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Howe extended ball joints ???

116
83
So am I understanding correctly that ANY extended ball joint is going to be weaker than the oem design because of the shear/twisting combination Don describes above?

I was about to pull the trigger on the Steeda extended ball joint and bump steer kit described in Billy Johnson's project, above, but you guys are causing me to rethink. I have a daily driver '11 GT with Cortex coilovers, running 200tw tires, sees 5-10 HPDE events a year, but I run at tracks here in the Northeast with very limited runoffs and cliffs. Broken ball joint is end of the car or worse. So this discussion is climbing in my head.

I am comfortable with maintenance and checking for wear but these reports of random shear failures are spooking me.

I understand everyone's risk tolerance is different but would you consider extended ball joints perhaps not worth the risk for recreational HPDE drivers such as myself? The way you guys are talking, these shear failures with extended ball joints don't appear to be a super isolated occurrence.
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,334
1,248
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
HPDE is supposed to be fun. If you're worrying about parts breaking, with good evidence to support it, then I wouldn't use said parts. We "enthusiasts" tend to get a little over enthusiastic at times about the speed vs the fun. I am totally guilty of that, but I have had a major change of thinking lately and am more concerned about making my car more reliable, even if at the cost of speed, in order to have more fun. Fixing busted cars is not my idea of fun. We don't even get a trophy, so who cares who's fastest? Just go out, have fun enjoying a high performance car in a safe venue and don't ruin anybody else's day.
My new mantra:)
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
455
457
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
The first question is, have you lowered the front of your car enough to consider an extended balljoint to correct the change in instant-/roll-center geometry? If not, then it's not an issue. If you have, then you need to weigh the cost/benefit factors of the extended balljoint, and possibly a bumpsteer kit as well. Are you chasing every last tenth, or out to have fun like JDee?
Also, if you go with bumpsteer kit, spend the time to dial it in properly, checking toe change over bump/droop travel. I think Fabman's build thread has a couple pictures of when he did it.
 
4,627
4,551
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
The first question is, have you lowered the front of your car enough to consider an extended balljoint to correct the change in instant-/roll-center geometry? If not, then it's not an issue. If you have, then you need to weigh the cost/benefit factors of the extended balljoint, and possibly a bumpsteer kit as well. Are you chasing every last tenth, or out to have fun like JDee?
Also, if you go with bumpsteer kit, spend the time to dial it in properly, checking toe change over bump/droop travel. I think Fabman's build thread has a couple pictures of when he did it.
Yes, I posted video somewhere in my thread of before and after adjustment to show what happens if it’s not done properly.
 
116
83
I bought the coilovers used and they previously were set low enough to require extended ball joints and a bump steer kit. I've since raised the car back up significantly to where the control arms now are approximately level again and not surprisingly it drives better and is faster.

I'm thinking the hell with lowering it, I'm just going to stay with this higher ride height, replace my worn out control arms with stock and call it good. I'm definitely in the "fun" category, I just try to learn from everyone on here and pick up low hanging fruit. I thought the Steeda control arms might be a case of such low hanging fruit but now I'm thinking at least for me, ball joints is an area where I want it over built and under stressed.
 

Norm Peterson

Corner Barstool Sitter
939
709
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
a few miles east of Philly
HPDE is supposed to be fun. If you're worrying about parts breaking, with good evidence to support it, then I wouldn't use said parts. We "enthusiasts" tend to get a little over enthusiastic at times about the speed vs the fun. I am totally guilty of that, but I have had a major change of thinking lately and am more concerned about making my car more reliable, even if at the cost of speed, in order to have more fun. Fixing busted cars is not my idea of fun. We don't even get a trophy, so who cares who's fastest? Just go out, have fun enjoying a high performance car in a safe venue and don't ruin anybody else's day.
My new mantra:)
This ^^^

Norm
 

Norm Peterson

Corner Barstool Sitter
939
709
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
a few miles east of Philly
I bought the coilovers used and they previously were set low enough to require extended ball joints and a bump steer kit. I've since raised the car back up significantly to where the control arms now are approximately level again and not surprisingly it drives better and is faster.

I'm thinking the hell with lowering it, I'm just going to stay with this higher ride height, replace my worn out control arms with stock and call it good. I'm definitely in the "fun" category, I just try to learn from everyone on here and pick up low hanging fruit. I thought the Steeda control arms might be a case of such low hanging fruit but now I'm thinking at least for me, ball joints is an area where I want it over built and under stressed.
That boldface part in particular has been my philosophy for the Mustang from the get-go, in large part because I've never been willing to take it out of unrestricted street duty. It's always been easy to drive, relaxing on track, even.

Low-hanging fruit to me has been much more about wheels and tires (relative to the OE BFG KDWS 235/50s on 18x8.5s), dampers, and some sta-bar and spring stiffness tuning. My car is currently about half an inch lowered up front, and was about the same out back but I raised the back up to about half of that. OE front geometry at those has heights suited my needs rather well.


A short note on that last bit . . . seems I'm being placed on an anti-coagulent regimen, so I guess that at least for now I won't be getting out there on the track in the foreseable future. But I'll tag along here anyway until I come down with CRS.


Norm
 
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Norm Peterson

Corner Barstool Sitter
939
709
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
a few miles east of Philly
Last edited:

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