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upper & lower ball joints for '95 Taco

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by mizhop, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Sep 26, 2015 at 3:21 PM
    #1
    mizhop

    mizhop [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys. The ol' man's driver side lower ball joint took a crap just as he pulled into the driveway coming home from work last night (on the bright side, at least it wasn't on the interstate), and I'm trying to confirm some things for future reference, as the only thing that's getting fixed right now is that lower.

    We got the replacement lower at O'Reilly; a 'MasterPro' (made in China), but looking at everything else under there, I thought it would be a good idea to get replacements for the uppers along with another lower for the passenger side. Here's some rather frightening pix that I took this afternoon:

    The broken lower:
    IMG_1455cr%20Large_cb98d073b777c5293fe3b88d45dbfee3d78af989.jpg

    Upper suspension arm:
    IMG_1458%20Large_6ef4f859c9aa03385b38214ab947deec7a481e30.jpg

    Strut/stabilizer bar ends:
    IMG_1460%20Large_3aafcec6373cc979509bf0a13df595d3c6419472.jpg

    We got this truck from a guy in Michigan, so clearly it's seen a lot of long, long, ugly, salty winters. Do these things look as bad as I'm thinking they do?? Granted, there's some shiny metal there where he and his buddy got the bolts out of that lower ball joint, so maybe it's not as bad as it seems to me. But, my God, that upper suspension arm looks like it might flake away completely if I look at it too hard. Surely it would come apart the moment he tried to take the bolts out of the thing. It even looks like the lower boot on that upper ball joint is leaking also, so that's got to be a bad sign.

    Which brings me to my questions.... I'm not finding any OEM style upper suspension arms anywhere, though OEM ball joints are available at Amazon, like this one for the left side. The OEM ball joints have the four bolt holes that go through the upper suspension arms. My question is, will these newer style arms that I'm finding, that don't have those holes, and apparently use these newer ball joints, work for the '95?

    What about the suspension arm shaft assembly? Do you think that stuff will be reusable? Here's a shot of it from the service manual PDF I have for the '95-97:
    95%20parts_e730133367987ab7f842ae7c2816a90fd847d08e.jpg

    I can't seem to find any suspension arm shaft replacements at the moment anyway, except for one already included in a suspension arm assembly on ebay, but boy is it pricey.

    Anyway, thanks in advance for your time and responses; I'll be sending this thread link to the ol' man so he can benefit from you guys' expertise. =)
     
  2. Sep 26, 2015 at 9:32 PM
    #2
    bry838

    bry838 Well-Known Member

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    Wow ive never seen a uca like that! Is this truck a 5 lug 2wd?? And in your info you have a '05 2nd gen peerunner listed, is it a different truck than we are talkin about?

    And wholly hell....RUST! God i hate that shit! Should become illegal for your state to use friggin salt, there are alternatives. the state is ruining vehicles!
     
  3. Sep 27, 2015 at 6:21 AM
    #3
    mizhop

    mizhop [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, sorry, I should have specified that it's a different truck from my own. His is the 1st ever of the 1st Gen Tacomas, mine is 1st of the 2nd gen. =) His is 5 lug 2wd, mine's 6 lug 2wd. I'm not sure what else to include except we've both got the 6 cyl versions and extended cabs.

    Thanks for your reply. They must have issued that truck with zero underbody anti-rust or whatever, because it really does look terrible. I'm sure hoping someone can okay this new style aftermarket suspension arm or otherwise have some experience dealing with them in the 95-97 years!
     
  4. Sep 28, 2015 at 2:06 PM
    #4
    mizhop

    mizhop [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Come on, guys.... we could really use a little input here. Hasn't *anyone* dealt with these new upper suspension arms on a 1st gen, or have some reasonably educated guess?? If I could find any information on them elsewhere in the forums (or anywhere else) I wouldn't have posted this. If someone has another site or something to suggest where there's maybe some further info, I'll even take that.

    I'm only really pushing this because I'd like to pick up these parts ASAP in the effort to try and get this done before winter. God forbid something like what happened Saturday morning goes on in the dead of winter. =(

    As far as the update goes, he did manage to get the lower ball joint back together once we were able to get the correct part from O'Reilly's on the second try.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  5. Sep 28, 2015 at 10:03 PM
    #5
    CodeSeven

    CodeSeven Yo

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    everything looks rusted. like as in. it shouldn't be on the road! talk to a dealer about the rusty frame first. tell them the LBJ broke due to rust and the rest of the steering, suspension, and chassis looks severely damage as well. see if they are able to do the chassis swap.

    i had a customer come in the other day wanting me to to replace the same control arm bushings in our machine shop. very common occurrence on most other vehicles without those shafts. can't be done on this one though. rock auto has uppers (for a 2.4 4 cyl) for 55 bucks. complete with ball joint. buy this instead.

    but yeah, that frame is RUSTED. it's a hazard. like bad hazard. see about getting the frame replaced. and honestly, you need to rebuild the entire front end suspension and steering. sorry :-\
     
  6. Sep 28, 2015 at 11:04 PM
    #6
    bry838

    bry838 Well-Known Member

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    Well there ya go, i woulda said rock auto too but i assumed (stupidly) that you had exhausted all those easy places, sorry. If youre not familiar with rock auto you should start checkin em out. It can be a pretty good place to find parts and for real cheap too compared to the big parts chain places. They also usually carry the brands that are oem specific to our trucks like denso and aisin...
     
  7. Sep 29, 2015 at 3:55 AM
    #7
    mizhop

    mizhop [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much you guys! A little honest info was all that we were looking for. It's a little depressing (but validating) to get confirmation that what I suspected is in fact the case, that things were in pretty bad condition under there, but do you really think that a dealership would do a frame replacement? Like "safety recall" kind of thing? It seems like I'm getting one of those for my '05 every other month or something.

    No, I had not looked into Rock Auto... apparently I've missed seeing any reference to them in my searches, but thanks for that info! In the past this forum was used primarily for stuff for my 2nd gen, so this is very much appreciated.

    EDIT: I'm soooo glad I posted this question here. The Rock Auto site catalog is FANTASTIC! It looks like we'll get these parts for much less than what I was finding elsewhere, AND it's confirmation that those new style control arm/ball joints will, in fact, work. I can't thank you guys enough. I'll definitely update as things progress.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  8. Sep 29, 2015 at 7:03 AM
    #8
    bry838

    bry838 Well-Known Member

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    I doubt youll get a frame replacement the frame recall for the 95-00 got bought back by the dealer at above book value and the 01-04 got/get new frames. But if it wasnt inspected by toyota at a certain date you are SOL! Id say its still worth it to talk to em and check it out though. How bout your 05 though? Have they inspected it?? If not get it done, good chance thatll get replaced!
     
  9. Sep 29, 2015 at 9:28 AM
    #9
    Adventurer_Alex

    Adventurer_Alex Generic mall crawler

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    I would check out a junk yard for the arms (and a frame!) Everything else i would want to be new
     
  10. Sep 29, 2015 at 10:22 AM
    #10
    keakar

    keakar Well-Known Member

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    used to have - 99 2.4L I4 5 lug & 04 prerunner v6
    good advice but frame replacement is only 15 years after manufacture date so frame replacement option expired in 2000 on that truck.

    I wouldn't spend a penny on it until you got under there with safety goggles and a hammer and beat on the frame everywhere, if you find holes or it breaks through anywhere then its unsafe and dangerous to drive, as in the truck is history. he is lucky it broke so you have a chance to stop him from driving it before he died in an accident when the frame broke in half while driving it. that rust is serious and a definite structural safety issue.

    I really don't see replacing the frame yourself as a viable option for anyone to try because it takes a LONG time to do everything and is easily a 6 month project (if you have a job and do it the right way by cleaning, replacing, and painting things as you go) so unless you just want a never ending project to play around with in your spare time just for fun, its not worth the time or money involved. maybe buy another first gen truck with a really high mileage or blown engine or tranny and use his engine and tranny in it using his rusted out truck as a donor vehicle for whatever the new truck needs, then sell off any remaining good parts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  11. Sep 29, 2015 at 4:41 PM
    #11
    mizhop

    mizhop [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I kinda figured that a safety recall for the '95 had to be pretty much out of the question at 20 years of age. I picked up my '05 in '09 having no idea of the pile of safety recalls that the truck needed, and finally got them all done (including the frame anti-rust coating, or whatever it was they sprayed on there) last spring. So I'm caught up until they decide what to do about the rear leaf springs that I just got an "advisory" recall notice on last week.

    Well, the ol' man is a little depressed right now, as he just got done paying off the small loan he took out to secure the thing a year or so ago. I've encouraged him a little as we don't know yet if the frame is total shiat yet or not until, like you suggest keakar, he gets under there with a hammer and does a little investigating. Clearly if the hammer breaks through anywhere, it's toast, and we're just going to have to move on.

    He's contemplating hanging on to the truck in the event we come across another '95 with a frame/body in better condition and perhaps a worn out motor/tranny, but not sure that he wants to go through the effort to swap those kinds of parts. Obviously he'd have to have something to get back and forth to work with, in the meantime, and like most people, we're not swimming in money. =)

    Thanks again you guys, and I'll keep you updated as to what happens.
     
  12. Sep 29, 2015 at 6:08 PM
    #12
    CodeSeven

    CodeSeven Yo

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    all I can say is....
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Sep 29, 2015 at 10:56 PM
    #13
    keakar

    keakar Well-Known Member

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    the news is not ALL bad in that, all the first gen trucks from 95-04 use the same frame as long as its the same drive, in other words 2wd or 4wd are different because of some suspension mounting points (mainly the front leafs) and I think slightly different shock mounting points as well but the key is all 95-04 2wd are the same frames and all 95-04 4wd are the same frames so as long as you find another 2wd 5 lug or prerunner truck, then that frame is the same as his with the exception of the rear leaf springs and mounting points are shorter for the 95-97 trucks but all you would need to solve that issue is to get the correct size leafs to match the frame you use. but honestly, by the time you invest all that time and money into it its not going to be worth anything near what you spend on it.

    that said, its such a huge and very involved job to swap frames I wouldn't consider it as a "reasonable" option to consider. sorry to say but I would look at getting what you can from it selling it off as parts and like mentioned find a truck needing and engine or tranny so you can get it cheap and use your engine and tranny to get it running again.
     
  14. Sep 29, 2015 at 11:11 PM
    #14
    Adventurer_Alex

    Adventurer_Alex Generic mall crawler

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    I dont want to start anything or but that is not quite correct. All 5 lug frames are the same and all 6 lug frames are the same (except the front spring hanger on the 95.5 to 97 trucks) the "pre runners" and 4x4s have the same suspension. The 5 lug trucks have completely different control arms, spindles and mounting points on the frame from the 4x4 and prerunners (6 lug trucks)
     
  15. Sep 30, 2015 at 12:44 AM
    #15
    keakar

    keakar Well-Known Member

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    well there you go then

    5 lug replaces 5 lug and prerunner replaces prerunner and 4wd replaces 4wd

    and something not covered yet is 95-95.5 years have differences because in the middle of 95 they redesigned the trucks and that's when it became a tocoma and anything made in first half of year 95 was still the T100 truckso that is something to also keep in mind.

    I do recall a thread on here where someone used the back half of a prerunner frame to fix their 4wd and they had to cut off and swap some mounting points and brackets that are needed for 4wd but are not on prerunner frames. cant say what but I remember the guy saying it wasn't hard to swap them if you can weld.
     
  16. Sep 30, 2015 at 1:01 AM
    #16
    Adventurer_Alex

    Adventurer_Alex Generic mall crawler

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    Only thing that differs between the 4x4 and prerunner is that the 4x4 has a front differential, cv's and a slightly different spindle. That's why you can convert a prerunner to 4x4
     
  17. Sep 30, 2015 at 7:06 AM
    #17
    bry838

    bry838 Well-Known Member

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    The t100 was the mid size truck that then went to the first gen tundra. The mini truck was just called a pickup, or some still called it a hilux...
     
  18. Sep 30, 2015 at 8:30 AM
    #18
    keakar

    keakar Well-Known Member

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    oh ok, was the t100 the first version of whats called the tundra version trucks then?
     
  19. Sep 30, 2015 at 9:08 AM
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    Adventurer_Alex

    Adventurer_Alex Generic mall crawler

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    "Pickup" --> tacoma
    T100 --> tundra
     
  20. Oct 3, 2015 at 9:47 AM
    #20
    mizhop

    mizhop [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I got no notification that there was continuing discussion here after the "fallen comrade" pic... strange. Anyway, that frame swap info is useful if we go that route, unlikely as that might be, so thanks for that though.

    After much good-natured prodding, the ol' man did finally get the truck up on the ramps this morning and went around it with a hammer as suggested and he reports that it's all still solid, thank God. He says that there's definitely the remainder of what paint that was on the frame is still peeling off, so we're just going to be very diligent to pressure wash underneath during the winter months as often as possible, and keep an eye on things in that department.

    We're going to order those new style control arms and lower ball joints. As far as urgency goes, which would you guys put at the top of your lists first... maybe, tie rod ends or something else first to go with the ball joint replacements? As undyingvisage58 recommended, we're going to replace, piece by piece, as much of the front end suspension and steering linkage as possible, as soon as possible.
     

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