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  1. July 13, 2009 NHTSA ACTION NUMBER: PE09031 FRONT SUSPENSION LOWER BALL JOINT NHTSA Action Number: PE09031 Components SUSPENSION Opened From: July 13, 2009–November 19, 2009 Summary ON JULY 13, 2009, THE OFFICE OF DEFECTS INVESTIGATIONS (ODI) OPENED PRELIMINARY EVALUATION PE09-031 TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF FRONT LOWER BALL JOINT SEPARATION IN MODEL YEAR (MY) 2007 AND 2008 FORD EDGE AND LINCOLN MKX VEHICLES. THE INVESTIGATION WAS BASED ON THREE OWNER COMPLAINTS ALLEGING THAT THE FRONT LOWER BALL JOINT SEPARATED AND CAUSED THE FRONT SUSPENSION TO COLLAPSE WHILE DRIVING. ODI ALSO IDENTIFIED INFORMATION RELATED TO THE ALLEGED DEFECT IN EARLY WARNING DATA SUBMITTED BY FORD. PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS INDICATED THAT THE FAILURES WERE RELATED TO THE PINCH BOLT USED TO SECURE THE FRONT LOWER BALL JOINT STUD TO THE STEERING KNUCKLE. ONE COMPLAINT ALLEGED THAT A CRASH OCCURRED WHICH RESULTED IN A MINOR INJURY. HOWEVER, NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COULD BE OBTAINED TO SUPPORT THIS CLAIM. INFORMATION PROVIDED BY FORD IN RESPONSE TO ODI'S INFORMATION REQUEST LETTER FOR PE09-031 INDICATE THAT IN EARLY MY 2007 PRODUCTION THERE WERE SOME ISSUES WITH THE FRONT LOWER CONTROL ARM BALL JOINT ASSEMBLY PROCESS. THE PINCH BOLTS USED WERE HAND STARTED AND HAD THE POTENTIAL TO CROSS THREAD AND NOT ACHIEVE PROPER CLAMP LOAD, POTENTIALLY RESULTING IN A LOOSE JOINT. IN NOVEMBER 2007, CHANGES WERE IMPLEMENTED TO CHASE AND CLEAN THE FIRST SIX THREADS OF THE BOLT TO PROVIDE EASIER HAND STARTING OF THE NUT AND ENSURE GOOD THREAD ENGAGEMENT BEFORE TIGHTENING. FORD ALSO IDENTIFIED ONGOING CONCERNS WITH THE POWER TRANSMISSION UNIT (PTU) SEALS AND FRONT SUSPENSION HYDRO-BUSHINGS ON THE SUBJECT VEHICLES, WHICH BOTH REQUIRE DISASSEMBLY OF THE FRONT LOWER BALL JOINT TO REPAIR. IF THE BALL JOINT IS NOT PROPERLY REASSEMBLED FOLLOWING SUCH SERVICE, THE JOINT MAY SEPARATE IN LATER SERVICE. FORD HAS PROVIDED ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS AND NEW PINCH BOLTS TO THE PTU REPAIR KIT TO IMPROVE THE JOINT REASSEMBLY PROCESS. ODI'S ANALYSIS OF FAILURE DATA IDENTIFIED 31 INCIDENTS OF JOINT SEPARATION (WITH 12 SPECIFICALLY STATING THAT THEY OCCURRED WHILE DRIVING). REPAIR RECORDS FOR THESE 31 VEHICLES SHOWS THAT 28 INVOLVE SEPARATION OF THE JOINT ON THE PASSENGER (RIGHT) SIDE, WHICH IS THE SIDE THAT MUST BE DISASSEMBLED FOR PTU SERVICE. TWENTY-THREE OF THESE WERE FOUND TO HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY DISASSEMBLED FOR CONTROL ARM BUSHING SERVICE, PTU SERVICE OR OTHER TRANSMISSION REPAIR. THE EIGHT CLAIMS THAT DID NOT INVOLVE PRIOR SERVICE REPAIRS REQUIRING JOINT DISASSEMBLY ALL OCCURRED VERY EARLY IN VEHICLE LIFE, INDICATING THAT IT IS UNLIKELY THAT ANY JOINTS MANUFACTURED WITH LOOSE PINCH BOLTS ARE STILL IN SERVICE. ALL OF THESE JOINTS FAILED WITHIN 6 MONTHS IN SERVICE AND 10,000 MILES (THE MAXIMUM FAILURE MILEAGE IS 8,097 MILES). THERE HAVEN'T BEEN ANY SUCH FAILURES (I.E., NOT INVOLVING PRIOR SERVICE/DISASSEMBLY) SINCE DECEMBER 2008. THE RATE FOR INCIDENTS THAT DID NOT OCCUR FOLLOWING SERVICE AND, THUS, MAY BE RELATED TO THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS ISSUES IDENTIFIED BY FORD IS VERY LOW (2.5 PER 100,000 VEHICLES) AND THESE INCIDENTS OCCURRED VERY EARLY IN THE LIFE OF THE VEHICLES AND ARE NOT SHOWING A CONTINUING FAILURE TREND. ACCORDINGLY, THIS INVESTIGATION HAS BEEN CLOSED. THE CLOSING OF THIS INVESTIGATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A FINDING BY NHTSA THAT A SAFETY-RELATED DEFECT DOES NOT EXIST. THE AGENCY WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR COMPLAINTS AND OTHER INFORMATION RELATING TO THE ALLEGED DEFECT IN THE SUBJECT VEHICLES AND TAKE FURTHER ACTION IN THE FUTURE IF WARRANTED. 4 Associated Products Vehicles MAKE MODEL YEAR FORD EDGE 2007-2008 LINCOLN MKX 2007-2008 12 Associated Documents OCC 4/6/2010 LETTER TO FORD GRANT CONFIDENTIAL TREATMENT TO FORD 11-9-2009 LETTER TO OCCINLM-PE09031-41413P.pdf75.583KB FORD 11-9-2009 LETTER TO OCC REQUEST FOR CONFIDENTIAL TREATMENTINLO-PE09031-41414P.pdf60.051KB FORD 11/6/2009 MEMO TO ODIINME-PE09031-37530P.pdf2057.436KB MEMO 11/16/2009 TO THE FILE FROM FORD 11/6/ EMAILINME-PE09031-37460P.pdf2047.375KB CLOSING RESUME APPROVED * 11/19/09 * pINCLA-PE09031-37540.pdf113.352KB FORD 9/18/2009 APPENDIX BINRD-PE09031-37082P.pdf48.209KB FORD 9/18/2009 APPENDIX DINRD-PE09031-37084P.pdf192.182KB FORD 9/18/2009 APPENDIX F, ENGINEERING VIEW/ILLUSTRATION/WARRANTYINRD-PE09031-37086P.pdf26356.115KB FORD 9/18/2009 APPENDIX JINRD-PE09031-37089P.pdf111.076KB FORD 9/18/2009 LETTER TO ODIINRL-PE09031-37080P.pdf718.811KB IR TO MFR - to investigate allegations of front suspension lower ball joint separation. - * 07/31/09 * pINIM-PE09031-36595.pdf576.359KB OPENING RESUME APPROVED * 07/13/09 * pINOA-PE09031-36123.pdf47.183KB INOA-PE09031-36123 FRONT SUSPENSION LOWER BALL JOINT Failure 2007-8 Edge MKX.pdf INIM-PE09031-36595 IR TO MFR - to investigate allegations of front suspension lower ball joint separation.pdf INRL-PE09031-37080P FORD 9-18-2009 LETTER TO ODI.pdf INRD-PE09031-37089P FORD 9-18-2009 APPENDIX J Diagram of loading forces.pdf INRD-PE09031-37084P FORD 9-18-2009 APPENDIX D.pdf INRD-PE09031-37082P FORD 9-18-2009 APPENDIX B Owner Reports Legal Field Action OASIS etc.pdf INCLA-PE09031-37540 CLOSING RESUME APPROVED 11-19-09.pdf INME-PE09031-37460P MEMO 11-16-2009 TO THE FILE FROM FORD 11-6- EMAIL Q&A.pdf INME-PE09031-37530P FORD 11-6-2009 MEMO TO ODI.pdf INLO-PE09031-41414P FORD 11-9-2009 LETTER TO OCC REQUEST FOR CONFIDENTIAL TREATMENT.pdf INLM-PE09031-41413P OCC 4-6-2010 LETTER TO FORD GRANT CONFIDENTIAL TREATMENT TO FORD 11-9-2009 LETTER TO OCC.pdf
  2. This is a step by step video on how to remove and replace a lower control arm on the right (passenger side) of a 2008 Ford Edge with 273,000 miles (third LCA on this side for this Edge). This video will depict a worse case scenario on how to remove the LCA when the bolts break. This can be a DIY as long as you have the tools available. Hope this video helps you learn from my experience. Depending on your shop you would use this job can be between 700 to 1100 dollars. I did it for $130.00 dollars.
  3. Here is a review of the Moog Lower Control Arm with ball joint assembly. This part runs approximately $75.00 through amazon. The Ford OEM will run you about 230.00 dollars. I have installed about three or these. You do not need to install the whole arm as I have never had a control arm bushing go bad, but in order to install the ball joint you have to almost remove the LCA anyway or at least the strut and drive shaft. I have found it easier to remove the LCA and install a new one. Here is the video review on the Moog LCA for the Right side of the Edge.
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