1996 Chevy IFS Rebuild Ball Joint Questions and More?? - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1996 Chevy IFS Rebuild Ball Joint Questions and More??

The past two jobs I've done on our fleet of trucks have been disastrous. A simple hour or two break job turned into a 3 day fiasco of driving to every parts store in town sometimes the same one twice returning bad parts and/or wrong parts. These stores, their policy and procedure and employees make me want to puke (in their mouths). I'm not going to do this again. So I ask the advice of the mighty pirate4x4 to help me.

I've got a 1996 Chevy heavy half 1500 4x4, loaded with the 5.7. My dad bought this truck brand new and it now has 176,000 miles on it. The truck runs like a top as my pops drives like a 100 year old Amish lady. He now uses the truck to tow a Vermeer 352 stump grinder all over town and back. Sometimes my retired 60 year old dad goes sun up to sun down in this thing and I need to get it in top running order.

The front end is roached. The driver side front tire moves at 12 and 6 the most I've ever seen and it's only a matter of time before it breaks off and kills everyone including the $25K stump grinder money maker.

Here's what I'm thinking parts wise. I also don't want any "parts store" brand parts. Delco or better (moog)

*Ball joints upper and lower. What do you know about the moog's on these trucks?
Also, on Rockauto there's about 5 or more different kinds. There's press fit, bolt on and weld on. I see stamped control arm and forded control arm.
I see:
1) Stamped Control Arm; 46.25mm Housing Outer Dia; Front Lower (Only 11 Remaining)

How do I know which arm I have?

*Hub Bearings
Same deal here per Rockauto. There's about 7 different choices. Do I just simply have to take it off and start measuring?

*Front axle shafts
4 wheel abs or 2 wheel abs? How do I know what I have?

*Pitman/idler arm
Is there a kit for these trucks. My mechanic friend says it's a very common problem and there's a kit.

Any advise on any of these would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.. I will also report my findings and progress.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Forged or stamped lowers look, well forged or stamped depending. Every 1/2 ton I've seen has had the stamped lower arms.

The unit hubs for a 1/2t truck 4wd will be a 3 bolt pattern, the 8600gvwr+ 3/4-1t got the 4 bolt.

4 wheel ABS was standard in 95. The difference should be whether the stub has a tone ring on it or not.

The only pitman/idler kit I know of is the Cognito kit that braces them.

Make sure to do the control arm bushings, they're probably all gone as well.

Check the box for slop, you can adjust the mesh from the top.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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synergy suspension/poly performance makes a set of high end ball joints for that IFS...if not, Moog and AC Delco are always good.

For Pitman/Idler, cognito does make a kit, but the kit alone is $250+...my recommendation is Moog Problem Solver...and get the idler bracket as well from them.

For Hub Bearings, TIMKEN is the only brand you should be looking at - if Rock is confusing, check Timken's application page and line up the part #

Front Axle Shafts - Napa has NEW (not remanuf) that guys like; do not get Advance Auto/Autozone crap...I've heard the brand they carry for half axles are junk.

Also, when replacing those half axles, there's a good chance the bolts holding them in are corroded beyond use so plan on getting a new set of OEM bolts to replace them. their high torque, so definitely use a 6pt socket.

How are the tie rods? If you're going to replace the entire front end, it might not be a bad idea to look into Tie rods...if you want to go high end, FFR Fab makes a ridiculous set for that IFS...otherwise, stick OEM.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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X2 on the Timken Hub Bearings. OEM ones form GM are Timken, do not wate your time with the china ones from auto parts stores and rockauto.

The half shafts which all the auto parts stores are either A1-Cardone, lifetime reman or brand new, or some one year warranty reman junk. Don't waste time on the one year crap. Get the new ones. The big three in auto parts all get their half shafts from the smae place with different boxes and labels...
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