March 2022 | By: Victor Moreira


A vehicle that has been driven more than 100,000 miles is not the same as one that is fresh off the lot. Older vehicles have altered geometries and tired, worn components that tend to work against each other and can aggressively wear replacement parts.

In our on-demand webinar, our experts will show you why premium aftermarket solutions may be the better choice for older vehicles, including:

  • Designs that address potential OE shortfalls and deliver a longer part life
  • The use of heavier, better materials, unhampered by CAFE weight restrictions
  • Engineering that accounts for the altered geometry of older vehicles
  • Add-ons and hardware that provide a complete and simple installation

Why Do Original Parts Fail?

There are many challenges associated with building a late model vehicle, including constant cost pressure and market demand for additional vehicle content, such as lane departure warning and park assist systems, cameras, infotainment screens, power liftgates, and more. Such content adds weight, while at the same time, tough CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards are forcing manufacturers to meet ever-lowering fuel consumption rates (48.2 mpg by 2025).

In response, manufacturers are building smaller, more efficient engines and light weighting the vehicle to reduce fuel consumption, which means using lighter bodies and powertrains, as well as lopping weight off the chassis. Reducing chassis weight leads to cutting the amount of material used in OE suspension components that need to be ready to work hard, like control arms, ball joints and even stabilizer bar end links.

What happens to vehicles as they age?

Older vehicles tend to have worn and sagging suspensions, which can put significantly higher loads on key suspension components. These vehicles are also subject to:

  • Sagging or broken springs
  • Worn or seized dampers
  • Degraded bushings
  • Uneven tire wear or incorrect tire inflation
  • Corrosion

That’s why aftermarket parts need material and component upgrades!

The best aftermarket chassis parts manufacturers are focused on strengthening all links in the chain – engineering part improvements to make them strong and reliable. Some good examples are:

  • Ball joints upgraded with greaseable sintered bearings that are 3x more durable than polymer and optimized for use on high-load, high-mileage applications
  • Control arms made of solid forged construction, not hollow stamped steel
  • Bushings with filled in voids for extra strength
  • Boot designs that lock grease in and contaminants out
  • Bi-metallic technology, which enables a ball joint with upgraded sintered bearings that withstand heat and wear to be used in a unitized aluminum control arm
  • Cross axis bushings used in police and fleet vehicles that switch out the OE plastic bearing for dual sintered bearings and a forged steel housing rather than the OE aluminum
  • And more

The results are increased service life and a much more durable load-bearing part.

Premium aftermarket parts streamline installations

Manufacturers are always looking for ways to save on assembly time/costs, rather than ways to make repairs simpler. The best aftermarket parts, on the other hand, are designed to make the Professional Technician’s job faster and easier, by including:

Replacement hardware and extras: to ensure a straightforward installation, including:

  • Spacers
  • Pinch-bolts
  • Mounting hardware
  • Cotter pins
  • Pre-applied thread lock compound and more!

Additional components: to make complete solutions, such as:

  • Ball joints, bushings and brackets added to create complete control arm assemblies
  • Additional components pre-installed to minimize installation time

Installation tools: to make installs faster and easier and save the shop money, including:

  • Press-in installation adaptors designed to fit perfectly on the ball joint installation flange
  • Uncommon technician tools, like Mevotech’s 60 mm hardened steel socket (a $50.00-$80.00 value) included free in the box with part number TXMS25519. It can be used to remove the OEM ball joint and install the TTX™ front upper ball joint on 2008-2018 Ram 4500/5500 series pickups.

Top Takeaways

  • OE designs are targeted at achieving goals that often sacrifice durability.
  • Aggressive chassis light-weighting is done to make space for other vehicle conveniences and CAFE standards, not for performance.
  • Aged vehicle suspensions have multiple worn parts that can aggressively wear replacement components
  • Engineered aftermarket parts have been developed to remedy the challenges of an aged vehicle
  • Premium engineered parts will also include add-ons to provide a complete and simple installation

Want to know more? Watch our 30-minute webinar to get the low-down on why original parts can fail in the aftermarket and what you can do about it.