Tundra Update – It Was the Ball Joints… Again!

In what will hopefully be the last installment on the tale of the Tundra’s suspension and steering saga, here’s the latest.

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-8-00-18-pmThe truck went into 4 Wheel Parts on December 21st for a replacement of the upper control arms and ball joints. However, as I was checking the truck in it became clear there was a problem.  After a few moments Chris told me they’d ordered the wrong upper control arm kit for the truck so the work would need to be rescheduled for a later date once the correct kit came in; really?  Oh well, such is life.  However, there was a silver lining in that on the next day after using the truck to run an errand on the other side of Atlanta the suspension noise that I’d been experiencing came back with a vengeance and I was able to drop by and let Jesse, the mechanic who has been working on my truck, get a listen.  It turned out to be the lower ball joint that was making all of the noise.  Now, I must note that both lower ball joints were replaced 17,000 miles ago in April of 2015, so that was a bit of a surprise. Regardless, it clearly gave Jesse something to work with when the truck went back in for the upper control arm replacement on December 30th.

lowerballFast forward to December 30th, I dropped off the truck and assumed all would be good: it would get new upper control arms and the lower ball joints would be checked out, lubricated and/or replaced if needed.  Well, imagine my surprise when I received a call from Chris to once again tell me that the parts they ordered wouldn’t work on my truck. Really, is it that hard?  But, it was a good news / bad news story: the good news was the ball joints needed to be replaced and they’d be able to get the parts and do the work that day.  While the best-case scenario would have been getting the entire front end repaired in a single visit, at least the source of my concerns was addressed.  After all, you don’t want a ball joint to fail… as bad things happen when the part that keeps the front wheel assembly attached to the truck comes off!

As for the upper control arms, Chris does think he finally found a suitable replacement part for $699.  So, the total cost of doing that job will be around $1,120.  Rather than scheduling that work right away I decided to go ahead and drive the truck with the new ball joints and do a little more research on upper control arms.  As it is, the truck is handling the way it used to prior to the front rack and lower ball joints being worn-out so that’s all goodness.  However, I remind mindful that the folks at Toyota did say the upper control arm ball joints would need to be replaced before too long so that’s still out there.

In closing, the truck went over to Day’s Chevrolet this morning at 8:00am for the rear bumper and hitch replacement.  It’s probably not an all day job, but the truck’s back end will look like new again as this rear bumper will be painted to match the gloss-black truck color instead of being a dull-black primer, which is how I left the last replacement bumper I installed on the truck.  I’ll still need to go out and buy some aftermarket replacement back-up lights, but that’s about it and then she’ll be good to go.




About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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