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Old 09-18-2013, 05:25 PM
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Steering refresh q's

1995 F250 RCLB 4x4 ZF5 165,000-ish miles. Stock Dana 50. No, I'm not about to do a 60-swap.... Wanna do all the steering links, knuckle-to-knuckle -- outer tie rods, inner rod on left side, center link to the pitman arm, new adjuster sleeves. Couple of questions:

* Is there really a big advantage to going "Professional grade" with the parts? RockAuto has the usual zillion options, but to get all parts of the same brand (dunno if that's useful...), it's either Raybestos "Service grade" or Raybestos "Professional grade". Tallying up shopping carts for all six parts of each grade, it's about $130 for the "Service Grade" and over $350 for the "Professional grade". Are they really that different? Shewt, even the adjuster sleeves are, like, more than twice the price for the "pro grade". I've had one mechanic tell me that the only difference is the warranty period (in this case, 2 years vs. 1).

* Here's my grand plan on the R&I
- Measure joint-to-joint distances before starting - knuckle-to-knuckle, knuckle-to-pitman, etc. Write them down.
- Drop the whole assembly at once - joint separator on the joints at the knuckles and the pitman arm.
- Install new parts one at a time and assemble with the new sleeves. Adjust the sleeves so that all joint-to-joint measurements match the original.
- Grease all joints.
- Drive it to the alignment shop
Advantage - if something goes awry with the new parts, I can re-install the old assembly without touching the adjustment sleeves, and still have a halfway-driveable truck. Sound like a plan?
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:43 AM
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I'm thinking of doing the exact same thing with my E-350 van.
Sounds like a good plan, but it's wise to get input from someone who's
"been there, done that".
Dick
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:23 PM
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I work at NAPA, and alot of customers buy the NAPA masteride, which are the cheaper ones, with no problems, they also come with grease fittings, thats what I am using on my truck, just keep the parts greased and they will last. The more expensive ones are actually made better with a better warranty.
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:28 PM
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Update - and another question. Went with Moog, Summit had the best prices. Argle bargle, UPS goofed, delivered everything except the outers last Friday; the outers sat in UPS's local warehouse 'til Monday. So the last decent weather weekend of the year went pfffft. This weekend is about 20 degrees colder :grrr. Anyway, all went in okay, but one question/quandary. The studs on the outers stick up so much, the hole for the cotter pin doesn't really line up with the spaces between the "parapets" on the castle nut. See the pic. I'm thinking I could put a washer under the castle nut on each side, just to get the hole to line up better. Good idea or no?
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Steering refresh q's-tierod1.jpg  
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:08 PM
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Thats why I buy stuff like that locally. And it wont hurt to put a washer, this way the cotter pin will be in the castle nut.
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:30 PM
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Yeah, there is an advantage to buying locally. But the FLAPS here have mostly their house brands for these kinds of parts, and they're usu. cr@p. There's ONE NAPA in town that MIGHT have Moog, etc., but they have real short hours. Thanks for the assurance, though; I'll pick up a couple washers tomorrow.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:07 AM
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Update 2: washers worked. Truck tracks almost straight, just eyeballing the spacing between the studs. In the shop as we speak, getting an honest-to-goodness alignment.
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