Ball Joint rubber - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 3 Old Feb 26th, 2010, 6:19 am Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Chiang Mai, , Thailand
Posts: 348
Cool Ball Joint rubber

I was checking my steering dampener and happened to notice that the rubber bushing or gasket on the ball joint is cracked and some rubber is missing. I have a 2002 with 70,000 miles. I am a little surprised at this happening so early. I don't see anything in the manual or parts breakdown or searching the form about rebuilding the ball joint. Am I going to have to just replace the whole thing? I have been thinking the front end felt a little loose when I turned sharply at low speed. The steering dampener from what I can see is working and I see nothing else wrong so I have to assume the ball joint is moving around a lot and this is what caused the rubber to crack and break. Hopefully someone has had a little experience with this. Mike

Michael L. Lempenau
85/41 Moo7, T.Nongjom, A.Sunsai
Chiang Mai, 50210, Thailand
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post #2 of 3 Old Feb 26th, 2010, 8:36 am
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: West Milford, NJ, USA
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Re: Ball Joint rubber

Well, calling it "so early" is probably unfair - after all, your bike is about 9 years old, with 70k miles. If you had a car of similar vintage, you'd not be surprised to have some suspension issues.

Having said that, it may be unusual. I do not recall any reports of this issue discussed on the forum.
You may have to spring for a new part. Here are the addresses of part fiches that you can utilize.

For that type of part, a dealer is probably best - but you can always try the recycling places. I do not know if the US-based ones ship to Thailand, but if you'd like I can post some contacts.

Final thought, though: front end being "loose at low speed" is not consistent with a steering damper problem. A flaky ball joint does not make the damper stop working in such situation. More importantly, the damper is ineffective in slow turns - its function is to prevent rapid oscillations at speed, that could lead to a "tank slapper".

If the sensation you perceive is new, you should investigate it. It could be a problem in the head bearing. More likely, though, it could be related to your tires. Is the inflation pressure correct? Is the thread in good shape? Is your tire profile (cross-section) still round? I had Metzelers Z6 on my 'RS that wore in a triangular fashion, resulting in a ridge along the perimeter; the tire tended then to "fall into the turn" almost by itself at slow speeds, although it was quite stable at high speed.

Regards from a very snowy New Jersey - 2ft since yesterday and counting. While writing this, I got a call from our County Sheriff's office, declaring a local state of emergency.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?

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Last edited by rdwalker; Feb 26th, 2010 at 8:55 am.
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post #3 of 3 Old Feb 26th, 2010, 12:38 pm
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Location: Greensburg, pa,
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Re: Ball Joint rubber

my front end also felt shaky at low speeds even with new tires and shocks. i replaced that lower ball joint and noticed a huge difference. clymer manual has very good intructions on how to do this. Yes take bridge off bike. 01' 55000 miles. cost was 110 dollars my own labor not difficult to do.
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