Idler Arm Failure

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering and Chassis' started by goldduster360, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. goldduster360

    goldduster360 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    5:51 PM
    My 73 Duster is on it's third replacement idler arm in maybe 30,000 miles. The last one that failed was a moog problem solver which looked pretty robust but had gone completely loose at the centerlink pivot. loose enough that the linkage was hitting the header where it did not before. Current one installed over the week end is a TRW which surprisingly uses the same forging as the moog but does not have problem solver stamped on the cover plate. It too looks up to the task.

    The car has headers and the idler comes in close contact but never touches them although I am sure the part gets hotter now than it did with manifolds on it.

    Assuming the quality is there because I never had problems with moog or trw parts in the past on any of my other cars (chevys) I am thinking it's possibly a heat related and lubricant problem.

    Until recently I never gave much thought to the type of chassis lube I used. Most of the time it was a lithium based multi purpose lubricant. After researching a bit I found that some lithium based lube has molybdenum added as an extreme pressure additive to prevent scuffing, galling and wear. I also noticed different grades and brands have higher operating temperatures where the oil won't separate from the lithium soap it is mixed with. All the time I spent on researching the best motor oil it never occurred to me that not all greases are created equal.

    The idler seems to fail more often than any other steering component which means it needs a high quality lubricant to protect it under the high heat and pressure it sees, especially with headers. So far I have found the lithium with moly added is available even at wally world. There are some synthetic lubricants too but may not mix with the lithium based stuff already in my parts. I suspect the 2525035 multi-mileage lubricant called out in my owners manual was moly-lithium grease. It only said to lube every 36 months or 36,000 miles. I lube every 3,000 when I change the oil.


    Thoughts?
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Bulldozer

      Bulldozer Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      15,529
      Likes Received:
      1658
      Joined:
      Oct 16, 2011
      Location:
      why
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      interesting, but i have a 39 year old idler arm on my 73 duster. i put long tube headers on 2 years ago. i daily drive this car and mine is a little worn, but normal. are you sure you are getting the right one?
       
    • goldduster360

      goldduster360 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      339
      Likes Received:
      17
      Joined:
      Jan 23, 2009
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      Moog was a k7086 and the TRW is a 18795, for sure they are correct for a 73 Duster. My headers are PAW specials, 3/4 length. What chassis lube do you use?
       
    • Oklacarcollecto

      Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

      Messages:
      18,251
      Likes Received:
      284
      Joined:
      Mar 13, 2009
      Location:
      North Central Oklahoma
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      Pictures?
       
    • Bulldozer

      Bulldozer Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      15,529
      Likes Received:
      1658
      Joined:
      Oct 16, 2011
      Location:
      why
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      i never paid attention to how close mine sneaks up on the header, i know that it never makes contact. maybe your pipe is so close it is cooking the grease or bushings out of it .... i dont know. honestly , this is the first thread i have read about this.
       
    • green1

      green1 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      4,690
      Likes Received:
      12
      Joined:
      Dec 6, 2008
      Location:
      Orange Park, Fla
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      Go to tractor supply, buy their best. You can also easily bend the ears on the kmember, at the idler, lowering the center link from the headers. I've run cheap hookers on 2 a bodies for years, no problem. What part is wallerring? Hope not the centerlink it-self. That would be- not tightened enough.
       
    • Bulldozer

      Bulldozer Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      15,529
      Likes Received:
      1658
      Joined:
      Oct 16, 2011
      Location:
      why
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      i was also thinking maybe the holes where the bolt goes through the tabs on the K member may be wallowed out letting it shift every time you make a left hand turn...
       
    • mopardude318

      mopardude318 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      10,723
      Likes Received:
      351
      Joined:
      Jan 7, 2005
      Location:
      Gilroy, Ca
      Local Time:
      3:51 PM
    • goldduster360

      goldduster360 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      339
      Likes Received:
      17
      Joined:
      Jan 23, 2009
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      It's the pivot on the part that mates to the centerlink. I will try to post pics on it this evening. The part is so loose inside the idler arm you can move it around like it's a ball and socket.
       
    • goldduster360

      goldduster360 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      339
      Likes Received:
      17
      Joined:
      Jan 23, 2009
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      I have also read in description on some of these parts and it says poly bearing and gusher bearing design. Could the part have plastic bearings inside that melt or are just not up to the task?
       
    • adriver

      adriver Blazing Apostle

      Messages:
      5,994
      Likes Received:
      2638
      Joined:
      Jun 1, 2007
      Location:
      Where the red fern grows
      Local Time:
      6:51 PM
      I just buy Mobile Synthetic at Autozone.
      Synthetic is extream pressure, high temp and waterproof.
      Keeps grease use simple. Don't have to buy different types.
      Never had anything fail with it.
       
    • RedFish

      RedFish Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      22,480
      Likes Received:
      1540
      Joined:
      Sep 5, 2007
      Local Time:
      6:51 PM
      It is a ball in a socket. Same as a tierod end. It has a designed amount of movement but to exceed that will blow out the top of the socket.
      If modern technology has incorerperated a synthetic/nylon insert inside the heat may be destroying it. In that case there may not even be a grease fitting. That's how they tend to make things today.
      Could explain why most 40 year old idler arms are still in good condition at the ball-socket end and worn out at the bushing end. Just guessing.
       
    • autoxcuda

      autoxcuda Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      6,150
      Likes Received:
      470
      Joined:
      Apr 6, 2007
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      3:51 PM
      I was getting 30K plus out of Moog Idlers. Then I bought on through Rock Auto and it's got movement I don't like at about 10K miles (5K with new headers).

      My TTI headers are just as close as my old head pipe was to the idler. I don't think there more significant heat.

      I don't know what brand to go to next. Or just buy the Firm Feel ball bearing kit.
       
    • goldduster360

      goldduster360 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      339
      Likes Received:
      17
      Joined:
      Jan 23, 2009
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      Here are a couple pics showing how much play this part has in it at about 7500 miles. There is .150 inch of up and down movement as shown by the gap between the top of the bolt and my caliper. Lots of side movement too as shown in second pic. Way past worn out. The bearing end as they call out, the part that goes into the frame is in perfect condition.
       

      Attached Files:

    • RedFish

      RedFish Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      22,480
      Likes Received:
      1540
      Joined:
      Sep 5, 2007
      Local Time:
      6:51 PM
      I'm thinking there's a cause there somewhere that you haven't found yet.
      Is the hole in the draglink wollered out ?
      Is the draglink bent ( different from what it should be ) ?
      I guess I would attach a new idler arm at that center link end and operate the steering lock to lock. See if the other end stays fairly well aligned with the through bolt clips on the K.
       
    • goldduster360

      goldduster360 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      339
      Likes Received:
      17
      Joined:
      Jan 23, 2009
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      New part already installed and has 100 miles on it, everything works great. Nothing is wollered. I am going to switch to a different type of chassis lube and see what happens. I am thinking Valvoline VV279, synthetic blend multi-purpose grease with moly. It has a high working temp and is an extreme pressure lubricant.
       
    • mopardude318

      mopardude318 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      10,723
      Likes Received:
      351
      Joined:
      Jan 7, 2005
      Location:
      Gilroy, Ca
      Local Time:
      3:51 PM
      that was quick...100 miles already? dang
       
    • Oklacarcollecto

      Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

      Messages:
      18,251
      Likes Received:
      284
      Joined:
      Mar 13, 2009
      Location:
      North Central Oklahoma
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      Do you have a vibration in your front end?
      Where did you buy the part? Moog has a lifetime warranty.
       
    • autoxcuda

      autoxcuda Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      6,150
      Likes Received:
      470
      Joined:
      Apr 6, 2007
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      3:51 PM
      I run Mobil One red synthetic grease in all of my front end for 16 years. Didn't help me. :-(
       
    • autoxcuda

      autoxcuda Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      6,150
      Likes Received:
      470
      Joined:
      Apr 6, 2007
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      3:51 PM
      I bought mine from Rock Auto.

      How do I claim my lifetime warranty?
       
    • goldduster360

      goldduster360 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      339
      Likes Received:
      17
      Joined:
      Jan 23, 2009
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      LOL!!!! Rachel Veitch might be able to give you some pointers on how to collect on a life time warranty.:)

      The NAPA guys where I used to live hated when I would collect on the life time warranty stuff. They started making me wait to collect on the claim until the part was determined a "warranty replacement" by the manufacturer. Yeah, they would send the part back to the factory and make me wait for a response. I got like three master cylinders out of them, suspension parts, you name it. Not worth the battle.

      The box stores use fade away paper now, and they do not keep your stuff on record over 2 years if they can't read your receipt, that is what I have been told anyway. Maybe someone should define what "Life time" means for a car warranty.
       
    • goldduster360

      goldduster360 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      339
      Likes Received:
      17
      Joined:
      Jan 23, 2009
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      Yeah, some of us actually do drive our Dusters.:) My car was out of commission for a couple of weeks doing work to it. Starter replacement, welded up some rust holes in the exhaust system, painted some stuff. Had to drive it. Been in the family since it was 9 months old, has 185,000 on it.
       
    • goldduster360

      goldduster360 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      339
      Likes Received:
      17
      Joined:
      Jan 23, 2009
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      There may be a good reason for that:

      http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENGRSMOMobil_1_Synthetic_Grease.aspx

      Only scores a 250 on the 4 ball weld test. Load wear index of 45 is also mediocre compared to others I have been studying:

      [ame]http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/hd_palladium_grease.pdf[/ame]

      Not all greases are created equal or intended for the same purpose. From what I am learning moly content plays an important part in controlling wear on the sliding parts like steering joints but is not desireable in most wheel bearing applications.

      Just like the diesel truck based motor oils, there is also some really hearty truck greases out there like delo ep with up to 5% moly.
       
    • Oklacarcollecto

      Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

      Messages:
      18,251
      Likes Received:
      284
      Joined:
      Mar 13, 2009
      Location:
      North Central Oklahoma
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      I haven't had to claim a warranty from them. If you have your paperwork then check out their website.

      I have never had a problem on a warranty with our local Oreilly's on parts warranty. On Autozone I have and they screwed me over on a water pump so that has cost the several thousand dollars in the parts I would have bought from them. I kept the pump and someday I will run across the receipt so they will be replacing it. I also cost Auto Zone a commerical account that did over $10K a month with them. Advance is done through PayPal so I can keep track of things.

      I keep all receipts that have a ligetime warranty since Auto Zone ripped me off. our Oreilly's still uses yellow printed tickets so thy are always easy to find should I need one.
       
    • goldduster360

      goldduster360 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      339
      Likes Received:
      17
      Joined:
      Jan 23, 2009
      View My Photos
      Local Time:
      5:51 PM
      I just got religion on grease. Turns out there are huge differences among different brands/types of greases. I had been using auto parts store generic general purpose grease, only rating on tube was NLGI #2 Lithium Stearate. No moly, and Stearate is only good up to 275 max, probably much lower working temp. Was kind of bad about the oil separating from the grease and dripping out the grease gun too. Sure sign the grease is sub standard. This grease other than the stiffness rating has no rating, no wear test data and no manufacturer endorsements or approvals. Grease is grease, right?

      After researching, what looks to be the best readily available locally for me turned out to be Valvoline Synpower. It is also NLGI #2 rated, the same consistency as most chassis lubes. #1 is too thin and anything above 3 will be too stiff. It is a moly fortified extreme pressure lubricant and has a dropping point of 500 degrees. Most importantly it has a weld point test rating of 315kg, higher than even the mobile one red stuff. Timken ok rating of 60 and a wear index of 60. You can use this stuff on anything. It is also Lithium complex based, making it less susciptable to the oil drip of the lower grade Lithium Stearate based stuff. It is also rated GC LB, the highest ratings for grease on both chassis and wheel bearings. Also Mack MG-C and ASTM D-4950 rated. The moly platelets should be small enough to use on tapered wheel bearings too, not all of them are.

      I would stay away from all the snake oil brands that do not publish wear tests or adhere to NLGI, ASTM data, or OEM specs.

      Only drawback for me is I have to re-use my throw away plastic 3 ounce cartridges for my mini-grease gun because this stuff is not available that way. I bought the one pound tub. Not driving this car again until I push out the box store sludge from my new idler arm. The grease in it now is already dripping out of the part, which eventually only leaves the lithium stearate as the lube, no good.

      This is not a plug for Valvoline, there are even better greases available based on specs but this stuff is available OTC and is definitely better than what MA Mopar put in at the factory.

      Pretty sure I ruined two 78 camaro drag links and three Duster Idler arms by using sub standard grease for maintenance. Another lesson learned the hard way.
       

      Attached Files:

      • Like Like x 1