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I have a 2008 cobalt LT and I keep having ball joint problems.
-Struts/both (entire strut replaced) FL under 6 months old. FR 15 months old
-New swaybar bushing and end links:1 month old
-New control arms: installed yesterday.
-Front hubs: about a year old.
-Front right spindle: Used replacement-installed 15 months ago:
*I have gone through control arms at an alarming rate.
*Today I installed new control arms and took the car to get aligned. The shop couldn't align because there's tons of play with the ball joints.
I installed (myself/ DIY job) ULTRA-POWER RK620302 & ULTRA-POWER RK620301 control arms from RockAuto.

*I reused the ball joint pinch bolts.
*I have rear drums and according to everything I've read, so that means I have the FE1 soft ride.
I'm at my wits' end. The last set of control arms lasted less than 4 months: ball joints had too much play.
I drive Uber for a living and haven't been able to work for over 10 days now. Can someone please help! I can't imagine the ball joints being bad, they felt stiff before installing. I can't fathom the ball joints going bad the 3 miles I drove to the alignment shop.
The alignment shop (pep boys) didn't have time to diagnose it and I don't have the money to.
Here is a video I took with the car on the lift
https://youtu.be/bJGq_1b_PgA
 

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Open your trunk lift spare tire cover and look at sticker on driver side will tell you your suspension package from video side to side movement is tie rod up and down is ball joint just some fyi they might have been looking for a good paying work order.
 

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A actually had a similar issue with another vehicle, a Mazda B4000. The customer brought it to me for an alignment. The upper ball joint inserts into the spindle the same way as the Cobalt's lower ball joint. It happened to be the wrong control arm and ball joint. The ball joint stud was smaller than the inside diameter in the spindle. So basically that looks like what has happened in your case. Both FE1 and FE3 arms will install on these cars. But will not actually be identical and have various differences in between the parts.

From everything I know about these cars, LS and LT will share the same FE1 soft ride suspension. Tell tale sign should be the black painted steel control arms. FE3 suspensions should have cast aluminium arms and be silver in color. According to the part numbers, you should have the correct parts. I personally wouldn't have used the particular brand you got. They aren't particularly great parts from my experience. The SKP stuff would have been the value brand I can say is pretty good.

Ive been debating which brand to use and reading reviews, the cheaper stuff doesnt last but maybe 1 or 2 years at best, or less than 25,000 miles. You can tell the parts made by common manufacturers from China many times by the letters "MS" stamped into the parts. Although I have seen many reviews saying the more expensive Moog parts have failed early on. So I'm not too sure which brand I can trust. I used Delphi control arms on my Kia and they looked pretty decent although Rockauto doesnt carry the left side for the FE1 arm. Mevotech and AC Delco Professional make good stuff.

I almost just want to press in new bushings and install new ball joints into my original control arms. But I'd rather not have to do all that work since the arms only take about 5 minutes each to replace.
 
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