Suspension work ain't cheap!
Recently (July, 2013) bought a 2003 Mazda B-2300 with 38,500 miles from the original owner.
Here's what I found at time of purchase:
1. Still had one of the original tires on the car: Continental Conti's.
2. Had put Kumho KR-21's on the front wheels.
3. Lower ball joint boots were destroyed.
4. Upper ball joints were loose.
5. Outer tie-rods were somewhat loose.
I wanted to put Michelin's on the truck since those are the only tires I have used for over 20 years.
So I had to bump the size to 235/75R15 from 225/60R15 in order to use Michelin LTX M/S 2 tires. (Glad I did that, although it hurt the wallet.) in the 15" wheel size, make sure to insist on "date matched tires" as they can sit around for quite awhile before being used. I wanted mine within 6 months of mfg'ing date and they did that for me.
I also installed Bilstein 4600 (HD) shocks as the passenger rear was leaking. I did that x 4. (Once again, glad I did that as the Bilstein's are worth it.) Now just over $1000 bucks.
I installed the shocks myself. They ran about $75 bucks each. It's not fun, but to get Bilstein's, I was willing to get myself dirty, and face up with the underside of my B-2300.
I live in the Atlanta area, and used Cherokee Ford in Alpharetta to match Discount Tires prices plus Michelin has a $70 rebate with Ford but not Discount Tire.
In other words, Ford will match competitors prices, and that includes Discount Tire. As a matter of fact, Ford was cheaper on the tire but more money on the tire warranty .It saved me $60 bucks having Cherokee price match Discount Tire and then I have the $70 rebate coming from Michelin in the mail because of Ford.
So, by using Cherokee Ford, I saved OVER $70 vs. Discount Tire!
Ball joints, and tie-rods, were bought and installed by me. I used Moog because I believe they are the best of the bunch. I really tried to find Boge or Sachs from ZF Industries out of Germany, but they don't make parts for the B-2300/Ranger.
They have grease plugs, so I bought 100% synthetic grease by Mobil 1 as I recall. Having to buy a grease gun took me back to the 1970's.
Dorman uses a German name, but their stuff all comes from China. Not doing that!
The upper and lower ball joints plus tie rods were all bought from Advance Auto Parts using their 30% discount via code TRT30.
I think that Amazon was actually cheaper than the TRT 30 coupon code but it was close enough.
On that upper control arm, bring the wheels & tires back to the ground, and put about 300 lbs. of stuff onto the suspension before torqueing those bolts. It's a hassle, but that will extend the life of those control arm bushings for many years.
So all in, I put out about $1400 bucks, and now that truck rides BETTER than new. It's hard to spend that kind of cash when most of it cannot be "seen" but those Michelins will go 50,000 miles and I know that the front suspension will take those tires to that point.
Last edited by GMG; 08-23-2013 at 03:15 PM.