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Moog, tie rods, and other suspension stuff

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6.0L Power Stroke Diesel 2003 - 2007 F250, F350 pickup and F350+ Cab Chassis, 2003 - 2005 Excursion and 2003 - 2009 van

Moog, tie rods, and other suspension stuff

 
  #1  
Old 08-23-2018, 08:46 PM
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Moog, tie rods, and other suspension parts and brands you've used

So I now have a significantly loud front end clunk. I noticed it after a heavy rain. Then it mostly went away, until it rained again. Upon inspection found a loose spot in the ball joint where the inner tie rod attaches to the outer tie rod by the passengers wheel. The loose spot is where the inner tie rod is in its lower most position in its rotation:


If I rotate the inner tie rod up and back down by hand (which is fairly easy to do) there is almost no resistance when it gets near the bottom.

The last time I greased the ball joints was mid June in preparation for a road trip to Colorada, but I figured what the hell and did it again. It did help, but after a few days the clunk came back though less frequently and not as loudly. Also, when I greased the sway bar end links water dripped out of two of the ball joints.

I have replaced all of the suspension within the last 47k miles, and all ball joints are Moog. I bought Moog because it used to be considered the best. I replaced all ball joints on my Lightning with Moog twelve years ago and it was great. But this experience has left a bad taste in my mouth. I know it all has a life time warranty, but 47k miles? Really?

So I came here to ask:
1) Is this a typical problem with this particular ball joint on these trucks?
2) Which brands should I be looking at if not Moog?
3) In looking at sway bar end links on rockauto, there appears to be a number of designs for bushings/ball joints. Does anyone have any feedback on any of these?

Thanks in advance for your input.
 
  #2  
Old 08-23-2018, 09:01 PM
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Twelve years ago Moog was pretty good, all made in the USA. Today, just about all made in China. Over on the Lincoln LS site right now theres a guy who made it 5 miles before he had a lower joint failure, but I suspect that he screwed the pooch when installing it, the LS needs to be done a certain way.

Federal-Mogul / Moog is being bought out by Tenneco for about $5 billion, Carl Icahn achieved his goal. And they don't do vehicle testing anymore .......

You should have free vertical movement, but you need to watch the joint while someone moves the steering back and forth to see if that is really where the noise is coming from. That is the second most loaded joint in the steering, at the pitman arm is the highest.

Water coming out of the sway bar bushings is not good.
 
  #3  
Old 08-23-2018, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TooManyToys. View Post
Twelve years ago Moog was pretty good, all made in the USA. Today, just about all made in China.
That's about what I figured.

Originally Posted by TooManyToys. View Post
You should have free vertical movement, but you need to watch the joint while someone moves the steering back and forth to see if that is really where the noise is coming from. That is the second most loaded joint in the steering, at the pitman arm is the highest.
I'll give it a shot tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion, Jack.

Originally Posted by TooManyToys. View Post
Water coming out of the sway bar bushings is not good.
The Moog sway bar end links have ball joints not bushings. I'm sure you knew that. I just don't want to muck up the thread with misleading info right off the bat.
 
  #4  
Old 08-23-2018, 10:26 PM
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I do. I have them on my truck. One was replaced under warranty.
 
  #5  
Old 08-23-2018, 11:32 PM
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I just did my drag link and tie rods ends with Moog parts, and they were all made in the US per the boxes. FYI I got them from Rockauto.
 
  #6  
Old 09-10-2018, 07:54 PM
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So tomorrow turned into two weeks. Life is what happens when you're making plans I guess....

I have noticed in the last two weeks that the clunk is almost always when turning right and definitely comes from the front passengers side. I was so sure it was the sway bar end link but removal/inspection revealed only slight wear on the lower ball joint. Re-installed with fresh grease and nothing changed. A few days later during the last monsoon downpour, the clunk was so loud it was like someone whacked the floor board with a hammer. I was literally afraid to drive it until I had a chance to look at it.

I finally made time to inspect the next morning. Turning the wheel lock to lock didn't reveal much but a slight audible and tactile tick just past center when turning right. Cab mounting bolt under front passengers floor board was nice and tight and bushing appears to be in decent shape. Pulled front passenger wheel, removed shock; nice and smooth. Checked u-bolt torque; good. Then I noticed the ball joint boot on the inner tie rod was torn near the top. Actually the metal ring that's molded into the perimeter of the boot is cracked also. Pumped a bunch more grease into it and the clunk went away for two days and is now getting gradually louder again. My money is on the inner tie rod. I've already ordered a warranty replacement from Rockauto that should be here tomorrow. I guess we'll see what country of origin is listed on the box, if any.
 
  #7  
Old 09-11-2018, 06:43 AM
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I bought a full set of Moog tie rod ends and drag links in October of 2017 and they were still all made in the USA. This was for the 2005-2007 trucks though.


 
  #8  
Old 09-11-2018, 06:49 AM
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The two Moog balljoints I just bought for our MDX were made in USA.
 
  #9  
Old 09-11-2018, 10:03 PM
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Tie rod delivered today. Box looks just like Mike's; MADE IN U.S.A.

Hope this one lasts longer than 47k miles. Sheesh...
 
  #10  
Old 10-09-2018, 10:53 PM
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This morning we had another monsoon rain, and sure enough, the clunk came back. Went into a two hour job interview and when I finished, there was light rain but no more clunking. I'm starting to wonder if maybe the spring leafs are shifting. Before I eliminated the leaky inline transmission filter, everything around the front passenger side axle/hub had been soaking in tranny fluid for a good long time. I can't help but wonder if the rain is acting as a catalyst, making things more slippery. Of course the bolt that holds the center of the leafs together would have to be loose or broken.

I guess it's time to get back under there and try jacking-up various things and check for unusual movement/sounds. And if that turns-up nothing, then removal/inspection of the cab mounts?
 
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:03 PM
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:11 PM
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2018, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 04badford View Post
Thanks for the input, but this looks nothing like my solid axle, leaf spring front suspension.
 
  #14  
Old 10-11-2018, 08:20 AM
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I spent some time monkeying around under the front end yesterday. I jacked-up the front right and put a jack stand under the frame behind the leaf spring. Then I raised and lowered the right side of the axle a couple times but didn't hear or see anything out of the ordinary.

With the jack stand still in place and the axle a few inches lower than resting position in relation to the frame, I took a look at the frame mounts. The lower bushing on the front right mount (as seen through the end of the frame rail by the tow loop) was not in contact with the frame. There was at least 1/8" between them. Is this a normal reaction to the twisting of the frame or is it an indication of worn cab mounts? I did try tightening the bolt after removing the jack stand but it was tight, fyi.

I also pulled the sway bar end links to test the axle bushings and everything was tight there too.
 
  #15  
Old 10-17-2018, 01:27 PM
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After doing some reading on cab mount issues, I'm gonna bite the bullet. Definitely going with an aftermarket kit. Reviews suggest the Energy Suspension bushings are softer than the Dayco, but their radiator mounts don't have steel inserts like the Dayco. Decisions, decisions....
 

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