The Xantia has been performing well since I replaced the engine back in July this year. Carried out an oil and filter change yesterday and while the car was in the air I carried out a quick check of wheels, tyres, bearings, joints etc. Unfortunately I found the passenger front lower ball-joint had worn enough to allow 3mm of movement. This is annoying and beggars belief as I only replaced the ball joints 7,572 miles previously with branded parts from an alternative major car parts supplier with a 'European feel'
The car's only done 172,572 miles which is 7,572 miles and 5 months since rebuild. The car spends most of the time on motorways, speed bumps are not tackled quickly and it's not been kerbed so all I can put it down to is duff parts or (as I suspect) the ball joint left the factory without grease. This isn't the first time I've encountered major components that have been signed off and shipped out missing parts or without grease or incorrectly hardened as often found on cheap wheel bearing sets. Hopefully since the part hasn't been on long it will come out fairly easily with a windy gun. I don't like using long extension bars on this component since even if you leave the trackrod end connected, putting the 200 to 300 pounds force on to the hub via the ball joint will ruin the hub bearing/outer CV joint. Far better to either remove entire hub and clamp it in a big vice OR use an air impact wrench which tends to shock it loose without actually forcing the hub into an extreme angle.
So now got to go out and buy a new ball joint - maybe a pair just in case the drivers side ball joint starts wearing prematurely.