It’s finally time to replace the compliance bushings on my 2005 w/ 126,000 miles. I’ve decided to go the whole-arm approach instead of pressing in new bushings. Unlike the “old days”, it appears that we can no longer trust anything based on the brand name. The vast majority of aftermarket control arms for any specific application will typically come from the same Chinese manufacturing plants/suppliers. My research indicates that the ball joints crap out very quickly on the aftermarket arms. (Cheap metallurgy and sloppy manufacturing tolerances.)
Please understand that my paranoia comes from experiencing a ball joint failure many years ago on a different car. It was a relatively new (but obviously defective) high quality, made in the USA, TRW ball joint. For those of you who have never experienced a ball joint failure at speed, pray you never do!
My plan of attack is to buy the cheapest POS control arms, then replace the ball joints with high quality replacements. More details:
Amazon sells a set of control arms for $79… for both!
I’m aware that Moog’s “R” series (economy) control arms are no better than other Chinese ones. But Moog makes a line of excellent ball joints that exceed OEM quality in many ways. (Their “problem solver” lineup.) They cost about $35 each.
So for $150 total in parts, that seems like the way to go. This is assuming that the rubber bushings will be equivalent to any other cheap-o aftermarket stuff, and the steel arm itself doesn’t break.
I am curious to know your opinions about this plan of attack. Am I overly concerned? How have your experiences been with inexpensive aftermarket control arms? Thanks in advance for your input!