot is firm if there is a zerk fitting. Most will relieve excess at the end of the boot or a duckbill valve. The Moog ones I've installed say grease until you see fresh grease ooze out. The Deeza outer tie rods I've installed on a past car had no such provision to relieve pressure, I just added grease until the boots were firm.
 
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You didn't need that much grease but what you did is fine, and the boot seal at the top around the shaft is just friction fit while the bottom may have a lip that the seal sits on. If you popped the seal off the lip, push it back down onto the lip. If it uses a metal ring clip, that can be more difficult to do with the BJ installed, but that also makes it less likely that it popped off in the first place. With a new BJ it is okay to fill till grease comes out the relief or top seal. With an old brittle BJ boot, that can contribute to the rubber itself cracking and should only be topped off slightly when greased. Then again if the boot is that brittle, it's not got much life left in it either way.
 
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FYI: There is no reason to grease a ball joint until the grease oozes out. Once the grease exits the ball joint and enters the boot, the excess grease is wasted because it is on the outside of the wear areas of the ball joint. Give each ball joint just enough grease to fill the ball joint area and then stop. And if you keep greasing the ball joint until a sealed boot pops, that's where the water and dirt will now enter and give the ball joint a short life. I suppose somebody will now do a reply saying it keeps the water and dirt out, but that's really the job of the boot. To the OP: I'm not going to knock your purchase of Mevotech ball joints. That's the subject of another thread. But next time, just give each one a little bit of grease and leave it alone until the next time to grease it.
 
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If it's a greasable ball joint, then the boot should have a relief port and there is no risk of over-greasing. On subsequent grease jobs, it's better to pump grease until you can see the old stuff come out clean. The only issue I can think of overgreasing is that it attracts dust on the outside, which could wear out the rubber from the constant motion, so just be sure to wipe off the grease after.
 
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The Mevotech ball joints will wear out in a year even with proper grease care. That is a not a trusted brand to use.
 
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The shop did the same thing on my ball joints. I just said add a little more grease cause the boots looked empty. He put grease in with an air operated grease gun until the boots swelled like a balloon and released grease at the bottom. I was [censored].
 
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Originally Posted by Kruse
FYI: There is no reason to grease a ball joint until the grease oozes out.
False. If you have a worn joint and crap is getting in, over-greasing flushes that out. Granted, that is a make-due-with-what-you-have scenario, the ideal is obviously to replace the bj, but I'm thinking of off-roading where all kinds of gunk can accumulate and worn parts, can go a long, long time if you just keep pumping fresh grease into them even if the boot is shot. Grease is a lot cheaper than (anything else), though it can get messy and is still just delaying the inevitable but often that is what automotive repairs are, just keeping every subsystem working until the sum of the faults, makes it not worth continuing.
 
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Originally Posted by Dave9
Originally Posted by Kruse
FYI: There is no reason to grease a ball joint until the grease oozes out.
False. If you have a worn joint and crap is getting in, over-greasing flushes that out. Granted, that is a make-due-with-what-you-have scenario, the ideal is obviously to replace the bj, but I'm thinking of off-roading where all kinds of gunk can accumulate and worn parts, can go a long, long time if you just keep pumping fresh grease into them even if the boot is shot. Grease is a lot cheaper than (anything else), though it can get messy and is still just delaying the inevitable but often that is what automotive repairs are, just keeping every subsystem working until the sum of the faults, makes it not worth continuing.
Your whole post is an argument for keeping an worn, unsafe part on a vehicle that needs replacing. Just replace the worn part, preferably with a non-greaseable one that doesn't stain the underside of your vehicle and forget about the grease completely. The last instructions I saw that came included with a Moog Problem Solver replacement said to grease it every 3K-5K miles. Not gonna happen.
 
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Originally Posted by Kruse
Originally Posted by Dave9
Originally Posted by Kruse
FYI: There is no reason to grease a ball joint until the grease oozes out.
False. If you have a worn joint and crap is getting in, over-greasing flushes that out. Granted, that is a make-due-with-what-you-have scenario, the ideal is obviously to replace the bj, but I'm thinking of off-roading where all kinds of gunk can accumulate and worn parts, can go a long, long time if you just keep pumping fresh grease into them even if the boot is shot. Grease is a lot cheaper than (anything else), though it can get messy and is still just delaying the inevitable but often that is what automotive repairs are, just keeping every subsystem working until the sum of the faults, makes it not worth continuing.
Your whole post is an argument for keeping an worn, unsafe part on a vehicle that needs replacing. Just replace the worn part, preferably with a non-greaseable one that doesn't stain the underside of your vehicle and forget about the grease completely. The last instructions I saw that came included with a Moog Problem Solver replacement said to grease it every 3K-5K miles. Not gonna happen.
TLDR; No, boots often fail while the BJ is perfectly fine still. It's the boot failing that leads to wear, if you can't grease it. Non-greaseable BJs do not use magical boots that last longer. You could not be more wrong. X2. 1) It's not the joint that wears first with a quality metal BJ that's greaseable and is greased. It's the boot that fails and a non-greasable BJ, also suffers from boot failure but then you can't grease it unless you get a grease needle and know if it's lithium or silicone based grease. 2) The BJ is not worn, but with greaseable you have the option to flush out any contamination that enters and keep some grease in it despite the boot loosing grease over time. 3) Non-greasable is a plastic bushing joke that can't even take pothole impact without degradation, is only chosen because it's cheaper to make and outlasts the warranty, and does offer a little smoother steering when brand new. 4) Stain the underside of your vehicles? Lol that is ridiculous. Not only does any sane person not care the tiniest bit about a grease stain (Unless we're talking grease getting on brake pads or rotors where it causes lack of friction, or on exhaust where it causes smoke), on the contrary many people deliberately spray one form or another of fatty product onto the undercarriage to deter rust. It is laughable to me that you consider grease a "stain" where being unsightly, where nobody can see it, is an issue. 5) Forgetting about lubrication completely is just burying your head in the sand. 6) You don't really need to lube a BJ with an intact boot every 5K miles, but what you don't seem to understand is that a non-greaseable BJ, just prevents lubing it. The plastic bushing has a small amount of self-lubricating properties, but this is nowhere near enough to overcome the gaps caused by impact damage that the all metal ones don't suffer nearly as quickly. 7) The boot wears out just as fast on a non-lubed BJ. Dirt gets in, now you have no way to flush it out, so it fails sooner (given high quality parts with either/both designs, not contrasting junk on either design). SO, essentially if you have a mental block that causes you to never lube a BJ, you might get a longer service life out of a non-greaseable plastic one, but if you bother to do it, say once every 20K miles, or if you pay an oil and lube place then they are doing it for you, you will get longer life out of a good quality greaseable BJ, even if the boot is shot. I get the feeling that you just don't have any experience on this. People who deal with older vehicles, routinely deal with cracked boots and grease them up and get longer life if they caught it in time. We can say it's better to replace the BJ, since it is not so easy to replace the boot in many cases, once you get that far into it if you can even find a known correct-size boot, but we could say the same thing about anything... it's better not to change your oil then replace your engine with a NEW ENGINE, it'll be better than the old one because it's new right? Yeah, except there is a cost, and your ideal is less, not more safe, to keep using the flimsy plastic based non-lubed BJ with an earlier failure instead of just lubing parts that benefit from it, which is sort of what this entire website is about?
 
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