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3rd Gen Ram Tech2002-2008 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 2002 through 2008 Rams Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
Just had to replace upper and lower ball joints on both sides of my truck. Apparently these are dealer parts only, and the upper ball joint has to be purchased with a new control arm (all one piece). Has anyone else had these replaced? Did the same hold true for your repair, or did I just get scammed by my mechanic? Cost me $118.06 each for the lower ball joint and $169.25 each for the upper control arm and upper ball joint. Still haven't found any grease fittings, am I missing something or are there no grease fittings for the ball joints? Thanks
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The problem with the ball joints on Ram pickups is huge and Dodge is, as far as I am aware, doing nothing whatsoever to fix it. I am on my third set of ball joints for my 2006 3500 4X4. The first set went at 35,000 miles. The second failed 18,000 miles later. I do mainly smooth highway driving so there is no excuse for this. Unlike Ford and GM, Dodge refuses to allow any of the much stronger and better designed aftermarket parts to be put on under warranty. They also try to weasel out of paying for this known weakness on the slightest pretext. If you want to pay for Moog or Carli upgrades yourself, its fine with them. Voids your warranty though. To be blunt about it, you'd be ahead to do it anyway. At a $1,000 a pop for both sides every 20,000 miles or so, you'll save money and they can stuff the warranty.
As an owner, I am outraged by this. Searches of the internet reveal that extremely short ball joint life is a problem that has been ongoing with these trucks for well over a decade through several generations of the product. Dodge blithely ignores the issue and hasn't bothered to come up with retrofit parts that work even though the aftermarket has shown them how to do it. The problem is that the ball joints are not strong enough to begin with and do not feature a grease fitting that would allow dirt and water to be forced out, thus preventing premature wear and corrosion damage. This sort of poor design and repetitive failure is something that ought to be regulated just like safety problems, with penalties for manufacturers who take a do-nothing attitude. No manufacturer should be allowed to get away with putting lousy parts that repeatedly fail prematurely in normal use on vehicles year after year, costing consumers millions of dollars.
I am now on my third set of ball joints at 78,000 kms. After investigating numerous automotive forums on the net, it was apparent that ball joint and u-joint problems are a big issue and that Dodge wasn't owning the problem. I wrote to the Canadian division president Reid Bigland and got back a reply from his "Executive Review Specialist" Ms. A. Wilson. Here is what she said:
"Any component can be subject to a defect, and often times, failure is an isolated incident that is not indicative of a part design problem. Chrysler routinely analyses failed parts to develop product improvements in response to data received from dealers and the warranty system. Nonetheless, no evidence currently exists to suggest a quality problem with the upper & lower ball joints of the 2006 Dodge Ram model vehicle. In fact, your concerns have been evaluated by our Technical Support Team, and determined that it is quite uncommon for failure to occur at the current mileage noted, and your documented concerns have been forwarded to our Chrysler Engineers."
I used to be a Service Rep for Outboard Marine Corp. and I can tell you that this reply is a standard boilerplate brush-off. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it were to turn out to be the case that Ms. Wilson is a lawyer. First, as the experiences of numerous owners shows on the net forums, the problem is common, not isolated. Second, the complaint isn't about quality, but about the unacceptably low durability of the ball joints arising most likely from their design, particularly the inability to lubricate the ball joints during the vehicle's service life. So it may be true in a narrow sense that there is no quality problem but it is false to state that there is no evidence to suggest that there is a problem of any sort whatsoever. And, of course, if there are no problems, why bother to forward my concerns to their engineers? First deny that there is a problem then say that the problem is going to be looked at by their engineers. Are they kidding?
My message to Chrysler? Can you say "Toyota"? This problem is real and widespread and should be admitted to honestly and dealt with. That would be the right thing to do even if it isn't the most profitable thing to do. Here is an idea. How about Chrysler setting up a contact on their web site for people to get in touch directly with their "Technical Support Team"? Perhaps then they could more accurately gather information about what is really going on in the world. Outboard Marine had an entire engineering team devoted solely to problems in the field so that when they were reported, it wasn't the person who designed the part or system who evaluated the complaint, but someone who's job depended on identifying and solving the problem. If Chrysler doesn't have such a team, maybe it is time they formed one.
Know the feeling, 43,000 miles, all ujoints have been replaced, 51,000 miles needs 4 ball joints. And what a B---- getting the hubs seperated from the spindles. I think I heard the customer service reps at Dodge laughing in the background as I told them about my concerns with their product, no help from them either.
Just pointing out the obvious here. But that 3500 of yours wasn't bought for it's looks. That said they should have a set of ball joints that can withstand the riggors of a daily payload. Unfortunately or fortunately (depends on how you look at it).
Everyone well 90% of us are beboppin down the road with just are jocks on....No payload in other words. which probably extends the life of such rediculously engineered products. Is everyone on the same page here?!Good bar keep another Guiness please!!
5.7 l, HID's 6000k, Upper & Iower lids, Power wire, f/m 50's side dumped,afe stage 2 cai,sc 3865,bilstein 5100'smonroe sensatracs,raceland E-cutout, leveled. Winner Chrysler Nationals 1st place & December 2010 TOTM!!![/i]