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Need to buy front end parts, how can I tell which Dana I have?

lbrowne

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I have a 93 Eddie Bauer 4x4, and I believe previous VIN decoding said I had a 3.73 axle. How can I tell which Dana I have? (28 or 35?) Is there a code or number on the door jamb maybe?

I need a wheel alignment and I suspect the ball joints are gone. Which ball joints do you all recommend??? (right now I'm quoting NAPA premiums, which i believe are made by Dana? I thought thats what he said...)

Cheers,

lbrowne
 
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Maniak

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I have yet to see any first general explorer that had a dana 28.. They all have dana 35...

~Mark
 
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410Fortune

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If it is an Explorer you have a Dana 35.
Even though the computer says dana 28 was an option, it was not.
 
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lbrowne

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WHEW. Cuz those Dana 28 parts were quite a bit more expensive.

Since I plan on keeping the truck for a while, I want to put something worthwhile in there. I was going to go with the premium brand ball joints which cost a bit more than the cheapos.

Any recommendation on what to buy?
 
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410Fortune

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MOOG or SPICER ball joints
Napa premium are good as well.

If you get the greaseable ones you will need to put 90 degree fittings in the uppers at least (I do all 4) and MAKE SURE YOU GREASE THEM, like 3-4 times a year.

If you already replaced them then why do you think you need new ones?
Big tires can wear them out yes but typically other then that they last a good long time.
It may be bushings in the axle pivot and radius arms, or bad tie rod ends, giving you problems. Also wheel bearings.
 
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lbrowne

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not sure where you got that I did them before on this truck?

My truck has developed a vibration and higher speeds, wheel balance has already been tried last year but she also pulls to the right pretty good and has uneven wear on the front passenger tire.

I cna also tell the radius arm bushing are starting to go but I can do those no prob.

I get a rrRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrRRRRR sound when I'm turning from left or right while moving a good speed - getting a front end check up tomorrow morning to confirm what I need to buy.

edit: appreciate all your help so far!
 
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410Fortune

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Oh sorry you said quoting Napa Premiums, I read right now those are installed.
:)
 
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Dana 28 and Dana 35 ball joints are quite different. If I recall you won’t be able to tell a size different in them but one of the ball joints will have a nut on them and that the other axle will have some sort of a clip. Check out the Dana 35 ball joints first it would be my first bet.
 
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DeRocha

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The pic below is of a Dana35 and you can clearly see the smooth upper ball joint being held in place by a pinch bolt and "C" clip.
18205Right_side_new_WEB.jpg
 
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Rhett

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lbrowne said:
My truck has developed a vibration and higher speeds, wheel balance has already been tried last year but she also pulls to the right pretty good and has uneven wear on the front passenger tire.

Well if you have vibration the first thing I would do is change those radius arm bushings, which you said were worn anyway. It could be the ballj's are ok. These trucks are VERY finicky about their radius arm bushings and any wear at all can cause a lot of vibration.

Have you jacked up the front end yet to check the ballj's?

When you jack up the front end of your truck, grab a front tire and see if you can move it in and out. Grab the top of the tire with one hand, and grab the bottom with the other hand, and pull the top towards you. Then try to pull the bottom of the tire towards you. Grab the sides of the tire and do the same. If you get "play" in those directions your ballj's are bad. The tire should just be able to rotate/spin but not move any other way. That is just one test for ball joints.
 
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lbrowne

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Got back from the shop. The mechanic/shop owner said my X was the tightest X he's seen - especially for a first gen. (low miles on it)

One radius bushing has slight play in it, but is not falling apart yet. I'll replace them soon anyways.

Good to know about my truck, he said the U joints, tie rod ends, upper lower ball joints, and anything he could check were tight and good. He said she is just out of alignment.

I think now that the shimmy could be a combination of the alignment (or lack thereof) and maybe the tires needing balancing again.
 
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Rhett

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Since you just got it aligned, did that solve the vibration problem?
A lot of alignment guys will tell you they can't get a TTB exactly perfect because of coil spring sag. And also if the RA's have play because of their bushings, they complain about that too. :)
 
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