ball joint play?

Discussion in '1998 - 2011 Ford Ranger' started by sgull, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. sgull

    sgull Member

    On my 98 2WD Ranger I've been noticing some sporadic shuddering type noise seems to come from left front wheel area. It's not particularly loud nor do I notice it vibrating to the steering wheel as I drive. Checking around underneath, everything seems tight and nothing appears obviously bad or loose. Suspecting perhaps worn ball joint(s) I separately jacked the each front tire off the ground and grasped it at 12 and 6 o'clock and tried to move it back and forth to check for play. I did in fact detect some slight play on the left side as compared to the right which I detected no such slight play. Then I took a pry bar to see if I could notice any up-and-down play when I pried up from underneath the tire. Didn't seem to notice any play at all that way. I'm just wondering if the slight play I mentioned when I wiggled the left tire/wheel back and forth while grasping at 12 and 6 o'clock could be a definite indication the ball joint(s) on that side might be worn and maybe be causing the shuddering noise as described. Or should a very slight back-and-forth top and bottom movement when I did the rocking back and forth test as I described be expected and not necessarily indicative of a bad ball joint(s)? thanks for any comments

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