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Hey guys. Just picked up a '96 LX that was parked due to bad ball joints and sat for a couple years. Am nursing her back to health but am on a pretty tight budget so I can't afford to replace the same part twice in too short a time frame. Am about to purchase upper and lower control arms and ball joints for both sides of the car and know that there is quite a variance in quality of the parts available.

I've read that the preferred brand seems to be the Raybestos Professional Grade and I can find those easily enough for the upper arms, but the lowers seem to be a bit more difficult. What are the other acceptable brands for arms/ball joints? Mostly wondering about the ACDELCO Professional Grade and MOOG Problem Solver lines from RockAuto?
 

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This is a very timely question because I just returned from the alignment shop where I was told I needed the upper control arm ball joint assembly. He quoted me $250 for "top of the line" parts, or $150 for economy parts, plus $100 installation, plus $60 alignment. I should have asked him what brands he was quoting me on. I also asked if he did an online parts search. He doesn't do that. He doesn't trust stuff you buy on line, or the companies that sell it. He just opens up his thick parts catalog, only orders from regular sources. Perhaps it is ignorance on his part, or maybe it is an old sales trick. Evidently, according to him, the $125 control arm assembly has a lifetime warranty.

I'll be calling him back to find out what brands he has quoted me. Then I'll know how much too much I would have paid him to buy from his catalog. He actually told me the suggested msrp on the lifetime guarantee part was $195 each.

I doubt I'll go back there for the alignment. This looks like a job I can handle myself. All I need is a floor jack, the right tools, and some patience.

Right away I felt I could do much better on the parts price, and told him I would research and find my own parts. He told me his insurance would not allow him to install carry-in parts. I escaped with a $20 charge for inspection, and slight camber adjustment.
 

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ACDelco Pro Grade seems to be the same part (Spicer Pro relabeled for both).

If you do go Moog, order the CK parts, not the RK parts.

Also, I'd recommend measuring and ordering poly grease caps (the dust cover portion) because Moog rubber, well, sucks nowadays.

RwP
 

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Thanks RalphP ... I thought I had read that about the ACDelco units, but after cramming so much reading into such a short time, I lost track of what was what. Everything should be ordered tomorrow.
 

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Thanks RalphP ... I thought I had read that about the ACDelco units, but after cramming so much reading into such a short time, I lost track of what was what. Everything should be ordered tomorrow.
I just ordered a bunch of Moog stuff from RockAuto and it was all USA except for the sway bay links which were made in Mexico. Luckily three of my control arms had already been replaced at some point and are good. I found a USA made Moog upper CA n eBay and ordered that. But yeah trying to figure out what the best parts are for these will make you head spin. And that assumes that the company hasn't changed suppliers since the last guy posted.....

Having had a previous very bad experience with the lowers I would NOT recommend the budget stuff. AT ALL. About the only possible exception might be the sway bar links which are a little less critical. Even then I would advise to do it right and do it once.

And by the way. Welcome to the TCCoA ;)
 

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ACDelco Pro Grade seems to be the same part (Spicer Pro relabeled for both).

If you do go Moog, order the CK parts, not the RK parts.

Also, I'd recommend measuring and ordering poly grease caps (the dust cover portion) because Moog rubber, well, sucks nowadays.

RwP
my jobber has no delco lowers in at all. got a part # for the lowers?
 

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RockAuto shows 19264307 and 19264308 for the two of them.

Amazing what you can find from the online retailers ...

RwP
 

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I like the looks and the features of the Moog. Thanks for the recommendation.
As suggested by RalphP, I ordered the Moog ck arms today. I'm really looking forward to this DIY project. The only suspension work I've done thus far in my 71 years is replacing the struts on my daughter's Fiat X1/9.

As far as I can tell, once these control arms are installed they will be the only suspension part with a lube fitting.

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php?carcode=1140567&parttype=10401
 
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