Beware of NAPA Ball Joints - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 42 Old 01-10-2017, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Beware of NAPA Ball Joints

Spent the evening addressing some front end issues. Axle U-Joints, Brakes, Hubs, Ball Joints. All parts from NAPA.

Upon pressing out the UPPER ball joint and comparing it to the new one from NAPA, the new one appeared slightly longer, but sometimes NAPA parts look a little different and function the same, so figured no biggie. Until everything was torqued and vehicle was on the ground.

Not cool, and not fun knowing I have to hunt down the right part and re-do my work. I heard a good phrase today. There's two ways to do things: the right way, and again.

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post #2 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 05:31 AM
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What does the lower ball joint look like?
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post #3 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 09:48 AM
Jerry Bransford
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This is what you want... https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00UT...UcL&ref=plSrch

I've learned to only go with Spicer.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #4 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 09:56 AM
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Napa is typically rebranded Moog (here in Canada anyways). This is NOT the first time I have seen their uppers with a gap. Apparently the integrated boot is not the same length as other ball joints, making the gap look bigger. I just installed Moogs and same thing , just not as much of a gap as your picture. Was able to tighten it a bit more , working upper nut and lower nut back and forth....

As long as you have torqued it properly AND it is indeed seated in the Taper you are fine. It cant be spinning when you try to tighten the castle nut.

http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/ball-joint-gap-225234/

Even some guys using Spicer has the issue...Torqueing both upper/ lower nut back a forth may help

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f210/do...ht-971249.html

2006 LJR...the madness begins again
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post #5 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 10:00 AM
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Typically when the new part doesn't look the same as the old one, most people double check that they have the right part...

And is it just me or does that upper joint look like it's not seated all the way?
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post #6 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 10:01 AM
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJnBC View Post
Napa is typically rebranded Moog (here in Canada anyways). This is NOT the first time I have seen their uppers with a gap. Apparently the integrated boot is not the same length as other ball joints, making the gap look bigger. I just installed Moogs and same thing , just not as much of a gap as your picture. Was able to tighten it a bit more , working upper nut and lower nut back and forth....

As long as you have torqued it properly AND it is indeed seated in the Taper you are fine. It cant be spinning when you try to tighten the castle nut.

http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/ball-joint-gap-225234/

Even some guys using Spicer has the issue...Torqueing both upper/ lower nut back a forth may help

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f210/do...ht-971249.html
The idiot in your example simply hadn't yet torqued the castle nuts yet. Spicer is the OEM... our axles are Dana-Spicer.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #7 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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I just ran to O'Reilly's and had them pull 2 Master Pro and 2 Moog. Of the 4, three of them were all the same long length, and 1 Moog was the shorter one that I believe will fit... The worker claims the longer length is an improved design and that it would not give me trouble... I do not see how the laws of physics would agree with that.

I buttoned everything back up to get vehicle in parking lot, so I didn't get charged overnight fee at the shop and it felt like it did not feel like something I would ever want to drive more than 20 feet.

And to answer the question about lower ball joint- it appears flush and fully seated upon torque.
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post #8 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
The idiot in your example simply hadn't yet torqued the castle nuts yet. Spicer is the OEM... our axles are Dana-Spicer.
I realize Axles are Dana-spicer since before even owning a Jeep.


It was just an example of how other brands of Ball joints can give you the same issue unless you properly torque them down. Moog/ napa typically have an integrated boot now that leaves a gap that looks like it hasn't seated fully, but it has.

2006 LJR...the madness begins again
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post #9 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
This is what you want... https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00UT...UcL&ref=plSrch

I've learned to only go with Spicer.
Jerry... Looking at that product I see a threaded brass piece that would slide over the bolt... Would that go between the (edit) steering flange thing (?) and Axle C to fill the gap I have? Or I guess, below it? My replacement came with one, but since the original did not have one, I did not think to use it. That being said, the 3 aforementioned Ball Joints I looked at this morning did not have that piece at all... So I would have been SOL, regardless.
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post #10 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e9sc View Post
Jerry... Looking at that product I see a threaded brass piece that would slide over the bolt... Would that go between the (edit) steering flange thing (?) and Axle C to fill the gap I have? Or I guess, below it? My replacement came with one, but since the original did not have one, I did not think to use it. That being said, the 3 aforementioned Ball Joints I looked at this morning did not have that piece at all... So I would have been SOL, regardless.
The brass piece is for another vehicle, not used in our application.
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post #11 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 10:28 AM
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Jerry... Looking at that product I see a threaded brass piece that would slide over the bolt...
That brass insert is for older YJ Wranglers, 1990 or older IIRC.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #12 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 10:35 AM
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This is what the crappy Moog upper ball joint looked like when fully seated in my axle. No gap between the ridge on the joint and the top of the inner c. The PO of the axle put these in and I replaced them with Spicer's and they seated the same way. The Spicer's also had a gap between the boot and the top of the outer knuckle once fully torqued. The gap went away after adding grease...
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post #13 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 11:11 AM
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e9sc - Can you post a picture of your lower balljoint? The lower one controls "height", and the upper one just holds the knuckle laterally.
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post #14 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e9sc View Post
I just ran to O'Reilly's and had them pull 2 Master Pro and 2 Moog. Of the 4, three of them were all the same long length, and 1 Moog was the shorter one that I believe will fit... The worker claims the longer length is an improved design and that it would not give me trouble... I do not see how the laws of physics would agree with that.

I buttoned everything back up to get vehicle in parking lot, so I didn't get charged overnight fee at the shop and it felt like it did not feel like something I would ever want to drive more than 20 feet.

And to answer the question about lower ball joint- it appears flush and fully seated upon torque.
As Jerry mentioned, best to go with Spicer.
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post #15 of 42 Old 01-11-2017, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JEK3 View Post
e9sc - Can you post a picture of your lower balljoint? The lower one controls "height", and the upper one just holds the knuckle laterally.
Attached is a current pic of lower ball joint that was installed with part from NAPA.

Additionally, you can compare the Lower that came out with the new that went in. And you can also see my 3 Upper BJs. One on left that came out, middle is the Moog, and the far right is from NAPA.

I would love to put Spicer in, but I have not been able to find those BJs locally, and shipping to AK tends to be difficult. At this point, my best bet may be to put in the new O'Reilly BJ, and try and search for the Spicer to swap in ASAP.
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