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IDK about RA sometimes; the closeout by private manufacturer stuff always is lower quality than I expect.
I avoid their sales now.

I bought the ACDelco stuff, because TRW/MOOG was bought by a Chinese Co; I haven't head that about Delco, which bought Raybestos business.
 

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Rockauto closeouts = Harbor Freight “STORE LIQUIDATION!”

IDK about RA sometimes; the closeout by private manufacturer stuff always is lower quality than I expect.
I avoid their sales now.

I bought the ACDelco stuff, because TRW/MOOG was bought by a Chinese Co; I haven't head that about Delco, which bought Raybestos business.
Yeah, I bought closeout TRW sealed front endlinks from them in 2017 and all 4 boots are bad already. I got TRW tie rod ends too, and while those seem ok mechanically they were completely raw finished and had a look of being remanufactured
 

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I’ve done the whole front end rebuild before on one car and it was a huge pain. The other daily driver I had one side go and had to get it towed home and did the whole LCA + Strut rod bushing outside in the drive when it was -15..... Never again. The other side went about a month later and that time I had it towed to a trustworthy shop and he simply pressed in a lower ball joint and it was fine.

Maybe it’s a rust belt thing but ball joints seem to wear faster than the bushings.

The nicest of the Cougars is now 23 years old and the factory ball joint seals have rotted. The joints themselves are fine. So I’ve been thinking about doing just the joints. Buying the press kit at HF. They are good for lightly used specialty tools like that.

I can remember doing this once with two sockets and a C Clamp. Not on a MN12. I guess it goes easier if you toss the ball joint in the freezer to shrink it slightly and work fast.

Looking forward to driveway season and jack stands in a way. Stuff I want to do.

I just don’t want to do it during the coldest winter on record again. Nope!
 

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Well, got the '95 done.

Brung car around, run front up on ramps, set brake, etc ... jack left front, remove wheel & tire, set stand under frame, removed caliper and bracket & set on upside down bucket, remove ARB link nut, unhook top BJ stud, roll spindle over towards front.

Left front was a learning experience. Little HF 3/4" AJ press worked great to pop spindle off LBJ with a hammer whack after removing nut from stud. Then I figured out which spacers, cups, etc, to use, greased screw, then found one cup I needed was missing, so I used a 1-5/16" 3/4" drive socket. I used a 30" long 1/2" drive breaker bar on socket to tighten, get tight, whack LCA ... and repeat. Finally done, insert new LBJ, it was as hard to get in place as old was to remove. Replace ARB link and reattach spindle to UBJ stud, then reattach brake caliper & bracket. Grease everything with fitting. Wheel & tire back on, remove stand, slide ramp back under tire, move jack to right front.

Right front ... did not want to come out. Even put a cheater on breaker bar, lots of whacking with the hammer on LCA, pop .... repeat ... a lot. Then threads on ARB link stud FUBARed, had to grind top unused 1/4" off, then UBJ stud did not want to slide back into top of spindle, but I kept at it.

Finally ... DONE. I know, easier to do LCA & LBJ as one ... but now I don't need to re-align the front end.

I'll do the '92 in Spring, but first I'll get this kit back to AAP and get my CC credited back ... then do a closer count of stuff in that kit next time, I sure needed that missing cup.

I slept good last night.
 

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Yeah, I bought closeout TRW sealed front endlinks from them in 2017 and all 4 boots are bad already. I got TRW tie rod ends too, and while those seem ok mechanically they were completely raw finished and had a look of being remanufactured
But these came in MOOG boxes, inside were MOOG BJs, they looked in all respects exactly as the one's I purchased years ago for the '92 while working at AAP, the boxes just were not as "pristine".

... I guess it goes easier if you toss the ball joint in the freezer to shrink it slightly and work fast.
Gonna keep that in mind, have freezer just a few feet from shop apron. Wire brush the LCA's loop to clean of rust, etc, maybe warm it too. Hell, might press them in by hand even?

When I did a top end job on my Triumph, I froze the wrist pins in our freezer and just warmed ( but not hot enough to burn me) the rod ends with a propane torch. They are normally a snug fit in the rod ends. Slid right in ... then I put the clips in.
 

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Finally ... DONE. I know, easier to do LCA & LBJ as one ... but now I don't need to re-align the front end.
Glad it turned out well for you! IMO it's easier to press in new ball joints over replacing the lower control arm. Like you said not having to align it is a plus too. I've done it on two MN12, easier the second time around for sure.
 

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Glad it turned out well for you! IMO it's easier to press in new ball joints over replacing the lower control arm. Like you said not having to align it is a plus too. I've done it on two MN12, easier the second time around for sure.
Sure hope so … ;) Thank you.

I think what put me behind the 8-ball besides threads messing up … was the BJ press kit missing a piece that I needed. 15 miles to store. Tomorrow, I'll take this kit back to AAP and get credit, might buy a kit to have handy for other pressing needs, like U-joints or bushings. Use some coupons at HF, get a press kit and another blue flashlight freebie?
I have a heavy duty O press, not a big C-clamp, but I bought it at a antique shop (like new … $10 some years ago), no adapters or tubes (I had planned on making some?) but the ones in these press kits would work.
 

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Found a few 10 piece ball joint service kits on E-bay, one listing for $32 plus $9 shipping in plastic case. I looked through my stuff, I had both a "O" frame press and "C" type press, but no "cups". So I ordered the one on E-bay, same big "C" type clamp as the one I had, same as in that big kit I had borrowed from AdvanceAP, but it also included 8 other pieces like cups, etc that will also work well with my older "C" clamp and my blue old school "O" frame press, but my older presses have finer thread pitch that have a shallower angle.

I bought it hoping it would let me use those cups to press bushings, etc too, looks like they will. Be good for using on U-joints too, no more using sockets. It was worth the $41 to have "on hand".
 
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