UrS and 200 ball joint failures

robert weinberg centaurus3200 at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 12 09:48:41 PDT 2008

interesting story.

where do i get the TRW balljoints/control arm assembly? autohauzaz only has the moog/Meyle

how long do ball joints usually last? my car "only" has 114k on the clock. other than 3 initial years in colorado, it's been a california car since 1994.


--- On Mon, 8/11/08, mike claire <mike.claire at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: mike claire <mike.claire at gmail.com>
> Subject: UrS and 200 ball joint failures
> To: "s-car-list" <s-car-list at audifans.com>, "200 20v List" <200q20v at audifans.com>
> Date: Monday, August 11, 2008, 6:23 PM
> Hey guys - I saw a bad accident today, and it gave me a lot
> to think about.
> Some of it is Audi related.
> The cops have my statement.  Basically what happened is
> this:  We were each
> going 60 in opposite directions.  If you could freeze the
> action as we
> crossed each other, we were at an overpass expansion joint.
>  At that
> millisecond, I heard heavy metallic pop, or a bang come
> from her car.  It
> sounded unsprung, and it sounded like something she needed.
>  I glanced at my
> side mirror to catch a glimpse as she passed.  Short
> wheelbase, high center
> of gravity, I don't think anybody could have saved it,
> but she went down
> swinging.
> A little more about the conditions, then the Audi content: 
> Rt 101 on the
> Milford/Amherst NH line looks like an Interstate except
> it's one lane each
> way, no median.  It was 11:30 AM, the road was dry, it was
> bright with high
> cloud cover, and there were only 3 or 4 cars within sight. 
> She was driving
> a late model car at a normal speed.  Something happened,
> and in the count of
> 2 seconds it was over.  It's as random as it gets.
> I have seen too many emails about sudden ball joint
> failures, and we've been
> lucky (as far was we know).  It has happened in the
> driveway, rolling thru a
> parking lot, etc.  Somebody speculated that gyroscopic
> action holds a failed
> components together until the speed's too low.  I
> suppose it's
> possible....but when I hit an expansion joint at 90 I
> don't want to wonder
> if that's what's holding my front-end together.
> Here's my question:  Is a clunk-free UrS/200 control
> arm/ball joint
> definately safe?  There's a concensus that TRW's
> are good, and Meyle is
> terrible.  I replaced the arms 2 years and 15K miles ago. 
> They might have
> been Meyle.
> Suppose they were Meyle, and suppose it passed a
> "real" inspection by an
> indy who works on UrS's all the time.  Would you track
> it with those arms?
> If the car is heavy enough to snap something without
> warning during an
> agressive maneuver, I'll change out parts next week
> (assuming TRW will
> correct the risk).
> Mike
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