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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have a bad upper ball joint and tie rod (of course on opposite sides). I am planning on replacing the inner and outer tie rods (thinking PPE or Kryptonite) and upper control arms with the ball joints (Moog).

My question is, while I am doing this, is there anything else I should look to be doing at the same time since I will need an alignment once I'm done?

2006 2500HD ECSB 4x4 w/ ~135k miles- suspension is all stock except air bags in the rear end for hauling.

I am not doing any launches or hardcore off road driving. I pretty much just use it for the "normal" truck stuff.

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I also have a 2006 but with 200K miles and in the last 20K miles have replaced inner/outer tie rods, upper control arms to get new ball joints and bushings, steering gearbox, pitman arm, idler arm & bracket, added pitman/idler arm support kit.

I didn't do all this at once and wish I would have because it seemed that I'd change the worn out part and then another one would show the wear. So those are all things to look at and depending on your budget you can decide to replace just the worn parts and see how it does after that. As 6686L stated, knowing if you have aftermarket wheels/tires would benefit you for getting advice here since that can and will put extra stress on your front end parts.

If I had factory wheels & tires I probably wouldn't have installed a pitman/idler arm support kit but with 20x10's and 305/50 tires I need all the help I can get up there! Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
May I inquire - at what mileage did you decide your front suspension needed maintainence….and...is your truck "stock"...and if not, what mods did you do...for example...."lifted"...different wheels and tires? ( I'd like to have a rough estimate as what to expect & plan for.....my truck (as far as the suspension & tires goes) is bone stock - just turned 93,000 mi.
I'm at 135k. I'm not sure at what mileage they went out but I have been chasing down a sound and noticed these things just now. Truck is at stock height. I have after market wheels but they are about the same size as factory. Tires are 265s so slightly larger than stock.

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Discussion Starter #4
I also have a 2006 but with 200K miles and in the last 20K miles have replaced inner/outer tie rods, upper control arms to get new ball joints and bushings, steering gearbox, pitman arm, idler arm & bracket, added pitman/idler arm support kit.



I didn't do all this at once and wish I would have because it seemed that I'd change the worn out part and then another one would show the wear. So those are all things to look at and depending on your budget you can decide to replace just the worn parts and see how it does after that. As 6686L stated, knowing if you have aftermarket wheels/tires would benefit you for getting advice here since that can and will put extra stress on your front end parts.



If I had factory wheels & tires I probably wouldn't have installed a pitman/idler arm support kit but with 20x10's and 305/50 tires I need all the help I can get up there! Hope this helps.
I have close to stock size aftermarket wheels. Tires:265s, and stock ride height.

What did you do with the steering gearbox?
Sounds like I should just do the idler and pitman arm at the same time. Also for the extra 250, it sounds like it may be worth adding the PISK kit while I'm in there.

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I have close to stock size aftermarket wheels. Tires:265s, and stock ride height.

What did you do with the steering gearbox?
Sounds like I should just do the idler and pitman arm at the same time. Also for the extra 250, it sounds like it may be worth adding the PISK kit while I'm in there.

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I replaced the gearbox with a redhead unit. The previous owner had replaced the original with a reman parts store unit and it already had a lot of play in it. If you check yours for play and it's good I'd leave it alone for now because your mileage is lower. The support kit will definitely help and if you think you'll ever do it that would be the time to do it.

My pitman arm was worn but the idler arm/bracket weren't. I just did both of those at the same time because I was tired of pulling everything apart multiple times.
 

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If the control arm bushings are showing any wear then it is a lot easier to buy a full control arm assembly with ball joint and bushings already pressed in than it is to press them into your old control arm, in my opinion anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If the control arm bushings are showing any wear then it is a lot easier to buy a full control arm assembly with ball joint and bushings already pressed in than it is to press them into your old control arm, in my opinion anyway.
I was planning on doing that for the UCAs. Undecided for the LCAs though.

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I currently have a bad upper ball joint and tie rod (of course on opposite sides). I am planning on replacing the inner and outer tie rods (thinking PPE or Kryptonite) and upper control arms with the ball joints (Moog).

My question is, while I am doing this, is there anything else I should look to be doing at the same time since I will need an alignment once I'm done?

2006 2500HD ECSB 4x4 w/ ~135k miles- suspension is all stock except air bags in the rear end for hauling.

I am not doing any launches or hardcore off road driving. I pretty much just use it for the "normal" truck stuff.

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I rebuilt my entire front end at about 160k while I had it apart installing a lift kit. Consider doing it all while you’re there, but I’d only do it if grease boots were torn (therefore wont hold grease and part life will be limited further) on tie rod ends, ball joints, pitman and idler arms, or if any of those parts show any play. Jack up your front tires off the ground and grab the tire at 12/6 o’clock positions (mainly looking at ball joints here) and rock back and forth forcefully while someone looks for play at all of the joints then repeat at 3/9 o’clock positions (mainly looking at tie rod ends, pitman and idler here). The idler arm bracket may be another less likely worn part. If the boot doesn’t hold grease I’d replace it. The last culprit for play in wheels when you rock them that I’ve experienced is the wheel hub assembly. The bearings on mine were shot at about 130k but I could hear them squealing when driving. All of this is budget dependent. As long as you replace when necessary (shows play when rocking) you’ll be fine doing it one part at a time. It’s just a question of time and effort. Take a look at your brake pads while you have the wheels off too. Though I’m still on oe stock pads which blows my mind.

Regarding bushings and ball joints vs control arms, that just comes down to money, time and tools. You’ll have a hard time pressing bushings without some serious redneck engineering, which I was able to conquer with a press kit, bottle jack and 3 ton jack, some ratchet straps and scrap wood. You can take the money you save from not buying control arms and buy a harbor freight hydraulic press. Then you’ll be able to do it yourself forever. Good luck.


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Discussion Starter #10
So, I'm planning on getting the following:

Tie rods (PPE)
Moog UCAs, Lower Ball joints, idler arm, and pitman arm
Rancho Steering Stabilizer

I was looking at the pitman hidler arm support kit but the extra 250 for that makes it difficult (how in the world does a few brackets and nuts cost 250 btw).
Is it a big deal if I were to get this at a later date or do I need to do it when replacing the rest?

Also, any issues with the parts listed above? I'm on pavement 99% of the time

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So, I'm planning on getting the following:

Tie rods (PPE)
Moog UCAs, Lower Ball joints, idler arm, and pitman arm
Rancho Steering Stabilizer

I was looking at the pitman hidler arm support kit but the extra 250 for that makes it difficult (how in the world does a few brackets and nuts cost 250 btw).
Is it a big deal if I were to get this at a later date or do I need to do it when replacing the rest?

Also, any issues with the parts listed above? I'm on pavement 99% of the time

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On an open venue like this you are going to get all types of pros and cons.

With that being said, I used the Moog UCAs and Ball joints and i think i also used the Moog pitman and idler. I also did the Timken hubs and new brakes and axles since i was in there. It drives like a brand new truck. So safe to say I think the parts will hold up. But thats just one customer. I drive 75% on road.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
On an open venue like this you are going to get all types of pros and cons.



With that being said, I used the Moog UCAs and Ball joints and i think i also used the Moog pitman and idler. I also did the Timken hubs and new brakes and axles since i was in there. It drives like a brand new truck. So safe to say I think the parts will hold up. But thats just one customer. I drive 75% on road.
I just did rotors, calipers and pads no more than 6 months ago. I checked the CV boots and they all still looked good so I was going to hold on those.

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Discussion Starter #13
This "thread" illustrates to me how little I understand the typical pick-up truck owner.

Let me explain - I read somewhere that over 70% of pick-ups are purchased by folks who rarely, if ever tow anything, rarely if ever carry a load, & rarely, if ever go "off-road".

Since I bought mine to use as a truck - and around here, that is why people buy these things...I just cant get my head around all this altering them and prettying them up.

Which brings me to this present "thread"....seems to me....given how much trouble you guys have with this "lifting", bigger wheels & tires than what our trucks were engineered for....and "hot-rodding" activity....wouldn't it make more sense economically to simply buy a bigger truck..say GMC's 4500 series? We had one when I was still in business...much more rugged than a "consumer grade" 3500....in all respects..frame..suspension...etc.

for example "off-roading" is what I do to get in and out of my ranch - about a mile and a half of essentially cow-trails before we get to county-maintained roads. A combination of ice, snow & mud makes four wheel drive AND a limited-slip differential essential if you hate walking......there have been times when I wish I had fatter-tread tires, but so far....I personally have not been stuck, and with the stock tires get a nice highway ride.

Obviously..i am missing something.
Umm, I'm not sure of the relevance your mini rant had to this post or where you were trying to go with it. None of what was said was about making the truck "pretty".

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So, I'm planning on getting the following:

Tie rods (PPE)
Moog UCAs, Lower Ball joints, idler arm, and pitman arm
Rancho Steering Stabilizer

I was looking at the pitman hidler arm support kit but the extra 250 for that makes it difficult (how in the world does a few brackets and nuts cost 250 btw).
Is it a big deal if I were to get this at a later date or do I need to do it when replacing the rest?

Also, any issues with the parts listed above? I'm on pavement 99% of the time

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All my parts listed were Moog and I’m happy with em. Timken wheel hub assembly’s as well. Time will tell.


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Got 408k on my truck now. I ran factory 245 tires until 207k miles. At 207k, I bumped the tires up to 265s still on factory wheels. Been running 265s ever since.

At 235k miles my upper ball joints were absolute toast. That was the first front end work I did on this truck. They probably needed to be replaced a good while before I did.

254k lower idler arm and steering damper.

Replaced the front hubs at around 263k. Wasn't having any problems with them, just did it as a maintenance item.

Replaced the pitman arm at around 275k. It was also something I should have replaced sooner.

Then, at around 330k I did a serious rebuild. All 4 ball joints (was just going to do the lowers but decided that if I had all that crap tore apart I might as well do the upper BJs again). Did the upper BJs by way of new control arms with new bushings. All tie rod ends, and lower control arm bushings.

At 360k the left side hub started roaring - I had used NAPA's "super-duper" replacement hubs when I replaced them the first time. they were expensive as hell and didn't last half as long as the factory ones. Went Timken this time. Less than half the price.

At 386k I replaced the pitman again and top and bottom idler.

399,000 miles - the steering box started leaking from the output (sector shaft) seal. Replaced it with a Delco reman unit (I trust Delco reman stuff - my Delco alternator has been on the truck since ~220k miles.) After that, my steering is literally factory tight again.

407k miles - a few weeks ago I was getting the roaring from the front end again. Ordered another Timken hub and replaced the right side NAPA unit.

All the stuff I've installed has been Moog excepting the steering box and the hubs.
 
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