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Old 09-12-2009, 09:28 AM   #1
WitchCitySVT
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Duralast Ball Joint!

About four months ago I replaced my passenger side ball joint. I tried to find a Moog, but no one had them in stock, so I went with the Duralast from Autozone. I'm not a big fan of Autozone. I've had problems with them giving me wrong parts in the past for my SVT and other cars, but it was the only one I could find in stock and I needed it. Fast forward four months later to last Friday. I'm on my way home from a week in the White Mountains ,cruising with the flow of traffic a 60mph on a two way mountain rd (RT16 for those who know)with my Wife and the dog in the car, when my steering wheel gives a quick shimmy and BAM! My right front tire kicks out. I slide about 500 yds down the road ,in to the break down lane, while bouncing of the guardrail a couple of times. So my tire and rim are toast, front quarter of my car is smashed to hell, lip is ripped off, CV axle is destroyed and a few other things are lost in the carnage. So what was the cause of this? The Duralast ball joint, but not really the ball joint it's self.While waiting for the tow truck, I looked at the ball joint and other than some road rash it didn't seem damaged, so I checked the spindle. It also was intact. I couldn't figure out why it came out. So after looking a little closer I stuck my finger in the hole where the ball joint sits in the spindle and I find the problem. I can't feel the pinch bolt. The pinch bolt that was provided with the Duralast ball joint did not flare out and therefore did not hold the ball joint in. After having it towed to a local shop the Mechanic verified my suspicion. We got an OEM bolt from the local Ford dealer and in a side-by-side comparisons the OEM bolt has a larger circumference. I contacted my insurance company about the situation told them basically everything I said here and they are going after Duralast for the damage. I will never buy so much as a sponge from Autozone ever again.


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Old 09-12-2009, 09:36 AM   #2
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Glad you and your family are ok! Another bad part from Autozone!
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:38 AM   #3
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Holy unmatched part Batman!!!

I was a little scared of the smaller camber adjustment bolt when I installed mine in the rear of the wagon, but those were rated at 12.9, so I figured it would be ok.

I'll keep that in mind since my driver's side ball joint seems iffy at the moment. I know I've discovered some parts differences between the Zone and Moog parts that go on my wife's old van. The Sway bar end links from the Zone were too short, and the bushings were too small. I paid twice as much for the Moog part- but it worked correctly.

I typically go to O'Reilley's now, but I do price compare parts when I can to reduce the price of the O'Reilley's part. I do the same thing for motor parts, but shamefully the best place I've found for getting my motor parts is nearly 45 mins away.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:39 AM   #4
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Thanks. It was a scary ride, but no one was hurt. I should have known better than to put an autozone part on my car.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:52 AM   #5
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I have no problem with getting some parts at autozone. You can get good pads and rotors there, just don't get the low end stuff. Their batteries are pretty good. They're typically the cheapest when it comes to fluids, cleaners, etc... But NEVER buy front end or steering parts from them. They are junk! I'm surprised your ball joint lasted four months honestly. Even after one year of duty I've seen tie rods come out of their socket. That's bad.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:53 AM   #6
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Well you have convinced me to stay with OEM parts from the dealer.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Well you have convinced me to stay with OEM parts from the dealer.
Thats a safe way to go, but Moog make very good after market ball joints, tie rod ends, and so on. My driver side ball joint was replaced with a Moog as were my tie rod ends and they're solid as can be.

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.. But NEVER buy front end or steering parts from them. They are junk!
Thanks for telling me now. LOL
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:42 AM   #8
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The company I work has a discount with a local parts distributor. And I have the owner's advantage with Ford, so that gets me 5% any parts or services.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:46 PM   #9
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Duralast is junkie crap. Never, ever buy that garbage. Autozone is only good for cleaning products, oil, etc, things that are the same at any store. The best parts come from Napa and Carquest, with O'Reilly being not too far behind. Advance and Autozone sell junk.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:58 PM   #10
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Dang man, I hate to hear this and I am glad that you and the wife are OK. I have had this happen waaaaaaaaay back in 1998 on a '91 Escort GT that I had. I came out of my dirt road and shifted into second and BAM! The wheel went ape shit and a sliding I went with no control over where the car was headed. Luckily I had only made it to about 25 or 30 mph and I got it stopped pretty fast. My problem was that the ball joint stud broke. I learned a valueable lesson that day, NEVER drive with your thumbs in the wheel!

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Duralast is junkie crap. Never, ever buy that garbage. Autozone is only good for cleaning products, oil, etc, things that are the same at any store. The best parts come from Napa and Carquest, with O'Reilly being not too far behind. Advance and Autozone sell junk.
I couldn't have said this any better myself. NAPA and Carquest have some of the best parts on the planet. I personally think that Carquest has better bearings than the dealer, and that's any make. O' Really's (I call them that to poke fun at a friend that works there ) are quickly becoming my number two. I have yet to get a part from them that I thought was made inferior.
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