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Old 03-17-2024, 08:10 PM   #1
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Default Looking for recommendations for suspension parts for Dodge B3500 Roadtrek 190V

I have a '96 Dodge B3500 Roadtrek 190V. According to a Dodge dealer it has the 4000lb front axle (the sticker under the hood isn't legible). The front suspension is pretty much worn out, squeaks, and one of the ball joints has no boot. Whenever the weight shifts forward the van pulls to one side. I want to replace the ball joints and all bushings, pretty much everything except for the springs, sway bar, and steering linkages.

Finding parts for this van is always a challenge, and I've heard lots of horror stories about new parts being of poor quality.

These are the parts I was thinking of getting and I was wondering if anyone had any experience with them in these old vans?

Upper control arm:

Just before we bought the van 11 years ago the dealer installed new upper control arms. One of the ball joints already has a torn boot and visible rust. There was a squeaking when we test drove the van, so I suspect that the new joint had already started to fail. They installed the following control arms:

Doorman 520-317 and 520-318

I was initially thinking of replacing the entire control arms to get new bushings and ball joints. Something like these:

Moog RK620369 and RK620370
Mevotch CMS25135 and CMS25136

But the bushings in the control arms should be ok since they're so new. So maybe I should just replace the ball joints and leave the upper control arms alone. In that case I could just get these, but I don't know if they'd fit the Doorman control arm. These also look like better parts since they're K series:

Moog K7082

Lower control arm:

I can't find the lower control arm for the 4000lb axle, so I think I'll have to rebuild the old one with new bushings and ball joints. There's a fair amount of rust on my control arms so I'd rather replace them if I can.

Moog ball joint K7053T
Moog bushing K7117

Shock Absorbers:

Monroe 34831
Bilstein 24-014014

I don't think the following parts are specific to one axle or another. None of them specify a preference:

Strut Rod Bushings:

Moog bushing kit K7090

Spring Insulators:

Moog K160037
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Old 03-17-2024, 08:30 PM   #2
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Here is a link to the complete parts list for what I think is your van.


They show complete lower arms for the 4000# axle with part numbers for OEM. One side is shown still available, other side not but a search showed up some NOS stock at a place in Arizona and on ebay.


https://www.moparpartsgiant.com/part..._sway_bar.html


On edit,

I just looked at the ball joints for the 4K and 3600# axles and they are different. It is very possible that the control arm itself, which appears to be forged, could be the same for both with only the balljoint changing in the assemblies. That is not uncommon, I think, in the OEM stuff.
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Old 03-17-2024, 11:51 PM   #3
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Here is a link to the complete parts list for what I think is your van.


They show complete lower arms for the 4000# axle with part numbers for OEM. One side is shown still available, other side not but a search showed up some NOS stock at a place in Arizona and on ebay.

Those look interesting (but pricey). I've mainly been looking in Canada, because with heavier metal parts crossing the border can get expensive and slow. But that may be the best that I can do. I found the other side in Arizona, and it is cheaper which is interesting, but two shipments will require double the shipping (and border delays).

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
I just looked at the ball joints for the 4K and 3600# axles and they are different. It is very possible that the control arm itself, which appears to be forged, could be the same for both with only the balljoint changing in the assemblies. That is not uncommon, I think, in the OEM stuff.
I'm wondering if I could buy aftermarket control arms for 3600lb axles and then press out the balljoints and replace them with 4000lb units. The bushings for both seem to be the same parts. It's a bit of a waste, but it's actually cheaper than the OEM control arms.

I'm going to inspect my arms again to see how bad the rust is. I took these pictures a couple of years ago.
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Old 03-18-2024, 12:03 AM   #4
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If the arms are the same changing the balljoints is commonly done, sometimes for load and sometimes to get higher quality joints.


I think it said the balljoints are threaded in, which on new arms isn't all that bad, but on older rusty ones can strip the threads or not be able to get out. If you old arms are rusty, it might be tough. But if you can get the old joints our, the odds of the arms being so rusty they are weakened is very slight, I think. The bushings are sometimes harder to do than the balljoints depending on the tools you have.
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Old 03-18-2024, 02:10 AM   #5
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If the arms are the same changing the balljoints is commonly done, sometimes for load and sometimes to get higher quality joints.
If I can verify that the arms are the same then that's what I'll do. Unfortunately the part number of the OEM arms includes the ball joint, so I can't tell if the metal part of the arm is the same for the 4000 lb and 3600 lb axles.

I think I'll try this:
  1. Buy Moog K7082 joints and try to replace the joints in my Dorman controls arms with them.
  2. If that works I'll call the uppers done.
  3. If not I'll buy Moog RK620369 upper arms and replace the 'low grade' ball joints in the arms with the K7082s that I bought.
  4. For the lowers I'll buy Moog K7053T ball joints and K7117 bushings.
  5. I'll remove my lower arms and see if I can press out the joints and bushings. I'll scrape off the rust and see what's left.
  6. If it's all good I'll press the new ball joints and bushings into the old arms and reinstall.
  7. If the old arms get messed up pressing out the old hardware or if they seem too rusty I'll buy Mevotech CMS25104 control arms and try to change the ball joints to the Moog K7053T (this is the sketchy part I'm not sure about. I'm not sure if this arm is suitable for 4000lb with the ball joint change. And it might be I should use Mevotech MK7053T ball joints to go with this arm).
  8. If that doesn't work I'll try to buy some NOS arms, 4447552 & 4447553

The biggest issue with this list is there can be some extended downtime while I wait on shipping if some of these options don't work out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
I think it said the balljoints are threaded in, which on new arms isn't all that bad, but on older rusty ones can strip the threads or not be able to get out. If you old arms are rusty, it might be tough. But if you can get the old joints our, the odds of the arms being so rusty they are weakened is very slight, I think. The bushings are sometimes harder to do than the balljoints depending on the tools you have.
I don't have the exact service manual for this van (I have the factory manual for the 96 pickup and the 91 van) but both manuals show the ball joint being a press fit, so it should be 'easy' to get out. I'd still need to change the bushing because I'm pretty sure that it's completely shot. I can get a C style bearing press to push the joints out. Unfortunately I don't have a hydraulic press, but if I take the arm right off I can take it to a shop.
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Old 03-18-2024, 01:14 PM   #6
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Have you checked out Rock Auto.com for parts? They have almost all parts for all years and are cheaper than other parts places.
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Old 03-18-2024, 02:01 PM   #7
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Have you checked out Rock Auto.com for parts? They have almost all parts for all years and are cheaper than other parts places.
I did check, and they have the same gap for the 4000lb axle lower control arm. I have got a bunch of parts from them in the past, but I usually stick with small items (brake pads, sensors, etc) instead of big chunks of metal (rotors, control arms) because the shipping across the border is almost as expensive as the parts.

One of the biggest surprises I had was when I needed a new catalytic converter and I couldn't find it anywhere. I finally checked Amazon and the price was good and the shipping was free even though it was coming from south of the border.
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Old 03-18-2024, 11:49 PM   #8
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Here is a link that might be useful. It is to the Hollander parts finder, which is based on the Hollander interchange which is the bible of used parts interchanges.


https://www.hollanderparts.com/used-...trol-arm-front


They show the two different arms are available used and there are some pix of the 4000# arm with is a stamped arm not forged as I had found mentioned elsewhere.


Lots of them available in the southern USA which is what you would want as anything from Canada is going to be rusty like yours, as would nothern US parts.


The link is only for one side, but the other side is available also, it appears.


It may be the only way to positively identify arms for the 4000# axle compared to the 3300#. Of course if you can find a #3300 arm you can compare it to yours also, and rusty in Canada wouldn't matter.
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Old 03-19-2024, 03:01 AM   #9
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I've been doing a bunch of reading trying to see if I can figure out if the control arms are the same for the different sized axles. It looks like the bushing is the same part number for both axles, which is a good sign.

I can't find the dimensions of the OEM balljoints (3683983 and 3837088), but the Moog K7053T is 67.31mm and the Moog K7025 is 50.8 mm or 58.6 mm outside diameter, so that means they probably need different control arms.

I followed the link on this page to 4447553 (the complete control arm assembly). On the source page it says that part is for the 4000lb axle, but on the destination page it says that the same part number is for the 3300lb axle. I had a similar experience with the ball joints listed on that page, so I don't know if their database is working properly.

Anyhow, I ordered the 'minimal' parts to just replace my ball joints and lower bushing (plus a bunch of other rubber). I'll see how that goes and then decide on getting more parts or not. Hopefully I don't need to replace my control arms.

I need to use the van in a few weeks so I'm not going to start the work until after then.
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Old 03-19-2024, 01:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MythicLionMan View Post
I've been doing a bunch of reading trying to see if I can figure out if the control arms are the same for the different sized axles. It looks like the bushing is the same part number for both axles, which is a good sign.

I can't find the dimensions of the OEM balljoints (3683983 and 3837088), but the Moog K7053T is 67.31mm and the Moog K7025 is 50.8 mm or 58.6 mm outside diameter, so that means they probably need different control arms.

I followed the link on this page to 4447553 (the complete control arm assembly). On the source page it says that part is for the 4000lb axle, but on the destination page it says that the same part number is for the 3300lb axle. I had a similar experience with the ball joints listed on that page, so I don't know if their database is working properly.

Anyhow, I ordered the 'minimal' parts to just replace my ball joints and lower bushing (plus a bunch of other rubber). I'll see how that goes and then decide on getting more parts or not. Hopefully I don't need to replace my control arms.

I need to use the van in a few weeks so I'm not going to start the work until after then.

Probably the best way is to use yours if they are sound and not rust damaged. It is always spotty on control arms when they get that old in salt areas like you and I am in. The always seem to have flanges or pockets that hold water and salt on the stamped ones, like these appear to be. Probably good that they are the narrow style used with strut rod applications and not the wider ones on the double A arm style that have more places to hold rust.
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Old 03-19-2024, 06:25 PM   #11
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I had my front end of my 1997 Dodge rebuilt last year. I needed a new spindle, and the only one I could find was located at B&R Auto Wrecking Parts, Spanaway, Wa. 253-847-6423. They gave me a good price, and shipped it right away, and it was in excellent condition. The part was originally shown on Ebay.
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Old 03-20-2024, 08:41 AM   #12
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The 4000# lower arm has a deep bucket area for the coil spring to sit in. On the light suspension the coil rests on top of the arm. Definitely NOT interchangeable.
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Old 03-20-2024, 01:01 PM   #13
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The 4000# lower arm has a deep bucket area for the coil spring to sit in. On the light suspension the coil rests on top of the arm. Definitely NOT interchangeable.
Ok, it's good to have a definitive answer. It makes it that much more annoying that there are no aftermarket alternatives. Hopefully my arms still have enough good metal in them, otherwise I'll have the van apart and I'll be looking all over for parts.
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Old 03-21-2024, 12:32 AM   #14
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By the way. I'm not familiar with ordering from Amazon to Canada, but, here in the US, I found Amazon to be the best place to purchase MOOG parts. Here are the prices and part numbers for the parts I purchased to rebuild my 1998 4000# front end.

Complete lower control arms are discontinued and no longer available from Mopar or Moog, but I believe there are other brands still selling those.

Front Suspension
MOOG ES2147RL Tie Rod End 2x$41.34 = $82.68
MOOG DS1011 Tie Rod End $61.29
MOOG DS1010 Tie Rod End $76.03
MOOG ES362S Tie Rod End Adjusting Sleeve 2x$12.04 = $24.08
MOOG DS1414 Steering Drag Link $69.56
Moog K7090 Strut Rod Bushing Kit $23.29
MOOG K7096 Stabilizer Bar Bushing Kit $8.64
Moog K700531 Stabilizer Bar Link Kit 2x$7.29 = $14.58
MOOG K7106 Steering Idler Arm $62.43
MOOG K160037 Coil Spring Insulator 2x$15.13 = $30.26
MOOG RK620369 Control Arm & Ball Joint Assy front left upper $91.51
MOOG RK620370 Control Arm & Ball Joint Assy front right upper $94.77
MOOG K7053T Front Lower Ball Joint 2x$29.61 = $59.22
MOOG K7117 Control Arm Bushing 2x$16.46 = $32.92

Total $731.26

Shocks
Bilstein B6 Shocks 24-184632 2x$128.00 = $256.00
Bilstein B6 Shocks 24-184670 (pair) $211.90
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Old 03-21-2024, 01:50 AM   #15
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By the way. I'm not familiar with ordering from Amazon to Canada, but, here in the US, I found Amazon to be the best place to purchase MOOG parts.
Amazon does some kind of voodoo with cross border shipping. I'm not sure if it's because they keep it in their internal network, or they just have some way to do bulk processing, but when I purchase something that originates south of the border it's the same as if I bought it in Canada (apart from the shipping time). They also have amazing customer service. I'm often reluctant to buy 'specialty' items from them because the markup can be outrageous, but after looking at your prices (and my experience with my catalytic converter) I think maybe I should consider them more often for car parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Eyesore View Post
Complete lower control arms are discontinued and no longer available from Mopar or Moog, but I believe there are other brands still selling those.
I haven't been able to find anything new (or NOS) for the lower arms. I really hope that I don't need to replace them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Eyesore View Post
Here are the prices and part numbers for the parts I purchased to rebuild my 1998 4000# front end.

Front Suspension
MOOG ES2147RL Tie Rod End 2x$41.34 = $82.68
MOOG DS1011 Tie Rod End $61.29
MOOG DS1010 Tie Rod End $76.03
MOOG ES362S Tie Rod End Adjusting Sleeve 2x$12.04 = $24.08
MOOG DS1414 Steering Drag Link $69.56
Moog K7090 Strut Rod Bushing Kit $23.29
MOOG K7096 Stabilizer Bar Bushing Kit $8.64
Moog K700531 Stabilizer Bar Link Kit 2x$7.29 = $14.58
MOOG K7106 Steering Idler Arm $62.43
MOOG K160037 Coil Spring Insulator 2x$15.13 = $30.26
MOOG RK620369 Control Arm & Ball Joint Assy front left upper $91.51
MOOG RK620370 Control Arm & Ball Joint Assy front right upper $94.77
MOOG K7053T Front Lower Ball Joint 2x$29.61 = $59.22
MOOG K7117 Control Arm Bushing 2x$16.46 = $32.92

Total $731.26

Shocks
Bilstein B6 Shocks 24-184632 2x$128.00 = $256.00
Bilstein B6 Shocks 24-184670 (pair) $211.90
Interesting. Some prices are almost the same as the local online shop, some are almost half. Even with the exchange that's a good deal. I'm not doing the steering linkages yet since they were partially refreshed by the dealer as well as the swaybar links. I may replace the swaybar bushings in the future.

MOOG K7090 Strut Rod Bushing Or Kit 1x CAD $63.30
MOOG K160037 Front Coil Spring Insulator 2x CAD $66.60 ($33.30 ea)
MOOG K7082 Upper Ball Joint by 2x CAD$152.22 ($76.11 ea)
MOOG K4006 Radius Arm Nut Or Kit 1x CAD $23.49
MOOG K7053T Lower Ball Joint 2x CAD $116.08 ($58.04 ea)
MOOG K7117 Lower Control Arm Bushing Kit 2x CAD $77.74 ($38.86 ea)

Total $364.66 CAD

MONROE/EXPERT SERIES - 34831 - Front Gas Magnum 2x CAD$129.56 ($64.78 ea)
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Old 03-21-2024, 02:01 AM   #16
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These are complete lower control arms for the 4000# front end. I believe these are exactly what you'd need.

Dorman 521-610 US$124.09
Dorman 521-609 US$99.19
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Old 03-21-2024, 02:30 AM   #17
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These are complete lower control arms for the 4000# front end. I believe these are exactly what you'd need.

Dorman 521-610 US$124.09
Dorman 521-609 US$99.19
According to this page those are only from 1998 - 2003. I just checked all of the lower controls arms Dorman lists for the '96 B3500 and they all say that they're for the 3500lb axle.

None of the OE cross part numbers for that axle look familiar:
  • 52106100AB
  • 52106106AB
  • 52106124AB
  • 52106124AC
  • 52106146AB
  • 52106146AC
  • 52106146AD

But I'm not really sure what the OEM part number should be. This page says that the OEM part numbers are 4447552 and 4447553, but if you follow the link it says that they're for a 3500lb axle so I don't really trust that page.

I wonder if the 4000lb axle was really rare in '96 and '97, and so most of the catalogs don't list it as compatible? But the top control arm is usually listed for '96.
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Old 03-24-2024, 05:27 PM   #18
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I have a 99D190V. I tried a socket to unthread an upper ball joint from the control arm....no way! The socket and ball joint head would slip despite all attempts otherwise. Ended up replacing the upper control arm and that was reasonably pain free.
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Old 03-26-2024, 12:36 PM   #19
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I have a 99D190V. I tried a socket to unthread an upper ball joint from the control arm....no way! The socket and ball joint head would slip despite all attempts otherwise. Ended up replacing the upper control arm and that was reasonably pain free.
I had originally thought that both ball joints were press joints despite a warning from Booster above. (I believe that they are on the pickup). When I got the parts I noticed the 'threads' on the upper joint (they don't look like much in the way of threads). The service manual for the van also shows a different setup than for the pickup. I may have to return the uppers and get full control arms. At least I can find the upper arms.

The reasons I had hesitated to get upper control arms were:
  • My current control arms are only about 11 years old and the bushings look fine. It is pretty sketchy that the ball joint boot has already failed. (The newness of the arms may make it easier to remove my uppers, but I don't have the factory tool to press out the upper joint.)
  • According to Moog the upper control arm, RK620370 is a 'value driven part', wheras the K7082 ball joint is listed as a premium replacement. I'm not sure how much this makes a difference (for all I know that may be the ball joint installed in the control arm).
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Old 03-26-2024, 02:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MythicLionMan View Post
I had originally thought that both ball joints were press joints despite a warning from Booster above. (I believe that they are on the pickup). When I got the parts I noticed the 'threads' on the upper joint (they don't look like much in the way of threads). The service manual for the van also shows a different setup than for the pickup. I may have to return the uppers and get full control arms. At least I can find the upper arms.

The reasons I had hesitated to get upper control arms were:
  • My current control arms are only about 11 years old and the bushings look fine. It is pretty sketchy that the ball joint boot has already failed. (The newness of the arms may make it easier to remove my uppers, but I don't have the factory tool to press out the upper joint.)
  • According to Moog the upper control arm, RK620370 is a 'value driven part', wheras the K7082 ball joint is listed as a premium replacement. I'm not sure how much this makes a difference (for all I know that may be the ball joint installed in the control arm).

Suspension parts can be hard to get right sometimes because there just seem to be lots of errors in the literature for them.


I don't think you were wrong on this one, though, but you may have fooled by appearance if the pics on Rock Auto are correct.


Some balljoints are a smooth surface press, like our Chevy ones are and others aren't. I think yours may fall in the second category and actually have small barbs on the press fit area. The are fine so often get mistaken for threads, especially in used ones in the vehicle that are full or rust and dirt.


Here is a link to the description that also has a pretty clear pic with it.


https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...choice=0-0-1-1
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