Federal-Mogul has added another feather to its cap after receiving a U.S. patent covering advanced improvements to the design and construction of the MOOG® brand’s Problem Solver ball joints for vehicles featuring compression-loaded suspensions. To date, the leading brand has a total of 47 U.S. patents.
According to Richard Harvey, engineering director, steering and suspension products, Federal-Mogul Motorparts, innovation is a constant process for MOOG product engineers. He explained that their newest ball joint design enhances on a well-established MOOG technology that already outpaced OE equivalents. The director noted that their engineering team do not stop exploring new ways to help MOOG customers extend their quality and performance advantage within the repair market.
The latest patent, U.S. 9,291,195 B1, covers a multi-piece bearing system that extends the life of MOOG Problem Solver ball joints operating under high rotational load conditions for a number of late-model light trucks, SUVs and Jeeps equipped with compression-loaded suspensions. These vehicles are equipped with twin I-beam or solid axles. OE-style upper and lower ball joints for a number of these applications can bind—resulting in potentially severe steering returnability issues—if proper torque sequences are not followed during installation.
Apart from the technology covered by the new patent in the MOOG portfolio, MOOG Problem Solver ball joints have another cutting-edge design that enables adequate upper bearing movement even in cases when fasteners are not torqued in proper sequence. Another unique thing about this patent pending design is an accurately engineered knurl on the outside of the ball joint housing that helps correct for damage to the control arm or I-beam mounting hole. A misshapen or oversized mounting hole—common in repair situations—can allow excessive movement of OE-style parts, leading to abnormal tire wear and/or steering wander. This design helps guarantee a secure, interference fit for precise handling and steering.
Additionally, the new MOOG Problem Solver ball joint includes another unique patent pending feature: a pre-installed integral dust boot with an encapsulated Belleville washer. Thanks to this design, an effective seal is maintained throughout the life of the part.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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