Resolved - Tire Rubbing Upper Ball Joint - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Tires, Wheels, Brakes & Suspension Discussion and information regarding tires, wheels, brakes and suspension.

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#1 Old 07-05-2019
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Question Resolved - Tire Rubbing Upper Ball Joint

My front right tire is rubbing on the upper ball joint bolt. Should I add wheel spacers and call it a day, or is there an adjustment to be made?




Backstory: The front right spindle was scratched and chewing up bearings every <1000 miles, so today I replaced the spindle/steering knuckle with one from a 2002 CLK320, and installed new brake caliper seals, pads, and rotor. However... The front right tire is now rubbing on the upper ball joint bolt. It's not rubbing hard but is audible.
Prior to replacing the spindle there was tire rub only when turning in reverse, this started after changing tires (from Hankook V12 EVO to Ventus S1 Noble2's, both 225/45R17). The wheels are stock (AMG 5 spoke 17x8.5"). The upper ball joint and the tie rods are unchanged. The lower ball joint came with the spindle.

Last edited by Avel Du; 07-06-2019 at 04:25 AM.
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#2 Old 07-05-2019
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Anything rubbing tyres is not good.

Let's see what the experts suggest.

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#3 Old 07-05-2019
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Hi,

It has to, (can only be), be one of the following ...................

Bent or incorrect wheel offset, check that offset first, some tyre places have been known to mix up a front and rear wheel rim, especially if these are a staggered set up

Ball pin thread too far through tapered orifice in hub carrier, (wear or incorrectly matched / sized parts)

Tyre size incorrect ( I haven't time to go looking them up)

Bent Hub

Bad Wheel Bearing (excess play)

Bent Stub Axle / Hub Carrier

Carefully compare things side to side, briefly swap the wheels if you are uncertain, (even if the tyres are directional, a quick test won't hurt)

HTH, Cheers Dave
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#4 Old 07-05-2019
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The knuckle upper arm is 3/16" shorter than on the original. So my guess is that despite what the parts catalog states the 2002 CLK320 spindle/knuckle is NOT a direct replacement for the 1999 SLK230 AMG sport, or perhaps the replacement part had been bent.

Thank you Avel and Dave! I will bring a tape measure next time.
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#5 Old 07-05-2019
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It should be the same part as the two platforms (170 and 208) shared the same suspension components.

how is the tire rubbing on the bolt and not the upper control arm?

can you swap the wheels left to right and see if it rubs on the other side?
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#6 Old 07-06-2019
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I did try swapping the wheels and it still rubbed. It turned out that the upper arm on the donor part was bent/buckled slightly causing negative camber. The donor showed no body damage but I suspect it had been forklifted hard onto the concrete. I have installed a spindle from another yard and the clearance is back to normal.

As an aside, the tapered fitting at the upper ball joint was quite difficult to separate, both times I had difficulty even using a gear puller.

Thank you all!
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