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Minor rant and warning - ball joints

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rustynewyorker, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. My daily seemed to need ball joints, so I ordered up some Raybestos from Rock Auto - they weren't the cheapest ones, and about the same as an AC/Delco. I figure there's a good chance the AC are Chinese, so I gambled on the Raybestos instead.

    Now these ball joints are for 73-87 GM pickups and 71-96 GM vans, so some of you guys using those pickup front ends in your 60-66 trucks could run into this....

    There's nothing wrong with the joints themselves, but of course the originals are riveted and you bolt on the replacement...

    Well, the nuts are junk. 8 of them between the two joints and not a single one threads on the bolt completely. They get most of the way on and hang up. These nuts are rounded on one side and flat on the other; on one set, the rounded side has oval holes - what little I did get it on, you could then rock it back and forth afterwards.

    Of course I find this out after the fastener place has closed for the day, and after the vehicle is all torn apart, so to put it together I had to spend $8 at the closest hardware store for new bolts and nuts. I just bought grade eight and to hell with it. Maybe that's overkill, who knows, but at my usual place they sell by the pound and what I bought might have cost two bucks.

    So anyways be forewarned - you probably are going to run into the China thing no matter what, but be prepared to supply your own hardware to put the damn things on. I have an email in to Rock Auto to see what they say, but I doubt I'll hear anything before Tuesday.
  2. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    from 4077th

    Sound like lock nuts that are not supposed to loosen.

    They're intended to be that way.
  3. Yup, surely not free running and takes lots more torque to get them socked down tight.

  4. Molonewolf
    Joined: Jan 22, 2012
    Posts: 195


    Sounds like a lock nut to me.

  5. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    let's all move to china...with no shipping charges, the parts will be even cheaper...more money for beer.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  6. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 2,516


    go back the next day put the shit part on the counter and getyour money back from the manager. dont buy that shit again,no one likes giving the money back.I BOUGHT SOME TOOLS FROM JEGS ,THEY WERE poor quality dont buy tools from them any more.back to buying quality tools cheaper in the long run
  7. Can't beat Moog for suspension parts, pay a little more but good quality.
  8. BigAl1961
    Joined: Dec 22, 2010
    Posts: 116


    Every set of Ball joints I have ever put in, and there have been MANY, come with the locking nuts you describe. Standard issue.
  9. visor
    Joined: Aug 11, 2002
    Posts: 513

    from Missouri

    I agree. Only Moog for suspension.
  10. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 764


    Interference threads. They are supposed to be like that by design.
  11. I learned about interference lock nuts about 50 years ago, what can I say?
  12. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,351

    from Soquel, CA

    You ever tasted Chinese beer?! Ain't worth savin for... :D
  13. Ayers Garage
    Joined: Nov 28, 2002
    Posts: 1,382

    Ayers Garage

    And 90 percent of the people installing those ball joints do it wrong. The nuts are supposed to be on top and the bolt heads on bottom, under the arm. It contrary to common bolt through the top, nut on bottom method.
  14. Post Apocalyptic Kustoms
    Joined: Oct 21, 2012
    Posts: 480

    Post Apocalyptic Kustoms
    from Outside

    Had the same problem with mine, the nuts that they came with were total junk and almost all of them stripped out on me. The ball joints themselves were/are super cheesy too so I'm going to replace them again this winter when I rebuild the front end. I have at least 5k miles on them though including at least 2 500 mile round trips to the HAMB drags and they seem to be OK so far but better safe than sorry. This is a good warning, thanks for posting it.
  15. Ayers Garage
    Joined: Nov 28, 2002
    Posts: 1,382

    Ayers Garage

    Here are comparison pictures I took awhile back. You're looking at a cheap parts store brand idler arm compared to a Moog one. Same application, just quality compared to cheap. The Moog is twice as substantial than the cheap one.


  16. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,351

    from Soquel, CA

  17. porsche930dude
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 268


    most new parts these days are crap. your better off going to the junk yard and finding newish parts that somebody already replaced before they gave up. just paid 250$ for a new fuel pump and the pressure sensor was bad on it so i ended up putting the old one back in. also got a new 150$ starter and the threads were all messed up so i had to run a tap through them and the connections wernt even soldered. you have to fix new parts before you put them on. its rediculous
  18. Rock Auto has a walk in parts counter you can return stuff to?
  19. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,531

    from Oregon

    Good one! If they do the joint comes from one counter, the bolts from another, and the nuts from a third counter!
  20. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,308


    A straight axle would solve all this.
  21. hoop98
    Joined: Jan 23, 2013
    Posts: 1,363

    from Texas

  22. 2racer
    Joined: Sep 1, 2011
    Posts: 960


    just drive on over, follow the on screen promts....
  23. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,038


    I likey this post. Makee me feel good. I use air tools for everything. I start bolt threads into the nut and wang! It needs be torqued the wang is more wong. That pretty much takes care of Chinese. Interference fit lock nuts do real good with wing wang wong. You try. You like. No takee part back.
  24. junk
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 200


    Funny. The other forums I follow all say moog is crap now also.

    It's definitely getting harder to determine the good parts. Can't go by price or brand like you used to.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  25. junk
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 200


    Forgot to say. The only good beer in china is imported and if you think their parts suck you need to try some of their food.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  26. I don't bother with the nuts and bolts that come with the new ball joints,I can pickup all the nuts & bolts right down the street at our local hardware store.

    And now that this thread has taken the bazaar turn and Beer has come into play I'll pose this question.

    What is the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts?

    Beer nuts are $3.75 a pound but you can still get deer nuts under a Buck!:D Bawahahah!

  27. 2racer
    Joined: Sep 1, 2011
    Posts: 960


  28. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    from Kent, Ohio

    Glad I stumbled on this, I just bought some parts off Rockauto. ( recommended by a parts counter buddy)

    I usually spend more for American, by my choice. Some of the parts are made in NC, (took me atleast a week to research) and the rest I guessed on based on doing business before at the local DANA (barmatic) plant....

    I did Buy Moog for tie rods ends and Bushings..... and bought AAE for the other item.....

    Now I wait and hope for the best. If not, Maval is 20 min from me, and flaming is 40.....
  29. Rock Auto refunded what it cost me to buy a set of grade-8 nuts and bolts that actually would thread up.

    These things were so cheap, I thought I'd use the lock washers that came with them and managed to torque one right out of the bolt - it just twisted apart.

    On the off chance they need a little help staying put I did put some locktite on them.

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