Ball joint advice - 95 Tahoe

arveetek

Adventurer
Looks like it's time for ball joints on my Tahoe. As far as I can tell, these might be original equipment joints! I bought the Tahoe with 174K miles on the clock, and it was a one-owner vehicle before that and had an easy life. I've put an additional 100K miles on her, and haven't had to touch anything on the front end. (And people say that IFS is weak and should be tossed out!)

I have one joint that is starting to get a little loose, but all 4 have torn boots, so they don't have much life left now. They are the pressed-on joints in the welded A-arms.

I know there are a few options for replacement. I've never had to do this on this style of GM before. Any advice?

Thanks,

Casey
 

plumber mike

Adventurer
There are some good YouTube vids showing the process. Moog is the brand of choice if you plan on keeping it. If they are original the top ones will not have bolts, but rivets. Have fun. Not so bad really. The second time you need to do it, it'll be a breeze.
 

cyclic

Adventurer
If the ball joints are worn, the so are all the steering parts. Tie rods, pitman arm, and idler arm. Plan for those also. I knew mine were all worn when I got it. Did the whole ball joint thing, removing the stock rivets was a pain, now the uppers are easy. :) The lowers still drive me crazy, the correct way is pull the arm and use a press. But like EVERYONE else I just used a c-clamp style press and left the arms on. Now that I have some extra money, it's time to do all the steering. Worst part is pulling the steering box to swap the pitman arm. May as well buy a pitman arm puller, also works great for tie rod ends. After this round last thing for me to do is swap hubs and drive axles. And that parts the easiest of all the front end stuff.
 

IKE2013

Observer
I swapped out the 4 on my Jeep Tj, got them off Ebay pretty dang cheap. I rented a press tool from the Autozone and returned it, getting my deposit back. Basically a free loaner. After I did it once myself, I won't ever pay to have it done again unless it is an emergency. Just take your time. x2 on watching some youtube vids. I have learned a lot from watching "the tube". More so I just watch to see the steps involved and for any manufacturer tricks that pop up.
 

02TahoeMD

Explorer
Another vote for Moog parts. And definitely take care of the tie rods, pitman arm, and do both the idler arm and idler arm bracket. I think you may be surprised at how much better your rig will handle once all that is replaced. I just had to replace the idler arm on my Tahoe @ 90K and figured I would do the pitman arm too while I was at it. Considerable improvement in handling.
 

arveetek

Adventurer
Yeah, I was kind of figuring on having to replace the steering components while I was at it.

I appreciate the help, fellas.

Casey
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
I used to be a Moog guy.... They seem to make (buy) good parts and (re)sell them but I will warn you to STAY AWAY from their "Problem Solver" line of parts. They oversize the housings by HUGE amounts, so that if you have a good part to begin with, by the time you get their balljoint pressed in, you've trashed it. (IF you can even press them in...) I put moog balljoints in my gf's Liberty, and I had to grind all the knurling off the balljoints to get them pressed into the knuckle. They were .012" too big for the hole they were meant for!! (A very TIGHT press fit is .005".) I think they are still selling non-problem solver parts, you just have to watch out.

Incidentally, we've tested some Mevotech balljoints that were pretty well made too. Honestly, I think most "name brands" these days are just repackaged from some supplier in china. Sorry to say it, but it seems to be the case with most of the parts I've seen. (We ordered 3 moog balljoints recently and got 3 different versions of the same part... All "Made in China". :(

YMMV.
C
 

ckupq

Observer
Problem solver parts are for people who wear the interference fit out of their arms. I'm not surprised you had problems.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
Exactly right, but they don't point that out very well, and most places now only carry the problem solver parts, which is not so good. I'm not sure how you wear out a press fit by as much as they've oversized the part either... i can see oversizing it by .003" or so, but not .012"!! Either way, buyer beware, and be informed in this case! :)
 

4x4junkie

Explorer
Um made by moog I hate to say it.
Um need to do some more research... :coffee:

Raybestos joints are made by Affinia Group, who acquired the suspension division directly from Dana Spicer some years back. They also sell product to Napa for their Premium line of joints.

Moog is under the Federal Mogul umbrella. I've had three Moogs loosen up on me in less than 10K miles (one less than 5K)... meanwhile some of my Spicer/Raybestos ones are now well past 75K and still tight like new.
Maybe Moog was once good (only reason I can imagine for so many people that still praise them), but this certainly doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
 

plumber mike

Adventurer
Sadly, Moog is considered the good brand in stock at most local auto part chains. I would do Moog over say dura last autozone stuff.

no real knowledge here, except that I put Moog parts on a 98 I had, and they took the beatings I gave them.
 

98dango

Expedition Leader
As a installer of auto parts I have gotten moog parts in the raybestes box more than I think I get moog stamped parts in a moog box.
 
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