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Comparison of NAPA Suspension Parts

August, 2003













NAPA recently made available some steering parts for Hummer / H1 trucks. I acquired several of these in order to compare them with current AMG parts.



Summary

The Upper and Lower Ball Joints are very similar, but priced slightly higher at the retail level.

The Idler Arm is of the old, "pre-Problem Solver" design, and should not be used except on older trucks that do not have the upgraded center link.

The Pitman Arm was about 50% more than the current AMG retail price, so I did not get one to evaluate.

The NAPA parts come with replacement fasteners, although these parts do not justify the price difference.

Click on any picture to view a larger version.



Lower Ball Joint

Here is a picture of the lower ball joints. The NAPA Joint is on the right.
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The NAPA and AMG Ball Joints are impossible to distinguish from each other.



Upper Ball Joint

Here is a picture of the Upper Ball Joints. The NAPA Joint is on the right.
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These Joints are nearly identical except for the boot. Following is a close-up of the two boots.
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The casting number is in a different place, but the number is the same. I have not studied AMG Ball Joints enough to know if they have this variation as well. The numbers on the top plate are different, although I have no idea what these numbers mean.

Except for the boot and the differences in numbers, these items appear to be identical.



Idler Arm

Following is a picture of the Idler Arms. The NAPA arm is on the left. The AMG arm shows some dirt from prolonged storage in my garage.
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These Idler Arms are also difficult to distinguish. Note, however, that this style of Idler Arm has been discontinued by AMG several years ago.



Price

Following are the current prices for these parts. AMG prices reflect current MSRP. NAPA prices reflect full price retail purchase in Denver, Colorado. NAPA Internet prices are somewhat lower, but do not include shipping.

Part NAPA Price AMG Price
Upper Ball Joint $66.40 $46.39
Lower Ball Joint $72.07 $66.97
Idler Arm * $66.49 $150.01
Pitman Arm ~ $90 ~ $60
* NAPA Idler arm is not the current version.



Warranty

NAPA offers a "Limited Lifetime Warranty" on all of its suspension parts. As of this writing, I have not been able to determine the exact details of this warranty. For instance, does it exclude Class III trucks or off-road use? If anyone knows the definitive answer to this, please send me an e-mail and I will update this section.

AMG suspension parts have a 1-year warranty.



Conclusion

The NAPA Ball Joints seem to be the correct parts, even though they cost a bit more. If the AMG parts were not available, the NAPA parts would make a good alternative. I plan to install the NAPA parts used for these photos on my truck as I require new Ball Joints.

The NAPA Idler Arm is certainly not the current part, and should be avoided.

The NAPA Pitman Arm was not compared, but was much more expensive.





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Last Update: May 18, 2017