MOOG vs ACDelco: A piece of advice
Let’s not kid ourselves: the suspension aftermarket would be quite empty if it weren’t for MOOG and ACDelco. In a way, these two brands revolutionized the access to affordable, good quality parts that feel (and ride) like your OEMs.
But which one’s actually better: MOOG or ACDelco?
With their legion of product lines, it isn’t that easy to say. Before I compare them, I’d like to note something:
For ACDelco: Make sure you’re sticking to the Professional line of products (like this ball joint). The ACDelco Advantage line is a discounted, generic lineup of lower quality.
For MOOG: Stick to their Problem Solver series (such as this control arm assembly) for similar reasons.
Whenever you see the CK lettering (or K-series for ball joints), you’ll know it’s a Problem Solver part. The MOOG R-series are similar to ACDelco’s Advantage – cheaper parts of inferior quality.
Why would you even care?
Well, I wouldn’t cheap out on suspension parts because they’re absolutely crucial for your vehicle. Forking over a few bucks more will buy you the needed peace of mind.
Seriously, look at this video. This guy demonstrates how a discounted part (Advantage) differs from professional performance (Problem Solver) on his Chevy:
Which is why it’s better for us to stick to MOOG Problem Solver vs AC Delco Professional.
So, which brand is better for what parts?
My quick cheatsheet would be:
Ball joints: Definitely MOOG with their K-series ball joints like this one. The powdered metal gusher bearing design is a groundbreaking improvement, and they’re easier to service.
Best for its price range, stellar Problem Solver performance. Serviceable, well-powdered and sturdy!
Tie rod ends: Honestly, a tie (heh). Both brands are similar in terms of pricing, durability and ease of installation. For eye-candy purposes, I dig ACDelco’s golden-colored coating – but functionally, it doesn’t change much.
From the brand's Professional series. Durable, looks cool, fits well. On par with the best of MOOG.
Control arm assemblies: MOOG’s Problem Solver CK is unmatched. The updated design makes these control arms a piece of cake to install and ensures a secure, intelligent fitting system.
Wheel bearings: Similar to ball joints, MOOG win with their roll form design (= grease spreads better), thicker coating and ABS cord protection.
However! If you’re looking for extra heavy-duty bearings, neither is the best choice. Head over to my article on Timken, SKF and MOOG to see why SKF is the king.
Some specifics with MOOG vs ACDelco aftermarket parts
First, I want to clarify on something related to the ball joint comparison.
Up until a few years ago or so, a lot of ACDelco’s ball joints weren’t greasable. With MOOG having a grease zerk, that was a huge advantage in terms of serviceability and longevity.
Since then, ACDelco have increased their portfolio of greasable joints. If you get a Professional part, it should be serviceable.
Still, as I mentioned, the extra powdered design makes MOOG ball joints tougher. I’ve talked about this when comparing the brand to Mevotech, and especially this research on how MOOG joints outperform many other brands and OEMs.
Second, let’s talk about car brands.
ACDelco are, as far as I know, the official OE part supplier for several car makes. We’re talking about Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac. Remind me if I’m forgetting someone.
MOOG is a NASCAR® partner and spreads to providing OEM quality to more brands. Just a small note – if you have Jeep, even their professional-grade ball joints aren’t good enough. I have a post on Jeep ball joints that introduces better options.
Third, let’s talk product lines.
ACDelco has a few additional lines of products that MOOG doesn’t offer.
An iconic example would be their decent brake pads and rotors (latest prices here).
As long as you stick to the Professional line, these actually outperform OEM pads. While not as good as Wagner brakes, they’re still a great bang for your buck in that price range.
Along these, we also have air filters, batteries, and spark plugs…making the brand more diversified in terms of product segments. But I think that the central point of comparing these two is the suspension system.
What are your experiences with MOOG or ACDelco?
As always, aftermarket parts can be a very subjective topic. I’ve seen a lot of people have a bad experience with one brand, while others swear by it.
I think both have their time to shine. Talking about ACDelco, I know they have good serpentine belts too, as they rely on the legendary Gates for the manufacture.
I’m interested to learn more about your story. Which brand do you prefer? What parts of theirs have you installed in your vehicle, and how did it go?
Let me and the other readers know, we’d appreciate it!