2WD Alignment - New Control Arms? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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2WD Alignment - New Control Arms?

Hi Guys -

I have a mostly stock quad cab 2WD Cummins 2500 with alignment problems. My local tire shop couldn't get her straight, so I finally took her to the dealer, who said they could only get her aligned with:
  • New Control Arms (didn't specify upper or lower, but figure lower)
    New Ball Joints
    New Steering Rack

Total bill was around 2900.00, which is an awful lot just to get the truck to track straight. The only nonstandard item on her is a 1-inch level kit, which did nothing to the alignment (which was off before I had it installed).

My thought was to start with the lower control arms, as they said one was bent. I could not see any obvious damage to the arms, but it makes sense. I guess ball joints would be logical to replace at this time as well, but the steering rack is not leaking and I have no steering problems, so I have to call bull on the call for a new rack.

Any recommendations on the best options for getting her straight? I just want to be able to drive her on the highway with a straight steering wheel and without having to constantly correct her. Would also be nice to save on the front tires, but that's at the bottom of the list. She's my weekend ride, and I generally use her for hunting and occasional hauling.

Any experience (especially first hand) would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Rob


2006 Dodge 2500 5.9 L Bone Stock
2006 VW Jetta Diesel
1990 Volvo Penta 2-cyl marine diesel
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 12:48 PM
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Dealerships are flat out liars and take you for everything you're worth. If your balljoints need doin then I'd get that done and get an alignment (maybe from a different shop). While I got off on the cheaper side of things I got 3 balljoints and an alignment done for $260. Its still money but it aint $2800!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, 2900.00 is the "born yesterday" price. I thanked him politely and said See Ya.

2006 Dodge 2500 5.9 L Bone Stock
2006 VW Jetta Diesel
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 02:12 AM
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New lower control arms should come with New ball joints. Upper control arms do as well; and are only sold complete. Also inner and outer tie rods. Check out rockauto bud. Did the front of my 3rd gens; hubs, ball joints, lower control arm bushings(x4), upper control arms, inner AND outer tie rods, sway bar links, and new shocks came to like $1200, and then did the work myself.

If your biggest issue is steering, I'd start with in and out tie rods. Also, take front wheels off and aggressively shake the spindle top and bottom, pulling in and out. If either or both (upper lower) wiggle, pop, or seem sloppy add those to the list too.

'03 2500 QCSB S06 POD, Beans Sump, Raptor 150, CAT 2mic, Arson III, BMS 100's, he351, Hamilton Pushrods & Springs, 2nd-gen PDI 3pc into 5" exhaust, Opie's Bypass, 15% Ceramic Tint, Morimoto Projector 55w 6K HID Retrofit, 4th gen seats
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtexss View Post
Did the front of my 3rd gens; hubs, ball joints, lower control arm bushings(x4), upper control arms, inner AND outer tie rods, sway bar links, and new shocks came to like $1200, and then did the work myself.
Dude, you're (seemingly) the only person on the internet that has recently changed the lower control arm bushings themself.

How do the OEM bushings come out? I've seen several videos, posts, etc where people destroy them rather than remove them. I'm just wondering if these people are just hacks without tools, or what the H.

The FSM says "NOTE: HD 4X2 bushings are not servicable.". I've found where other owners have had to replace the whole arm because it's not servicable. But I can buy the bushings from RockAuto.

I would appreciate any enlightenment you may offer. Thanks.

04.5 2500 2WD, 48RE, 3.73s, Edge Insight, Bone Stock. Towing a 35' 8.7Klb Travel Trailer.

Last edited by Puffer; 12-26-2014 at 10:19 AM.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 03:06 AM
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Well I just changed upper and lower ball joints and inner and outer tie rods on my truck. I did not have a ball joint press so I purchased one from Harbor Freight. Long story short is changing the ball joints can be very frustrating and I do not know if they make a ball joint press big enough for the job as the Harbor Freight kit just bent. However the adapters and bushings from the kit proved useful. Outer tie rods came out easy enough with just a pickle fork. Inner tie rods unscrew with a big metric wrench. A snap ring on the top of the ball joints holds them in place. Remove snap ring first. Lower drivers side ball joint came out ok with a sledge hammer. I blocked up underneath the control arm using adapters from the ball joint press kit and beat it out with sledge. I had to remove the upper control arm from the truck and block it up on a solid surface to remove it in the same fashion. Passenger side I removed both upper and lower control arms, blocked them up on a solid surface, and beat them out with a sledge hammer using the adapters/bushings from ball joint kit. This seemed to be the easiest way remove them and is what I would recommend. Even though it takes longer because you have to remove both control arms it saves lots of time and frustration in the end. If you do not have bushings to use to beat on ball joints with you can use old sockets or even pipe. Just beware that it could very well ruin the sockets.be very careful when installing new ball joints and hammer them in using a reverse process from removal. Use a socket or bushing to drive them into place and do not hammer on the side with the nut as this will possibly ruin the ball joint. The whole job should take no longer than 6 hours Id say if you have all the tools. I purchased greaseable moog ball joints upper and lower; and inner and outer tie rods from summit racing for right at $200. Hope this helps...... good luck.

'07.5 QCSB...2wd., Leveled and on 35's,H&S 5"TBE,S&B CAI, ECM tuned by Dave @ Draconian Diesel(EFI).

Last edited by Got Ice?; 12-26-2014 at 03:10 AM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 03:13 PM
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Well I just changed upper and lower ball joints and inner and outer tie rods on my truck.
Thanks for the info!

What brand outer tie rods did you use? I'm looking for TRs with grease fittings and cotter key. Most of them have neither.

04.5 2500 2WD, 48RE, 3.73s, Edge Insight, Bone Stock. Towing a 35' 8.7Klb Travel Trailer.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 03:43 PM
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I used all moog greasable parts. Yes they have grease zerks and cotter key to hold nut in place. I called summit racing and they hooked me up with everything. If you need part numbers I can get them for you tonight sometime.

'07.5 QCSB...2wd., Leveled and on 35's,H&S 5"TBE,S&B CAI, ECM tuned by Dave @ Draconian Diesel(EFI).
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 06:54 PM
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I think the year models makes a difference on Moog's TRE. The pictures for Moog for my truck don't have zerks/keys. I'll drop a question on Moog's site and find out if the pic is accurate.

04.5 2500 2WD, 48RE, 3.73s, Edge Insight, Bone Stock. Towing a 35' 8.7Klb Travel Trailer.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-27-2014, 03:25 AM
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Here is a screenshot of my order from Summit Racing. All parts are Moog and all are greasable.



'07.5 QCSB...2wd., Leveled and on 35's,H&S 5"TBE,S&B CAI, ECM tuned by Dave @ Draconian Diesel(EFI).
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-27-2014, 11:13 AM
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thanks for that. the 3538 fits my truck too. If you layed hands on the part and it has fittings/zerks, i'm convinced moog has the wrong picture. It's wrong everywhere I've found it, including on your order. This is why I like forums.

04.5 2500 2WD, 48RE, 3.73s, Edge Insight, Bone Stock. Towing a 35' 8.7Klb Travel Trailer.

Last edited by Puffer; 12-27-2014 at 11:19 AM.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-27-2014, 09:32 PM
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thanks for that. the 3538 fits my truck too. If you layed hands on the part and it has fittings/zerks, i'm convinced moog has the wrong picture. It's wrong everywhere I've found it, including on your order. This is why I like forums.
Yeah man, I screwed in the zerks, installed the tie rods, and greased em!

'07.5 QCSB...2wd., Leveled and on 35's,H&S 5"TBE,S&B CAI, ECM tuned by Dave @ Draconian Diesel(EFI).
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