Why Won't My ATV's Ball Joint Stay in Place?

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
ATV AnswerMan digs into a problem Suzuki Vinson

I have a 2003 Suzuki Vinson that I recently replaced ball joints on. The problem is the lower right ball joint will not stay inserted at the top. I replaced the bolt (10×30 but that didn’t help. Why won’t the top of the ball joint stay in place? Thanks in advance!


Hi Adam,

You have a very interesting question and one that may only be able to be answered with a little more investigating on your part. These pinch bolt-style connections typically work well and really have two different securing designs built in. The pinching of the bolt is one form of a securing lock but the bolt also slides through a dip or half moon shaped recession in the stem of the ball joint that pretty much locks the stem from pulling back out of the pinch clamp. I would say the only way this could be a problem is if the ball joint is not the correct replacement part.

Assuming you had purchased the parts from the dealer there is a slight possibility that the order was mixed up, but the upper and lower ball joints on the Suzuki Vinson are the same part number. My suggestion is to simply look closely at the pinch clamp and be sure the knuckle itself is not broken or cracked there. From that point I’m at a loss for what could cause it to slip out.

Rick Sosebee
Rick Sosebee

Whether he is in Mexico covering the Baja 1000, building ATVs for local racers, or out enjoying the trails, Rick’s passion shows in his stories. Learning to wrench his own machines from his grandfather, Rick also has an undying appreciation for the mechanics of off-road vehicles. Do not let the dirt and mud fool you, though, as Rick also has a deep love for street cars.

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