BADASS of New England

An automobile club for the enthusiast who enjoys the last of the big GM cars. The rear wheel drive B and D bodys. Chevrolet Impala SS, Caprice, 9C1, Buick Roadmaster, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Cadillac Fleetwood
 
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 Need to do some front end work...

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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5078
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Need to do some front end work...   Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:53 pm

I had my Caprice looked at today by a guy I know while I was having my AC worked on (the guy actually had R12, or something compatible, I was sure I'd need to retrofit it, but anyway) because it's been wandering all over the road lately.

According to "guy" the car needs lower ball joints, an idler arm, and sway bar stabilizer end links. The sway bar links look terrible but also says he needs to do something with them to get them off in order to replace the ball joints? He says ballpark it'd probably be about 300 bucks labor plus the parts.

First of all I don't really know what to gauge his price against...I've seen people on forums giving price quotes twice this much before for front end rebuilds, lol. This is my daily driver, so while I'm trying to keep this car going on the cheap for now while I focus on my truck and the Impala, I don't want to scrub all the tread off my tires because the front end is a mess.

Second of all, I'm trying to figure out where to get such parts from. I know I'll need the Moog Problem Solver idler. I've also seen this site:

http://www.powerperformancemotorsports.com/product.sc?productId=1744&categoryId=22

Has anyone had good or bad experiences with them? There was a thread over on ISSF with people whining about late shipments and stuff...so I don't know what to think... Neutral


Last edited by Matt Trakker on Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fishah



Posts : 1118
Join date : 2009-01-20
Age : 29
Location : Chicago, IL

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:04 pm

The PPM kit is excellent quality and all-inclusive. It offers a night & day difference in steering feel. Good price & warranty.

I bought mine a few years ago and had no major issues with ordering and Zack seemed like a great guy. I cannot really comment on his more recent operations.

If you don't get the PPM kit, you should buy all the equivalent Moog parts. In other words, if you're gonna go digging in there - do everything. Idler arm, Center Link, 4 tie-rods, 2 adjuster sleeves, 4 balljoints, 2 endlinks. I actually prefer NAPA brand endlinks over anything eles.

You can do everything in your driveway except the Balljoints. Labor on the BJ's alone could be upwards of $250 so his price is not bad.

Do not forget to account for the alignment that you will need. Another $100 or so. MAKE sure you don't get the alignment done at a chain shop.

These are the specs you should demand at the alignment shop:
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5078
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:11 pm

Thanks Bill, I saw those alignment specs before on one of the forums, and have it printed out! People told me that Duff Spring in Medford is pretty good for alignments, I NEVER go to chains anymore, the only decent alignment I got at a chain was at some 50 dollar alignment my insurance paid for after an accident at a Quick Lane place in Beverly that was part of Thomas Ford.

This guy who did my AC is a nice guy, he went through my brother's whole car trying to figure out what turned out to be the newer aftermarket Optispark being a piece of shyte, pretty much narrowed it down to that but wasn't sure, referred him to another automotive electrical specialist guy, and never even charged him a dime. I figured I should throw him some business.

The balljoints were exactly what irked me, my driveway sucks, I don't have any specialty tools either, just hand tools. That, and I've been really busy with work, so I think it's not a bad idea to just get it done and over with so I can concentrate on other stuff!
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mean ss



Posts : 648
Join date : 2009-02-25
Age : 59
Location : Nashua NH.

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:24 pm

I got most of my stuff from amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dautomotive&field-keywords=moog&x=8&y=22
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Tomz9C1



Posts : 1487
Join date : 2009-01-21
Age : 54
Location : Rumford, Maine

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:30 pm

Everybody raves about PPM's product, But, If you pay for something then only recieve half the shit you ordered, how do you rate something you can't use because the incompetant sob doesn't even ship you what you paid for? I'm still waiting for my upper control Alumin Ace bushings! Yea, after waiting a year, I'm bitter.
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bammax



Posts : 2301
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 35
Location : Mansfield, Ma

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:28 pm

You could do ball-joints in your driveway. It just takes patience. I'm planning on doing it myself in a couple weeks.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5078
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:14 am

I had seen the Moog parts pop up on Amazon before, wound up getting everything from them because the price was right, shipping was free, and I've dealt with them in the past. Got the "Problem Solver" ball joints and idler, Moog sway bar links as well. It appears most of the PPM parts are Moog items anyway, and I didn't want to chance having to wait for weeks and then have problems when I can get the parts here in about a week or so.

I'd never try the ball joints in "my" driveway, I don't even like doing oil changes here (but I do) because there's stone dust and other crap blowing all over the place..I can't even use a creeper on this driveway because the wheels won't roll on it, I have to use big sheets of cardboard and work like a caveman. Laughing
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mean ss



Posts : 648
Join date : 2009-02-25
Age : 59
Location : Nashua NH.

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:47 am

make sure all the parts have moog stamped on them the tierods they sent me were chinese knockoffs in old moog boxes
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Tomz9C1



Posts : 1487
Join date : 2009-01-21
Age : 54
Location : Rumford, Maine

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:48 pm

mean ss wrote:
make sure all the parts have moog stamped on them the tierods they sent me were chinese knockoffs in old moog boxes
No shyt! Good catch Bobby.
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mean ss



Posts : 648
Join date : 2009-02-25
Age : 59
Location : Nashua NH.

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:20 pm

Tomz9C1 wrote:
mean ss wrote:
make sure all the parts have moog stamped on them the tierods they sent me were chinese knockoffs in old moog boxes
No shyt! Good catch Bobby.

I sent them back and got reimbursed on my cc no problem
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5078
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:26 am

Wow, I would have flipped if that happened!

I got most of the parts in the mail yesterday morning, funny because the delivery wasn't even scheduled until the 18th. All of the parts are Moog and say "MOOG PROBLEM SOLVER" stamped right into the metal. Cool

For some reason one of the sway bar links was shipped separate from AZ and won't be here for a couple days...
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5078
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:35 am

I got the second sway bar link in the mail late last week and had all the stuff swapped in yesterday. Guy told me the pass. side balljoint fell apart as he was getting it out. Shocked That would explain the odd feeling that was transmitted through the wheel from over there...heard a clunk when I was stopping at low speeds with the window rolled down before too.

I have to say, this thing drives awesome now. I can't believe it. Before if I hit bumps I'd get this sort of death-wobble bump-steer effect that drove me crazy, especially on the highway. The steering is real tight and the car feels a hell of a lot safer. I thought I needed new front shocks too, but with the new front end parts in, it rides great as well, obviously not as stiff as Bilsteins but I don't think the shocks are that old (they have Sensatrac stickers on them and they were in the car when I bought it with 57K, GM didn't spec those from the factory I assume). I'll be holding off on swapping my Bilsteins over because I just don't think it's necessary right now.

So yeah, my only gripe is that if I had some SS springs sitting around, I could have had the fronts swapped in while I was having this work done as the guy had the control arms apart, and then just installed the rears myself. Mad Didn't think you needed to get that involved for ball joints!

I'd definitely recommend the Moog parts. The balljoints are absolutely huge and look like something that goes in a 10 wheel Mack dump truck, it was all really well-made stuff. Everything together from Amazon was like 90-something bucks with free shipping to my door, didn't have to drive around wasting gas looking for Moog parts at different stores either, and I'm pretty sure I didn't get shaken down for MA sales tax. Wink
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sdstick



Posts : 4282
Join date : 2009-03-20
Location : Revere, MA

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:30 am

Good shocks will extend the life of the front end.
If you have them throw them in.
Only reason I'd wait is if your going in after front springs soon.

_________________
Steve


96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke fixt the 4L60E twice
95 Black WB4 Hole...ee...grail
96 Black WB4 No holes in this
95BBB 189K 3.08 Old DD Stolen...by Matt. Cool
Whine..eee...Silver LS6
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5078
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Need to do some front end work...   Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:33 pm

This car is a daily so I don't really feel like bothering with the springs, and for some reason I really like how it sits a little higher with just the stock springs. I like the SS ride height as well, don't get me wrong. I just think the car will sit better like this when I have to drive it in the snow with the stock wheels on there. I always thought the car would look ridiculous with stock springs and SS wheels before I actually put the wheels and tires on, but I don't think the gap around them is that bad at all. I think it looks kind of stout and muscular with the higher springs.

After having the SS wheels on here I almost don't want to put the stock wheels and tires back, but I'll have to for the snow. Maybe I'll find some lace alloys or put trim rings and a not often seen Chevy centercap of some sort on when I run the whitewalls. Very Happy

I still need an alignment too, although it's not that bad right now and I should be fine for a little while.
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