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Thread: MOOG lower ball joint failure

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    Spokane WA
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    24
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    MOOG lower ball joint failure

    It's disappointing to write this, but I figure this should be known:

    Back in March 2021, I replaced every replaceable part in my front suspension with new Moog components (LCA, UCA, wheel bearing, inner and outer tie rods, swaybar endlinks). 8 months and 8000 miles later, the passenger lower ball joint stud sheared at the end of the taper and sent my Marauder into a tire wall. I'm alright, and the car is fixable, but it's still disappointing to have that happen from a brand who's entire marketing campaign is their motorsports pedigree. $1500 at a ford dealer later, and my car should be back to all motorcraft parts by the end of the week.

    Worth noting, my car weighed 4300 lbs with me and fuel that day at the track, I was running the gt500/c5 big brake kit, and Falken Azenis RT660 tires. The first session of the day, I ran on Yokohama advan apex to get a feel for the track and the lines, the second session I switched to the RT660s and the car felt the best it ever has. Unbreakable steering grip, 20 minutes of hard braking with no fade, and the 700 lb/in springs helped with that tracks bumpy surfaces, the car felt incredible and the only cars getting away from me were a C6 vette and a new camaro ZL1. With double the horsepower, 2/3 the weight, and a chassis that's 20 years newer, no complaints there. Went out for the third session of the day and 2/3 through the first lap, not even pushing at 100%, the balljoint let go and I bounced to a stop along 40 feet of tire wall.

    Time to go snag some panels off a black p71 at my local yard, we should be back to 100% by the next track day in 2 weeks. Here's hoping.

    I'll update when I hear back from Moog customer service. Nothing yet, but I've avoided mentioning the expensive L word.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    USA
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    Moog quality used to be good, they have definitely gone down recently. Sorry to hear you crashed glad you are ok
    Ex Panther Owner

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Waukesha, WI
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    A friend replaced his Suburban front end with Moog less than a year ago and multiple joints have already failed.
    You "feel" the difference because you want to "feel" the difference. Since you just spent money on the upgrade you "have" to feel the difference

    I'm looking to eliminate the double pump process I have to follow right now to get the pedal hard

    2004 300A Procharger #0010 D1X
    2003 300A Procharger #0017 D1SC (SOLD. Last I heard, it was in Washington State)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Baltimore, Md.
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    Interesting to read this....

    I bought MOOG Control arms with ball joints for my '99 Ranger a few years ago, and they wore out in no time!

    I didn't care too much because I sold the Ranger 'as is' and forgot about it.

    The reason that I bought MOOG parts was because I always considered MOOG to be high quality parts.

    I guess that now MOOG stuff is poorly made junk from China....like 95% of all products sold in America!

    SMH
    2020 Ford Ranger STX DFI Turbo 2.3L 10 speed Auto
    2017 Ford Fusion Sport DFI Twin Turbo 2.7L V6 6 speed Auto (14.000 ET bone stock in 82 degree heat)
    1985 Mustang GT 5.0 Hatchback 4bbl 5 speed manual (525 HP 363 Dart block/AFR heads with Magnum 6 speed in the works)
    1984 Mustang GT 2.3 Turbo Convertible FI. 5 speed manual
    1966 427 Cobra (ERA) 468 all Aluminum FE 2x4bbl 5 speed manual

    SOLD : 2003 Mercury Marauder FI. 4 speed Auto
    w/Crower Cams & Springs, +1mm SS valves, mild port job on the cylinder heads.
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    'Real Gauges' + matching Trans Temp, Oil Temp, Water Temp, Fuel Pressure, Vacuum/Boost Gauge
    Built: 10/15/02 Bought: 12/16/02 Sold: 10/15/18

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Waukesha, WI
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    The failure might be tied to the "Gusher" bearing versions. My buddy did a bunch of research and that's what he found.
    You "feel" the difference because you want to "feel" the difference. Since you just spent money on the upgrade you "have" to feel the difference

    I'm looking to eliminate the double pump process I have to follow right now to get the pedal hard

    2004 300A Procharger #0010 D1X
    2003 300A Procharger #0017 D1SC (SOLD. Last I heard, it was in Washington State)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Spokane WA
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    39
    I'll have to look into the gusher thing. These were sealed units, no place for a greasert. Postmortem inspection shows the grease in the ball to be in great condition, and the ball still felt tight before the crash. The stud sheared right above the taper. I'll upload some pictures once I take the time to get it on my bench under a magnifying glass. Given where it broke, I'm starting to really like the Chevy balljoint design with a taper all the way through the spindle mating surface, seems to eliminate the stress concentration corner where mine let go.

    3 business days and 2 customer service inquiries later, no response from Moog/Federal Mogul/DRIV parts or whoever actually owns them these days. Disappointing but not surprising.

    I've since spent $1500 at a ford dealer for all motorcraft everything (2x UCA, 2x inner and outer tie rod, 2x wheel bearing/hub assembly, 2x swaybar endlink) and they told me that the motorcraft LCA is obsolete, so I went with Delphi from Rockauto. Here's hoping I guess.

    I also picked up spindles from a low mile 2006 lincoln town car at a junkyard, I'm thinking I'll do the rebuild around those. Interestingly, the 03 marauder spindles have a double taper that requires a conical spacer under the nut, these newer ones only have the taper on the balljoint side and a flat where the nut goes. They also have a relief so you can (I think) install the lower balljoint without having to remove the wheel bearing. Learned that one the hard way in the parking lot at the track.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Rosemount, MN
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    57
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    This is concerning to me as I also replaced the upper & lower control arms and outer tie rod ends on my Marauder this summer with all Moog parts. I run Auto Cross events running the Falken Azenis RT615K+ tires on GT500 wheels, 18x9.5. What size wheels/tires are you running? Do I buy Motorcraft parts and swap them out to avoid a failure?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    LI NY
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    58
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    390
    Sadly moog has gone the way of most US manufacturers & is now having stuff made in China. Worked at a shop in the late 90's where the owner swore by moog & he could tell just by looking at the box whether it was made here or in China. I guess now it all must be made in China.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Bethlehem, PA
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    2,857
    The Moog lower control arms available now are all the R series or RK series… basically reboxed junk…. If you could find the CK series, those are the good ones, but I haven’t seen them available anywhere for a while now.
    2003 DBP # 153 Whipple 3.4 in coming soon
    2004 Black Trilogy #43

  10. #10
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    Mine were the RK Series.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mustangeddie View Post
    Sadly moog has gone the way of most US manufacturers & is now having stuff made in China.
    This.

    Not really sure who to turn to anymore for parts like this, except Motorcraft and then you're paying the shot and then some.
    2003 Marauder 300A | Stock with 306,000 miles and counting

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