Ball joint fitment

The following was sent in by Andrew from Leamington Spa, England:

When replacing and re-shimming the ball joints on the front suspension, it always seems impossible to get the shimming just right. Either the ball pin is loose in the vertical position and tight when angled. Or it's too tight in every position. And inevitably you have to try and re-shim it again the following year for the MOT test!

I've found that by lapping the ball pin to the "top housing" and "pad" with some VERY fine lapping paste (by mounting the housing in a vice and rotating and pivoting the pin) you end up with a pin that will move smoothly and with even load to all positions. And it also seems to increase the service life. ( Don't forget, of course, to clean off ALL the lapping paste, before final assembly!! ).