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Recommended ball joints/tie rod ends/bearings

Duane Black

Curbs go brrrppp
495
332
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Durham, NC
So I'm looking to solve an issue. my steering wheel center point keeps shifting a bit when I make a right turn, and is doing this after the suspension bottomed out at Charlotte. I saw older posts here when ball joints failed so I'm curious....

What brands do you recommend today to replace standard motorcraft parts. I thought I heard that moog moved to cheap Chinese metal.

I hope its not the steering rack.

I got home today and when I kicked the top of the RF tire I heard a slight tick. guess I'm not going on track tomorrow.

I don't have it lowered or intend to lower it. motorcraft OEM got me this far, why not stick to it?

Any reason to avoid rockauto?

Also, motorcraft has different part numbers for 17, 18, and 19 inch wheels. What's different other than part numbers?
 
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Duane Black

Curbs go brrrppp
495
332
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Durham, NC
Is the ball joint replaceable on a stock control arm?

I've also seen some recommendations to get the gt500 lower control arm. Will that fit the 2013? I see lmr and American muscle list them for 05-09 cars. I didn't realize they changed

With the steering issue, I also discovered braking makes the wheel straighten out after the wheel has taken a new center from a turn
 
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Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Is the ball joint replaceable on a stock control arm?
Yes it is.

The only ball joints I'd use are OEM and Howe (tall ball joints for front end lowered cars like in the 302S arms - needs bumpsteer tie rod ends and adjustment for bumpsteer setting).

I don't know about the backwards compatibility with '05-'09 parts, but I wouldn't use them in general since hardware has improved and specs (diameters, etc.) were updated for various fasteners.

The different OEM tie rod ends are as Coz outlined.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
You need a cup type press.

I think Ford doesn't sell them separately for liability issues. The press fit tolerances can be ruined pretty easily. At this point, I'd get the whole arm assembly if sticking to the stock joint height.
 

Duane Black

Curbs go brrrppp
495
332
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Durham, NC
I saw another thread about replacing ball joints as routine maintenance. I'm running 200tw 285 wides. Should I be concerned anyway or am I within the threshold of tolerance? I may have to take this to a chassis shop and start spending money to figure out what's wrong with the steering. I'm not looking forward to it
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
I'd consider how many track days and total mileage to figure out your own replacement schedule.

I'd try replacing the ball joints/arms first (maybe so the tie rods too) and see if the problem goes away before having somebody else try to 'fix' the problem. Or do a little more diagnosis with it up on stands and figure out what else is or may be loose.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
If I had stock style joints, I would use the Proforged units. And dont forget the inner tie rod as well. It's also replacable.
http://www.proforged.com/
Good point about the inner ball joint there.

I don't have any direct input or experience with the proforged products, but @captdistraction didn't have good luck with them a few years back.
 

Duane Black

Curbs go brrrppp
495
332
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Durham, NC
For clarification you’re referring to inner tie rod and inner ball joint as the same thing?

Does the video I posted lead one way or another? I shook everything I could by hand. Nothing gave. I tried a pry bar to see if the steering rack moved. No give that I could find. I pushed in on both rods, and couldn’t get leverage with anything on the ball joint
 
1,242
1,030
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Philly Metro Area
I think its your hub bearing. Are you also experiencing a longer brake pedal after turning?

The fact that your steering wheel gets centered after braking leads me to think you may have pad knock-back due to the sloppy bearing causing the rotor & wheel to be cocked. When you brake, the pads will straighten it out but you may feel a longer pedal at that moment.

Assuming your exhaust noise permits it, can you hear a noise when making a tight turn in one direction or an another?
 

Duane Black

Curbs go brrrppp
495
332
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Durham, NC
I can't say I'm experiencing a longer pedal - it could be a pretty subtle thing and I'm not noticing it as it may have evolved gradually - and then after I changed hubs I might be shocked at the difference. There were a few moments at VIR I seem to recall a longer pedal but.... hey, it happens.

I've seen a few options. Timken seems to be the brand of choice around here. Other than the ARP studs, is there actually anything different about the Ford Performance FR500S hub? I've seen some say i'ts basically the same thing, just that they're nice enough to toss in that new spindle nut for you.

I suppose since I think this issue began on the banking at Charlotte with that bottoming out suspension, you think the piece that bore the brunt could have been the bearing?

I never hear any noises but the polyurethane mounts are a thing too. I thought I may have heard a rumble while in higher gears doing cool down laps at Patriot Course on VIR. But my ears hear lots of things and I'm not sure of anything anymore.

I'm willing to shell out the money for the FR500 piece if I know that's what's wrong AND I know that it's a better piece than the standard stuff. I know that it may nto even be a bad idea due to all the brake heat that has been near that bearing over the past 3-4 years. Also, if it was my current hub that's an issue, it seems lke it would make a TON of noise before getting as loose as described here.

I got to tell you... all these issues will make you just want to throw in the towel and play video games.
 
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Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
For clarification you’re referring to inner tie rod and inner ball joint as the same thing?
Yes, sorry for the confusion.

The hub/bearing wear does sound likely considering the video. You aren't using brake cooling ducts, right? Track use and heat from the brakes can boil the grease out of them without adequate cooling.
 

Duane Black

Curbs go brrrppp
495
332
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Durham, NC
I have brake cooling, but I don't know as I'd say it's adequate. It drastically reduced dust on my wheels but the brakes obviously still get hot. They wear better and they don't fade anymore, so I guess that's all you can hope for.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Maybe get some help to figure out where the knock noise is coming from. A hand near the different parts might feel it better while the wheel is rocked or shaken. There are only a few places that would affect steering like that. From the strut top mount to the hub and from the hub through the ball joint/a-arm and steering linkages.
 

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