Question about sway bar end link lengths; experiences with 1AAuto | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Question about sway bar end link lengths; experiences with 1AAuto

phillip723

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2003 Explorer XLT
My '03 needs a lot of front end work and my local shop (who I normally trust 100%) quoted me an insanely high price to replace both front upper control arms, both front lower ball joints, both front inner/outer toe rods, and all four strut/coil assemblies, along with my rear sway bar end links. They wanted $250 for ONE strut/coil assembly! I can get a kit from 1A Auto with the upper control arms, lower ball joints, inner/outer tie rods, and a set of front sway bar end links. All I would need is the four strut/coil assemblies.

My first question: are the front and rear sway bar end links the same length? If so, could I use the front ones that come with the 1A Auto kit (linked above) for the rear, since I've already replaced the fronts very recently?

My next question: Has anyone used 1A Auto before? They seem like a really good company, and from their YouTube videos (which is how I can across them in the first place) they seem to have good parts. Are they reliable, has anyone had any issues with their parts? Thanks in advance.
 


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phillip723

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Drewmcg

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Here's the 1A Auto links again, because the links I put in the first post keep taking me to some VigLink garbage.
Control Arms and Tie Rods, Etc.:
https://www.1aauto.com/2002-05-steering-and-suspension-kit/i/1asfk02148?f=939597&y=2002
Strut/Coil Assemblies:
https://www.1aauto.com/2002-03-shoc.../1assp00277?f=661356&y=2002#video-placeholder

Same problem with these links.

I've not bought from A1Auto, but they have quite a few Explorer parts replacement videos, so encourage you to give them your business.

I very much doubt that the sway bar links are the same front to rear. If you cannot figure this out from A1's parts list, check Rockauto.com

Your'e essentially replacing the entire suspension. My 185k (mostly highway miles) Explorer has excellent suspension/handling without anything replaced. How many miles on yours? Mostly rutted dirt roads?

Save money by having a qualified tech telling you just what parts you need?
 




phillip723

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Mine has 211k, also mostly highway, with a used motor and reman trans already in it since those blew. Most of the roads I drive on are completely normal, as normal as Michigan roads can be.

Most of the things my shop said it needed are correct, but some of it is just replacing things because they might as well while they're under there. My passenger front and driver rear springs are "broken", but the springs aren't really broken, it's just that they've kind of screwed onto themselves. The other two strut assemblies are fine.

Also my rear links are fine but they're the originals, and they have to be removed to replace the rear strut assemblies. And since they're the originals they'll likely just break when the shop tries to take them off.

The truck handles fine since I replaced the front sway links, but it pulls a bit to the right and the wheel isn't straight when I'm going straight, it's turned slightly right. I claim the alignment is off and it just needs a front alignment, but my shop seems to think the pulling is due to two strut assemblies being slightly broken and causing the vehicle to lean diagonally towards the front left. However, the truck sits completely level.

Also they want to replace all of my front tie rods in and out even though they claim that my alignment issues are due to the strut assemblies.

Both upper front ball joint boots are torn, and I'm assuming they're original, so they are right about both front control arms needing replacement. My front lower ball joints are about 100,000 miles old and seem fine to me, but once again they just want to get it all out of the way at one time.

I am planning to take it to a friend of the family in a few months so he can look at it and give me an honest opinion.
 




toypaseo

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A1 Auto is a vendor on here. They take their time to be active on here. Should be a great business to buy from.
 




boominXplorer

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They probably quoted you for Monroe quick struts sourced locally to them. Local shops don't price online or sell cheap online parts. I'm sure the A1 struts work just fine, but the shop installing them has to stand behind the product they sell if there becomes an issue. Price the struts through napa or another chain store locally and you'll see the shop wasn't marking them up much.

Ride height being off will cause a pull. When the suspension geometry is changed from the previous alignment, the camber, caster and toe will be affected.
 




phillip723

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Yeah, the most expensive I found was $180 at Advance Auto, but that's still a $70 markup. I guess that's not terrible, they have to make a profit, but still. If I can save a few hundred bucks by at least buying the parts myself then I'm going to.
 




boominXplorer

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Oh I completely understand but I also own a shop too and see this issue weekly. I love it when customers bring their cheap parts sourced on ebay or Amazon. I always install them and charge normal labor rates but make sure they know when it fails you pay me labor to swap it out again.

I had a lady recently with an exterior door handle ordered online for her toyota van, it lasted 3 weeks till it cracked off. She got them to warranty it out but was mad when I told her it would be another $50 to swap it out. I settled for a lesser amount to just make her happy and guess what? It broke again 2 weeks later. This time I told her it will be $235 for me to fix it which included an oem toyota handle and I wouldn't install another cheap one. Of course she left mad and without a door handle.

She wasted at least 4 hours of my time for me to make $80 total labor between 3 visits and 5 phone calls. My labor rate is $75 an hour.

The moral of the story is you might want to check with your mechanic and make sure he is cool with installing customer supplied parts. Also know if one part you order is wrong and keeps him from finishing your truck in a timely manner he can charge you for the time that truck is stuck on that lift. Of course if you order the parts through him you probably get some kind of warranty. I know I can get a labor claim on any item I install that fails up to a year which is paid by the store and covers my time.
 




Drewmcg

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Easy way to save almost 1/2 the expense: Just replace the two broken strut assemblies. There's no real economy for doing both sides of an axle at once. If the tie rods and control arms are not lose and causing handling problems, leave 'em be for now. Its a 15 year old car; anything can happen. Buy quality parts and just fix what you need to keep it riding good.
 




ROBinGa

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The upper control arms and sway bar end links that are on my 2003 XLT 4x4 now came from 1AAuto and I find their videos a tremendous help. I've also bought some things for my F150. I will not hesitate to buy anything from 1AAuto again if I need a part.
 




viperocco

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My '03 needs a lot of front end work and my local shop (who I normally trust 100%) quoted me an insanely high price to replace both front upper control arms, both front lower ball joints, both front inner/outer toe rods, and all four strut/coil assemblies, along with my rear sway bar end links. They wanted $250 for ONE strut/coil assembly! I can get a kit from 1A Auto with the upper control arms, lower ball joints, inner/outer tie rods, and a set of front sway bar end links. All I would need is the four strut/coil assemblies.

My first question: are the front and rear sway bar end links the same length? If so, could I use the front ones that come with the 1A Auto kit (linked above) for the rear, since I've already replaced the fronts very recently?

My next question: Has anyone used 1A Auto before? They seem like a really good company, and from their YouTube videos (which is how I can across them in the first place) they seem to have good parts. Are they reliable, has anyone had any issues with their parts? Thanks in advance.

I just purchased an upper control arm from 1AAuto which a local shop installed for $89 (1hr) and am so far happy with it. I also purchased a cv axle shaft from 1A as well and am pleased with the product so far. Time will tell though so will see how the do down the road.
 




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