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Old 04-21-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
Inverno4 [OP] Inverno4 is offline
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Lower ball joints

When I install new shocks and struts in a couple weeks, I want to replace the lower ball joints. They were replaced with the recall back in 05 or 06 but the truck has probably 125k on these ones. Which brand is recommended? Checking approximate prices per ball joint, here is what I found:

OEM: $95
Moog: $45
Raybestos Pro Grade: $55
Napa: $75
other various aftermarket brands: $30-$40
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:11 PM   #3
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Recommend Raybestos Pro Grade or AC Delco Pro Grade. They have a full ball stud (instead of a spring-loaded gusher bearing) and yellow zinc-plated hardware.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:41 AM   #4
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The best is OEM followed by Moog/555.
1st Edit 7-21-13, after some time and recent research I now recommend OEM first then Raybesdos Pro grade and say skip Moog/555.
2nd EDIT 8-13-13, It now seems both Raybestos and Moog are just re-branded "555" joints for 1st gen applications. STAY WITH OEM.

555 is the OEM and Moog supplier but they are NOT THE SAME as the OEM part. For proof and some bad reports about Moog/555 read this entire thread. Don't miss post #41. This question has been beaten to death on Toyota 4x4 forums for 15 years.

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st...ll-joints.html

The OEM does not use a "spring loaded gusher bearing" and will last 100k miles before going out of spec. Out of spec is a very very small .020"/0.5mm (thick as a matchbook cover) of "up and down" play measured with a very specific procedure. This amount of "play" can not be felt with the traditional "grab the tire and shake" or "pry the tire with a 2x4" methods. Because of this, many folks end up pushing them way longer than they should and the ball finally pops out all together with disastrous results.

Below is from the FSM. They forgot to mention that the lower arm should be pushed up with a jack to "near" ride height. This eases tension on the joint from the upper control arm bushings.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:36 AM   #5
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^So really OEM followed by Raybestos Pro Grade or AC Delco Pro Grade. The Moog part uses the gusher bearing, which reduces the ball contact area and can lead to play if the preload spring fatigues. Raybestos Pro Grade or AC Delco Pro Grade are advertised with a solid ball.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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Has anyone on here had experience with Raybestos Pro Grade? I've looked around but it seems like they are new...
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:48 AM   #7
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I'd like to hear about experiences with the Raybestos Pro Grade or AC Delco Pro Grade as well
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLyns View Post
^So really OEM followed by Raybestos Pro Grade or AC Delco Pro Grade. The Moog part uses the gusher bearing, which reduces the ball contact area and can lead to play if the preload spring fatigues. Raybestos Pro Grade or AC Delco Pro Grade are advertised with a solid ball.
That could very well be but from the outside the Moog and OEM are nearly identical, doesn't look to be room inside for springs etc. I would be the first to agree if I had seen one bit of historical evidence to support long term durability. Have you seen any? Are the mounting surfaces machined? It would be great to have an equal alternative to the OEM $$$.

Not all Moog applications have that feature and they outsource the Tacoma application from "555". None the less, some folks do report that the Moog/555 feels stiff and/or rough right out of the box, as if they were metal on metal construction.

The OEM joint aside from the recalled batch , have a proven track record. They use a solid ball, PTFE liner, have the fully machined mounting surfaces and last a long time.

To be clear, I recommend nothing less than OEM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:39 PM   #9
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Well from my experience Raybestos has always made a solid quality product, and I am lining up the parts to overhaul the suspension on my truck when it gets warm. Just recently I did the front brakes on a friends xterra and used Raybestos pro line parts and was impressed with the quality, and the results were great. And the stuff is made here, sorry to say but if Moog is now out sourcing products from factories in China that they don't control, I will pass on that.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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555 is Sankei, which is a Japanese parts mfr. Sankei is one of the OEM suppliers for Toyota, though as Dirty Pool has shown, the 555 aftermarket part is not identical to the OEM part.

Looking online, there have also been 555 ball joint assys sold in Raybestos and Moog boxes. It's possible Raybestos and Moog are subcontracting it to 555. They could also be using 555 steel brackets with their own ball joints installed in there.

Moog advertises a gusher bearing design with weaker powdered metal ball. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...905&cc=1429084 Note the preload spring is very stiff and doesn't increase the exterior envelope of the part, so no way to verify unless you sacrifice one part and cut it open.
Raybestos Pro Grade advertises a full spherical ball. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...107&cc=1429084
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:23 PM   #11
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just replaced my lower ball joints with some fancy ac delco ones from autozone lifetime warranty and i couldnt wait for shipping from somewhere else..
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:14 AM   #12
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Ended up going with OEM...they weren't that much more $$ than aftermarket brands.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:48 AM   #13
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This is a sectioned OEM with 100K. It is "out of spec" yet not even close wearing through the PTFE liner.
That's my share, someone else will have to dissect the other brands.



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Old 04-23-2013, 07:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Pool View Post
This is a sectioned OEM with 100K. It is "out of spec" yet not even close wearing through the PTFE liner.
That's my share, someone else will have to dissect the other brands.
That's awesome. OEM ftw!
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:19 PM   #16
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so i know you jack up the LCA to test the LBJs but does this also work for the UBJs?
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CUtacomaTIGER View Post
so i know you jack up the LCA to test the LBJs but does this also work for the UBJs?
Toyota only has an "off vehicle" inspection procedure for uppers.
I use the "lower" procedure as a general on vehicle check for the uppers. I don't get too carried away with the "60 lbs of force" or any sort of measuring means. They are so cheap that if I am going to remove it for a further check due to some suspicions, chances are I will just replace it.

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