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penske 10mm ID monoball bad?

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#1
gerglmuff2

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ive been looking for some slight motion/clunk in my front suspension and ive checked everything, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearing, i still have a slight vertical clunk, like i grab the brake/hub and in the vertical motion have a slight amount of play/clunk. so last time i herd it it was coming from up top, in the shock mount. i swear i could see the shock rod moving up and down compared to the mount when i pull on the hub. while it was still on the car, i put an impact on the top nut and that didnt change anything. i figured it was the interface between the two parts in the top of the shock mount. 

but i now have the shock removed, and i can't seem to have found anything. the only thing i think i might have found is some slight play in the monoball. i cant see anything, but i can feel a tiny amount of vertical play. its very small, im having a hard time thinking that could that big of clunk, and ive never seen one of these monoball things go bad before, in a lot of cars ive had with them. 

has anyone see one go bad? any other tips? 


Gordon Kuhnley: Driving miata's in all conditions, courses, and motorsports that I can. 


#2
gerglmuff2

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also any way to buy that part without having to spend 250 bucks on the whole kit? 


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#3
Jim Drago

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Call Penske direct


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#4
gerglmuff2

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yeah i did this morning. mazda motorsports wont, but penske will. 

hopefully thats the clunk ... 


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#5
Chris Lefferdink

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yeah i did this morning. mazda motorsports wont, but penske will. 

hopefully thats the clunk ... 

Is there a part #? I think I have the same issue with my right rear...



#6
gerglmuff2

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i didnt get the part number from him, but when/if a shipping email and hopefully that will have it on it. otherwise you can call em. 

 


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#7
Rick Worth

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ive been looking for some slight motion/clunk in my front suspension and ive checked everything, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearing, i still have a slight vertical clunk, like i grab the brake/hub and in the vertical motion have a slight amount of play/clunk. so last time i herd it it was coming from up top, in the shock mount. i swear i could see the shock rod moving up and down compared to the mount when i pull on the hub. while it was still on the car, i put an impact on the top nut and that didnt change anything. i figured it was the interface between the two parts in the top of the shock mount. 

but i now have the shock removed, and i can't seem to have found anything. the only thing i think i might have found is some slight play in the monoball. i cant see anything, but i can feel a tiny amount of vertical play. its very small, im having a hard time thinking that could that big of clunk, and ive never seen one of these monoball things go bad before, in a lot of cars ive had with them. 

has anyone see one go bad? any other tips? 

Mine did this on the first install. Put my phone in the trunk and videoed the ball while i pulled up and down on the control arm. The ball was moving very slightly up and down. While driving through the pits they all sounded terrible with the clunking noise. Watch your mono ball while pulling up and down on your front, lower control arm and see if it moves. Doesn't take much to make a clunk while driving. After looking at the shocks for a while, I ended up disassembling the top hats. Top hats are mass manufactured and are not the same exact thickness so the ball was not snugging up in the mount with all the supplies shims. I took out shims one at a time till it tightened up. I think I took out 2 shims on each shock and solved the problem. Raced it this summer with no other issues. 


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#8
gerglmuff2

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yeah i might end up pulling a couple of the shims when reinstalling just to be safe about it. im pretty sure its the ball in the housing that is moving, not the monoball housing in the top hat, but might as well try it. 


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#9
Dave D.

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Technically the threaded piece not only fastens the housing to the top hat, but it also captures the monoball. Any looseness due to too loose of a fit(too many shims for the hat's thickness) and the monoball can move in the housing.



#10
Bench Racer

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Open the Penske link and you'll see that everything would need to be perfect to hold the Mono Ball assembly tight and simo hold the whole stick tight to the top hat. Think about why the Belleville washers are there. From me who is not a world renowned engineer this is crap were forced to buy from Penske. Plush bump rubber, but as advised, don't bottom out. Leaky shaft seals. This may or maybe not fit Mono ball/mount to top hat. :rotfl:   Laughing because I never bought these Penske shocks and I sold my Spec Miata. 

 

https://www.penskesh...UAL (ISSUE).pdf


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#11
Ron Alan

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Pretty sure the mono ball is held in place by the top of the shock shaft and the nut tightened down against the housing. I think the big nut and shims hold the housing in the top hat. Either element could cause a clunk. I dont think shims have anything to do with the mono ball? But I'm going to guess maybe the mono ball within its own factory piece could be loose?

 

Edit...never had a problem so never looked that close...my understanding was not correct!


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#12
gerglmuff2

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there is definitly play in the monoball, so my plan is to get the new monoballs from penske, and install it with one or two less shims. the bellvile washers were totally flattened out last time, and really they shouldn't be. i wonder if the monoball was a tiny bit loose, and just 2 seasons of crashing over bumps wore the monoball from impact. the washers are to allow of thickness changes in the mounting plate and keep the parts tight on the monoball. so the symptom is monoball wear, but the actual cause is the issue with shims. 


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#13
Bench Racer

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In my post, I'm using the term Mono ball referencing the two piece assembly.


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#14
gerglmuff2

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according to the penske documentation the monoball is a part inside the assembly, not the assembly. 


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#15
Bench Racer

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according to the penske documentation the monoball is a part inside the assembly, not the assembly. 

If your referencing me, yes the Mono ball is a two part assembly within the rod end mounting to the top hat.

 

The Bevel washers are an attempt to salvage a piss poor design of the rod end mounting. In a design to hold everything tight one would get rid of the bevel washers and have 2 pieces hold the Mono ball assembly housing to the top hat and a 3rd piece to hold the Mono ball to the housing. There are shock rod end Mono ball assemblies on the market where a snap ring is inserted after the Mono ball assembly is in place. Had them on my ITA RX7 and nothing ever came loosy goosy. 


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#16
gerglmuff2

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If your referencing me, yes the Mono ball is a two part assembly within the rod end mounting to the top hat.

 

The Bevel washers are an attempt to salvage a piss poor design of the rod end mounting. In a design to hold everything tight one would get rid of the bevel washers and have 2 pieces hold the Mono ball assembly housing to the top hat and a 3rd piece to hold the Mono ball to the housing. There are shock rod end Mono ball assemblies on the market where a snap ring is inserted after the Mono ball assembly is in place. Had them on my ITA RX7 and nothing ever came loosy goosy. 

 

im just following the name the company that makes them calls them so that communication can be clear and consistent. if you choose to refer to an assembly by an incorrect name, expect to be misunderstood. :shrug:


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#17
Bench Racer

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I notice a slight bit of sarcasm.

 

As today's kids say, whatever. No matter what world renowned Penske says, the rod end mounting designed by them is piss poor.


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#18
gerglmuff2

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to close the thread out, the new monoball from penske was much much much tighter and seems to have solved the problem at least when pulling/pushing on the wheel in the air. i also removed one of the belville washers when assembling it. 

we'll see about this weekend. 


Gordon Kuhnley: Driving miata's in all conditions, courses, and motorsports that I can. 


#19
splinter

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Updated parts are a call away.  Don't know if they're any better per se but free is free.  Or prepaid.

(610) 375-6180 Penske HQ

 

 

SM design chief then-Director of Competition and current GM Aaron Lambert is our contact.

Acquiring the updated shim: Penske Racing Shocks is offering the updated shim. This update can be done at
time of first service, picked up at the Mazda Motorsports trackside support program trailer, or by calling -
Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm ET - either Mazda Motorsports at 904.426.8757 or Penske Racing
Shocks at 610.375.6180. The updated shims will be mailed to customers free of charge for USPS delivery.

AARON LAMBERT / DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
BILL GARTNER / DIRECTOR OF R&D

 

solid intel here:

  https://www.penskesh...haker-rig-more/

 

-John Goodlad

Dana Point

1(949) 230-0682



#20
Steve Scheifler

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I think that’s antique news, not related to the subject of this particular issue. The early “shims” were thin enough to bend/fold around the edges of that big nut when the bumpstops were compressed. No real harm but it didn’t look great so they made them thicker (technically, reducing travel ever so slightly more).
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