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Moron epidemic?


Ricklandia

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I would like to thank the morons at the local (insert local autoparts store here) for screwing up my perfectly planned weekend. Stopped in and ordered two new tie rod ends, and new front brake lines, already had the ball joints. "No problem", the counterman tells me, "they'll be here on Wed". Perfect. I ordered some sway bar bushings and a few other needed items from VB, even paying for a little rush delivery so I can have them by the weekend. Three days to work on the car, chug a few brews, watch good racing on the tube while I work... what could be better? :love:

I'll tell ya what could be better... if the MORONS at the parts house would do their friggin jobs! Stopped in after work yesterday to pick up the parts, open up the boxes to inspect (this aint my first time at the rodeo) to find... two completely different tie rod ends, and two completely different brake lines. AAAAaaaarrrrggghhhhh!!!!! :mad:

So the Z will sit on stands for at least another week till I can get in the correct parts, from VB this time.

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When i ordered my front calipers the parts place said they would be in the next morning.

I went in and the blonde that took my order the first day gave me a funny look...she said she didnt know i wanted to order them. I didnt say what i was thinking but might should have!

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I hear your pain...i think we've all in this situation before, cause they're morons in Portland too...wish sometimes I could get away with being a moron every once in a while in my job!

Bill--what'd you expect from a female blond in a parts store? That is even worse than your run of the mill generic moron...LOL

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Okay, this time I am the moron. In a moment of weakness, I bid on a pair of ball joints on eBay. Unfortunately, as I was to find out yesterday, I won.

I say that after spending 2 hours trying to get the new ball joint bolted back in. I hadn't dropped the traction arm completely off as I don't see that it's necessary, so I thought that might be it. At one point, I packed up my tools and thought I'd call it a day as I was so frustrated. I went back about an hour later to look again, this time unbolting the steering knuckle from the strut and laying the entire ball joint/steering knuckle assembly onto the traction arm. And what did I find? The bolt holes on the "eBay" ball joints dont line up. :mad: So I'm thinking, are the left and right ball joints different? I open up the other ball joint, same thing, the holes dont line up. Mind you, they're not off by much, a couple of millimeters perhaps, but enough that it will not bolt back up like the original does. In fact, it wont bolt back up at all, once one bolt is installed, the others are off just enough that it cannot be threaded. Just plain poor QC as I see it.

So...

The local parts house is unreliable for parts needed (tie rods and ball joints), the local Nissan dealership says they can get neither (unless I buy the entire tie rod assembly @ $180/side). Any suggestions for NOS ball joints and/or outer tie rod ends? VB lists the tie rod ends but not the ball joints. Does anyone know if Courtesy has Ball Joints? Or if the parts they stock are true NOS parts?

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I get mine from Eastern Imports Auto Parts - Jacksonville, Florida.

Only place I can find them where I am. The usually have a few in stock if you want to look them up under directory assistance. Area code 904.

And they have good prices. I think it was $25.

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Any suggestions for NOS ball joints and/or outer tie rod ends? VB lists the tie rod ends but not the ball joints. Does anyone know if Courtesy has Ball Joints? Or if the parts they stock are true NOS parts?

I bought some tie rod ends from VB about 6 months ago. They are repro's made in Taiwan or China and NOT Nissan.

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I emailed Courtesy Nissan and they quoted me $95ea for the ball joints. A bit stiff compared to the aftermarket units, but coming from them I am assuming they are at least Nissan parts. The rod ends they have pictured on their website look to be true Nissan (at least compared to the aftermarket ones I've seen). At this point, I don't mind paying the xtra money compared to the frustration of getting parts that dont fit properly. Speaking of frustrating...

Any tips on breaking the Tie Rod ends loose? I have the ball joints out already (amazing how easy the second one comes out compared to the first!). I heated up the locking nut on the rod end, but cant get it to budge. I started looking at the threads on the inner rod and began to question if I was turning in the right direction, but either way produced no progress. To gather up torque, I simply hooked a box end wrench over the rod end and held it pinned to the floor with my foot (big wrench) but using all my strength I cant get the F'n lock nut loose. Any suggestions would be appreciated at this point, otherwise I'm hosed.

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Sometimes it's necessary to heat the nut until it gets red. Propane and butane torches just won't get it. You need an oxy-acetylene torch. Heat the offender evenly all around and be sure to soak the threads with your choice of penetrating oil. Again, patience is your friend.

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The threads are different on each side. Right hand threads and left hand threads. Make sure you are applying pressure in the right direction. I've had them stuck tight before, but I've never had to use a torch to loosen them up. I only use heat as absolute last resort.

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I had the same problem with a pair of Meyle ball joints I got on ebay. I ended up with a pair of Mcquay-Norris ball joints that I got at the local Autozone. They fit perfectly. Price was about $36 each.

Here's the link to the info I posted about my ebay ball joint experience:

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17621

Kenny P.

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Bambikiller240's caution about the left hand threads is probably your problem. When I had my toe-in set at the local alignment shop the Tech couldn't get the drivers side tierod loose. He used a torch to get is super hot and still no luck. A more knowledgeable Tech came over and turned it the opposite way (cw = left hand threads to loosen) and it came loose on first try.

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Rick,

I recently completed a complete rebuild on the suspension on my '71. I did the same to my '70 2 years ago. In both cases, I used "Moog" brand ball joints and tie rod ends. They are very high quality parts and at least half the price of Nissan parts. I got mine at CarQuest. Don't know if they are in your area. Call around, you should be able to find them. Don't use anything made in Taiwan.

Good luck.

Marty

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I had the same problem with a pair of Meyle ball joints I got on ebay. I ended up with a pair of Mcquay-Norris ball joints that I got at the local Autozone. They fit perfectly. Price was about $36 each.

Here's the link to the info I posted about my ebay ball joint experience:

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17621

Kenny P.

Kenny, that was exactly the issue I had with mine. They have no manufacturer stampings on them so I have no idea who made them, no tag or ID on the plastic packaging either. Someone gave me a card of a Japanese-only parts place down in Miami. I'm gonna give them a call as the other more local parts people can never tell me what brand the parts are before they arrive.

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  • 2 months later...

Well I was lucky on the TieRod Ends, he had a clue! But when it came to the rear brakes, it ended up a 400 mile nightmare....and I was supposed to be pacified because he upgraded them? I said to him I wasnt leaving the store(its 200miles roundtrip-I refuse to buy NAPA) until he took off the wheel and matched up the brakes... He wasnt happy, but Im paying, and I was! I think we all have had this problem! And it can happen with a guy or a gal, though I usually ignore the gals and younger guys. Best of luck, Rick!

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