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BJ426 – The Bad & the Good!

AU-BF Falcon Lower Ball Joint – BJ426

The Roadsafe BJ426 lower ball joint (AU – BF Falcon) is manufactured as a direct replacement of the OE factory ball joint, fitted into a load carrying tension position (under constant static tension) – this factory design means it is always trying to pull the ball pin out of the ball joint socket or effectively pulling the ball joint apart.

Based on the suspension setup, it has proven difficult to manufacture a ball joint to maintain ongoing quality with a serviceable life.

Until now!

Our previous BJ426 design was running at approximately 0.5% return rate.  Whilst this rate would be acceptable to some, it was not acceptable to Roadsafe, and a redesign was programmed as a high priority.

Roadsafe have been working closely with engineers and our Taiwanese factory to improve the ball joint‘s life cycle and provide a product that is currently testing better than the OE equivalent, and by far out testing any of the major competitors products.  At each stage the designs were put through several tests involving the best available fatigue testing equipment loading up at 600kg pull, and 400kg push, up to 500,000 cycles.  All tests were repeated for validation.

In conjunction with the testing at the factory we also undertook real world testing, fitting the joints to various vehicles including a Melbourne taxi.  These were checked and measured for wear and axial (up and down) movement at 10,000 km intervals up to 50,000 km’s then removed and checked, the results were fantastic as the joints showed virtually no wear after 50,000 km’s of almost constant use.  The taxi was then fitted another set of Roadsafe test joints, these have now done in excess of 200,000 km’s and they are still in serviceable condition.

With over 300 test units in the field (June 2016), and not one unit showing any signs of premature wear, the new Roadsafe BJ426 Design is testing better than expected in real life exposure.  Roadsafe’s goal with all components is to offer product that meets or exceeds OE standards.  With modern technology in manufacturing and new materials becoming more readily available these standards are definitely attainable.  Through our program of continuous improvement, and our want to remain as Australia’s premier supplier of Steering & Suspension Components, we will not stop until we have a product that is second to none.  We have achieved this with the new BJ426 design.

There will still be claims on BJ426 – that is guaranteed.  However if these claims involve a new Roadsafe design joint we will very safely be able to attribute that to either incorrect diagnosis of other suspension component wear, Installation Error or use that seriously impacts spike loading on the ball joint (ie. regular driving on corrugations).  These issues are readily identifiable, and neither issue can be attributed to Manufacturers error.

One of the main issues we see with BJ426 is the boot being damaged due to poor installation techniques or inadequate servicing.  Boot damage, allows dirt and contaminants to enter the joint, resulting in accelerated wear, and premature failure.  This damage is readily identifiable, and is a direct result of poor installation and/or inadequate servicing.

As the leading steering and suspension supplier in our market, Roadsafe are conscious that the BJ426 design is a difficult one to get right.  We are pleased that we have achieved the near impossible, and now offer you a BJ426 that we can be proud of.

These are the results you want to see!  Please refer to the YELLOW highlights.  Axial play is the amount of ‘freeplay’ in the ball joint.  As tested the KT (Roadsafe) sample tests to 0.27mm axial play after 500000 cycles.  A fraction better than the OE sample at 0.28mm.  This is a great result for the Roadsafe joint, and demonstrates its resilience with ongoing use.


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