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174 Posts
Depends how handy you are.

Front end jobs are/can be horrible, and one of those "no turning back" jobs where (like all fitting jobs) a fair bit of "oomph/percussion" is involved, and where that amount of pressure required (breaking ball joints worst) can lead to damage if not precise. They can be simple, but can hang on after a few years.

My lower radius arms (Chrysler calls them torque struts or something) eventually need replacing, as bushes not perfect. On older cars, just the bush is changed. New cars change whole assembly for the sake of a bush. And we are saving the planet??? Way of the world.

The ball joint tapers are very stubborn, and I have put it off as even with a couple of special tools, they still wouldn't budge.

I have other tools now and have yet to get around to it, and I do ALL the suspension work on all my other cars. But the other cars can sit/wait if I get sick of it, as old/hobby cars. My 300 is my "everyday car", so if off the road is a hassle, so..............

Each to their own, but suspension jobs are my least favorite. They can be a pain.

174 Posts
I always figured parts would be a bit of an issue here in Oz although I've run big American cars before without problems with parts, not good to hear that the parts supply seems to be drying up.
For US forum guys - this rant is for the "other Australian guy" and may not suit/be applicableyou may not care. :) . Feel free to scroll past now....................... :) :)

It used to be that the QA for parts was what people would tool up and make. 20 years or so ago, most wouldn't bother to tool up and make rubbish. Then they did. So the QA used to be what reputable dealers would sell. That now gone as well (mostly).

You have to have a feel for the parts yourself. Find out what genuine are worth first = have a benchmark. I am in Australia (WA) like you, and the cost of parts are one extreme to the other. Our headlights are THREE GRAND EACH here - which is ludicrous. Overseas market lights don't work (RHD/self level) and wreckers know what they are worth. The FIRST thing I did with mine was defeat the self leveling; as it just doesn't work/constantly blinds others. That's another story. :) And yet a door handle for my car is SO CHEAP compared to other cars. So KNOW what the stealership want for them for a start.

It appears that the levels of price/quality (here at least) are "original" (should be good, but expensive) and at the other end, parts that are almost free. There is ONE guy here who fixes these cars that I know of, (has a good rep, no names, no court martials............) and I got my bits from him, as the ultra cheap ebay prices seemed dodgy. It appears you have to get him on a certain day, as when I bought my suspension struts (those "tension struts " I mentioned) he was the most helpful guy ever. Next time I called him for something else, he bordered on abusive, because I "dared to ask a question/provided some info/dared to "know something about my car." Maybe he was under the pump........and fair enough. maybe he gets lots of idiots with stupid questions.....................

Going back to my "used to/rep dealers". I have 4 bikes and 4 cars, oldest 1963, newest 2016, but most older (63,69,76,76,2006,2007,2016); and do everything myself.

I ordered a master cylinder for my Jag. Now, this is brakes. From a reputable seller. The seals were useless. They didn't seal when on the bench, BEFORE any pressure. Housing/bore was good (within tolerance) so I bought a genuine kit and rebuilt it = good as gold. But point is - a leading/reputable aftermarket seller selling BRAKE parts with seals that just couldn't work. I could tell they were rubbish by looking at them; they couldn't, and supplied brake parts that were useless/dangerous.

I rebuilt the 63 BSA. Some parts I bought 4 times, as 3 just weren't good enough. HALF the "new" parts - in a box now, as my old ones better/reconned them after seeing what crap "new" were.

People who work in these places now (most, not all) are "store people", not hands on. Bike forums report that "all a certain sprocket made wrong/have to machine". I call them (supplier in UK) tell them to "go to this parts bin" = parts in there correct. Tell them to swap those in that bin with this bin = fixed. They were in the wrong bin = they just didn't know. So I have to call/get them to measure/send a photo. What the???? They were good about it (many just get abusive). Suspension bushes - 29 places selling a bush that DOES NOT FIT until machined - because all made by same supplier. All made wrong.

Now, many will say "off track/not Chrysler"; but almost everywhere is the same now. The people selling them mostly "look in a bin at a part number" and have little idea what's what; or whether any good/will work.

The most common reply I get is "none of our other customers have had any.......we sell heaps of....." Maybe because the average person also has as little clue of what a quality part is.

I rebuilt the rear brake cyls on my 76 Stag. Girling kit is TWICE what a whole new slave cyl is. Girling kit WORKS. The whole new slave cyl is EIGHT DOLLARS. Everyone says I am the idiot, "why not just buy whole........" ; but - I don't trust that. It would have those seals in it that just don't work. You can see/feel that they are rubbish - But LEADING parts people sell them. 'Again - None of our other customers have said........." For rear hubs, I have made my own parts, as the new ones JUST DON'T WORK.

Like I said = not Chrysler. But my experience is that the entire industry is getting like that, (here, in Australia/ordering parts that come from OS. The USA MAY be different, but I comment /provide background because we are in same country) because WE (fix ourselves) are a minority that they industry cannot wait to get rid off, and we are "dying off/dwindling" very quickly. MOST "take to a place" and they replace entire assy's/tell you to buy a new car.

So, the point is, you have to learn to judge parts based on what you are willing to trust/accept. This forum is brilliant at informing about what/where/is available; but during my two years total rebuild with the BSA (and now a 74 Trident bike) parts from the USA are often prohibitively expensive. Post costs are VERY variable (from state to state?) but they started to go up when covid started, and are now very high.

The US mail is brilliant, and their tracking is great; but once the post gets to be 2/3 times the cost of the item.............. getting back to dealer prices. I understand clunky is heavy and it costs what it costs, but before covid I used to buy half my OS parts from the US, now it just isn't viable, as the post prices haven't come back to pre covid levels, and may never do so, so anyone here has to weigh options.

Apologies to US forum goers for all the above. Scroll by if not relevant. But I thought it may be of interest to the other Aussie guy. And if he is aware - better to give suck eggs than not.

Cheers. Happy New Year. 馃槑

174 Posts
I'm looking at Rock Auto mostly because I'm in Australia and the local parts availability / knowledge of Ebay sellers is not what it should be (admittedly, a 300C down here is not a common vehicle). Rock Auto were the only place I could find that had the right water pump I needed, so I figure they will be a safe bet for suspension parts although if anybody has other suggestions I'm all ears as the delivery time will be weeks.

From this link I'm currently looking at the Dorman arms, which appear to be mid-priced (i.e. not the cheapest ones),2006,300,5.7l+v8,1431865,suspension,control+arm,10401

Rock Auto have 3 different categories: Economy, Daily Driver and Premium
None of the cheap options include the ball joint which is unsurprising.
All prices are in Dollarydoos (um, AUD) single item, probably 2 required although the drivers side looks OK I'll replace it anyway.

Lowest priced part is from Ultra Power at $33.72 Probably best avoided.
Quick Steer is $45
Mevotech "original grade" is $56
Dorman without ball joints is $77
Dorman with the ball joint is $84 <-------------------- I am here

From "Daily Driver"
MOOG is $77 (no ball joint)
Delphi is $88 (no ball joint)
Mevotech "supreme" is $103 (upgrade part, no ball joint)
MOPAR is $258!!!! with a ball joint which I hope is using rich corinthian leather instead of a rubber boot.
(although these are $263 at Summit Racing - thought I would check there to see if it was for a pair but apparently this is the single price).

I can't see a listing for the correct ball joint so I'm a little concerned about springing for the Mevotech "supreme".
edit: Yah, I didn't see the ball joint section. Ranges from $9.84 up to $84 for a Moog adjustable one.

Has anybody got a strong objection to the Dorman with the included ball joint? Alternatively a local company "Pedders" apparently made a replacement part but their website is not useful.
Yeah, ball joints are a minefield. Plastic parts in them now. I have cut old ones apart, (on older cars) and they never had plastic in them, they do now. Even original now (apparently/from what I have read) on very upmarket cars. Obviously there "is plastic............. and then there is plastic. "

I mean, ball joints for my other cars vary from $40 (most), up to $100. Some for $14. $14 could be the $40 on clearance, but need to look at brand/how long been around. Here, most of the known brands have been taken over/bought out by global " do everything" companies, who have changed suppliers/put in old brand box, so no guarantee any more.

What you are doing is the way to go - Find out what others have used over a period of time, and is that brand "still the same thing."

I don't want to pay more for a part than I need to; but given how much hassle/how long it takes to change some parts = $50 to do it once, rather than $20 and then have to do it again.............. I'll pay the $50 if that works. The luxury of age/time/affluence. :cool:

But some people are funny. A mate put new brake shoes on his F100. He told HIS mate he could have the old shoes (still 1/3rd linings) for his F100, as "he is broke/can't afford/do him a favour..." So his mate comes over - drives MANY miles in an 8 mpg vehicle. Gives my mate a carton of Jim Beam cans for the "second hand shoes." So he spent 4 times what new shoes cost on grog and fuel, because he "couldn't afford new shoes." :p

But ball joints - Just have to get to know what's what.

174 Posts
Ha this made me laugh. I've met a few "broke" people like that who always have a fridge full of beer and two cars needing 50 cent parts to get them going again in the yard :)

I do try to avoid getting stuff from the US (especially at the moment, shipping was always expensive from there but it's ludicrous at the moment). For some reason, shipping things from the UK is both much faster and much cheaper - have managed to find most of my missing interior parts from a UK seller and it wasn't expensive. I did try a few local wreckers at first, particularly to track down a parking brake handle (which was missing). They refused to sell me anything other than the entire parking brake assembly, for $300. I think the handle cost me $20 posted from the UK.

I guess I could try ordering the lower suspension arms from the UK, might be quite a bit of difference in the postage cost. Rock Auto is quoting $80 to get me those parts by the cheapest method which seems a touch excessive.

One trap I fell for earlier in my project was ordering something from an Australian seller who implied they had stock, but really just ordered the parts from Rock Auto, marked them up and had them posted directly. Never again.
Yeah, the above pretty much my experience.

Many places now say "they have in stock" when they haven't (you learn which ones); you initially order from them, they then make you wait forever, because they are then ordering them. Honesty; TELL US if they have/or not, then WE can decide........

I think some overseas places might just quote ridiculous post rather than say "don't ship O/S". If they don't ship O/S, fair enough, up to them; but many will hassle them. But if they quote ridiculous post, then people leave them alone.

One guy in America wanted $120 to send two gaskets the size of a drink coaster. That HAS to be a "get rid of????"

The wreckers here I have found very limited; but (to be fair) they are a niche/uncommon car here. In fact, I have bought nothing from them. The closest I came was a radio (orig) as mine (2007) came with a single non MP3 cd player. Brilliant sound, but they go to all the trouble to fit the Boston amp and 6 speakers in a 54 grand car (when new) and fit a single disc NON MP3 player; when a new Hyundai Getz at same time came WITH MP3....... for 13 grand. Strange. So I bought a second hand 6 stack MP3 from a guy in QLD for $75 when I had the car for a year in 2013. He used the cars as stretch limos, and put entertainment systems in them. That radio served me until 6 months ago when I fitted an Android unit, so served me well. Back in 2013, head units hard to integrate as most interfaces (being US) had problems with RHD set ups. Now Android interfaces well - well, I am picky, but very happy with mine. Again - help from this forum/info helped me decide.

UK post is one extreme to another. I bought a brake caliper seal kit for the bike, but mine has one extra seal (very small). That seal is $12 from UK (only one place sells not in a kit), and $28 to post. In an envelope, as tiny. So $40. Complete seal kit with all caliper seals (7 items) here delivered is $25................. so easier to buy/have 6 spares. But another place send almost ALL parts by Royal Mail for $6 to $8 AUD................. unless very bulky. Another mob had post on site that DOUBLED cost of brake hose kit for Stag = unviable. I e mailed them and asked if they could do any better/made it not worthwhile = they gave me a quote and halved the post = made it worth it, so they are on the way. Why not have that option on the order page????

Worst one? A guy in Europe has a Triumph brake bolt that NO ONE in the world has. He knows it. He wanted $125 for the ONE BOLT - and $65 to send it. So - $190 for ONE 1-1/4 inch bolt, because of unique shank/thread length. So I am making 4............................

So while Chrysler parts are a BIT of a hassle here, they are by no means the worst........... :cool:

Only time will tell whether the US post will settle down. Until then - as you say - UK and Europe worth looking at as long as you settle post costs first.

Cheers mate.
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