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 Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement

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98riv
matt270avian
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97 park ave
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EyeDoc1
Enthusiast



Name : Christen
Location : Vancouver, WA
Joined : 2016-03-30
Post Count : 105
Merit : 5

Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 Empty
PostSubject: Ball joint replacement vs Control Arm w/ball joint replacement (Pros vs Con   Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 EmptyTue Aug 30, 2022 6:58 pm

1998 Riv, 214,000 miles.  Son says ABS and Traction Control lights are on.  Take it to a reputable Pacific Northwest tire/suspension shop (Les Schwab).  Sez 3 of 4 hubs are shot.  Looks like originals.  Decided to try Pick 'n Pull off a '98 Park Avenue.  Removal of all, pretty easy.  Autozone loaned hub nut socket and used the 34MM with a breaker bar and cheater.  A little time and patience paid off.  Spent about $50 bucks for all 3.  Instillation however, is harder than it looks and takes 5X as long.  Always something.  Last hub nut required a BBFH as mine was a 3 pound, but a neighbor had the 5 pound BBFH.  Needed a new hub nut...back to AutoZone where they had a Dorman in stock.  And I needed a pickle fork.  Again, back to AZ.  So, everything mounted and work like a charm.  ABS and Traction Control lights off.  BUT...lower ball joint had damaged boot, as does tie rod.  Looked at Rock Auto (RA).  Cheap.  Plus some come with bolts.  But wait a sec, mine are riveted.  Look at first post and it appears to be a BITCH to remove the ball joint. Solution from Albert I believe.  Get a whole control arm w/ball joint already installed!  Mevotech CMS50114 from RA for $79.99 and $12.99 to ship.  Question boys.  1.  Do you think the Mevotech control arm is worth it, quality wise, for my '98.  Appears to be the quicker and much less stressful way to replace a ball joint complete as a unit.  I'll admit I did bang and clang the aluminum trying to remover the ball joint.  2.  The sway bar/stabilizer bar hardware is <$4 bucks.  I tried getting it off when doing the hubs (don't ask).  Likely original as the top has something like a giant 30 mm washer and the bottom nut wasn't budging.  Thoughts?  3.  How difficult is it to remove the lower control arm?  Whaddya all think and what should I be on the lookout for?  Any thoughts would be appreciated
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Jack the R
Master
Jack the R


Joined : 2007-01-16
Post Count : 7840
Merit : 98

Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement   Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 EmptyWed Aug 31, 2022 1:43 am

IIRC Mevotech is a cheapie brand meant for cars at the end of their lives that need to be pushed along for just a few more months. Or for flippers looking to dupe a buyer. I wouldn't use Mevotech on a good Riviera. Only Moog Problem Solvers or AC Delco Gold/Professional. Not the cheapier Moog/AC Delco lines that are their version of Mevotech.

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EyeDoc1
Enthusiast



Name : Christen
Location : Vancouver, WA
Joined : 2016-03-30
Post Count : 105
Merit : 5

Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement   Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 EmptyWed Aug 31, 2022 10:44 am

Appreciate the input Jack.  I think I'm just going hit the local Pick 'n Pull and pull an OEM unit off a Buick Park Avenue.  Likely I was the one that damaged the boot on a perfectly good ball joint with a pickle fork, something I was told NOT to do to a modern car...a '74 Torino maybe, but not the Riv.  I did a deep dive into Moog and sadly, Moog stuff is sourced from 16 different countries, sometimes the SAME part being sourced in 2 different countries.  Only the box tells the tale.  Was stunned to see Timken bearings made in Communist China...and when I was a kid going to high school in Newark NJ, the train went right past the Timken factory whose illuminated sign proudly ticked off the products they made.  We used to be a powerhouse in manufacturing of bearings and even military grade zippers.  Those days are gone, sadly.  Mevotech appears to be a Canadian company with plants in 6 locations, >500 people, but can't find out where they make their control arms, short of calling the company.  They seemed pretty solid to me, but what do I know.  Try finding a US made shock for the Riv.  Gabriels came from Mexico.  Rather give the biz to our neighbor in the south than the usual stuff made of chinesium.  Personal preference!
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Eldo
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Eldo


Name : Mark
Age : 57
Location : West Salem, Oregon... FINALLY
Joined : 2009-04-09
Post Count : 3094
Merit : 104

Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement   Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 EmptyTue Sep 06, 2022 12:59 am

You're so depressingly correct Christen. I just told someone yesterday that I was born at the precise time to witness the decline & fall of the United States - both from manufacturers and politicians...

Damn, I wish we '97 owners could find ANY alternative for our front A-arms! I've just been putting it out of my mind since the GM geniuses decided to change the front suspension every-single-damn-year.
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Jack the R
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Jack the R


Joined : 2007-01-16
Post Count : 7840
Merit : 98

Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement   Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 EmptyThu Sep 08, 2022 11:00 am

FWIW, I believe manufacturing will be returning to the United States. It will be new technology though, like Tesla's dry coat 4860 battery. Parts for old cars will have to be salvaged or 3D printed. If you need body panels, you may have to learn how to pull a mold and lay carbon fiber.
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Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement - Page 3 Empty
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Write-Up: Front Lower Ball Joint Replacement
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