RockAuto October Newsletter

Go to the RockAuto Catalog

Newsletter Archive

Email Subscription

RSS Feed

Another Happy Customer!

I can always find hard to locate parts at RockAuto. Thanks for your help with my 1949 Packard, 1951 Kaiser and my daily driver 1999 Lincoln.

Victor in Kansas

Upcoming Events
If you would like your event featured here email with details.
29 Spooktacular Car Show
Moore, OK Email
29 Costumes & Customs
Norfolk, VA Email
29 Scare & Shine 2016
Vidalia, LA Email
29 Oakwood Secret Santa Car Show
Gainesville, GA Email
30 Fall Carnival/Car Show
Republic, MO Email
30 Charity Open Car Show
San Antonio, TX Email
30 Stardust Building Supplies 1st Annual Car Show
Mesa, AZ Email
5 Antiques Among The Antiques
Lake City, FL Email
5 Vettes for Vets
Carlsbad, CA Email
5 Last Call for Fall
Sun City, AZ Email
5 Birmingham Motoring Club Annual Car Show
Birmingham, AL Email
6 Riegelsville Fall Roll Out
Riegelsville, PA Email
6 Project 25 Car Show
Panama City, FL Email
11 14th Annual TX3S Gathering
San Antonio, TX Email
12 Carolina Collector Auto Fest
Raleigh, NC Email
12 Fall Pumpkin Run
Augusta, GA Email
12 Heroes & Hot Rods
Bastrop, TX Email
12 Back to the 50s Car Show
Orange Park, FL Email
12 8th Annual JITV
Shamong, NJ Email

MAS Premium Ball Joints

See what we have from MAS

RockAuto now offers new Premium RD Rugged Design and Premium XL Extended Life ball joints from MAS Industries. These premium ball joints offer advantages for customers who demand more.

Both MAS Premium RD Rugged Design and Premium XL Extended Life ball joints have:

  • ArmourGrade Studs: A premium coated and hardened alloy delivers maximum resistance to both stud fatigue and corrosion. These studs are induction-hardened when OE required.
  • I.C.E. Grease: MAS' premium I.C.E. (Intelligent Chassis Engineered) grease is an OE approved formulation that ensures maximum performance even in extreme temperatures.
  • WeatherShield Coating: Exceeding OE standards, this coating achieves 5 to 10 times the corrosion resistance as compared to other aftermarket coatings.

Built for maximum durability and heavy duty use, MAS Premium RD Rugged Design ball joints are specially designed for vehicles that regularly work over their limit: vehicles that tow more, carry more and push more than they should. These ball joints are designed to stand up to the abuse and demands of severe duty drivers! MAS Premium RD Rugged Design ball joints feature:

  • Larger High-Polish Ball: A larger ball surface distributes the load over a wider area, increasing durability and longevity under severe conditions.
  • Integrated Bearing Design: A hardening process allows the elimination of separate bearing and use of the larger premium ball.
    MAS Premium RD Rugged Design ball joints

The new MAS Premium XL Extended Life low-friction ball joints meet or exceed OE design standards and specifications. MAS' dedication to OE specifications maintains the vehicle's original handling and steering characteristics, and OE+ means these parts will last at least as long if not longer than the original parts. MAS Premium XL Extended Life ball joints feature:

  • EverSmooth Ball Finish: A smoother ball surface means less wear and increased durability for polymer bearing sockets, when OE specified.
  • UltraFlow Normalized Forged Housing: Normalized forging ensures the material has a small and uniform grain size for maximum durability, strength, and performance.
    MAS Premium XL Extended Life low-friction ball joints

These premium and heavy duty ball joints (along with other options by MAS Industries) are available for vehicles ranging from a 1964 Chevy Malibu, to a 2005 Honda Civic, to a 2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty. Ball joints can be found under the "Suspension" category in the RockAuto catalog.

Forum of the Month

The Cadillac V-Net is a combination web forum and information resource for anyone interested in the Cadillac "V-Series" high-performance models, the 2004-up, ATS-V, CTS-V, SLR-V, STS-V, XLR-V and XTS-V. On the Cadillac V-Net, V-owners and enthusiasts can hang out with their V-pals, ask questions, obtain technical information, express opinions and post about experiences with Cadillac’s American engineered and manufactured high-performance products.

If you are the administrator or member of a forum and you would like to see your website featured in an upcoming newsletter and receive a discount code to share with your members, contact

Repair Mistakes & Blunders


When I was in college, I owned a "very used" MG Midget. After a few years of service, it had become very apparent that the engine needed a complete rebuild. Since my grandfather had owned an auto repair shop, and my father was also a mechanic, I assumed that enough information and skill had rubbed off on me to tackle the rebuild task by myself. The engine block was machined, with new over-sized pistons and a remanufactured cylinder head installed, and I replaced all of the rod and main bearings on the crankshaft. After the rebuild, I proudly started the "new" engine only to hear a loud rod knock. I was devastated. I was so careful with every detail during the rebuild. How could I have messed this up?

I was about to start tearing the engine back out of the car when my father happened to walk into the garage to see how things were progressing, and I had to confess about the knock. We started the engine again and my father bent over the engine to listen to the knocking noise. While it was running, he reached down and pulled out the oil dipstick... and the knock disappeared! He made a slight bend in the dipstick, reinstalled it and the knock was cured. Somehow, during the rebuild process, I had bent the dipstick so that every time the crankshaft rotated, a rod journal contacted the dipstick, with the result sounding just like a rod bearing knock.

Randy in Nevada

Tell us about your most infamous auto repair blunder or unconventional fix. Use your woe to help others avoid similar mistakes or share off-the-wall solutions that worked (at least for a while!). Please email your story to Include your mailing address and if you would like a RockAuto T-Shirt (please let us know your shirt size) or Hat if we publish your story. See the T-Shirts and Hats under Tools & Universal Parts in the catalog. The story will be credited using only your first name and your vague geographic location (state, province, country, continent, etc.) so you can remain semi-anonymous!

Automotive Trivia

Automotive Trivia

On average, how often does the typical automatic belt tensioner adjust tension on a serpentine belt?

A. 500 times per mile (1.6 km)
B. 10,000 times per mile
C. 50,000 times per mile

Answer below

Constant Unrelenting Tension


This month, while replacing the original alternator on the 318 (5.2L) in my 1992 Dodge B250 van, I discovered the belt tensioner was frozen. A "frozen" belt tensioner usually refers to a bad bearing in the tensioner pulley. The tensioner pulley stops turning and the serpentine belt slips, melts and/or breaks.

This time it was the spring loaded tensioner arm that was frozen. I usually think of tensioner arms becoming too loose and floppy as the spring inside wears out. This tensioner arm was the opposite of floppy. I could not release the tension on the serpentine belt even while levering the tensioner arm with a 24 inch breaker bar. I could feel that the bolt head was going to break off the belt tensioner before the arm ever moved. I cut off the old serpentine belt so that I could remove the alternator.

Once I had the belt tensioner on the workbench, I could see that the tensioner arm spring was rubbing against and corroded into one side of the housing. It was the bearing inside the belt tensioner arm, rather than the bearing inside the belt tensioner pulley that had worn out first.

The tensioner arm spring was rubbing against and corroded into one side of the housing

I was finally able to break the arm free after clamping the belt tensioner in a vise and jerking the arm back and forth with the breaker bar. The arm's tension was uneven and there was a screeching noise as the spring scraped against the housing.

Constant, unrelenting tension only works when there is a separate V-belt for every one or two accessories (alternator, water pump, etc.). Belt tension needs to be continuously adjusted on newer engines (like my 1992!) that have a single serpentine belt following an extremely complicated path to power all the accessories. I do not know for sure if the seized-up belt tensioner arm contributed to my alternator/charging system problems. I do know after installing a new belt tensioner, my A/C compressor no longer makes a rumbling sound when I first switch it on.

Belt tensioners are always inexpensive when compared to the cost of replacing accessories. On most engines it would be a good idea to change the whole belt tensioner assembly (tensioner pulley and tensioner arm) rather than just the tensioner pulley. The cost difference is usually relatively small, and if one tensioner bearing is worn out, then the rest of the tensioner might be close to failing too.

Typical serpentine belt drive system

I am not in a hurry to replace more engine accessories, and a new full size passenger van easily costs $50,000 these days, so I treated my Dodge van to a new idler pulley, belt tensioner and serpentine belt. It is a good idea to replace the tensioner and any idler pulleys whenever it is time to replace the serpentine belt. RockAuto's "Belt Drive Component Kits" means buying a complete refresh of a belt system can take just one mouse click.

Go to the RockAuto catalog

Tom Taylor,

To read more of Tom's articles, click this link and choose from story titles on the Newsletter Archives page.

Frank's 1964 Nova Super Sport

I recently purchased this 1964 Chevy II Nova Super Sport that had been in storage since 1997. It is an all original California car with 56,000 original miles. The car is absolutely spotless with no rust or dent repairs. When I bought the car, a lot of the components had to be replaced due to the car not having been driven for eighteen years. Master cylinder, wheel cylinders, fuel pump, hoses, spark plug wires, carburetor, fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel sending unit, along with other odds and ends, were purchased through RockAuto. Great service with outstanding choices and prices!

Thanks RockAuto!
Frank in Michigan

Share Your Hard Work

Do you purchase parts from RockAuto? If so, RockAuto would like to give you the opportunity to have your car or truck possibly featured in one (or occasionally more) of our publications such as the monthly newsletter, collector magnets or RockAuto social media. New, old, import, domestic, daily driver, trailer queen, classic, antique, we want to see them all! Please email with your vehicle's history, interesting details, your favorite images (tips for taking pictures of your car) and what parts from RockAuto you have used.

Let RockAuto Help

Let RockAuto Help

Are you organizing a car show or other auto related event? From goody bag stuffers to gift certificates...RockAuto can help. We can even publicize your event in our newsletter.

Just send an email to with information about your show.

Automotive Trivia Answer

Automotive Trivia

On average, how often does the typical automatic belt tensioner adjust tension on a serpentine belt?

A. 500 times per mile (1.6 km)
Answer: B. 10,000 times per mile (source: Gates Corp.)
C. 50,000 times per mile

Back up to trivia question