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#399988 - July 23rd 2010 4:51 pm Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components
wrcsixeight Offline
veteran

Registered: April 30th 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 1947
Loc: San Diego
I've been doing a lot of armchair shopping online lately and would like some opinions on the quality of certain brands.

I have been under the impression that MOOG ball joints and tie rod ends are about the best quality one could hope for, but I've read that recently they have moved a lot of their manufacturing out of the USA and quality has taken a steep nose dive. Anybody else her these rumors?

I see the Mcquay-Norris brand makes inexpensive ball joints and then an extreme duty version that is about the most expensive one could buy. Apparently they make the SPICER brand as well, and that Napa brand might Actually be Spicers which would be MN.

Other Sites claim the AC Delco ball joints/tie rod ends to be the superior Product.

Since replacing ball joints looks to be a real PITA, I only want to do it once. I have considered just buying new control arms with the bushings and ball joints installed. The brands available are:
Mevotech
Dorman
Raybestos
Mcquay-Norris
AC Delco.

I will not consider the Mevotech, and have read that Dorman arms lead to alignment Issues in Some models. I am leaning away from the full control arms because of price, and the masochist in me is looking forward to unscrewing the upper Ball joints and pressing out the lowers and bushings, and wirewheeling and painting the control arms.

I am also torn between replacing my coil springs with Moog 7270's or 7272's. My 22 year old current springs have the same diameter as the 7270's, and if they would not bottom out so easily, I would say the ride quality is smooth. The 7272 are rated to carry almost 400 lbs more each. I'm wondering how much the ride quality would suffer with the 7272's. A member here has done the swap but has not responded to queries.

Thoughts, ramblings, musings, opinions wanted.
At some point I will be taking the Van deep into Baja's washboarded suspension abusing roads. A part failure down there could lead to unpleasant consequences, so 'lifetime warranty' products don't mean much unless they have the quality to back up that claim.

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#399998 - July 23rd 2010 5:20 pm Re: Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components [Re: wrcsixeight]
fatvanman Offline
addict

Registered: January 31st 2010 8:51 pm
Posts: 573
Loc: Now in Emmett, ID
I'm in the middle of overhauling the front end of my G20 and at first considered the new assembled arms as well until I saw them. My parts store got the Dorman arms and they are crap! The stamped arm is only about 1/2 the thickneess of the stock arm, and the bushings and ball joints look to be of super cheap quality. I also got to visually compare the Mcquay vs. the Moogs and I went with the Moogs as they simply looked like a better quality part, both the bushings and the ball joints. Unfortunately I only get a few hours a week to work on my van so I'm not finished with the overhaul, but I have not had any surprises with the installations. Of course installing the bushings is a PITA though!!
_________________________
Colin
aka "Fatvanman"
1975 Chevy G20 Shorty "Lunchbox"

"The great ones never die, they just get older, fatter and drive better vans!"

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3913766/1975-chevrolet-van

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#400003 - July 23rd 2010 5:34 pm Re: Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components [Re: fatvanman]
Mr Truckin Offline
old hand

Registered: November 16th 2005 12:00 pm
Posts: 945
Loc: spfld ill
done front end work off and on for 40 years, always used moog, never ever had a problem
_________________________
aka Blue Heaven 77 gmc

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#400012 - July 23rd 2010 6:32 pm Re: Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components [Re: Mr Truckin]
wrcsixeight Offline
veteran

Registered: April 30th 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 1947
Loc: San Diego
It just real confusing figuring out what is what. I have no proof Moog quality has dropped since the supposed bankruptcy a couple years back, and who knows if the parts I get would have been made before that bankruptcy, or after, or if the quality has indeed dropped.

Napa shows the exact same picture of their ball joint as the Mcquay norris Site. And the Mcquay Norris says their Spicer brand is tops.

Some Say AC Delco is just a rebadged MOOG, and others say they are all the same thing in different boxes.

My buddy has a 2 1/8 socket star shaped, and it does fit over the ball joint, but looking at the photos of the 4 90 degree opposing flats, it doesn't look like it would grab very good.

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#400015 - July 23rd 2010 6:47 pm Re: Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components [Re: wrcsixeight]
Mr Truckin Offline
old hand

Registered: November 16th 2005 12:00 pm
Posts: 945
Loc: spfld ill
ever heard of NAPA konow how
_________________________
aka Blue Heaven 77 gmc

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#400017 - July 23rd 2010 6:49 pm Re: Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components [Re: Mr Truckin]
Mr Truckin Offline
old hand

Registered: November 16th 2005 12:00 pm
Posts: 945
Loc: spfld ill
i used upper and lower tubular control arms by ride tech
_________________________
aka Blue Heaven 77 gmc

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#400021 - July 23rd 2010 6:56 pm Re: Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components [Re: Mr Truckin]
wrcsixeight Offline
veteran

Registered: April 30th 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 1947
Loc: San Diego
Over on the dodge cummins diesel 4x4 forums they say the spicers last longer than the moogs. Since they are probably one of the heaviest application for ball joints that is a pretty good endorsment.

Looking at the raybestos pic is exactly the same as the MN pic which is exactly the same as the Napa premuim pic.

I Don't have a lot of money to throw at this, but I do want the good stuff, I just don't want to pay an extra 30$ for a box that has a different label and the same product within.

Some sites are saying that Duralasts are reboxed MOOG for 1/4 the price.

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#400035 - July 23rd 2010 8:15 pm Re: Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components [Re: wrcsixeight]
fatvanman Offline
addict

Registered: January 31st 2010 8:51 pm
Posts: 573
Loc: Now in Emmett, ID
I ran into something similar years ago when pricing shocks and I would get people saying sears shocks are the Monroes at 1/2 price, etc. just like what you're saying. To make a long story short they were only partially true. If the shocks didn't meet Monroe's specs then they became some other brand name and if they failed their specs they became Sears. So even though they looked almost identical, the reason they cost so much less is they didn't pass the higher end QC testing. As there are only so many manufacturing these parts, I would assume the same with the bushings too. Bottom line is with most things you do get what you pay for. It may cost more initially but save you time, money and frustration in the long run. Just my 2cents...
_________________________
Colin
aka "Fatvanman"
1975 Chevy G20 Shorty "Lunchbox"

"The great ones never die, they just get older, fatter and drive better vans!"

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3913766/1975-chevrolet-van

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#400086 - July 24th 2010 1:14 am Re: Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components [Re: fatvanman]
wrcsixeight Offline
veteran

Registered: April 30th 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 1947
Loc: San Diego
After more reading I do believe that even if a part sold at autozone had the same part number, same manufacturer stamps and overall same exact appearance as a Moog part, Moog has rejected it as having tolerances out of whack, and perhaps did not heat treat it in the same manner, if at all.

Supposedly, the Spicer/ Mcquay norris/ napa gold ball joints are all made from cold forged steel whereas the moog are stamped steel.
I have found another company that offers a million mile warranty on their suspension components for a reasonable price. Supposedly they sell through: The Tire Club
Once this site listed the ball joints for around 40 dollars, but I can no longer get the site to list them. I have sent them an e-mail. The 4x4 diesel guys say these things are great. Anyway, it's beer time.

Check out this site.
http://www.xrfchassis.com/

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#400090 - July 24th 2010 3:35 am Re: Favored brands of Ball joints, steering components [Re: wrcsixeight]
Ram4ever Offline


Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3681
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
Wrcsixeight, a lot of autoparts stores will have loaner tools like the ball joint wrenches, which they'll let you use for free. You just put down a deposit, which you get back when you return the tool. Sometimes you end up with a complete kit of tools, which can be useful at times.

Clear skies!
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


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