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I'm going to replace my ball joints and tie rod ends when I do my 5 lug conversion in the near future. I just have a couple of questions.
One, is there a particular manufacturer that anyone recommends for either of these pieces? This car is not a road race car, mainly a street car with some drag strip duty here and there if it makes a difference. Matt90GT had recommended MOOG ball joints. Where can I get these or does any one recommend anything different?
Two, will I have to take my lower A-arm somewhere to have the ball joint pressed out and new one pressed in? I think the old one can just be beat out but will I have to have a shop put the new one in? Or is there a relatively cheap tool (C-clamp style) that I can buy? If so can anyone tell me where to get it?
Thanks for any additional information as well.
 

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I think manufacturer preference of ball joints is similar to a Ford vs. Chevy debate. MOOG in my opinion is quality stuff that you can trust. I couldn't find MOOG at Autozone or Checkers, so I settled for a different brand. Can't remember the name.

I tried renting the ball joint press (big C-clamp) to remove the old ball joints and install the new ones. Big chain autopart stores usually have a tool loan program. You pay for the tool up front. Then they reimburse you when you bring the tool back.

I couldn't remove the old ball joints without fear of breaking Autozone's tool. I ended up having the local Ford dealership pressing out the old ones for free (It pays to know their Ford Field Service Engineer).

You might as well replace the control arm bushings with some polyurethane bushings while your in there.
 

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I replaced all my front end parts with MOOG parts as per Matt's recommendation. I got them at our local O'Reillys auto parts, but you can order them online from several of the internet parts houses like www.expressautoparts.com. I had no problem using the Autozone rent a tool - took me about 15 min each side to remove and press in the new one. If you are going with the SN95 spindle, go ahead and get the 94-95 model ball joint like I did so you don't have to bother with the spacer. The only problem I had with the MOOG ones is that they do not use a cotter pin, they have a lock nut on them. I had to use my air tools to get the nut tightened.

Good luck!
 

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I dont think i have really paid attention to the front end much, how hard is it to do the control arm bushings? Do they come right off or are they like the rear upper control arm bushing (basically built in)? I am gonna be doing shocks/struts/front swaybar/cc plates so i figure as long as i am in there i will also do tie rod ends and bushings.

Dave
 

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how hard is it to do the control arm bushings? Do they come right off or are they like the rear upper control arm bushing (basically built in)?
Maybe other people have had a better experience with this, but when I changed the bushings in my control arms, it was a major PITA. If I had to do it again, I would just buy the new control arms from FRPP. The bushings are basically built in and have to pressed out by a machine shop, then the new bushings have to be pressed in.

Pete
 

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I think there are ball joint presses that will get the ball joint out without removing the arms. If not, then I submit it's much more cost/labor-effective to just replace the A-arms with FRPP heavy-duty ones, they run about $180 a pair if I recall correctly and they come with new factory low-friction balljoints and new bushings already installed.

As for suspension component manufacturers, Moog is certainly well-respected but I wouldn't be afraid to use TRW parts either.
 
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