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Lower ball joints again....

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by koda2000, July 26, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    So I put 4 new tires on the 2000 Mountaineer last week and I asked that the alignment I got several months ago be rechecked as I was not happy with the way the old tires were wearing on the insides.

    I was told by the alignment tech that the lower ball joints were bad. I had changed the upper and lower ball joints about 3 years ago. I use only Moog BJ's, but the Mountaineer's BJ's were done on my daughter's dime and I bought her service-grade Moog uppers and Quik Steer lowers. I don't know exactly how many miles my daughter has driven in the past 3 years, but I know it's somewhere under 10K a year and the ball joints were greased with each tire rotation (every 7K or so). The 3 year old lower ball joints were worn out. The upper's are fine.

    This time I bought her Moog Problem Solvers lowers (over-size BJ's were needed). As far as I'm concerned Moog Problem Solvers are among the best BJ's on the market. I installed them this AM and I got the tire shop to agree re-align it next week, because I argued that the worn ball joints should have been caught during the alignment they did 2-3 months ago. I hope this is the end of this trucks tire wear issues for awhile.

    As someone here recently said... "Poor man (or woman) can't afford no cheap parts". You get what you pay for.
     
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  3. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    Can't agree more. Especially with suspension parts, it's an insane gamble to use cheap parts partially because most of the expense is labor anyway, and also because a fractured tie rod end or ball joint might result in loss of control and death.

    I once tried a Ultrapower tie rod end which was something like $5 from Rockauto. The threads stripped out as I was tightening the castle nut down at way below torque spec (in the 10-20 ft-lb range). If the threads are that weak, imagine how weak and poor quality the actual joint is made from!
     
  4. Mr. Alligator

    Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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    How do we ever put up with such junk aftermarket parts?

    I recall from forty years ago that aftermarket parts were more expensive, but universally superior to OEM parts. (At least that is what I thought.)

    The price is good on some items, but the quality is often completely lacking.....

    I redid upper and lower ball joints a few years ago, and they are already worn out.

    Yikes!
     
  5. allmyEXes

    allmyEXes Active Member

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    A year ago I installed upper control arms and lower ball joints on the '97 Explorer, RA budget brand and so far they are holding up to the 400-500 miles a week. December I moved my Wife out of the Mountaineer and it wasn't until I installed the damaged tires from Explorer to the Mountaineer that I realized how bad the MM U & LBJ's are. I have been limping it to work daily 9.5 round trip. It's been to hot for me to want to deal with it post stroke. I am doing good to get done at work what I am and when the heat waves hit it is really rough on me. I hope that I can purchase a grade or two higher parts for the MM when the time comes. I think that the weight of the trucks and the load steering puts on them that they seem to wear a lot in the 50k to 100k miles range. Don't get too hot out there working on it.
     
  6. nameskreen

    nameskreen Member

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    I got tired of replacing the lower ball joint on my F150. Even though it was life time warranty from Autozone it wasn't worth my time I eventually replaced it with an OEM and it's been good ever since. The same thing recently with the upper ball joint in my Explorer,.I got tired of trying to get the camber bolts back in the right place every time I replaced the UCA and even though it was also life time warranty. it wasn't worth my time and sometimes my money, if it needed another alignment.
     
  7. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    @allmyEXes - Fortunately for me we had a "cold front" come through North GA this week. Temps very comfortable in the AM and low humidity all day. Of course working in the sun at mid day was still tough (temps in the mid 80's in the shade, 95 in the sun). Using a good fan helps. This must be the 7th or 8th time replacing Explorer/Mountaineer BJ's so I've gotten pretty efficient doing it.
     
  8. RandomNerd2000

    RandomNerd2000 Well-Known Member

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    My recent thing I've found is hard is the inner tie rods, I ordered a cheap pair off Rockauto forever ago for my 2000 and they're looking like they will need doing again. Can't beat the Moog quality, it's still Moog even built overseas, that's what I plan to put on my 96.
     
  9. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I've never had to replace a TRE on any of my trucks. IDK if anyone ever replaced the TRE's on the 2000 Monty, but it's just about at 100,000 miles since I bought it with 179K on it and they're still good.
     
  10. RandomNerd2000

    RandomNerd2000 Well-Known Member

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    My Eddie Bauer needed one outer end because of a boot, in the entire time I've owned it, on my parts truck they're perfect still, and my 96 is the same way. My 2000 just doesn't like the ITR for whatever reason. I know the truck has almost nothing for shocks on it, so I wonder if that wears them prematurely.
     

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