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I'm trying to diagnose a front end suspension geometry problem, and could use some help.

The outer tie rod ball joint is barely rubbing on the inside on the front left wheel. I can see a mark on the inside of the steel wheel where the circlip on the tie rod is contacting the wheel. I can hear it rubbing under braking.

I put the car up on jackstands, with the front jackstands under the spring pans. Yanking on the wheel, I can't detect any play. I tried putting a crowbar on the lower ball joint, and couldn't make it wiggle.
All of the joints (castor arm ball joints, top arm, lower ball joint, tie rods) look like they've been replaced at one time, and look to be in good condition.

I do need bushings for the front and rear swaybars, but that should have no effect on the location of the wheel in relation to the tie rods.

I'm thinking it has to be the lower ball joints, but they look in good condition. I don't know the condition of the a-arm bushings.

I'd like to order parts today so I can work on it over the holiday weekend.

Suggestions?
 

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RIP 9/10/2017
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It sounds like the front end is aligned but the adjustments are skewed. Are the threads on the tie rod ends even on both sides? Once side is LH thread the other RH. Are they installed properly? Did you check the upper A-arm bushings?
 

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Even with the car on jack stands the spring will still push on the lower ball joint so you will not be able to feel any play (if there is any).

If the price is right, I would just replace both side lower ball joints and record when done in a maintenance book so you know when you last did them :)

Is there play in the outer steering tie rod end? as that seems most likely to me.
Pete
 
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