New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my app?

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New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my app?

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » August 5th 2010, 4:40pm

Hi all,

I have a 94 GMC AWD. I have owned the van for just under 6 months now. I have driven just under 900 miles in that time period. I don't see the amount of mileage to increase anytime in the future.

I need front end work and I am wondering if the less expensive parts will be OK for me as I don't put many miles on the van. Just would like some opinions on this situation, all help is welcome.

Thanks, Keith

EDIT: typo errors
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby LEVE » August 5th 2010, 4:51pm

If less expensive equates to less cost for the same quality, then yes. If there's a substantial difference in quality of the part, then no. IMHO, it's very, very difficult to equate low quality vs high quality parts. As example, I buy Moog when ever I buy front end parts. Why? Well, that's what my Dad bought. Are they the best around? Likely there's more expensive parts that are of higher quality. I'm workin' off 50 year old information, but it's served me well.

So, you'll have to determine if that inexpensive part is the same quality of the more expensive part. Truthfully I'd likely by the less expensive part... as I don't see Astros driving off the road from those less expensive parts and, like you, I don't drive the Astro that many miles a year. :wave:
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby chevy57bert » August 5th 2010, 4:54pm

I wouldn`t do anything on the Astro...
Seams to me that your buying every Half year a other Astro :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: J/K


If your low on mileage I would go for the cheaper parts....(but don`t buy the Junk stuff)
The Moog is to expensive it would outlive your Van :rofl:
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » August 5th 2010, 5:27pm

Thanks, you both have good points, and I know I won't buy junk. The tire dealer I will go to gives a guarantee for the life of the auto, or as long as I own it. I know the van will out live me, I will just keep it going as I don't like anything new that has come off the assembly lines. My new vans front end had just been rebuilt, so wont need anything for it. Well maybe a V8 a C notch and extra steel on the rear end. he he he

Thanks for the input, Keith
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby 95-1ton » August 5th 2010, 7:56pm

when i look for parts i usually go 'middle of the road'... i look for parts that come with a lifetime warranty, and buy those simply because if it fails, i can take it back (of course, doing the labor myself)... if it's something you can do, i would suggest my logic - if it's something you're paying for, you should spend the extra little bit on the best quality parts so you don't have to pay for the labor again... like right now i need a R.F. lower ball joint for my van... Advance has Moog and TRW, both good quality parts, for 56 and 38, respectively... they also carry some for $20... (yeah, JUNK!) so my thinking is i'll spend the $38 and save the almost $20 for gas to get back to work...
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » August 5th 2010, 9:18pm

95-1ton wrote:when i look for parts i usually go 'middle of the road'... i look for parts that come with a lifetime warranty, and buy those simply because if it fails, i can take it back (of course, doing the labor myself)... if it's something you can do, i would suggest my logic - if it's something you're paying for, you should spend the extra little bit on the best quality parts so you don't have to pay for the labor again... like right now i need a R.F. lower ball joint for my van... Advance has Moog and TRW, both good quality parts, for 56 and 38, respectively... they also carry some for $20... (yeah, JUNK!) so my thinking is i'll spend the $38 and save the almost $20 for gas to get back to work...



Thanks, I like your logic. I stopped at the tire shop, they do front ends as well, they say I need 1 tie rod, drag link and 1 idler arm. With labor, which is about $400 less than less than parts, the total with tax is $610. Wasn't ready for that. I think it is sticker shock. :screaming:

Well, need to wait for a couple of paydays for this repair. :rofl: Slowly the van is coming together. As it is now, I am able to drive it, the warn parts are still a lot tighter than some I've had. :driving:

I do have another shop I like, I will ask them next.

Thanks for the info and insight, it's been enlightening. I'll post back when I find out more.

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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby Dirk » August 5th 2010, 10:11pm

95-1ton wrote:when i look for parts i usually go 'middle of the road'... i look for parts that come with a lifetime warranty, and buy those simply because if it fails, i can take it back (of course, doing the labor myself)... if it's something you can do, i would suggest my logic - if it's something you're paying for, you should spend the extra little bit on the best quality parts so you don't have to pay for the labor again... like right now i need a R.F. lower ball joint for my van... Advance has Moog and TRW, both good quality parts, for 56 and 38, respectively... they also carry some for $20... (yeah, JUNK!) so my thinking is i'll spend the $38 and save the almost $20 for gas to get back to work...


TRW is pretty good stuff.
They also sell parts for the european cars I usually work on.
The parts are of a good quality material and they really last, I haven't had to replace a ball joint twice.
For the Astro I've got two choices of front end parts overhere, it's either MOOG or some cheap *** brand that costs less than half the price of MOOG parts. I don't care much for those cheap parts because I don't want to end up overhauling my front end every other year.
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » August 5th 2010, 10:31pm

In the past I used moog only. On one of my vans, the Chevy dealer told me about moog, and used it for warranty fix. I didn't say anything, it was the second one to go bad on that van, and the moog didn't fail.
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby Phantom » August 5th 2010, 10:45pm

I had replaced a ball joint with a TRW , being told it had good warranty and being told it was as good as Moog ,, well in less than a year it broke resulting in more damage to car , it was under warranty but I did not want to keep replacing it , so I bought a Moog and side by side comparison it was easy to see the better quality of Moog. Moog is only what I always use now, they are high quality and save money in the long run
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » August 5th 2010, 11:18pm

Phantom wrote:I had replaced a ball joint with a TRW , being told it had good warranty and being told it was as good as Moog ,, well in less than a year it broke resulting in more damage to car , it was under warranty but I did not want to keep replacing it , so I bought a Moog and side by side comparison it was easy to see the better quality of Moog. Moog is only what I always use now, they are high quality and save money in the long run


If I may, how many miles do you put on your van in a year?

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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby Dirk » August 5th 2010, 11:23pm

Phantom,
Have you greased up the ball joints at regular intervals?
Even the best can break without sufficient lubrication.

I'm not questioning your maintenance skills, I would just like to know.
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby Gary » August 5th 2010, 11:34pm

Oh gezzzz Keith.You know the answer to this question.I mean how, many threads have ya read about what brand name to use??.In fact,I would be willing to bet you have given that advise to use Moog only parts.

In terms of these vans,here is a new nick name for:

TRW.........Tried-Removed-Wornout(again) :doh: :2:

Hell Keith,if you lived closer to me,I would sign ya up for the cheaper parts too and charge ya for the labor to replace them each time they failed.Sure seems to be a good retirement plan for me. :rofl:
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby chevy57bert » August 5th 2010, 11:37pm

Keith does only 600 miles a year. So why should he buy expensive parts Gary?
He knows that MOOG is the way to go.. :mrgreen:
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » August 5th 2010, 11:55pm

The shop wants $215 for their least expensive drag link. Rockauto wants $85.79 for Moog problem solvers.
Gary, your right, I do know. If I could wrench again, I would do the labor and just get an alignment. Paying for a shop to do the job sucks. After 25-30 years not wrenching, the price markup for parts and the labor just kills me.

A couple of years ago, I only drove my auto 35 miles. But with the van and a chair lift, I am getting around more. Woo woo!

Thanks for the concern, but honestly Gary, I drive so little you would just be eating beans and the cheap one at that.

Thanks for all the input, Keith
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby Phantom » August 6th 2010, 12:46am

94 Van Guy wrote:
Phantom wrote:I had replaced a ball joint with a TRW , being told it had good warranty and being told it was as good as Moog ,, well in less than a year it broke resulting in more damage to car , it was under warranty but I did not want to keep replacing it , so I bought a Moog and side by side comparison it was easy to see the better quality of Moog. Moog is only what I always use now, they are high quality and save money in the long run


If I may, how many miles do you put on your van in a year?

Keith

Since I have not had this van a year yet I cannot say, but in 6 months it has been 10,000 so far .
But I typically drive about 20,000 miles a year , The vehicle I put the TRW part on was a 78 Firebird T/A , I am not saying TRW is not good , but it was not as good as Moog and I had to replace wheel ,tire and fender when the TRW ball joint broke , in my opinion it is better to buy quality parts , perhaps on some less important part I may use a lesser priced item but not on suspension parts or anything that may concern safety
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby LEVE » August 6th 2010, 1:06am

Hey Keith, have you ever thought about starting an NPO to help out those who are chair bound? Frequently the handicapped have a great need to repair/modify the vehicle, but can't afford it. You know that first hand.

If there's nothing like that in your area, maybe it's time to start one. :think:
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » August 6th 2010, 3:16am

Mr. LEVE,

I have started a NPO in the past. We provided food for the hungry. My wife ran it out of out store and I am proud to say we were able to donate over $35,000 to feed hungry Utah families. It was quite the process the wife had going. I needed to buy her a small pickup to pick up the donated property so she could sell it. We had numerous fund raisers that involved the local swap meets and shows. It was a lot of work, but it would make you feel good to be able to help. Even a city here in the Salt Lake Valley, West Valley City, gave us $5,000 to help fund the project.

I would like to be able to do what you suggest, but for me it is not possible. I am sure there is a need for just what you said. I don't want to sound negative, but the wife works at the University of Utah. One of her duties is to get alumni to donate to their alma mater. Last year and this, the donations and endowments have dropped so much that some employees have lost their jobs and others have been given a cut in hours.

A NPO is just as much work as owning your own business, except you have more government control to accommodate. I would like to donate my time if someone were willing to do the leg work. But with no money to pay wages, and without a track record, it is next to impossible to find funding to start up a NPO.

Great idea LEVE, now if we could start some kind of fund raiser, we could help some who has a van that needs our help. I will be willing to start it out with a donation of $100. Not much but if we could all chip in what ever we could, hold bake sales or what ever. Then we would need to find someone who needs our help. Lots to do and few who have time to help. But, we all do the masters bidding in our own way.

Enough for now, Keith
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Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby Duster776 » August 6th 2010, 4:43am

I have only bought Moog and never had a lick of trouble on any vehicle I have owned...seems to be good, keep a good thing going...IMHO.
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Fueling (3/4 tank)
Years of Membership: Duster776 has been a member for 10 full yearsDuster776 has been a member for 10 full yearsDuster776 has been a member for 10 full yearsDuster776 has been a member for 10 full yearsDuster776 has been a member for 10 full yearsDuster776 has been a member for 10 full yearsDuster776 has been a member for 10 full yearsDuster776 has been a member for 10 full yearsDuster776 has been a member for 10 full yearsDuster776 has been a member for 10 full years
Posts: 84
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Joined: July 2010
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Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3L AWD

Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby Gary » August 6th 2010, 4:48am

94 Van Guy wrote:The shop wants $215 for their least expensive drag link. Rockauto wants $85.79 for Moog problem solvers.
Gary, your right, I do know. If I could wrench again, I would do the labor and just get an alignment. Paying for a shop to do the job sucks. After 25-30 years not wrenching, the price markup for parts and the labor just kills me.

A couple of years ago, I only drove my auto 35 miles. But with the van and a chair lift, I am getting around more. Woo woo!

Thanks for the concern, but honestly Gary, I drive so little you would just be eating beans and the cheap one at that.

Thanks for all the input, Keith



Keith you are a major part of the brotherhood here and I wouldn't be a very good brother to you IF I didn't try to goat you into spending on the Moog parts and saving on the labor in the long run.

Guys I want to be very clear too,that I am not the kind of mechanic that prays on wheelchair bound customers.I have a history that dates way back to having done somethings for them that in some cases I really shouldn't have.

So Keith you love this van as much as I think you do,don't lower your standards for the parts you put on it.I think it is just that simple bro.
User avatar
Gary
Dearly Departed
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: Gary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full yearsGary has been a member for 12 full years
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Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: high top

Re: New front end parts, are the less expensive ok for my ap

Postby 94 Van Guy [OP] » August 6th 2010, 4:15pm

OK, I know I need to get the front end fixed. I will put a little less than 1,500 miles on the van in a year. I don't like thinking of the high price for the junk the shop wants to sell me, thought I would be able to save some cash, but seems not. What I need to have replaced, is one idler arm, the drag link and one tie rod end. I checked with Rockauto and for all Moog parts, two of the three are the problem solvers, the price is 215+shipping. I did inspect the parts in question while it was up, and I have driven vans with a lot more worn parts than these. I just stopped to have them check the ball joints, they are OK so I am glad of that. I can't feel any loose steering when I drive, so, the plan now, is to buy the parts from Rockauto and find a Shadetree mechanic to put them on.

I have hair brained ideas and it is good to have a sounding board, like all of you.
'91 Chevy G30 Bus 39.3K Miles


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87 Safari, 91 Astro
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94 Van Guy
250k+ Miles
250k+ Miles
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: 94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years94 Van Guy has been a member for 10 full years
Posts: 2538
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Joined: February 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah USA
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Keith
Van Model Year: 1991
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: G30 Bus

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