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Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 05-03-2009
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Ball Joint Questions

I have a 2000 Mazda B3000 2wd with torsion suspension.

My ball joints need replacing and I am short on cash. I have the lowers and am looking for uppers. Autozone says they can get me uppers with out a control arm. Advance only carries ball joints with control arms. The price difference is nearly $100. So, is there a reason Advance doesn't have them with out control arms or did the guys at Autozone (and Advance discount for that matter) put something in the computer wrong?

Also, how long does it normally take you guys to do your ball joints? I have limited time so if I end up having to order parts I will need them here ASAP (I live in Tampa for school and am home for 5 days to do this).

Thanks!

PS
I need to check, but if I have the better torsion bars that dont sag after your crank them I may add an inch or so to my front end before I go get it aligned and yes, I will have pics.
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Old 05-03-2009
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get moog upper control arms, they have lifetime warranties on their parts! worth it!
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Old 05-03-2009
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Read the first sentence in the first real paragraph. lol

The moogs were $130 each....I have $340 total to do this including alignment afterwards. If I cant do them myself now I am going to work to save and then I'm going to take them to the shop in Tampa.

I live in an apt that does not allow major vehicle repairs in the parking lot.
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Old 05-03-2009
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Uppers are not replaceable. You have to buy the whole arm. It took me maybe an hour to change mine out.
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Old 05-03-2009
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Thanks.

How come they can be bought w/o the control arm?
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Old 05-03-2009
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OEMs must be replaced as a unit. Moogs can be replaced in the future without buying the whole arm with moog ball joints. Either case you're going to be buying whole new upper arms.
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Old 05-03-2009
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Autozone had moogs and some $20 upper ball joint.
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Old 05-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fddriver02 View Post
Uppers are not replaceable. You have to buy the whole arm. It took me maybe an hour to change mine out.
Well this explains alot, when I did my balljoints It took us an hour each side to get the uppers out. On one side I actually pushed the stud through the ball joint on the other I broke the press. But we did get them out and the new ones in and they were at around 40K when I sold it last year.

CBF
It normally takes me about six hours to do Ball joints on a vehicle but this is a snails pace taking a break everytime I acomplish something. lol
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Old 05-03-2009
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check rockauto. Moog has some "problem solver" upper balljoints that may fit upper arms that can use replaceable balljoints.

The OEM upper balljoints were not intended to be replaced without the arm.
Problem is that if you have OEM you can't just buy the $20 balljoint, you have to get the whole arm....unless those Moogs work, but IIRC the balljoint is not at all serviceable on the Ford arms.

If you buy the whole Moog arm, you only need to buy the 20-30 balljoint in the future.
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Old 05-03-2009
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Just FYI (and speaking from experience) everyone said the balljoints on my truck had to replaced with new arms. I found out they didn't.

Please post a pic of your upper control arm and we can tell you if it needs to be replaced or not.

Ford was a little weird when it came to balljoints, some trucks needed the entire arm, where as others didn't. The same goes for the adjustable control arm as well on the passenger side. Some trucks needed them, others didn't. It's a truck by truck basis, so give us a pic and we'll tell you what you need. As long as you get balljoints with greasable zirk fittings you should be good.
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Old 05-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fddriver02 View Post
Uppers are not replaceable. You have to buy the whole arm. It took me maybe an hour to change mine out.
for both sides, start to finish?! damn, youre fast!
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Old 05-03-2009
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Thanks guys!

My dad said he did the research and found the same thing, some are replaceable and some aren't and it will depend on the VIN.

I'll post up a pic of my uppers tomorrow morning after I get some sunlight.
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Old 05-04-2009
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Old 05-04-2009
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Technically the uppers are replaceable you just have to grind out the weld holding the ball joint in and re weld the new one into place. And the only reason christian is so fast is because hes had everything go wrong that could have lol.
But yes uppers are replaceable just to what extent are you going to go to save money.
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Old 05-04-2009
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Really? hmmm, I'm gonna pull the tire off today and have my dad and my neighbor look at it.

Those $20 ball joints are greaseable along with the lowers I already have. If I just grease my joints every time I change my oil I should be good until the day that I do a long travel kit....unless that is never haha.
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Old 05-04-2009
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Those look toast. I would replace them.
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Old 05-04-2009
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Oh, and the haynes manual has **** for ball joint instructions. lalalalame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seed60 View Post
Those look toast. I would replace them.
I've been driving around with a squeak or grind every time anything in the front suspension moves for about 6 weeks now. It's been squeaking for some time with any decent articulation. I noticed the torn boots about 1.5 years ago. Still no play in the spindle, though. However crappy, they're tough. I've also stayed out of the mudd and water as much as possible since I found the torn boots also, so that has helped a lot I think. BTW, nice truck you got there.

Last edited by CBFranger; 05-04-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 05-04-2009
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GEt the MOOG replaceables from rockauto.com
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  #19  
Old 05-04-2009
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They dont have anything but a driver's side lower for my truck... neat catalog, though.

edit: Found passenger upper for a damn good price under the Ranger Edge (basically what my truck is, only a year before the edge came out). Still no Moog driver side. If I find the drivers side and it is as cheap as the passenger side I am going to return the lowers that I have and order everything from that site and I'll have to drive back home one weekend to do it or find someone in Tampa with the tools and a place to do it. In tampa will be harder because I'll have to rent a press. My neighbor here at home already has a C clamp press that he uses to fix the U joints on his '67 Barracuda race/show car.

BTW, you guys have been a boat load of help as expected. It's very much appreciated!

Last edited by CBFranger; 05-04-2009 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 05-04-2009
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Is this correct? Why are the control arms less than the lowers here, but WAY more expensive everywhere else? Doesn't seem right to me.
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Old 05-04-2009
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As far as I know the suspension is the same on all torsion bar suspensions.
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Old 05-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBFranger View Post


Is this correct? Why are the control arms less than the lowers here, but WAY more expensive everywhere else? Doesn't seem right to me.
You've got the nice Moog lowers, and the ****tiest uppers that you can buy. The Moog uppers are like $100 a pop if I remember right?
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  #23  
Old 05-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fddriver02 View Post
As far as I know the suspension is the same on all torsion bar suspensions.

speaking all rangers or explorers and rangers? some rangers use an adjustable upper control arm, others don't need them. there are also different torsion bars (different spring rates).

Damn, there is a TON of mis-information on this site from people who just post what they "think" is correct.
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Old 05-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PickupMan92 View Post
speaking all rangers or explorers and rangers? some rangers use an adjustable upper control arm, others don't need them. there are also different torsion bars (different spring rates).

Damn, there is a TON of mis-information on this site from people who just post what they "think" is correct.
Moog doesn't make the arms with the caster adjustment anyway.

I am well aware about the different torsion bars but that has nothing to do with ball joints.

And just because you were here a bit longer than some of us doesn't mean you know everything.

Last edited by whippersnapper02; 05-04-2009 at 04:08 PM.
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  #25  
Old 05-04-2009
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Sorry I have no advice but your truck is sweeeeeeet!
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