Hill Engineering Ball Joints

Gp79

Member
Messages
1,047
This bearing is for the rear tie rod ( it is only SKF GE15 C which can be bought for not a lot)
It is not the suspension arm ball joint as such, these are part of the arms and not replaceable ☹
 

davy83

Member
Messages
2,178
sadly the answer is yes Maserati really made the arm disposable. There are various threads on people trying to repair these, with no clear results I can see. It is also worth checking out the threads on the arms cracking at the welds on the subframe end, its often a good thing to replace the whole arm.
 

lambertius

Junior Member
Messages
62
This bearing is for the rear tie rod ( it is only SKF GE15 C which can be bought for not a lot)
It is not the suspension arm ball joint as such, these are part of the arms and not replaceable ☹
Ah cheers for that, my mistake!

Are there any threads of people who have tried refurbing the arms? Even if they've all failed I'd still be interested to read what people have done.

Cheers!
 

Gp79

Member
Messages
1,047
Ah cheers for that, my mistake!

Are there any threads of people who have tried refurbing the arms? Even if they've all failed I'd still be interested to read what people have done.

Cheers!
I did look at getting the back of the ball joint drilled and injected with teflon to remove the play but due to the material it is not an option apparently. As it is injected with very high pressure.
Done quite commonly in South Africa on steel arms or so I heard from a mate.
 

lambertius

Junior Member
Messages
62
I take there are no aftermarket suppliers?

Might be time to make some billet control arms... That would still be cheaper than the OEM ones...
 

TimR

Member
Messages
1,280
Eurospares do a pattern version of the rear lower control arm. Prices vary depending on the weather, and which side you need...( it's always the expensive side!) These are half the price of OEM typically and are supplied with toe rod struts complete.
Folk on here have been successful in pressing out the old and tired flanbloc bushings and replacing them with new. Delve into it and you'll discover that the arm design and casting was 'updated' from what I have been able to glean. This was apparently to address the cracking issues at the flanbloc area of the casting.
Front uppers - the ball joint is bolted to the arm as this serves as camber adjustment. So you can get away with a relatively cheap fix there by replacing the ball joint.
As time goes on, availability will become the issue, as with the 3200 Id imagine...
The arms are forged from Maserati for weight, strength and stiffness....
 

conaero

Forum Owner
Messages
30,268
I take there are no aftermarket suppliers?

Might be time to make some billet control arms... That would still be cheaper than the OEM ones...
Your issue is indemnity. It would need to be covered to sell commercially especially being a vital part of the suspension.

If you can get this done then sure, anything is possible.

Regarding Hills, all their stuff is top quality and fully covered.
 

lambertius

Junior Member
Messages
62
Thanks guys,

Two people have told me now that the Eurospares pattern parts have served them well, so that does seem like the most cost effective solution to move forward on. I can't say that the arms look forged to me, they look like single piece castings of a high grade aluminium. It does beggar belief that they would make a disposable arm because of a ball joint.

The work around for indemnity is 'for offroad use only'. You can buy a stack of non-ADR parts in retailers here which carry that label. I understand insurance in the UK is much more geared towards not paying out. What is involved in getting a part complied in the UK? I can't imagine a lot would be involved for a static part. The bushings are separate and the balljoint would be a separate off the shelf part that is already complied. It might be worth doing, for the greater good.
 

TimR

Member
Messages
1,280
I can't say that the arms look forged to me, they look like single piece castings of a high grade aluminium.
Perhaps the fact that so many report cracking failures is an indication that Maserati SHOULD have used forging as the manufacturing process for these arms...
Can you actually tell by looking ? Id be interested to find a definitive answer...
 
Last edited:

lambertius

Junior Member
Messages
62
To extent yes. There are casting seams in the metal and sand marks in the texture. Forging is usually a technique used on billet products as well and is extremely hard. The fine brittle cracks seem to preclude forging as well as the metal feeling relatively soft. I'm not really sure how to describe the feeling of it, but sometimes you just hold metals and they feel harder or softer somehow. Like, raw iron feels very different from steel and some steel grades feel completely different from each other. That said, they could be forged and they could easily be some process I'm not aware of as I'm not that across it.
 

TimR

Member
Messages
1,280
Im not that across it either...but I think I was easily persuaded that they would be...because aluminium isnt very strong.
Everyone loves aluminium it seems...its so light. Sure...half the weight of steel...but only 1/3 as strong ..!
 

lambertius

Junior Member
Messages
62
Took a bit to find a clear photo - they're definitely cast. The highlighted line is a casting seam, and the sandy texture to the metal is the casting clay imprint. On an image of a QP arm below there is still a casting tag present (the point where the molten metal is poured into the casting).

As for yield strength - there are heaps of alloys that surpass a bunch of steel alloys. 7075 and 5086 come to mind. Keep in mind Steel can range from 270-2400MPa and Aluminium alloys have a similar (but tighter) spread. Generally speaking, for unit mass most common steel and aluminium alloys are the same strength.

65614

65615
 

TimR

Member
Messages
1,280
I wasnt that convinced that the seam was proof of molten casting tbh. The point is to release the part post manufacture . It stands to reason the mold has to be two piece, and this might very well create a seam. This can be treated post production too.... The exact nature of the surface is too unreliable on a car with 60K miles of British weather...
I would intuitively expect there to be finer definition from forging however. Not so much on the flat surfaces as the compound curves...
I guess a metallurgist might tell from 'hefting' a piece...?
 

Zep

Moderator
Messages
3,633
The production process for the arms has been discussed at great length previously.

As Tim says, the parting line is not a slam dunk confirmation of casting, neither is the surface texture or the raised lettering and logos - although most forged parts have indented lettering. A microscopic examination is the only way really.

Given that even the steering column is made from (in this case pressure die cast) magnesium there is a fair chance these are also magnesium. The material is probably marked on them somewhere, like the steering column.
 

conaero

Forum Owner
Messages
30,268
The work around for indemnity is 'for offroad use only'.
This isn’t the point. Safety is the number one factor and rules are there for a reason. Ok if your producing air filters, trim, bushes even, they are non critical at the point of failure. Suspension, tyres and brakes etc are critical and require type testing and certification before you will be allowed to sell to members on this forum.

We looked into this a few years ago when failures were starting but for the safety reason we decided against it. We are here to support member experience, not to end it.
 
Last edited:

lambertius

Junior Member
Messages
62
I don't think it really matters what material the current arms are they're still a failing component. I'm not planning on selling any suspension parts but at some point someone will otherwise none of these cars will stay on the road...
 

2b1ask1

Centenary Club
Messages
15,745
Well I just dodged a bullet! Putting the wishbone back together and I’ve spotted a split in the ball joint boot!!! Time to panic and I recalled it has been replaced by others on here but running out of time to catch the Motor Factors on a Saturday I just grabbed it and ran.

MOTEX Romford I love you guys! “What are the chances you do a universal boot like the CV’s?”

“Maybe but we only supply them in packs of 10.”

60 seconds later...

65629

< £10 they are mine so if anyone needs some let me know I’ll send them for postage!!!