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Discussion Starter #1
How long do ball joints last? Are the 2wd trucks just as bad as the 4wd ones? I took it to firestone for an alignment and they wouldn't do anything cause they said both lower ball joints were worn and needed one tie rod. He jacked the front end up on the alignment rack and put a pry bar under the tire and showed a little bit of play in both ball joints. Not sure what's acceptable, but I did have it at another shop the day before and they said the front end was tight so idk. I thought you're supposed the pry the lower control arm down not put a pry bar under the tire and pry upwards? Truck has 90,000. They quoted $1000.00 for the work.
 

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I hope you get some replies- I have a 2wd 3500 mega cab with 225K miles, and am about to investigate the front end, I know I have some issues-most of what i find is 4wd info.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know my alignment got knocked out of whack, but I'm not sure on the ball joints. I would have thought they would last longer if they are out. Are you at 225k on your original front end parts?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess I will go ahead and throw $1,000 dollars at the truck.
 

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I hope you get some replies- I have a 2wd 3500 mega cab with 225K miles, and am about to investigate the front end, I know I have some issues-most of what i find is 4wd info.
How do you get 225k and I only get 90k? I don't even offroad with my truck.
 

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I had to have an alignment done because of a loose right tie rod end replacement. While the mechanic was under there, he showed me the slop in the lower ball joints. the right one was worse than the left, but he mentioned that they were still within limits. 94,900 miles.
 

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I don't know nd have any history on my truck with 225k miles on it, but i expect its original front end parts. One tie rod end is shot, the other a bit worn, I have not yet ventured under to check everything, i have driven it about 2400 miles, and no clunks or strange noises, drives well, just some outer edge wear on one tire opposite of the worn out tie rod end. I will say as a 2wd dually, I don't think any off road driving was involved, just a pavement pounder.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just wish I could have convinced firestone to align it. They wouldn't touch it. Hopefully this shop will at least align it good enough to make it until they can order parts assuming it even needs them. My alignment got knocked out of whack big time and the tires went from wearing fine to completely bald on the outside edges in a week. So I'm mad.
 

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Well are you sure nothing got bent? thats pretty radical wear. You tube has lots of tricks on aligning with just a tape measure, or string, in the comfort of your driveway. Thats only going to get you toe-in adjustment but that may be whats wiping out your tire. In contrast, one of my tie rod end is really shot, and the wear on the outside of the tire was noticeable but took many of thousands of miles to get that way. I think i will just go ahead and change my tie rod ends while i am looking, they are cheap and look pretty easy to change, and i will just carefully count threads to get the new ones on close to the originals, and watch tire wear till fall (cooler weather!) before doing much else.
 

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Well are you sure nothing got bent? thats pretty radical wear. You tube has lots of tricks on aligning with just a tape measure, or string, in the comfort of your driveway. Thats only going to get you toe-in adjustment but that may be whats wiping out your tire. In contrast, one of my tie rod end is really shot, and the wear on the outside of the tire was noticeable but took many of thousands of miles to get that way. I think i will just go ahead and change my tie rod ends while i am looking, they are cheap and look pretty easy to change, and i will just carefully count threads to get the new ones on close to the originals, and watch tire wear till fall (cooler weather!) before doing much else.
That's the whole argument I had with firestone today. They want me to spend $1,000 on front end parts and I'm not going to spend all that money only for them to say they can't align it anyways. I have another shop that's going to look at it tomorrow. They quoted me half what firestone quoted, plus they're honest, but it takes a week for them to get me in cause they're so busy. You can look at it visually and see the toe is out on both tires and one has negative camber big time.
 

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[ I thought you're supposed the pry the lower control arm down not put a pry bar under the tire and pry upwards? Truck has 90,000. They quoted $1000.00 for the work.[/QUOTE]

I am seeing that your are supposed to put a jack under the lower A-frame, not just on the crossmember, and then jack it up enough and then pry upward from under the tire. I am not sure why this is, as it would seem a lot easier to see stuff by doing the same thing with the wheel removed and prying upward on the wheel assembly. But I did read that if you did not do it that way, you could get some false results.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well are you sure nothing got bent? thats pretty radical wear. You tube has lots of tricks on aligning with just a tape measure, or string, in the comfort of your driveway. Thats only going to get you toe-in adjustment but that may be whats wiping out your tire. In contrast, one of my tie rod end is really shot, and the wear on the outside of the tire was noticeable but took many of thousands of miles to get that way. I think i will just go ahead and change my tie rod ends while i am looking, they are cheap and look pretty easy to change, and i will just carefully count threads to get the new ones on close to the originals, and watch tire wear till fall (cooler weather!) before doing much else.
That's the whole argument I had with firestone today. They want me to spend $1,000 on front end parts and I'm not going to spend all that money only for them to say they can't align it anyways. I have another shop that's going to look at it tomorrow. They quoted me half what firestone quoted, plus they're honest, but it takes a week for them to get me in cause they're so busy. You can look at it visually and see the toe is out on both tires and one has negative camber big time. Doesn't that make sense? They think I'm crazy, I just wanted it checked to see if anything is damaged. The ball joints aren't going to cause the wear compared to the whole front end being way off.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
[ I thought you're supposed the pry the lower control arm down not put a pry bar under the tire and pry upwards? Truck has 90,000. They quoted $1000.00 for the work.
I am seeing that your are supposed to put a jack under the lower A-frame, not just on the crossmember, and then jack it up enough and then pry upward from under the tire. I am not sure why this is, as it would seem a lot easier to see stuff by doing the same thing with the wheel removed and prying upward on the wheel assembly. But I did read that if you did not do it that way, you could get some false results.[/QUOTE]
 

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Well I used to be a Firestone service manager long ago. The honesty and capability of stores like that are unique to each store and the people working them. Its was always tempting to "over fix" because it is about the money.
I would get all the opinions you need to feel comfortable that it is really an entire front end job you need, as opposed to a few parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I used to be a Firestone service manager long ago. The honesty and capability of stores like that are unique to each store and the people working them. Its was always tempting to "over fix" because it is about the money.
I would get all the opinions you need to feel comfortable that it is really an entire front end job you need, as opposed to a few parts.
I took it to a reputable shop today and the guy spent an hour aligning it and getting it straightened out. I stood in the shop and watched him and asked all my questions. He said one lower ball joint had some play and one tie rod had a little play, but nothing that needed any immediate attention. The truck drives great now it's like a brand new truck. About 30 minutes into it I realized he was one of those meticulous guys who made sure it was perfect so I tipped him 10 dollars and told him how I had an appreciation for people who do good work. That was on top of the money I paid the shop. Good to know nothing was bent or anything like that.
 
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