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Mevotech TTX Ball Joint FAIL

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by billygoat, Sep 9, 2023.

  1. Sep 9, 2023 at 1:27 PM
    #1
    billygoat

    billygoat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm replacing the ball joints on my 2008 and wanted something that will last, so I bought the highest rated line I could find: Mevotech TTX. They are also the most expensive by a landslide. I spent about $200 after tax and shipping from Rock Auto. I used parts: TXMS86568 and TXMS86527. I've replaced ball joints on 2nd gens a handful of times and never had much luck with anything other than Toyota OEM (most wear out in a short amount of time), but I heard good things about the TTX lineup so I figured I would give them a try.

    How they failed:

    The lower ball joints on the LCA are the worst offenders. They are too large in diameter to press in. I greased the control arms and used a 12 ton hydraulic press that maxed out and couldn't do it. I tried to press the ball joints back out but they broke my ball joint press adapters. I had to use a BFH to hammer them out and in the process not only did this destroy the ball joints, it bent the hardened steel jaws on my Yost 6.5" mechanics vise.

    The uppers don’t fit either. They are too deep and there is a gap larger than 0.035" between the circlip and the control arm. With how tight they fit this might not be a show stopper, but the circlip should be snug against the control arm. This gap means the ball joint could move, and if it starts moving it could destroy the control arm and fail catastrophically during use.

    Like I said, I've replaced ball joints on these trucks several times without issue and have replaced ball joints on countless other vehicles. Pressing out old ones can be a PITA, but that's not what happened here. These are brand new ball joints touted as extra heavy duty but they don't fit the advertised application. I'm out a $100 set of adapters, $200 in ball joints, countless hours, and likely my control arms. I don't see them holding onto a ball joint tightly again after this endeavor.

    I'm going to be contacting Mevotech to see if they have any thoughts on this.

    Pictures:

    IMG_6716.jpg
    IMG_6717.jpg
    IMG_6720.jpg
    IMG_6721.jpg
    IMG_6722.jpg
    IMG_6724.jpg
    IMG_6725.jpg
    IMG_6727.jpg

    edit: attaching a picture of the LCA for clarification. These are the ones that the lower TTX ball joints didn’t fit in and likely got stretched out

    IMG_6733.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2023
  2. Sep 9, 2023 at 1:48 PM
    #2
    nd4spdbh

    nd4spdbh Well-Known Member

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    Stock ucas.... just find some low mile take offs, got some off a 2023 for 50$ with only 2k miles on em.
     
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  3. Sep 9, 2023 at 1:54 PM
    #3
    billygoat

    billygoat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been searching but there aren’t any locally. I’m more upset about the lowers though. I spent so much time removing the original bushings and have some Whiteline poly bushings ready to go in. Now I’ll likely have to order a set from Toyota for ~$700.
     
    nd4spdbh[QUOTED] likes this.
  4. Sep 9, 2023 at 5:11 PM
    #4
    deanosaurus

    deanosaurus Caveman

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    Wow man, that's caca for sure. Those look like they were way out of spec, OR your LCAs were - just out of curiosity, are you sure they were OEM LCAs?
     
  5. Sep 9, 2023 at 5:56 PM
    #5
    billygoat

    billygoat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    They are definitely the original control arms. Original bushings and ball joints for sure.
     
    deanosaurus[QUOTED] likes this.
  6. Sep 9, 2023 at 6:55 PM
    #6
    Alealexi

    Alealexi Well-Known Member

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    If I'm going to spend $700 for new UCA I would rather just buy the JBA off road control arms.
     
    Tatts521 likes this.
  7. Sep 9, 2023 at 7:00 PM
    #7
    billygoat

    billygoat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Nah, it’s the lower control arms that cost that. Uppers are probably around the same actually, but oem is the cheapest option that’s worthwhile for lowers. The aftermarket stock replacements like Moog are garbage.
     
  8. Sep 9, 2023 at 7:02 PM
    #8
    Alealexi

    Alealexi Well-Known Member

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    How much are OEM UCA? I know you can get JBA UCA for around $500.
     
  9. Sep 9, 2023 at 7:17 PM
    #9
    billygoat

    billygoat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    $600. But I have diff drop and JBA is for a standard lift without the diff drop. If I have to buy any control arms at all I’m going to be even more PO’d. All new control arms is like $1300. The whole point of rebuilding the stock ones is to save money.
     
  10. Sep 9, 2023 at 8:40 PM
    #10
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 Well-Known Member

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    never heard of this TTX, or of anyone using them.
    The color is cool. And that angle for a reachable grease fitting to set in the right spot, rather than 90deg one hoping it screws in right.
    There's something to be said about a more regular part, with regular interval, that everyone uses with good reviews. It's a ball joint.
    I will admit, they look tough
    But to make it easier on yourself and ensure success, you could have shrunk the ball joint overnight in a freezer, and somehow heated the control arm to expand it. Make the fitment install go smoother.
    I've seen people heat up parts by putting them on a hot plate.

    Even more surprising, is seeing any time and money spent at all, on a UCA.
    There are fabricated UCA's, serviceable, stronger, better angles, for around $500 maybe a bit more
    with enough lift (which is common), I've seen stock UCA's smacking springs when the suspension extends, making big noises.

    And, if you find a spare, whether it's to work on or straight up swap directly in
    stock "takeoffs" with low miles and working condition can be found for like $50, for exactly the above reasons; people upgrading to aftermarket UCA

    at the end of the day, it's a ball joint. They generally work the same, and wear out. Ball, socket, spring, grease.
    I've got either Moog or Mevotech HD and they work fine.
    I think the ridges are meant to bite when they're pressed in, making it maybe more preferential to use one and done.
    However on mine I believe I took them out and swapped into a different set of arms, ran it successfully
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2023
  11. Sep 9, 2023 at 9:45 PM
    #11
    billygoat

    billygoat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn’t have to freeze a ball joint to press them in, and you shouldn’t have to heat the control arm either. I worked as a 4wd mechanic about 15 years ago before becoming a mechanical engineer. I’ve built about 20 4wd’s from the ground up. A ball joint should just press in. The splines are meant to grab better in knuckles/control arms that have started to wear out from multiple ball joint changes, but they should still press in just fine.

    The TTX is supposed to be one of the best ball joints on the market right now. You probably haven’t heard of it because it’s fairly new. Moog is trash. They used to be good, but quality took a massive dive. They definitely do not all work out the same. You won’t catch me running anything other than Spicer on any of my Jeeps.

    I don’t know why people are fixating on the upper control arms. Yeah, the upper ball joints don’t fit either, but I’m pissed about the lowers. I have a 6” Fabtech lift with 6” diff drop and spindles that are 6” longer than stock. There’s no need for aftermarket upper control arms, and tbh, I was hoping to test the factory ones since I had aftermarket on all my other IFS vehicles (including Tacomas). I’d rather not drop $1300 on new control arms when I’m already rebuilding and regearing both differentials, rebuilding the coilovers and rear shocks, rebuilding both drivelines, replacing all the pulley bearings, coating the whole truck in monstaliner, installing a sound system, installing solar, replacing wheel bearings, 4 wheel brake job, you get the idea.

    I’m trying to help out by being the Guinea pig to test out the TTX ball joints and reporting back so others don’t make the same mistake. I plan to follow up here with the response from Mevotech. Ball joints are one of those things that get hammered offroad so it pays to get good ones. Cheap ball joints will die after a few thousand miles if you’re hard on them. Cheap LCA bushings are just as bad, if not worse.
     
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  12. Sep 9, 2023 at 9:49 PM
    #12
    Oreo Cat

    Oreo Cat Worst Member

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    Took some oem LCAs to a shop to have some of these ball joints installed. Guy said he he had to use a 20 ton hydraulic press from another shop to get them into the LCA. They’re installed on my truck now, haven’t really driven the truck at all with them but they look cool. Hoping they last for a long time.
     
  13. Sep 10, 2023 at 1:07 AM
    #13
    deanosaurus

    deanosaurus Caveman

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    20 tons, holy shit.

    It almost sounds like a mixup on the packaging line or someone forgot to change a die on the forge!
     
  14. Sep 10, 2023 at 8:37 AM
    #14
    Oreo Cat

    Oreo Cat Worst Member

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    He said they didn’t go in smoothly either, went in with a loud bang. “They both almost killed me”
     
  15. Sep 10, 2023 at 2:01 PM
    #15
    Alealexi

    Alealexi Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure they have one that is meant for 4-8 inch lifts for $700. Let me see if I can find the link.

    Found it but it says it is for cradle drop lift kits which I don't know what that is.

    https://jbaoffroad.com/jba-stock-ge...plus-4runner-03-plus-fj-cruisers-07-plus.html
     
  16. Sep 10, 2023 at 2:14 PM
    #16
    billygoat

    billygoat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Those are $773…but what’s the point? Aftermarket UCA’s are for correcting suspension geometry after a lift. I already have a $4,000 solution for correcting the geometry.

    I already have an old set of UCA’s in my attic somewhere. Worst case scenario I find and use those with different ball joints. The problem is the LCA, which is something that doesn’t get talked about a whole lot. That’s not something people usually replace. Even if I buy those JBA control arms my problem is not fixed.
     
  17. Sep 11, 2023 at 4:40 AM
    #17
    JustAddMud

    JustAddMud Professional Grease Monkey

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    :popcorn:

    I have a pair of TTX's sitting in a box for when I make time to replace my LBJ. I have a 12T press from HF but it looks like I might have to upgrade to the 20T from what I am reading. I cant be down a vehicle for longer than a long weekend so I'll be watching this thread for solutions. Preplan by measuring the depth with calipers and crafting a shim to fit the gap? I have Gen1 SPC UCA's but my LBJs are getting up there in age and nearing the time for some preventative maintenance.

    -J
     
  18. Sep 11, 2023 at 8:51 AM
    #18
    billygoat

    billygoat [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I’ll report back with what Mevotech says. I’m hoping they have a solution, but won’t be surprised if they don’t. Either way I’ll be following up here. They have a link to this post.

    I’d be concerned by the need for a 20 ton press though. That’s putting an extreme amount of stress on the LCA, both during the pressing in and afterwards with residual internal stress. It’s going to stretch out the LCA so other ball joints likely won’t fit after that too.

    As for a shim for the top, I’m not sure I’d want to try that. It would need to be either hardened steel or sandwiched at the top, but even there a mild steel shim might squish out under load.
     
  19. Sep 11, 2023 at 9:53 AM
    #19
    deanosaurus

    deanosaurus Caveman

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    If the TTXs really live up to the hype and Mevotexh says there's nothing wrong with the way they're making them, it might be worth having a correct (for ttx) diameter knuckle put on a set of OEM LCAs - chop off the factory round and put on a beefier machined one.

    Would absolutely need to be done by a pro fabricator and I would gusset the piss out of it to make up for the lack of engineering, but starting with a trashed (bushings/LBJs) but structurally sound set of takeoff OEM arms would keep costs down and let you rebuild them with OEM size bushings.
     
  20. Sep 11, 2023 at 9:55 AM
    #20
    winkel

    winkel Well-Known Member

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    You probably can't get a good measurement now but I'd be interested to know the amount of interference between the LCA and its corresponding ball joint (ID/OD). I would expect a few thousandths, but your photos make it look like a bit more than that.
     

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