Ball joint and track rod boots

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering Braking' started by Dave B, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Not much of a product review really, but less than a year after fitting brand new balljoints, trackrod ends and steering draglink to my bay, every single rubber boot is hanging off in shreds. All 10! The balljoints and draglink were supposed to be German quality. Hmm.

    This is now an MOT failure point, and I don't really want to repeat all that work every single year. Has anyone found a better quality rubber boot out there?

    I am considering getting some from Mecatech: http://www.mecatech.co.uk/line/6-ball-joint-covers.html They have to be trimmed to size, but the quality of the rubber looks way better. Anyone used them?
     
  2. why not complain to where you bought yours from ?

    if the boots are Marmite whats the joint like ?
     
  3. That's not good - just had 2 ball joints fitted and need a couple of track rods - hope the rubber holds out on mine longer than a year .
     
  4. The thing about complaining to the suppliers is that it doesn't get you far. Yes, under the Sale of Goods Act you can say that these are not satisfactory quality and you want your money back. You should get it - there is no way a rubber boot that lasts less than a year is satisfactory.

    But then what are you going to buy? Every supplier sells the same ones. There is no alternative superior quality product it seems. The wasted cost of the parts is irritating, but its nothing compared to the time you have to spend fitting them. I now need to split every balljoint and track rod end to replace the rubbers.

    I have done a lot of looking around and found the MecaTech boots, so just wondered if anyone else had tried them.

    cunny44 - keep an eye on those boots. At least if they go if you catch them early it will only be the boots. If they last, let me know where you got them!
     
  5. Will do Dave - This dodgy rubber seems to be endemic throughout the classic car industry - well it is in the MG world anyway -probably all stuff made in India or the Far East - perishing rubber may account for why there are so many Chinese and Indians if they make their condoms of the same stuff!
    I need to replace the rubbers on may rear side windows - anyone bought any that have lasted?
     
    IZZYBAY likes this.
  6. Just received a box of 12 MecaTech boots and the rubber seems much better - really stretchy. I will let you know how I get on with fitting them (it may be a few weeks before I have time).
     
    moominbus likes this.
  7. Please do report back when you have them fitted, I ended up replacing mine after less than 3000 miles - also less than a year. It'd be worth paying more not to have to split the joints every year.
     
  8. Right, I said it would be a while until they were fitted and it was! The bad news was that despite the Mecatech ones being designed to cover joints of different sizes, they weren't big enough to do the balljoints. They went on fine on the track rod ends and drag link though. I ended up having to use Meyle rubbers on the balljoints.

    The rubber on the MecaTech boots definitely felt stretchier and better quality than the normal ones. They are also branded with MecaTech embossed on the side, so you know they are not just the same cheap crap from a different retailer. Only time will tell how they perform, but I'm optimistic.

    One thing did strike me though - the replacement track rod ends on my bus fit much further in than the originals. Obviously you have to use all the thread to tighten them up, as they have to be completely tight, but that leaves the rubber very compressed, flattened out against the tie rod. The old rubbers were also compressed like this. It looks like it puts a lot of strain on the rubber. Anyone else noticed this with new track rod ends? They are the right type by the way, not earlier ones which do sit deeper.
     
  9. New cars use rubber parts that seem to last the test of time or at least the 3 year warrantee period ....stick a merc ,Beemer or audi ball joint boot on there ????
     
    jammy and paradox like this.
  10. I tried fitting some Mecatec ball joint boots after I bought some off a chap on VZI. The quality definitely feels superior and they are stretchy but they were absolute murder to fit, not sure if I bought a smaller size or if I should have persevered for longer to find 'the knack' but by the time I'd turned the air blue I reverted back to using standard boots!
    I'll see if I can find them and measure it to how it compares to the ones @Dave B has bought.
     
  11. The stretching is a bit fiddly, but I didn't find it too bad. They look the same as the ones I used, but it's hard to tell. You could call Mecatech and ask if they do different sizes, but I think they only do the one. Seeing that thing about them stretching to 4 times their original size makes me wonder if I could have got then over the balljoints now, but it looked impossible.
     
  12. Only 9 months and 3,500 miles so far, but the Mecatech covers are showing no signs of wear yet, so all good so far.
     
  13. Just an update report: 2 years, 8 months so far, about 10,000 miles, just went through the MOT and while it was up on the ramp I had a good look and the boots all look fine, both the Mecatech ones on the steering arms and draglink and the Meyle ones on the balljoints.
     
    Valveandy, chad and paulcalf like this.
  14. The boots that came with the new rod ends etc. on my bus didn't even last till the end of the resto!
    Tony
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017 at 10:16 PM
    paulcalf likes this.
  15. Mine seem fime after being on for over a year, and on the road for the last 3 months and completing 4000 miles .. I coated mine with waxoil and petroleum jelly to help stop them drying out .. seem fine so far ..

    fingers crossed.

    I had a problem with my stainless exhaust where the baffles were rattling. Contacted JK and they sent out a replacement next day all free of charge .. seems the lifetime warranty is good :)
     
  16. I'd be careful coating them in waxoyl or petroleum jelly
    It can attack and prematurely degrade the rubber especially the poor quality stuff that's churned out nowadays
    Quite the opposite of what your hoping to achieve.
    I use red rubber grease
    It will remain slightly tacky and dust will stick to it but it does help slow the degradation
     

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