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Non-OEM Replacement Lower Control Arms

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by ItalynStylion, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Oct 6, 2015 at 6:25 AM
    #1
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    Long story short, I THINK I have a lower ball joint that appears to be on it's way out. No noises or performance changes yet, but I'm planning to keep the truck for a lot longer so I'm trying to figure out what I'll do when the time comes it needs to be replaced.

    From the research I've done, it seems replacing the ball joint itself is fairly retarded. Plus, the bushings in that control arm are 109k miles old. That brings us to the fairly accepted solution of just replacing the control arm as a whole which freshens up the ball joint itself and the bushings. Two birds, one stone.

    OEM lower control arms are about $400 but I keep finding non-OEM parts that are VERY reasonable. Has anyone tried a non-OEM lower control arm? Is there any reason why I shouldn't? From what I can tell, the geometry is pretty much the same and the only moving part is the ball joint itself. The OEM piece is welded plate steel anyway so it's not an uber complicated piece...

    Here's a couple examples...
    http://www.partsgeek.com/gbproducts...SO09x7C7_lSlwkSgAfXTNvHmzWfbox8Ua2RoCd2jw_wcB
    http://www.amazon.com/Dorman-522-71...7161&sr=8-1&keywords=tacoma+lower+control+arm
    http://www.amazon.com/Mevotech-MS86...7161&sr=8-7&keywords=tacoma+lower+control+arm
     
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  2. Oct 7, 2015 at 6:14 AM
    #2
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    Bump for people with experience. Hoping someone else has branched out and tried one of these. :D
     
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  3. Oct 7, 2015 at 6:25 AM
    #3
    Just Dandee

    Just Dandee Well-Known Member

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    No experience on the Toyota but I would not shy away from using something other than Toyota parts. I am replacing all the parts on a 66 mustang right now and I know the moog parts (new lower control arm) I got are first class replacements. When I was a parts guy way back ...Beck Arnley was a good name too.

    https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1442967,parttype,10401
     
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  4. Oct 7, 2015 at 6:32 AM
    #4
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    Thanks for the response!

    I've been eyeing the Doorman and Moog replacements. Both seem quite nice. I know Moog seems to be the name in ball joint replacements but the Doorman really seems like a quality part. I think I may give it a go. Shit, for $220 replaced on my own that seems like a killer deal.
     
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  5. Oct 28, 2015 at 11:16 AM
    #5
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    I decided to go for it and ordered the non-OEM control arms from Rock Auto. I decided that since they were so reasonable I'd get both the left and right side. I replaced the bad one last night and got the truck aligned this morning. Everything went well with the installation and the truck seems to behave just fine. Obviously, longevity remains to be seen but the replacement looked like a quality part. Pictures of the old one and the new one are below.

    Also, it should be noted that I think the ball joint itself was likely fine but was going to fail in the future due to the boot being toast.

    BadBallJoint_zpschl9humt_c1f86740d7ff607a1f03f8a40d7c72a8c3b8c134.jpg

    New_zpsgwbpdw4q_380ae43c73aa0c624abb9874b77bac8e12d632d4.jpg
    New2_zpssflxzqei_fe9a4872a350765fa83bf761c5a87965b8f144e5.jpg
     
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  6. Oct 28, 2015 at 11:24 AM
    #6
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    ^LOL....if I had an extra two grand to spend on a long travel kit I'd have pulled the trigger. But at $115 the replacement control arms were perfect. :D
     
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  7. Oct 28, 2015 at 11:25 AM
    #7
    wheelerkr2

    wheelerkr2 Well-Known Member

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    replacing just the ball joint is an easy job with a ball joint press
     
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  8. Oct 28, 2015 at 11:35 AM
    #8
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    Something I don't have. Also, after 109k miles a new control arm was cheap enough to do considering it also included the bushings which age over time.
     
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  9. Oct 28, 2015 at 11:37 AM
    #9
    wheelerkr2

    wheelerkr2 Well-Known Member

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    By no means saying not to replace the whole thing, for people on a tighter budget i believe you can rent a press from auto parts stores. Luckily I have a buddy with one.
     
  10. Oct 28, 2015 at 11:42 AM
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    Large

    Large Red

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    lol ... I literally let out a few laughs. By no means is it an easy job with a ball joint press. Even if you find an auto parts store with the unicorn of all ball join presses that has the perfect cups to extract and install new ball joints, it's still a pain in the ass and sometimes will require a torch to do so.
     
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  11. Oct 28, 2015 at 12:02 PM
    #11
    wheelerkr2

    wheelerkr2 Well-Known Member

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    I disagree, used no torches or anything of the sort, took about an hour. Might be because the press was made by Snap-On and my buddy that helped is a mechanic. Still, take it all apart, use an impact and the press to get the old one out, impact and press to get the new one in.
     
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  12. Oct 28, 2015 at 12:26 PM
    #12
    Large

    Large Red

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    I am disagreeing with your disagreeance
     
  13. Oct 28, 2015 at 12:29 PM
    #13
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Oct 28, 2015 at 12:42 PM
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    jztacoma

    jztacoma Trust me I’m an Engineer

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    i got lucky and had both of mine replaced under warranty before i ran out at 100k. If you haven't installed them yet apply a good helping of Never-Seize or Anti Seize to the cam bolts and bushings. This will help with alignments down the road. mine were all seized up and couldnt get an alignment done, so dealer was able to hook me up on a warranty claim for both. I just paid for new hardware since that wasn't included
     
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  15. Oct 28, 2015 at 12:46 PM
    #15
    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    That's actually pretty good advice. I noticed mine (particularly the front one) was really tight in there. Took me a while to get it out. Had to use some PB Blaster to get it loose. I ended up sanding it a bit smoother with some sand paper afterward. Looked like a little rust had touched it. A little grease on there after helped a bit.
     
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  16. Jan 26, 2016 at 8:34 PM
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    CoastalComa

    CoastalComa Well-Known Member

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    An impact is a good way to Snap-Off your Snap-On press.

    Regardless, I'm about to do the same thing on both sides. Upper and lower bushings and ball joints are all rotted and/or cracked, the shocks barely dampen my sagging springs. Basically, a complete suspension system. I'm Shopping around for uppers and lowers. I'm looking for a little more performance than stock, but the only lowers I can find are camburg or TC. Way over budget for the severity of my situation at this point.
    How have they held up so far?
     
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  17. Jan 26, 2016 at 11:47 PM
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    gregb287

    gregb287 Well-Known Member

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  18. Jan 27, 2016 at 12:26 PM
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    wheelerkr2

    wheelerkr2 Well-Known Member

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    So? It's Snap-On, if it breaks they will replace it. :notsure:
     
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  19. Jan 27, 2016 at 1:41 PM
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    ItalynStylion

    ItalynStylion [OP] Sounds Gooooood

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    Is this your first time using a press? With that much force being applied, things don't just fail without incident. They fail catastrophically.
     
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  20. Jan 27, 2016 at 4:00 PM
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    Dajeepman

    Dajeepman Well-Known Member

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    That company is smoking crack pricing that much for one control arm lol
     
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