Advice on Ball Joints

CaptainXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Was replacing the calipers the other day and noticed when I rocked the passenger tire at the 12 and 6 position that the upper ball joint had some movement. About 1/4-1/2 inch. It also looks cockeyed.

Anyway I need some advice...

Should I replace all ball joints at this point (130K miles)? Or just replace the uppers on both sides?

I got 2 of these: Amazon.com: ACDelco 46D0112A Advantage Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joint: Automotive

The Moogs were $96 at Advance Auto. Too much in my opinion for something so simple. So I went with the ACDelco.

Thanks.
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
That's a good price for bj's with zerks. I have been shopping for a while now and Mevotech seems to be the better quality/cost on Rockauto.com. At least last I saw personally. I will also change them all four out at once with the front shocks when that happens. Seems easier that way as I do not look forward to renting a press. Rolling 120K miles sometime in the next week.


Edit: From what I remember, A lot of guys from the OS had Mevotech over Moog's. Personally from what I got out of the oem's, I am tempted to go that route. But if the Mevotech's are cheaper then why not. Think Roadie had em at one point.
 

CaptainXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Rs8892 said:
One word RockAuto Parts Catalog

RockAuto Mobile Catalog[ID]=0&ck[idlist]=0&ck[viewcurrency]=USD&ck[PHP_SESSION_ID]=djr59o45cuaovg44525j2eoie6

Link is bad.

So anyway the Moog's at Rock Auto are $50 a piece. $15 more than the ACDelco. I get free shipping at Amazon as well so a great deal overall. After doing a bunch of searching on this and other forums it appears the ACDelco's are made by Moog.

Playsinsnow said:
I will also change them all four out at once with the front shocks when that happens. Seems easier that way as I do not look forward to renting a press. Rolling 120K miles sometime in the next week.

Crap, didn't even think about renting the press twice. Will have to do all four and might try out the Movotech LBJ's. Thinking about doing bushings as well. Thanks!
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
I will do all four because I do not want to have to suspect a different worn balljoint somewhere else after the initial repair. Probably be a different situation if I had no plans to keep the TB as long as I do. Might be wise to complete before winter comes! lol
 

WarGawd

Member
Sep 2, 2012
468
Not sure it's "advice", but I did the LBJ, outer tie rod ends, sway bar link ends, and sway bar bushings a short while back. Went with Moog for everything except the Delco bushing, partly for the lifetime warranty - both Amazon and Rockauto seem to lack any warranty info for the specific P/N you bought. Just because AC Delco's may be made by Moog, doesn't mean Moog necessarily supplies their best product for re-branding. FYI Amazon seems to have issues with vehicle fitment:

View attachment 29493

And honestly, when I've spent $8k+ in gas alone over the last year, I really didn't care about quibbling over $15, the way I looked at it was "HEYYYY I can get Moog at RockAuto for 1/3rd of the price they want locally, I'll even drive to NY to get 'em" And I STILL saved enough on the whole parts order (vs local parts pricing) to more than pay the labor for some other poor sucker to install 'em. :wootwoot:

FWIW.... :smile:

EDIT: Amazon also says that the Moog K6663 Problem Solver LBJs I bought and installed also don't fit my vehicle...guess Amazon's vehicle fitment info can't be relied on too heavily
 

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Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
WarGawd said:
Not sure it's "advice", but I did the LBJ, outer tie rod ends, sway bar link ends, and sway bar bushings a short while back. Went with Moog for everything except the Delco bushing, partly for the lifetime warranty - both Amazon and Rockauto seem to lack any warranty info for the specific P/N you bought. Just because AC Delco's may be made by Moog, doesn't mean Moog necessarily supplies their best product for re-branding. FYI Amazon seems to have issues with vehicle fitment:

View attachment 16164

And honestly, when I've spent $8k+ in gas alone over the last year, I really didn't care about quibbling over $15, the way I looked at it was "HEYYYY I can get Moog at RockAuto for 1/3rd of the price they want locally, I'll even drive to NY to get 'em" And I STILL saved enough on the whole parts order (vs local parts pricing) to more than pay the labor for some other poor sucker to install 'em. :wootwoot:

FWIW.... :smile:

EDIT: Amazon also says that the Moog K6663 Problem Solver LBJs I bought and installed also don't fit my vehicle...guess Amazon's vehicle fitment info can't be relied on too heavily


Does Amazon supply the parts? Maybe whoever sold them the part only listed a few models thus leaving any left out as "does not fit"?



I like saving too to have some other sucker sweat over pressing em out. If you get the rewards Visa card it will only cost you $6! Score!
 

CaptainXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
WarGawd said:
...guess Amazon's vehicle fitment info can't be relied on too heavily

That's why I go to the ACDelco calatalog website first to see if I got the right part. I never go by the Amazon fitment guide. The part number I got is right.

ACDelco Parts

View attachment 29494

WarGawd said:
Just because AC Delco's may be made by Moog, doesn't mean Moog necessarily supplies their best product for re-branding.

Interesting to note that the ACDelco professional front sway bar links look exactly like Raybestos. Looks like they are made by Raybestos.
 

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WarGawd

Member
Sep 2, 2012
468
Playsinsnow said:
Does Amazon supply the parts? Maybe whoever sold them the part only listed a few models thus leaving any left out as "does not fit"?

Not sure, but given the Moogs were from a different supplier than CapXL's Delcos, I'd guess it's more of a universal Amazon issue.



Playsinsnow said:
I like saving too to have some other sucker sweat over pressing em out. If you get the rewards Visa card it will only cost you $6! Score!


In this case, it's especially true! If you haven't seen the story behind what went on during the replacement, you may enjoy it: http://gmtnation.com/f17/what-did-you-do-your-gmt-today-822/index189.html#post133133
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,177
Ottawa, ON
I just wanted to add my opinion about the Mevotechs, which I don't recommend. They're made in China and aren't that good. I've gotten parts with cracks in critical points and boots that won't stay on.
 

CaptainXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Found an open box ACDelco Professional LBJ for $11. Total $64 + free ship for LBJ's and bushings. Sweet.

View attachment 29495

So total damage for 4 ball joints and 2 sway bar bushings comes out to about $134.
 

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Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
Mooseman said:
I just wanted to add my opinion about the Mevotechs, which I don't recommend. They're made in China and aren't that good. I've gotten parts with cracks in critical points and boots that won't stay on.

Ouch. Good to know. What do you have now?


CaptainXL said:
Found an open box ACDelco Professional LBJ for $11. Total $64 + free ship for LBJ's and bushings. Sweet.

View attachment 16166

So total damage for 4 ball joints and 2 sway bar bushings comes out to about $134.

Nice!
 

CaptainXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Mooseman said:
I just wanted to add my opinion about the Mevotechs, which I don't recommend. They're made in China and aren't that good. I've gotten parts with cracks in critical points and boots that won't stay on.

From my research it seems the fastened boots are preferred over the slip on boots. That would rule out the Moog end links. They look like crap IMHO.
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
CaptainXL said:
Interesting to note that the ACDelco professional front sway bar links look exactly like Raybestos. Looks like they are made by Raybestos.

Don't say that... I hate Raybestos parts :hissyfit:

You did get a good deal on the ACDelco parts especially if they come with zerk fittings. I used ACDelcos for a Bonniville tie rods and ball joints and they seem built well and came with zerk fittings too.

My Moogs on the truck have lasted 80K miles so far (2 years), I just keep them greased. I remember getting them from RockAuto for about $210 in 2011.

I did use a inner tie rod by Mevotech, I think it's going out now. It was only $18Wish they made greasable inner tie rods...
 

CaptainXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Good info guys. Awe crap, only ordered one sway bar bushing! Hehe Oh well..will probably need end links as well. So make that total $150 ish.

Anyone know how to check end links with any confidence? When I was doing the calipers I could rotate them freely but up and down movement was tight with no play. Just not sure if they should rotate around the ball easily.
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
CaptainXL said:
Good info guys. Awe crap, only ordered one sway bar bushing! Hehe Oh well..will probably need end links as well. So make that total $150 ish.

Anyone know how to check end links with any confidence? When I was doing the calipers I could rotate them freely but up and down movement was tight with no play. Just not sure of they should rotate around the ball easily.

I noticed more sway than what was "normal". I replaced the oem's when they became noisy on almost every bump. I could wiggle the endlink enough to know that it was not bolted tight. After replacing them with Oreilly cheapo's (I wanted the noise gone) the ride did not sway as much on turns and such.

After tightening down the new ones to spec, I gave it a good wiggle and thought that any sway the truck produces would be more weight than I can muster trying to wiggle it. Making sure it is seated properly is key. Having one wheel weighted on the ground and the other off helped a lot. I noticed that the new ones were nice and stiff and not at all anymore. Forearm grip strength versus finger wiggle now..

My Cheapo's are beginning to make noise now. I kept up on greasing, it has been about a year and maybe 10k miles? I am going with suspensionmaxx endlinks next time.
 

CaptainXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
seanpooh said:
Don't say that... I hate Raybestos parts :hissyfit:

Side by side comparison. Raybestos on the left, ACDelco on the right. Each are the same price from Rock Auto - $40

View attachment 29496


seanpooh said:
My Moogs on the truck have lasted 80K miles so far (2 years), I just keep them greased. I remember getting them from RockAuto for about $210 in 2011.

Lil' buggers aren't cheap. :bonk:
 

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Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,177
Ottawa, ON
I dunno where you got that pic of the ACDelcos because this is the right one:

View attachment 29508

And this right from RockAuto
 

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Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,177
Ottawa, ON
NVM, my bad. Noticed you have a 2005. Can't believe there'd be a difference in the years like that. Well, I installed Raybestos front and back after the Moogs failed. I had some Deezas before in the front. they seemed pretty good except that they only had the Allen key hole so when I went to take them off for the strut replacement, had to cut them off.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
I have Moog everything and no issues yet from any of it (joints, tie rod ends, end links, the works). Check/add grease every oil change or so when I rotate the tires.
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
Sparky said:
I have Moog everything and no issues yet. Check/add grease every oil change or so when I rotate the tires.


This is my PERSONAL dilemma. I have 120k (tmrw!) on stockers I have NEVER needed to service my BJs or any suspension part besides endlinks. Adding more servicing without considerable gain is not worth the time/$ IMHO. Not for a ball joint on a ride not dedicated to offroad/track use.
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
That's the first time I've ever seen zerk fittings on the sides of the sway bar links... the moogs (when I had them) were in the back. Maybe it's makes it easier to grease.
I think Raybestos stole the pictures from ACDelco... Maybe they are the makers for the 2005 models, who knows.

And yeah, imagine $210 for 4 ball joints but it probably cost just a few dollars when they initially installed them brand new at the factory. Nothing last as long as the original parts from the factory. And the salesmen never tell you these are things you have to waste more money on down the road.
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
Playsinsnow said:
This is my PERSONAL dilemma. I have 120k (tmrw!) on stockers I have NEVER needed to service my BJs or any suspension part besides endlinks. Adding more servicing without considerable gain is not worth the time/$ IMHO. Not for a ball joint on a ride not dedicated to offroad/track use.

The only reason why I would have to service the ball joint or tie rods is because when I get or try to get a tire alignment. If something is wrong or there is play in the wheel, they will decline doing the wheel alignment until it's fixed. I ask to see the play in the wheel and see the movement so they aren't feeding me BS.

Then again, if you don't service it at least once, you don't want it to actually break or pop out the joint on you on the road or trail. That would be a life or death situation there or a worst case scenario.
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
seanpooh said:
The only reason why I would have to service the ball joint or tie rods is because when I get or try to get a tire alignment. If something is wrong or there is play in the wheel, they will decline doing the wheel alignment until it's fixed. I ask to see the play in the wheel and see the movement so they aren't feeding me BS.

Then again, if you don't service it at least once, you don't want it to actually break or pop out the joint on you on the road or trail. That would be a life or death situation there or a worst case scenario.

I had one alignment done about 10k miles ago because I thought the driver front tire was a little out of whack. Turns out it was the only tire out of spec, not that the back matters that much. Nothing noted as needing attention.

Very true on the worst case scenario. This is why I will replace all four with the front shocks before the first snowfall hopefully.


FWIW I recently brought my wife's car to a suspension shop that was highly reputable on the forum I use rarely. There was a grooved scratch on the rear D side spring. They did not catch it even after I asked them to specifically look at it. Turns out the bottom of the spring had snapped and was jostling around in the seat. I had to ask to go back and show them what I wanted them to inspect! lol. I need a lift in my garage...
 

Hypnotoad

Member
Dec 5, 2011
1,584
Playsinsnow said:
I had one alignment done about 10k miles ago because I thought the driver front tire was a little out of whack. Turns out it was the only tire out of spec, not that the back matters that much. Nothing noted as needing attention.

Very true on the worst case scenario. This is why I will replace all four with the front shocks before the first snowfall hopefully.


FWIW I recently brought my wife's car to a suspension shop that was highly reputable on the forum I use rarely. There was a grooved scratch on the rear D side spring. They did not catch it even after I asked them to specifically look at it. Turns out the bottom of the spring had snapped and was jostling around in the seat. I had to ask to go back and show them what I wanted them to inspect! lol. I need a lift in my garage...

I see you're in MN, hit me up if you need help. I've done a couple.
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
Hypnotoad said:
I see you're in MN, hit me up if you need help. I've done a couple.

Yep, I would take hwy 10 all the way to you from where I am. Might take you up on that... Press? TIA!
 

Hypnotoad

Member
Dec 5, 2011
1,584
I rent the press every time I need it. I've got an Advance Auto Parts near by that has the right press. I'm a mile off highway 10.
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
Yep, get the press from Advance Auto. There's more goodies and fittings for the job. The one from Auto Zone just sucks.
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
Hypnotoad said:
I rent the press every time I need it. I've got an Advance Auto Parts near by that has the right press. I'm a mile off highway 10.

seanpooh said:
Yep, get the press from Advance Auto. There's more goodies and fittings for the job. The one from Auto Zone just sucks.

I can think of a half dozen Autozones closer to me than an Adavanced. I may have to give Hypnotoad a ring only being 45mins away... Based on some I've read, it sounds like the lowers can be a real PITA to remove.
 

v7guy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
298
http://gmtnation.com/f77/rebuilding-front-suspension-896/


I've installed the mevotech lower a arms, they seemed alright. Had to open up one of the bolts slots in the bracket though. For new bushings and balljoints they can be a good solution that's relatively easy to replace

Replacing the bushings helps a lot with the ride and I've seen multiple 360s with a arm bushings that are completely trashed, they were doing next to nothing. It's pretty hard to tell unless the front end is at least partially apart though.
The labor involved in replacing just the bushings and balljoints is pretty significant.

As far as the endlinks go, I'd just replace em. It's straightforward and the wrench flats make future maintenance a good bit easier.
 

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