Ball joints and tie rod ends replacement


#1

Hi all, so, my brother crashed his 2000 Ford Ranger Pick up and did some front end damage. The spindle,( steering knuckle) and upper control arm need to be replaced. I told him, WHILE YOU ARE AT IT AND THE TRUCK IS ALL APART, you should replace the ball joints and tie rod ends.AND>>>if you replace one side you should do the other side too. Front end and steering parts should ALWAYS be replaced in pairs. Also get a wheel alignment! My other brother said, don’t do that if they are still ok. why pay the extra money for parts you don’t need. I said, you can do it cheap, OR,you can do it right.
Who is right?


#2

Ford doesn’t make the strongest ball joints. I just replaced the upper and lower ball joints in my 2000 Explorer and also the outer tie rod ends. They ALL had noticable slop in them. I also replaced the shocks. The handling of the truck was a LOT more solid and smooth after that.


#3

You’re right on all counts. Odds are there is more wear in those parts on a 15 year old truck than your brother is aware of; and this is especially critical on parts that can fail abruptly and leave the vehicle occupants DOA.


#4

So do you both agree… Do it right, do it once? don’;t come back next year and do it again?


#5

Exactly; do it right and do it once. The alternative could also mean not being able to do it because the owner is dead.

A few years ago on the county highway where I live a guy in a Dodge pickup approached me from the rear while I was doing the posted 55 MPH. I could plainly see in the rear view mirror that the RF ball joint was bad because of the negative camber. As he passed me I rolled the window down and furiously motioned at his front wheel.
He had both hands on the wheel in a death grip and gave me a thumbs up.

At that point I hit the brakes and tagged along (not too close) ready to call 911. Just a mile or so later that ball joint gave up at about 65 MPH and into the ditch he went. The entire RF suspension broke off along with the wheel, bounced into the barbed wire fence, and catapulted clean across the road into the fence on the other side.

His truck left a 100 or so feet of gouged asphalt before hitting the ditch in a cloud of dirt and weeds. In his case, he was extremely lucky the truck did not roll.
And no, I did not stop to offer assistance and that truck sat on the side of the road for a week berfore it was hauled off. Shame; it was a late model only a few years old and one has to wonder what the side that did not break was like…


#6

You’re right.
So, what did your brother say? I mean the one who owns the truck?


#7

Yep that’s what I would do. Replace everything while I’m at it.


#8

Bro went the cheap way and is going to reuse the ball joint and tie rod end.


#9

@holland155–I have a suggestion for you, and I am not saying this in jest:

Do yourself a favor, and don’t ride in your brother’s truck.

And, don’t allow your kids to ride in it either.
Your brother’s cheapo/cavalier attitude regarding vehicle safety is…scary…


#10

People die from this kind of folly so I fully agree with VDCdriver about you or your kids even going around the block in it. Bro has a death wish apparently.

The local news here did a story just a few years ago about a woman in southern OK getting killed instantly when a ball joint on her Buick snapped and the car rolled repeatedly. In her case, it was stated that she was just rounding a wide sweeping curve on the highway at a legal speed when this happened. These things occur so quickly that the lady (victim in this case) never even knew what hit her. :frowning:


#11

It’s just amazing to me how some people can rationalize obvious safety issues simply because they are cheap.
I am…thrifty…but I will never compromise on something that is safety-related.


#12

One morning I had my 81 Olds on I35 in Minneapolis. I had just crossed the Minnesota river bridge and a tie rod snapped. I had replaced them both just a year earlier with Moog parts so maybe had 20,000 on them. It was not a pleasant experience. I made it to the side of the road and a Highway Helper truck was just behind me. Got it to a shop a half mile away and was on my way again in a couple hours and $80 later but it could have been much much worse.


#13

the day I got my learners permit I hit a really deep pothole on the way home from dmv in my moms maverick and broke a tie rod, I think. anyway the steering wheel just spun around in my hands. luckily I headed straight for a street that vee d off to the left of the main road and I checked traffic and coasted over and parked against the curb, I was on the wrong side of the road but I did good. my mom freaking out didn t help but I was able to block her out .