Originally Posted by Laguna II Owner
"I guess garages can get access to parts that joe public can't!"
Err not in my experience..
I had an offside ball joint fitted to my laguna before I took delivery of it..
Now getting to the point of my ramblings..
When inspecting the original repair to the n/s balljoint we noticed that it was a bit of a botch job.. The original repair was done on the cheap..
The knackered ball joint had the rivots drilled out and the replacement ( I suspect either a breakers part or maybe the eariler laguna ball joint ) was crudely bolted to the wishbone arm..
Sorry, but got to correct you on this. This is not a botch job at all, it was standard practice until recent years, I did it with my MG Maestro. You bought the ball joint, drilled (actually chiselling is easier as it stretches the rivets and makes them easier to knock out), the factory rivets out, and fitted the new ball joint to the arm using bolts and nyloc nuts which come with the ball joint normally.
It's only in recent years that they seem to have cottoned on that they can make more money out of you by not supplying replacement ball joints anymore, and making you buy the full arm which you don't need.
The only time you really need to change the arm is if the car has been kerbed of something and bent the arm. It's just a money making racket by the parts companies, not the garage doing a botch job.
For some cars you can still get just the ball joint, which is obviously the way to go if you can get it.
As for mechanics having access to parts that the public can't get, that's not true, but they probably know to ask for a particular part (ie if just a ball joint is available), where the parts dep't will probably just try to sell the public the most expensive part (the whole wishbone). Plus people in the trade get parts at trade prices too, which applies to all walks of life.