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Replace Ball Joints, Links, Tie Rods? OEM, Moog, Proforged, Mevotech?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by BenevolentMachination, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Aug 12, 2019 at 4:58 PM
    #1
    BenevolentMachination

    BenevolentMachination [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Fishing for opinions about Ball Joints:
    • OEM
    • Moog
    • Proforged
    • Mevotech
    • Beck/Arnley
    • SKP
    • ACDELCO
    Upper/Lower
    Inner/Outer
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  2. Aug 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM
    #2
    eon_blue

    eon_blue moist

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    Lowers go OEM. 1st gen Tacomas have a shitty lower ball joint design in general so it's best to use OEM quality parts. The cheap parts stores lower ball joints are more likely to fail and a failed LBJ can be catastrophic if you're on the highway when it happens.

    Uppers I would also go OEM but they are less critical and under less stress than the lowers so it's less risky going aftermarket.
     
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  3. Aug 12, 2019 at 5:20 PM
    #3
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Large Member

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    Moog or AC Delco Professional for lowers - they are greaseable and made in Japan.
    Moog or Mevotech TTX for uppers - they are greaseable.
    AC Delco Professional for outer tie rods - made in Japan
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  4. Aug 12, 2019 at 5:38 PM
    #4
    TacoJohn4x4

    TacoJohn4x4 Captain Save-A-Ho

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    Is AC Delco consider good quality aftermarket now? For aftermarket I usually hear Moog, Centric, and KYB.


    OP, Me and a lot of others on here will tell you OEM for LBJ. They can be purchased online for a little over $200. However I haven’t heard of many if any Moog LBJ failing either.
     
  5. Aug 12, 2019 at 5:49 PM
    #5
    turbodb

    turbodb Well-Known Member

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    Well, whether you know it or not, you're :stirthepot: here on TW.

    Personally, I've always gone with OEM - the way I use the truck, and where I am in life, it's just worth it to me for the peace of mind. You can read my writeup here: Shop Day: Installing new Lower Ball Joints (LBJ's)

    That said, I think @jbrandt just wrote up what I'd call a reasonably reasoned rant where he argues for 555...which would be the only other brand I'd really consider.

    The key - as with everything on your truck - is to know that these are a weak point, and keep an eye on them. Replace them as preventative maintenance on a regular schedule that you are comfortable with, and don't wait for them to fail.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Aug 12, 2019 at 6:01 PM
    #6
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Large Member

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    AC Delco just repackages suspension parts from other mfrs, sometimes good, sometimes not. Avoid the AC Delco Advantage line as they are cheaper quality.

    In the case of lower ball joints, both AC Delco Professional and Moog repackage parts made by 555 Japan. :)

    In the case of outer tie rods, AC Delco Professional is also made by 555 Japan. Moog outers should be avoided because they have the stiff boot that tears more easily at higher misalignment angles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  7. Aug 12, 2019 at 6:11 PM
    #7
    Kleenax

    Kleenax Well-Known Member

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    I have always had good luck with Beck-Arnley replacement parts.
     
  8. Aug 12, 2019 at 6:13 PM
    #8
    eon_blue

    eon_blue moist

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    Speaking of tie rods, I just replaced my inners and outers...easy job. Used OEM outers and 555 inners. Use a pitman puller to pop the old outers off, way better than smacking your truck with a hammer
     
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  9. Aug 12, 2019 at 6:22 PM
    #9
    TacoJohn4x4

    TacoJohn4x4 Captain Save-A-Ho

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    Thanks I’ll keep that in mind since I’m going to refresh the front end of my Corolla soon and wasn’t sure which brands I would have better luck with.

    Eventually I’ll have to tie rods and CV axle on the Tacoma so I might go with those brands.
     
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  10. Aug 12, 2019 at 6:26 PM
    #10
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Large Member

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    What I said applies to 1st gen Taco 4x4 parts only. :) For the Corolla they may choose to repackage parts from other mfrs which are of worse quality. Need to review them on a case by case basis.

    The lower ball joint on a Corolla isn't as heavily loaded though - because of the Macpherson strut suspension, the lower ball joint doesn't see the weight of the vehicle.
     
  11. Aug 12, 2019 at 6:28 PM
    #11
    Wulf

    Wulf let's play in traffic

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    Pitman puller is the best $10 you can spend at a parts house :D
     
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  12. Aug 12, 2019 at 7:17 PM
    #12
    eon_blue

    eon_blue moist

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    Take it from me, skip the pickle fork and go straight for the pitman puller lol
     
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  13. Aug 13, 2019 at 8:18 AM
    #13
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    I always prefer well placed leverage or torque rather than brute force with a hammer.

    Use a pickle fork and you're almost guaranteed to destroy the boot which makes the whole balljoint useless. Now, if you're replacing them, who cares, but there may be times when you just need to remove it to do maintenance on your LCAs or something.
     
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  14. Aug 13, 2019 at 8:28 AM
    #14
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the plug on my rant, @turbodb

    @BenevolentMachination if you don't want to read the long version, here's the short short version.

    Buy the best you can afford. Avoid part store brands. If you absolutely have to save money, Moog is okay. 555 is better, OEM is best, but not infallible.

    What ever you buy though, don't just slap them on and forget about them. It is critical you routinely check them (torn/leaking boots, noticeable slop). Just because you put OEM on, doesn't mean you get to ignore them for the next 100k miles. The main problem with these ball joints is a design problem, not a quality problem. You can give yourself a head start using better quality, but that's not the magic bullet to solve the issue.
     
  15. Aug 13, 2019 at 9:06 AM
    #15
    ForestRunnerFrank99

    ForestRunnerFrank99 Well-Known Member

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    I just installed Moog LBJ's in my truck. They are made in Japan and greasable which is nice. So far no issues and they really tightened up my steering. I haven't been off roading yet but I will update if they have any problems.
     
  16. Aug 13, 2019 at 9:52 AM
    #16
    eon_blue

    eon_blue moist

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    Whatever you do or whatever brand you go with, just be sure to check them (the LBJs) regularly. Here's the best way to do it


    https://youtu.be/tqw85L_sMgE

    If you see any up/down play then it's time to change them out asap. The amount of play that Toyota says is 'normal' needs to be measured with a special tool because it's so minimal, you won't be able to see it. If you do see it, they're bad.
     
  17. Aug 13, 2019 at 10:27 AM
    #17
    mjhenks

    mjhenks Well-Known Member

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    I used a mix of MOOG, OEM and Proforged replacing everything including tie rod ends. Also replaced the steering rack bushings and LCA bushings with Urethane.

    Also i second the Pittman puller but i also just "rented" all those tools from the local auto parts store. It is free if you return them in 90 days.
     
  18. Aug 13, 2019 at 10:42 AM
    #18
    cruiserguy

    cruiserguy Well-Known Member

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    This is accurate info.
    Here is the link with photos of dissected ball joints from the different manufacturers:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/check-your-ball-joints.374853/page-2#post-10284167
     
  19. Aug 13, 2019 at 10:54 AM
    #19
    CS_AR

    CS_AR Well-Known Member

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    Just ordered OEM upper and lower BJs over the weekend. Replaced inner and outers with OEM + Boots earlier in the summer. I did use an AC Delco end link from Rock. I bought it thinking it had a grease fitting. It didn't. It looks to be well built. It was pricey as I recall.

    A few years ago, MOOG had a problem solver (PS) line that was very well built and came with grease fittings. They were not cheap. But it seems those have disappeared. So I just stuck with OEM for the Taco.
     
  20. Aug 13, 2019 at 11:04 AM
    #20
    TacoJohn4x4

    TacoJohn4x4 Captain Save-A-Ho

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    They had those PS with the grease fitting not too long ago, couple months, when I looked on RockAuto but I ended up going with OEM. I think they recently sold out and maybe won’t be coming back?

    I might try the AC Delco brand for the Corolla but for around $30-40 more a pair I could just get OEM.
     
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