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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I think the different joints are because of the axles, heavy duty vs standard.

The larger ball joint is probably the heavy duty axle which the AWD has. The RWD can have either the heavy duty or standard axle.
Yes, but is this MOOG ball joint compatible with AWD? That's the real question. If so, problem solved. An O'Reilly's rep thought so, it looked pretty close in the above photo measurements, and I can say from experience the OEM ball joint is jammed in there insanely tight. I could easily see MOOG designing theirs just a tad smaller but with a bit of camber correction (which it does feature) to make it easier to remove but still fully functional. It was a royal PITA getting the lower control arm off of the oem ball joint. Took two floor jacks, a heat gun, joint pullers, and a sledge hammer.

Cheers.
 

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I think the different joints are because of the axles, heavy duty vs standard.

The larger ball joint is probably the heavy duty axle which the AWD has. The RWD can have either the heavy duty or standard axle.
False. The "heavy duty axle" is referring to the rear. This all has to do with the front. RWD vans don't even have CV axles up front let alone, "standard" CV axles.
 

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I'm really starting to regret buying the AWD transit. It really bugs me that the van is so low to the ground and can't even be lifted 2 1/2 inches without causing extremely accelerated wear on the front end.
Major bummer all of the accelerated wear you are seeing. The approach that VC chose to use causes accelerated wear on the front end. The van can be lifted and use Bilsteins without this problem. It just involves a subframe lift instead.

You should see if Transit Offroad or Weldtec can supply you with different control arms.
 

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False. The "heavy duty axle" is referring to the rear. This all has to do with the front. RWD vans don't even have CV axles up front let alone, "standard" CV axles.
We are talking about the heavy duty front axle. Quote from 2021 Transit brochure "Intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD models; includes heavy-duty front axle"
 

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Major bummer all of the accelerated wear you are seeing. The approach that VC chose to use causes accelerated wear on the front end. The van can be lifted and use Bilsteins without this problem. It just involves a subframe lift instead.

You should see if Transit Offroad or Weldtec can supply you with different control arms.
I think I will remove the bilstein's and re-install the factory struts. That should help the angles a bit. A sub-frame lift would be great. Has anyone made one yet ?
 

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We are talking about the heavy duty front axle. Quote from 2021 Transit brochure "Intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD models; includes heavy-duty front axle"
That is a fallacy. All AWD vans come with the "heavy duty front axle". The poster in questions was comparing to non AWD vans stating that there is a non heavy duty axle option. Find me an AWD that doesn't come with the heavy duty front axle, and find me a RWD van that has front axles. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

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Quigley offers a subframe lift but we’ve seen problems with that listed on this forum too.
We have a Qlift on our van. Other than an initial exhaust leak and increased noise from the sh*tty Quigley steering shaft boot, it functions perfectly. Working with Newberg Ford has been a superior experience. Even if our local dealer wouldn't fix something down the road, I have absolute confidence that Newberg would sort it out.

What problems have you seen? Are you referring to the smear post by VC in which they stated that Quigley stole their idea when in fact Quigley has been doing subframe lifts on their 4wd conversions longer than VC has been in business? I am not saying the Qlift is perfect and it is certainly expensive. All aftermarket modifications involve compromise, but in my opinion the Q lift is clearly the current superior option for the Transit AWD. If you want to run 33-35's, get a sprinter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
All aftermarket modifications involve compromise
Now that I agree with.

And it's why I'm okay with just replacing the front axle and lower ball joints at around 50k miles. If I recall, a set of MOOG ball joints was like $75. And by the time I hit 50k miles (2-3 years from now) I'm guessing I'll be able to pickup an aftermarket front axle for $200, maybe less. I believe even the oem axle is only $300 and change. That's a rounding error in my overall build budget.

Running 265/75/16 AT's and going down pretty much every road I want is worth it.

Cheers.
 

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That is a fallacy. All AWD vans come with the "heavy duty front axle". The poster in questions was comparing to non AWD vans stating that there is a non heavy duty axle option. Find me an AWD that doesn't come with the heavy duty front axle, and find me a RWD van that has front axles. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
I don't think you understand what people are talking about in this thread in reference to HD vs standard front axle. Axle does not = driveshaft/CV. Do you think RWD vans have front wheels that just magically float along with the suspension arm? A wheel requires an axle. That being said, on 2WD vans the "Axle" is the hub itself. I assume Ford calls it an axle just to connect it to the standard term GAWR.

You also seem to have a thing for Quigley...

AWD vans have HD front axles/hubs. New-Gen RWD vans have either standard duty front axles/hubs, or HD front axles and hubs (which have the 6 bolt AWD/dually wheel pattern). I assume the old RWD 350HD vans (2019 and back) dualies had the "HD front axle/hub" then too, which is now offered on any RWD van as an option. Enables higher front GAWR.
It seems uncertain if the AWD front arm ball joints are different/bigger than the RWD ball joints (not something the auto part stores might have proper info in their system yet to know what parts are compatible).

Regardless, the "smear post" you're referring to was a description of some of the pros and cons of different ways to lift the AWD van, and why VC chose not to do a sub-frame drop. The Q-Lift is not without it's own compromises, and the Q-Lift van referenced in that post was already slinging grease from a torn center driveshaft boot (maybe could have been damaged during install, but doubtful) - because the Q Lift increases the angle of that driveshaft instead of the CVs, causing the center driveshaft to be near binding or slightly binding, and the driveshaft boot to rub on itself. Which will probably cause premature wear... Curious the difference in cost between replacing CVs vs the front center driveshaft?

People are so adamant to defend the choice they made for their van as "the best choice." There rarely is a best choice, as you said aftermarket mods usually involve compromises. At least with VC, I'm a few grand ahead money wise, to pay for new CVs or ball joints if/when they wear out eventually (I'm not running bilsteins) - which will be a convenient time to upgrade them. I will still have saved money. It is nice the Q-Lift can use bilsteins, but supposedly VC is working on falcon front struts and/or a 1.5" lift to enable using bilsteins.
 
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I am not saying the Qlift is perfect and it is certainly expensive. All aftermarket modifications involve compromise,
I did see the VC post - but they did find a problem with a qlift modified van

…like you said, it’s all a compromise. The good news is that one doesn’t need to lift their van if they don’t want to.
 

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That is a fallacy. All AWD vans come with the "heavy duty front axle". The poster in questions was comparing to non AWD vans stating that there is a non heavy duty axle option. Find me an AWD that doesn't come with the heavy duty front axle, and find me a RWD van that has front axles. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

I agree that the RWD transit does not have a front axle. I don't know how this conversation switched to axles. It was supposed to be about ball joints.

I was just trying to let other people know with my original post that:
The ball joint for the AWD is ford part # MCS-190158 and it will ONLY fit the AWD transit.

They are currently on backorder everywhere in Canada. And I believe in the US too.
There are no aftermarket ball joints being made for the AWD transit as of now. Not Moog or any other manufacture.
 

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I don't think you understand what people are talking about in this thread in reference to HD vs standard front axle. Axle does not = driveshaft. Do you think RWD vans have front wheels that just magically float along with the suspension arm? You also seem to have a thing for Quigley.

AWD vans have HD front axles. New-Gen RWD vans have either standard duty front axles, or HD front axles and hubs (which have the 6 bolt AWD/dually wheel pattern). I assume the old RWD 350HD vans (2019 and back) dualies had the "HD front axle" then too, which is now offered on any RWD van as an option. Enables higher front GAWR.

Regardless, the "smear post" you're referring to was a description of some of the pros and cons of different ways to lift the AWD van. The Q-Lift is not without it's own compromises, and the Q-Lift van referenced in that post was already slinging grease from a torn center driveshaft boot (could have been damaged during install) - because the Q Lift increases the angle of that driveshaft instead of the CVs, causing the center driveshaft to be near binding or slightly binding. Will probably cause premature wear... Curious the difference in cost between replacing CVs vs the front center driveshaft.

People are so adamant to defend the choice they made for their van as "the best choice." Their rarely is, as you said aftermarket mods usually involve compromises. At least with VC, I'm a few grand ahead money wise, to pay for new CVs or ball joints if/when they wear out eventually (which will be a convenient time to upgrade them). Will still have saved money. It is nice the Q-Lift can use bilsteins, but supposedly VC is working on falcon front struts and/or a 1.5" lift to enable using bilsteins.
I think you are confused on the definition of a knuckle/hub assembly and an axle, but I guess it is just semantics. The "standard axle" you are referring to on the RWD vans is a 5 lug knuckle/hub. To me and I'm guessing most other folks who have replaced a knuckle, U joint, CV axle, or hub bearing, there is nothing at all on the front of a RWD transit that would be called an "axle." But like I said, semantics. I would call it a heavy duty hub.

I am well aware of confirmation bias as a cognitive error. I do not "have a thing" for Quigley. In fact, I just pointed my friend to Quadvan over Quigley for his 4wd conversion for a variety of reasons. I was super disappointed in my exhaust leak situation and the sh*tty steering shaft boot supplied by Quigley and go to bed thinking about just smearing vaseline all over the steering shaft and filling the area with spray foam. I hardly believe the Qlift is perfect, especially given the price. My initial interactions with Quigley on the phone were also far less than confidence inspiring. It was my interactions with Newberg that sealed the deal for me.

I do, however, have a thing against companies that let their customers do their R&D at their own expense, time, and stress. I don't have anything against VC specifically. In fact, the first thing I did when I got home from the Q lift was install VC rear shock relocate brackets (which really should have been included with the Q lift, especially given the other extensive modification that involve cutting on the transmission/diff mount). In my opinion, VC really should have seen this coming for their customers, particular given the vast wealth of experience lifting GM trucks which has basically proven the same thing that AWD transit owners are learning. To do it right, you either need a modest subframe lift or a completely custom setup with new control arms, axles, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
That is a fallacy. All AWD vans come with the "heavy duty front axle". The poster in questions was comparing to non AWD vans stating that there is a non heavy duty axle option. Find me an AWD that doesn't come with the heavy duty front axle, and find me a RWD van that has front axles. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Ford's language is really confusing on this, but I pulled the 2020 order guide and sure enough, they do list the poorly described as "Heavy Duty Front Axle" for RWD vehicles. From what I can gather it only provides the upgraded hub and 6 bolt wheel pattern when it's RWD, but it's possible that also implies an upgraded control arm and ball joint. It would make sese.

But yeah, clearly there is no front axle on a RWD vehicle. That makes no sense, even if Ford was lazy and described it that way. See below. All of the "1" build codes (e.g. R1X) are RWD, yet they provide that option. You are correct that all of the AWD models only offer the heavy duty front axle option.
Material property Font Rectangle Parallel Pattern

Oddly enough when I originally searched MOOG for ball joints last February, they listed two distinct types. Now I only see one. I seem to recall one was adjustable/greaseable with camber correction (still seems to be available, but it now lacks the photo), and the other was cheaper, lacked those features, and had no website photo.

Cheers.
 

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Oddly enough when I originally searched MOOG for ball joints last February, they listed two distinct types. Now I only see one. I seem to recall one was adjustable/greaseable with camber correction (still seems to be available, but it now lacks the photo), and the other was cheaper, lacked those features, and had no website photo.

Cheers.
FWIW, the last time I used "greasable" Moog ball joints they actually were fully sealed, so the seals blew up like balloons when I used the zirc fitting. It was weird. They clearly had seals that were not intended to lift and allow old grease to push out. I ended up having to remove the zirc fittings and deflate them.

Thanks for the clarification on Ford's weird terminology.

Also, I just looked through the factory service manual on replacement on the front driveshaft. If you follow the book, that involves removing the transfer case, which involves removing the Y pipe, which involves dropping the subframe. If you take that approach, that is a huge job best done on a lift. The weird part is that the driveshaft does have bolts and keyed flanges on both ends. So if you're willing to disassemble and can even get 1/2 inch of play lengthwise, you can get it out without any other disassembly. Then you just pull the male splines from the transfer case. My guess is that the driveshaft pictured in the VC post was allowed to hang during removal/install and damaged at that point. The angle on the driveshaft looks far less severe than the CV axles, plus it isn't cycled up and down a million times. My understanding is that part of the reason for the revised front differential mount is that it does tilt the front differential up slightly to ameliorate the angle on the front driveshaft. I would be very curious to hear from the owner of the van pictured in those photos and see what the outcome of their driveshaft boot failure is/was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I don't know how this conversation switched to axles. It was supposed to be about ball joints.
Now you know how I feel. Come on man! This conversation was supposed to be about CV boots, not ball joints.

Lol. Just messing with ya. A forum post that doesn't wander is like a dog that doesn't bark. It just ain't right.

Cheers.
 

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False. The "heavy duty axle" is referring to the rear. This all has to do with the front. RWD vans don't even have CV axles up front let alone, "standard" CV axles.
It is referring to the front.

So why does the heavy duty front axle have a higher weight rating than the standard front axle.

RWD does have an option for the HD front axle.

From the order guide.

Axle Heavy-Duty Front Axle.
Not available with ETransit. Note: Up to 4,630 lb FGAWR. Refer to the Axle Availability charts beginning on page 28 for complete option details.

Then when you look at the Front Axle availability chart it shows it as an option for the RWD vans.
Option 41E
 

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Now you know how I feel. Come on man! This conversation was supposed to be about CV boots, not ball joints.

Lol. Just messing with ya. A forum post that doesn't wander is like a dog that doesn't bark. It just ain't right.

Cheers.
I brought it up because when talking about the two different ball joint sizes, it was implied that one was for AWD, and the other was for RWD.

My thought was that it had more to do with the standard front axle vs heavy duty front axle, not RWD vs AWD. I guess we would have to look up the PN for all three configurations to see what is actually going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 · (Edited)
@Ranger Robin @maia @jczarn @RegularGuy @andyl @Vanaroo @Dman @ArgonautVans @Dogdude222 @Chillis @oneleglance @mototreks @Janus9 @65vancrazy

Hey folks,

I'm tagging everyone who clicked like on the original post, asked about this job, or posted about off-road transit in another thread that reminded me to make an update. I have bad news and good news. The bad news is even the expensive high-angle silicone CV boot upgrade tore in about the same place, this time going down another high center-berm road on the way to beach out in southern Texas. The road was particularly high in the center, and I debated going down it, but ultimately pressed ahead (what I usually do). It appears that passenger-side CV boot is just vulnerable.
Hand Glove Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gesture

All-told I spent about $380 for the labor (local garage) and the total cost w/tax and ship for the high-angle silicone boot upgrade. This time I'm just going to spend the same $500 to replace the new passenger half-shaft. That also gets me a new CV joint, which is probably also wearing fast due to the high angle and the heavy off-road use. There's a vague chance my dealer will sneak it in under warranty, since they're friendly with me, but equally good chance they make me pay. I'm fine with either outcome. It's part of life. I really wish I could protect this area somehow though. I think argonaut mentioned a plate, and I may now take a more serious look at fabricating something. I'm not sure it's possible given all the moving parts, but it may be necessary if I want to avoid having cv grease splattered all over under the van every six months.

So the good news (if you can call it that) is there's no need to pay for the expensive CV boot if you want to try to replace it. I've already been the guinea pig for that. It's a waste. Just buy the standard CV boot upgrade that Van Compass recommended.

And of course you could avoid high center-berm roads, which I have to admit I may start thinking twice about. The one at Death Valley I'll continue to go down (leads to my favorite spot), but I may spend a few hours pulling buried rocks out of the sand next time. It's not entirely clear to me if its the rocks, or if the sand itself is getting pushed up there with such force that it tears the boot. If you look at the original post in this thread, it sure looks like a rock made that indentation/hole, so for now I'm assuming it's rocks or other debris at the edge/slope of the high center-berm.

Cheers.
 
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