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Old 08-16-2016, 10:35 PM   #1
wgusler
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Default A/M vs OEM suspension parts, am I too anal (retentive)?

I just ordered new Volvo outer tie rods and ball joints for my 245. The right side ball Joint and tie rod were replaced 18 months ago and the left a couple months ago by a local Volvo shop. ($26.00 each) The tie rod on the right side deformed badly when I used a tie rod removal tool on it. (using a 6" wrench, no air gun) The top of the threads actually swelled outward from the pressure and deformed the threads. Using the same tool on the left side, no issues other than the boot is leaking grease all ready. The tie rods are different brands for the looks of them and the casting marks. I used a die and re cut the top of the threads and reinstalled the right side. These parts are complete crap as far as quality.

One of my friends ( with three 245's) thinks I am crazy spending $150.00 on new Volvo parts when I can buy a new tie rod for $9.00. My thoughts are that a $9.00 tie rod is exactly that. I would assume the ball joints are cheap parts store junk like the tie rod. My solution is to put OEM Volvo parts on the car, the originals lasted 26 years and 250K, in addition to having some semblance of accountability on the quality of the parts. I am personally much more comfortable with the Volvo parts regardless of price.

With little experience in working on cars in the last 20 years, my question is this;
Is the quality of aftermarket parts today as piss poor as the price would indicate? Do you guys favor OEM vs aftermarket on suspension/ steering items? Is there a middle ground of price/performance on aftermarket. Are the long time brands like Moog or TRW still decent quality or made in china crap also?

Ok, flame away, But give my your opinion/ experience as I am curious about what you use on restorations and or DDs.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:54 PM   #2
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What you are saying used to be totally true. Now it is just mostly true, for the old RWD cars. Because as time has gone on, the quality of the Volvo brand parts has gone down. They probably switched suppliers.

For rubber bushings though, definitely OEM every time. The aftermarket part have always been, and remain to this day, crap. Used to be called Scan-Tech, now switched their name to Pro Parts Sweden.

For ball joints in particular, I would give the TRW a try. They may be the OEM supplier. There was a time when you would get TRW ball joints if you went to the dealer. It may still be that way.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:12 PM   #3
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What you are saying used to be totally true. Now it is just mostly true, for the old RWD cars. Because as time has gone on, the quality of the Volvo brand parts has gone down. They probably switched suppliers.
Well, I hope they are better than the crap I have.

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For rubber bushings though, definitely OEM every time. The aftermarket part have always been, and remain to this day, crap. Used to be called Scan-Tech, now switched their name to Pro Parts Sweden.
I did buy OEM for the rear trailing are bushing, but the rest are Meyle from FCP. I bought them prior to the tie rod issue that got me all pissy. If they crap out, new Volvo stuff will be in order.

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For ball joints in particular, I would give the TRW a try. They may be the OEM supplier. There was a time when you would get TRW ball joints if you went to the dealer. It may still be that way.
Volvos are all ready on the way, but thanks for the info.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:17 PM   #4
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I just ordered some manual steering ball joints for my 240. I work at Volvo so I ordered up Volvo. Scan tech is written all over the parts even thought they came in the Volvo blue box.

I could have got scan tech stuff for half the price through our aftermarket supplier. It is possible that the scan tech supplied parts are a better quality than what they supply to the aftermarket, Volvo does have a lifetime parts warranty now.

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Old 08-16-2016, 11:25 PM   #5
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You are sure to get many different opinions on this topic. To some extent, I agree that "you get what you pay for" regarding replacement suspension parts. There is a lot of garbage out there, not just for Volvos but other vehicles as well. The only aftermarket brands I still consider for suspension on European vehicles are Lemforder and TRW. But even then, I'd look at country of origin and possibly go for dealer parts if the cost isn't much more. Meyle parts are junk from my past experience.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:41 AM   #6
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In hindsight, I wish I would have bought Volvo vs Meyle bushings, however, FCP will replace them if they fail or just suck. If they fail/suck, I will call and ask them to credit me the cost towards Volvo parts. From my dealing with their customer service in the past, I think they will do that.

After the tie rods and ball joint are done, back to the aligment shop and then driveshaft. FCP has OEM Volvo center bearing and support, but just Meyle u joints. What would/ do you guys use? Oem u joints are $35.00 and $55.00 each with the total from Volvo for everything inc center support /bearing
and dust covers at $232.00
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:45 AM   #7
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After going thru 3 sets of outers and a pair of inners in 18 months (1 set of outers in a month), plus a set of ball joints in the same time that were chain store sourced 'Dana' or Federal Mogul, I spent the extra $10 each on the outers and ball joints from the dealer, and got some TRW inners. 4 years later, still on the car, nice and tight.
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:57 AM   #8
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I often bought after market parts. But i will never buy Meyle parts again.
Tie rod on a V70xc was dead after less than 10 000km.
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:48 AM   #9
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Meyle is often turkish crap. Meyle HD is, on the other hand, often times stronger than OE.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgusler View Post
After the tie rods and ball joint are done, back to the aligment shop and then driveshaft. FCP has OEM Volvo center bearing and support, but just Meyle u joints. What would/ do you guys use? Oem u joints are $35.00 and $55.00 each with the total from Volvo for everything inc center support /bearing
and dust covers at $232.00
See if you can find GKN u-joints, which is an OEM driveline supplier for European automakers.
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:19 AM   #11
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I bought and installed Lemforder tie rods/ends and ball joints on my old 740 and plan to do the same of my 240. When researching manufacturers I had read that Lemforder make OEM-grade stuff. I'm not sure if this is true (internet disclaimer), but my experience was good with those parts.

I've heard TRW still makes decent quality stuff.

I installed Moog "premium" U-joints on my driveshaft and they seemed to be very good quality.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:43 AM   #12
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TRW seems to still be halfway decent, Moog is 50/50 if it's chinese or not now. Bought an overflow tank hose from the stealership, came with Hutchinson cast into it, Volvo printed on it. Got a Meyle HD bearing carrier on the wagon, still holding up after a couple years.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:04 PM   #13
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I made a mistake of using URO coolant surge tank and radiator hoses, both fail within months.

Volvo OEM or better parts for me. Sure, they cost more, sometimes a lot more, but they last much longer and don't need to be changed out as often. Well worth the extra money.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:36 PM   #14
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Some brands are decent, other crap.

Cheaper stuff tends to wear quicker and the rubber boots are thin and tear very easily.

Best experience with Volvo (TRW on part iirc) and Heyd, a German brand. Both are not very cheap, figure 25 euro for steering ball joints and 50? for the big one. Still beats having to replace them after 2 years.

Meyle HD on our 850 seems to wear 100% faster than stock. Installed many Lemforder and SKF branded stuff over the years and it seems to be fine.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:35 PM   #15
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There are a lot of bits I stick to Volvo with. Cam belts, fan belts, oil filters and even Brake pads are worth using Volvo. Bearings I tend to use SKF or FAG who both supplied Volvo.

There a fair amount of parts now that are not worth going volvo as they have swapped out for cheap crap. Water pumps for example are no longer decent but reboxed cheapos, 240 strut top mounts are just reboxed scan tech ones that only last a few months

It comes down to experiance finding out what makes are good and not and things constantly change as where and what std parts are made to change
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:26 PM   #16
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Volvo parts arrived today. Greg Wong and JW240 were correct; They are TRW parts with Volvo casting/stamps. I would assume you can pull the part numbers off the Volvo parts and get the same thing unbranded cheaper.






Ordered SKF bearing and seal kit also.

And some of Ben's goodness:


After this weekend, everything, bushings, ball joints, inner and outer tie rods and every nut and bolt in the steering / front suspension will be new Volvo parts. I am also replacing the bent up hard brake lines with brand new stuff. Help make my anal retentive self sleep better. Nothing but the best for my 30 year old $1500.00 car!
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connorb850 View Post
The only aftermarket brands I still consider for suspension on European vehicles are Lemforder and TRW. But even then, I'd look at country of origin and possibly go for dealer parts if the cost isn't much more. Meyle parts are junk from my past experience.
This. Febi-Bilstein makes decent suspension parts too. More than likely, these are current suppliers for "volvo" blue box stuff.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:31 PM   #18
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Update: Some Information on the rear control arm bushings.
The Lemforder bushings from FCP are , in fact, Volvo OEM bushings. They grind the Volvo off the rubber and sell them retail as Lemforder. Service manager at Volvo showed me both bushings and same part number on both, just missing the Volvo branding.



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Old 10-06-2017, 04:55 PM   #19
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Great thread.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:13 PM   #20
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I try and go with OEM parts whenever possible/budget allowing. In my experience, Moog makes good stuff. Especially their "Problem Solver" line of parts: serviceable/lubeable parts are awesome. Planning on installing out tie rod ends when I finally get around to lowering my car.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:23 PM   #21
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I've heard that TRW and Moog are good.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:11 PM   #22
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I've been battling the budget/quality availability game for a while, just as everyone else here. I like Lemforder and MOOG parts. Not much of a fan of the Uro stuff, or Scan-Tech. My rule of thumb is: the further you have to dig in to replace it, the higher the quality of the part should be. Kaplhenke stuff looks expensive, but if you'll NEVER have to worry about it, it seems like a great long-term value. If you're just flipping these things for a buck, it obviously won't pay. But, you do have to sleep with your conscience...
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:40 PM   #23
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Boge(which you really won't see unless its nos), Lemforder, TRW are all OE parts. There is absolutely no reason to buy Volvo 'blue box' parts when it comes to ball joints, inner & outer tie rods. Often times TRW will be more expensive but its the same quality as Lemforder(which for the most part has reasonable prices). I've used all these brands and never had any issues.

For belts, Gates brand is the way to go(made in usa, if that matters). When it comes to coolant/overflow tanks, you do have to go Volvo(expensive but worth the price). I learned long time ago when I bought an aftermarket tank and it started leaking after a month of light use(sad, but true).

I've used URO intercooler hoses and radiator hoses and these have held up fine. Even if you had to replace them every 2-3 years(I believe they would last longer), you would still be ahead on the cost of Volvo hoses. For the heater hoses, I would go Volvo for sure, that's just something you don't want to skimp on.

One aftermarket brand that I've had pretty good success is Beck/Arnley. I've used their inner/outer tie rods & ball joints and have been very pleased with the quality.

When it comes to brake rotors and pads, I've used Centric and would definitely recommend it to anyone. Rotors are reasonably priced and pads are super cheap and very close to Volvo quality.

There are aftermarket brands that you can use, you really just need to do your research and see which brands have worked for others.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:06 PM   #24
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I can also add that corteco is also an oe supplier for some bushings. Their parts will probably come in the blue box with volvo pn. It is funny how no aftermarket can figure out how to make a rubber bushing!
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:49 PM   #25
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Hard to follow all the part#'s of what seems to be the same part. I suppose many labels have the premium line and the economy. I get it, and I hate it. During a brief search for ball joints I saw some that seemed to be the same L&R and others that clearly were Rights and Lefts.

Search continues.... Might just get NAPA local "Lemforder" rebrands. I suppose I'm in no hurry I still have to decide on struts. I'll find that old thread an bump it too!
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