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Old 01-06-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
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Ball joint rubber boots

I just had our 2005 Itasca Horizon, Freigtliner XC chassis to our Catapillar Dealer for the annual Oil, filter, fuel filters and chassis lube. Service manager showed me that the rubber boots on all 4 tie rod ends were virtually gone, but upon checking the tie rods were good and showed no wear.
Called Tampa Freightliner for a quote to replace all 4 tie rod ends and reset the toe in. The service manager quoted that it is a flat rate of $2,500. No breakdown of parts and labor. Called Ocala Freightline and was quoted $317.56 for parts and aprox $620 to $720 for labor. At least it seemed like an honest quote.
Option, make some kind of protective boot to keep road dirt out. I found some poly. foam pipe insulation, with an inside diameter of 1 1/8 inches.
This is the diameter of the shaft on the ball joint. To fit in snugly between the tie rod end and the arm, I needed only a 1" slice. I removed all the scrap from the old rubber and cleaned the exposed part of the ball joint. Next, I covered the exposed areas with Lithium grease. I then wrapped the foam carefully around the shaft, tucked it in and used their double face tape to close the piece as it was designed. Next I coated the outside surface of the foam with silicone for added protection. Have a 10,000 mile trip coming up and will know when I return how it worked. Just curious if others have had this problem!
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:10 PM   #2
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Back in the olden days, leather was used to make protective boots for those joints. It held the grease inside the 'pouch,' protected the joint, flexed as necessary and held up for quite a while.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:37 AM   #3
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Depending on which front end you have (the XC chassis can be configured in several ways), there may not be boots-only available. For example, the ZF IFS front end does not have just the boots available, so you have to replace the tie rod ends to fix the boot problem. The Freightliner factory service center (Gafney) did it for $700 last year, parts and labor.

Making your own boots is clever - I wouldn't have thought of that.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:54 AM   #4
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That's a couple og good ideas, make your own and use leather...
I have one that's almost gone and another one damaged. They are on the outer ball joints on the idler arms (Spartan frame). Didn't think it cost that much to fix, ouch!
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:58 AM   #5
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Tie rod ends

The XC chassis I have is the Independent front suspension. The tie rods have a ball joint on each end - total of 4. I called Gafney and they quoted about $820 including parts. That's a long drive from Florida
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:05 PM   #6
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i found rubber boots for the straight axle tie rods

just for information this link has the rubber boots for the tir rod ends for 5 bucks
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:32 PM   #7
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Even with new boots you have to bust them loose to install the boots. If your that deep into it ya might as well just install new high quality ends. At least then you'll feel good knowing there brand new.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redtail View Post
just for information this link has the rubber boots for the tir rod ends for 5 bucks
did you include the link. I do not see it.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:32 PM   #9
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sorry i forgot the link here it is

http://www.rvchassisparts.com:8443/a...is/runApp?id=5

sorry i forgot to include this in first post . and yes you still have to get them apart. I use a large fork i got years ago when i had a semi.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:02 PM   #10
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The boots on my Spartan MM, Granning ball joints are gone. I'm considering using split CV replacement boots on my MH. Instead of using clampt to hold them together, I'm considering using "Last Glue" to permanently glue the split together. I bought a bottle at a flea market for $20 a few years ago, doesn't take but a drop to glue a fan belt back together, and it held until I got home.
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