Ball joints - OEM or aftermarket? - Lexus IS Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ball joints - OEM or aftermarket?

My front upper and lower ball joints are making some noise and the car is coming up to 150km so im guessing its time to change them out. My question is if they are a known issue on the IS chassis should i replace them with OEM or are the aftermarkets just the same?

We dont have the same choice of brands and prices downunder, so im not sure what others experiences are with aftermarket being same / better / worse than OEM. But the OEM is a little more expensive, and if they both wear out the same or are as weak then brand becomes a moot point.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 05:04 PM
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if you have different OE mfgs than we do, it may be helpful to post what you can get.

for example, i dont trust many OE mfgs for things like balljoints, but one company that does come to mind that i trust is moog.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 05:43 PM
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I have some MOOGS on mine now but wish I'd gotten OEM's instead. Nothing beats OEM. You probably will have to go to Figs to get upper balljoints. The OEM uppers are "replace the control arm" only. Typically the uppers last much longer than the lowers so, I'd just leave the uppers alone for now. Replace the lowers and then see if the noise went away.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Its a hard one to say, we get a lot of the Asian brands (Chinese, Japanese, . . . etc) that you guys might not. Moog, FIGs or the other brands i have read you guys talk about are almost impossible to find here, and if you do its obscenely priced. I can import off RockAuto.com or other sites, but by the time they get here the landed cost isnt much different to OEM.

I guess what i am interested in is, as this is a "weaker" point on our cars, for the most part do they all seem to last about the same?

FYI most here offer the uppers in just the press in ball joint, really just OEM have the full replacement which is way too much.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 06:43 PM
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Common problem with 1is's. I've seen countless lower ball joints break, and at that point you're replacing the fender, tire, and whatever else broke as well - if you don't smash into something. My friend's broke just the other month.

I personally installed MEVOTECH lower ball joints and tie rod end on my car - it's what FIGS sells and I know he's done his homework. Moog is good as well, but for a component as critical as the lower ball joints I would definitely not get the cheapest no-name brand. Moog, Mevotech, or OEM in my opinion. Moog and Mevotech should both be available on RockAuto.

Replacing the ball joints themselves is pretty easy but you will need a balljoint puller. I had no luck with just a hammer.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 08:36 PM
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I've installed sankei 555 that were new, made in Japan, OE manufacturer. some can be stamped 555 but are remanufactured pieces so be careful.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 09:17 PM
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i used MOOG and got a sweet deal on rockauto , and havent looked back since

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 05:34 AM
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Look for pro forged ball joints. Made in usa and are high quality. Come with a million mile warranty.

Oem is best. I seem to need to replace mine every 100k miles when they start squawking again.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbask11 View Post
I had no luck with just a hammer.
The balljoint can sense commitment. Its not about how hard you it, or where you hit it, but for how long you're willing to hit it. If the balljoint can sense that you are willing to use a puller, it'll never come free.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 06:22 PM
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I replaced mine with OEM. I figure OEM is best, especially in your area where quality aftermarket stuff will be the same price anyway. Nothing can beat OEM that I know of, so if you want it to last as long as possible , and with the best peace of mind, go OEM. They are easy to replace with the puller. I'd also recommend just doing the lowers first and see if the uppers are necessary.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trowe2 View Post
The ball joint can sense commitment. Its not about how hard you it, or where you hit it, but for how long you're willing to hit it. If the balljoint can sense that you are willing to use a puller, it'll never come free.
lol i am dreading that part. I've not had a problem getting other vehicles ones apart in the past with a hammer just using the persuasive shock treatment, but i tried to pull these ones apart about 2 years ago when tracing another fault and it wouldn't move. I didn't want to have to replace it at the time so i held back a little so i didn't damage it, this time im hoping will be a little different

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