Drag link ball joint gaitors

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  • Well my truck failed her MOT today. It was the first time though in the 5 years that I've had her and only for minor stuff. One of the items was sharp edges on the bumper where it rotted through. The tester said stick gaffer tape over it for the retest. The only other item was that both drag link ball joint gaiters are badly split. Apparently these were not a MOT item until recently? Anyway, I've got some on order but wondered if it will be a simple job to fit them! It looks easy enough but knowing my luck there will be a hitch somewhere!

  • Well, you wouldn't just replace the gaiters themselves. You have to take the whole drag link unit off to change the gaitors, so while you're it you might as well change the whole thing - probably as cheap. But not a difficult job - all you need is the right socket and a ball joint remover tool (pretty cheap), and maybe a torque wrench to tighten it up to spec at the end, and bob's your uncle.


    Only thing that might be a pain is access to it. Definitely easy enough, but then I don't know you're level of DIY experience/confidence!


    I'd have thought it had been on the MOT test for a while now, surely? I thought all ball joints had to meet the same requirements of not having too much play, and having a tight gaitor with no oil leak?

  • As cosmos said, it's an easy job if you can get access easily. A few years ago when I had old Landrovers to carry our tipi, I'd have to change the ball joint rubbers yearly before it went for the test.This year I need to replace the rubbers on our 7.5 tonner as they have deteriorated to the point of splitting in the last two years, when they were brand new. I know the ball joints are good and I certainly wouldn't shell out for another pair as they've only done 7000 miles. They just don't make rubber like they used to. :D

  • It seems that the rubbers are no longer available individually and i had to buy the whole drag link. I ordered it yesterday afternoon and had it at 8am this morn! Access is good so I'll hopefully get it fitted in the next day or two....

  • It seems that the rubbers are no longer available individually and i had to buy the whole drag link. I ordered it yesterday afternoon and had it at 8am this morn! Access is good so I'll hopefully get it fitted in the next day or two....


    Aye, like I said it doesn't make any sense to change the rubbers only. It'd be an incredibly fiddly job to get the old ones off and new ones on. Chances are you'd split one of them in the process. Plus the additional cost of the whole unit is almost negligible compared to the cost of two rubbers or ball joints anyway. And, you've already got the whole unit off while changing the rubbers, so you might as well replace it while you're at it.


    This is such common knowledge that nobody seeks out rubbers on their own, and you'd be hard done by to find them anywhere.

  • Changed the rubbers on my track rod ball joints (Merc 207d) plenty of them on Ebay all sizes available cost a few quid each compared to over £100 for replacement track rod !!0

  • Changed the rubbers on my track rod ball joints (Merc 207d) plenty of them on Ebay all sizes available cost a few quid each compared to over £100 for replacement track rod !!0


    Maybe for the entire track rod, aye, but the ball joint itself wouldn't cost much more than the rubbers for the boll joints, and in the case of certain items like tie rod ends (droplinks), the entire droplink is itself negibly more expensive than the joints themselves.

  • Similar story for me. I have a Dodge 50...was told these rubbers were hard to get so ordered on overnight from a "specialist" cost me £40 for the 4 inc the overnight. The garage fitted them in 20 mins and the re-mot was done straight away. When I told the garage how difficult it was to get the rubbers I was shown a cardboard box full of them in the back room. Could have had them for a few quid only.
    Always question when something is "phew mate, sounds like a problem but I might be able to help you". Yeah right !!