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Ball joint Q's, Moog problem solver?

8900 Views 19 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  pvfjr
Ok, so I just discovered that my driver's upper ball joint is completely thrashed. Now I've got the rancho UCA's on here, and I'm not sure how I can know if a stock replacement ball joint would work. Is this an aftermarket only setup? Is there something special about the Moog Problem solver? Does it operate at special angles or something? Where should I be looking for a new ball joint? None of the parts stores around here even show a listing for them! Here's a pic of what's in there.

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If you are looking at a BJ spacer, then that is a horrible decision. They have been known to destroy components. I would call Rancho and ask for a replacement part number. Ar the BJ's threaded?
Not looking at a balljoint spacer, just trying to replace a busted balljoint. The only question is whether a stock replacement will work, or if this is some sort of specialized aftermarket moog application. There's 4 bolts holding into the UCA as shown, and a tapered/threaded stud holding it into the knuckle. Normal style mounting.
99% positive it is after market
by the description you gave it sounds just like the same setup as AC... here is the replacment for it on there site..

some where on here a while back someone posted the part number so you could order it form your local parts house.. let me see if i can find it....

the thread dosent have the part number but it shows a pic of it and says it is a oem
soccerbrace said:
99% positive it is after market
i also thought it wasnt a oem.. when i took mine off when i didmy lift it looked totaly diffrent... but thats just my $0.02
Hmm, well his says it was a oem I think, so I don't know where that leaves me. I found one result on google where some guy was asking about the moog problem solver 9074. He was trying to replace it with an OEM style ball joint, and said it messed up his camber severely. I saw another mention how the problem solver may have some angular offset built into it....

I think I might wait till this parts service gets one in, and see if it will swap out properly. If it doesn't I might have to try and find one of these weird moogs so I can keep my alignment.
Well the thing is that I think Calmini is the only UCA that has the angle accounted for on the lift. Since Rancho is a hush hush word in the Xterra world, we do not hear much about it. If it does have the angle accounted for, then the BJ's are going to have the same radii as stock.

Call Rancho dude
im 99.4% sure it aftermarket
ive never seen a 1st gen with stock ball joints that bolt to the UCA
looks the same as my AC setup, measure the distance between the bolts holding it on
and either json or myself will measure ours, if they measure the same you should be able to get it from AC wit no prob, looks the same as my setup for sure(just rancho)
You can be 100% sure. Upper and lower ball joints are not serviceable from the factory. You have to buy the entire ctrl arm. Which I'd like to point out is incredibly stupid. Damn stealerships!

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Sweet! Yeah, it's been a while since my SL, but there are not 4 bolts. I will say however that it does appear a lot like Calmini's BJ's that they use. I am positive that these are an easier find.

If you look closely, you can see the bolts here on my POS Calmini UCA's

Also, something to consider, the hardware included is extremely insufficient. I went overkill on mine, I bought longer bolts, used a lockwasher on the top and the bottom, loctite, and a nylock nut on grade 8 hardware to go through all the way. My BJs were separating from my UCA's after 10 miles of road driving. Here is a pic so you have a better idea of what I am talking about.

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It's strange, the ball joints they use look quite a bit like older Pathfinder and Hardbody ball joints only flipped upside-down.

I highly doubt they're the same, just making conversation.
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Probably are the same. I believe that is what Calmini started off with. HB's and Pathys

I got to thinking, I think Jason's link will work. The BJ he posted is not the stock BJ for the X, but probably for a HB. Looks like Calmini used that same style BJ throughout the years. I am positive that you can find it cheaper though.
Aretelio said:
It's strange, the ball joints they use look quite a bit like older Pathfinder and Hardbody ball joints only flipped upside-down.

I highly doubt they're the same, just making conversation.
I believe you're right. I did some searching on XOC last night, and that's what I was finding. I'll call rancho to verify, but I think I might be able to use the HB/Pathy ball joint. Unless this moog one really is offset, then that would throw off my camber... Hmm.
Ok, so for future reference, I got the part numbers out of the installation instructions for the rancho kit. Same numbers I was seeing in threads for the Calmini lift. It is the same old HB/Pathy BJ. FA1227 is a common one.

Here's the page, if anyone ever needs the other numbers.

Also, they state clearly that the UCA DOES account for camber and castor correction. I believe that is the point of having it anyway. I think they just get a bad rap because of their springs, which do tend to have horrible spring rates. Also, the kit is fairly incomplete if you think about it. No upper BJ's and no shocks. Kinda lame.
i knew it wasnt oem cause you cant seperate the arm and the BJ.... i just didnt want to post it if i was wrong....
Well you can always throw a thought out there with the "I think" disclaimer, and I'll take it easy on you. Even if you're wrong. :)
Pulled the old one out, good grief was it scary. Can't believe I drove around on that, and it handled normally. This moog joint is kinda slotted laterally, as if to give more range of motion. Don't know if that's normal or not, didn't want to tear the new one apart to find out. Oh well, we'll find out if the new one breaks lack of range of motion and binds up. Time will tell.
What did you end up paying and where did you get it? Mine look tore up too.
29.99 at Autozone, roommate picked it up on his way back from town. Just give them the FA1227 part #. Or you could just ask for the pathfinder upper BJ. Another option is to just raid a certain pathfinder in a town nearby...
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