Best Ball Joints for Jeep JK – Reviews For 2020
Struggling with death wobble? Does your steering keep wandering to the left or right? And are your front tires wearing unevenly? These are common signs of bad ball joints.
Don’t wait until you lose control of your vehicle when driving to make up your mind to replace the ball joints. It’s a crucial task that needs to be handled as soon as possible.
Fortunately, with basic mechanical knowledge, ball joint replacement is something you can do even from your driveway with the right tools.
To help you avoid the exhausting process of looking for the best ball joints for jeep jk, we’ve put together a list of the top models. This will save you hours if not days or even weeks of research.
We’ve also included a few ball joint tool kits worth looking at.
Let’s get started.
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Things to before consider buying ball joints for jeep jk
To pick the perfect ball joints for your jeep, there are a few considerations you need to make. These include:
Our Top 10 Best Ball Joints for Jeep JK in 2020
1. Astro 7865 Ball Joint Service Tool Kit
Are you dealing with worn ball joints or do you want to do other repairs or maintenance tasks in your jeep’s suspension? What you need is a nice tool kit with the right tools.
One such kit is the Astro 7865 Ball Joint Service Tool Kit which is very appropriate for GM, Ford, IHC, Dodge, and of course Jeeps.
As long as your vehicle is a 4-wheel drive system and has the Dana 30 or 44 front axle, it doesn’t matter if it’s 1967 or 2019 model; the tool set is built for it.
That’s an amazing level of compatibility but remember, this one works with 4WD, not 2WD systems.
Apart from versatility, there are other major aspects that makes this a worthy tool set.
First off, it comes with several useful tools. One of these is a variety of adapters and sleeves with varying lengths and diameters. With these, you’ll have an easy time installing or removing ball joints.
Using wrenches to remove u joints can be problematic. Astro recognizes that, and that’s why they’ve included a powerful c-frame unit in the set. The c-frame transforms a strenuous task of installing or removing universal joints into a hassle-free process.
There’s one issue you need to consider before purchasing this unit. Some people have expressed concerns that the adapter cups are not long enough. You might have to get longer cups separately.
The unit is by no means meant for professional use, but for a family mechanic, it’d be a great pick. It’s high quality in terms of the strength and durability of the tools, and also comes with a sturdy carry case.
Maybe you’ve been through the disappointing case of renting a press kit from an auto shop only to find missing parts or deformed parts. In that case, you might be looking for a better option to renting, and do you know what it is? Buying your own.
The Astro 7897 Ball Joint Service Tool Kit is one of the best ball joints for jeep jk out there, and if you’re a jeep jk owner, here are some of the benefits you stand to enjoy.
You get everything you need. For instance, you need installing/removing adapters and receiver tubes to be able to work on press-fit lower and upper ball joints. This set comes with both of these items. The best part is that they’re compatible with not only jeep jk but also most Ford, Dodge, and GM vehicles regardless of whether they’re 2- or 4-wheel drive systems.
Pressing the universal joints in and out of the front axles can be a hassle without the right tools. Most people that have ever rented a tool kit from an auto shop can attest to the fact that these kits don’t come with the right tools for removing u-joints.
The reason why so many users love the Astro 7897 Ball Joint Service Tool Kit is that it comes with just the right tool for the task – a forged c-frame press.
This is a powerful tool with incredible tensile strength. It works great for pressing the universal joints in and out of the front axles.
You can use the c-frame press with the strongest ½-inch impacts on the market.
One thing you have to know, however, is that some folks find the c-frame to be too small. The inside diameter is 6 inches while the outside one is 8.75 inches. Make sure that works for you before purchasing.
If you want a tool kit that comes with virtually everything needed, and that has a powerful blow-molded case, this one would be a good pick.
3. Moog K3134T Ball Joint
When it comes to car parts, Moog is one of those trustworthy brands. Their series of ball joints have been some of the finest in the market, offering superior performance as compared to OEM joints.
The Moog K3134T Ball Joint is one product that offers lots of benefits, albeit with a few issues we’re going to explore shortly.
What makes it good?
The first benefit that this one offers is improved strength. Made of premium hardened materials, the ball joint is powerful and able to withstand heavier loads. You could be able to carry up to 50% more weight without the issue of wearing the tires.
Ball joints normally have to deal with lots of pressure and friction. The only way to make them survive and last is to ensure there’s high greasability capability. In other words, they have to be easy to grease.
Thankfully, this unit is easy to grease. Featuring a powdered metal gusher bearing, the unit makes the flow of grease to the stud easy. That in turn leads to less friction and more life for the ball joint.
There’s no doubt the performance of this unit is top-notch. That being said, the joint has faced lots of criticism by those who used its previous versions.
The main point of concern is that the featured update in this version includes the removal of the rubber boot between the balljoint and the steering knuckle.
This, subsequently, leads to a bit of the balljoint shaft, like a ¼ or ½ inch, being visible.
What makes it worse is that the manufacturer doesn’t state the update in the packaging, thereby leading to confusion.
That being said, the update doesn’t really affect the performance.
4. TeraFlex 3442002 Upper & Lower Ball Joints For Jeep JK
Do you have a shimmy steering at low speeds? What about a death wobble? That is likely an indication that your ball joints need replacement. If you’re looking for the best ball joints jeep jk, there are many reasons why the TeraFlex 3442002 Upper & Lower Ball Joint Kit might be the ideal pick.
The kit comes with four ball joints in a phenomenal packaging.
Each ball joint is in its in the box, which prevents damage during storage or transportation.
But what is most pleasing is that virtually all the hardware needed for installation is included. That includes a preload adjustment tool.
Looking to install oversized tires on your vehicle? Then you need very strong ball joints that can withstand the pressure. Thankfully, these are heavy duty and designed to handle whatever is thrown at them.
To meet extreme side load demands, the upper joint is designed with profoundly hard sintered bushings.
Corrosion is one of the factors that wears ball joints. To deal with that issue, the manufacturer put a coating of magnesium phosphate, which greatly inhibits corrosion.
The wear plate is made of hard alloy steel, which greatly reduces the rate of wear. Apart from that, the plate contains grease channels that ramp up the flow to the joint, thereby improving not only longevity but also durability.
One of the coolest things about these joints is that they’re adjustable. Why’s that important? Keep in mind that on the conventional joints, you have to make do with the camber/caster angle. But with these, adjustment is possible, making it practical to keep the wheels parallel to one another and perpendicular to the road.
If you’re tired of extreme wobble or shimmy steering, don’t be on the fence about getting these. They’re simply the best for jeep jk/jku 2007 to 2012.
5. Alloy USA 11800 Upper & Lower Ball Joint Kit
Want a good set of threaded ball joints? You might want to give the Alloy USA 11800 Upper & Lower Ball Joint Kit a shot.
The kit comes with 2 lower joints and 2 upper joints – four in total. Made from steel, these are some of the strongest units on the market, making it possible to carry heavier items.
If you own a Jeep Wrangler or Grand Cherokee that was manufactured between 2007 and 2018, you might want to try these, though there’s an issue we’re going to tell you about in a bit.
One of the factors to think about when buying a ball joint is whether it’ll be possible to do continued maintenance. These units come with a low profile zerk fittings, making continued maintenance easy.
As stated before, the strength that these ones have is on a superior level when compared to OEM joints. In that regard, they’re made from heat-treated high-grade steel (SAE 4120 and 4140). Towing and carrying heavy loads will be more practical.
And now for the issues.
First, when pressing them in, ensure they’re facing forward. Else, greasing them will be quite difficult.
The other problem is that there seems to be a problem with quality checks in the production line. Some people have received units with inconsistent colors, and some have received plastic instead of metal retainer rings.
All in all, it’s a great pick for someone looking for strong ball joints.
6. Dynatrac JP44-2X3050-C Pro Steer Ball Joints
Introducing the Dynatrac JP44-2X3050-C Pro Steer Ball Joints. To many people, these are hands down the best jeep jk ball joints. If you own a Jeep JK 2007 to 2014, you definitely want to hear what these have to offer.
First off, these are price friendly. You get all four ball joints for a small, unbeatable price.
Have you been dealing with death wobble? Time to say goodbye to that. Once you install these balls, your vehicle will no longer have that extreme wobble that comes with weak or worn ball joints.
Don’t have expert skills when it comes to vehicle mechanics? No problem! These are some of the easiest to install ball joints in the market. You can be done in under 4 hours, installing all four of them, and you can do it in the driveway.
Besides, the instructions that come with these are very simple and easy to follow even for someone that has never installed ball joints before.
Looking at the pictures, you might not think that the joints are strong, but they are. They hold up really well and are able to resist pressure efficiently.
In that regard, these are made of stainless steel, and featuring a high-strength, heat-treated billet body with chromoly stems, they can be counted on for support. In fact, they meet military specs.
To reduce friction and keep corrosion at bay, the units are Teflon-coated.
If you want smooth and tight ball joints that are heavy duty, don’t hesitate to get the Dynatrac JP44-2X3050-C Pro Steer Ball Joints.
7. PartsW 4 Pc Suspension Kit
Looking for an inexpensive yet decent quality set of ball joints for your jeep? Check out the PartsW 4 Pc Suspension Kit. It comes with two front lower ball joints and two front upper ball joints alongside a few installation hardware.
The first thing we noted about these is good craftsmanship.
Crafted from premium alloy steel, the joints are strong and durable.
The dust boot is the part of the joint that prevents contamination. If it’s not working or installed correctly, the joint’s durability falls behind. But the dust boots on these ones are well installed and permanently attached, making it hard for contaminants to get in.
This not only boosts the performance but also increases the service life.
Corrosion is one of the factors that lead to ball joint deterioration. But things are different with these joints. Apart from the fact that they’re made of premium alloy steel, the units feature a powder coating, which actively resists corrosion.
If you’re having trouble finding the right ball joints for your Jeep, these could be a good option, as they’re some of the most versatile we’ve come across.
You can use them with all Jeep Wrangler JK models, Jeep Cherokee 1984 to 2001, Jeep Grand Wagoneer 1993, Jeep Comanche 1986 to 1992, and many other Jeep models.
There’s however, a few issues you have to deal with. For instance, the upper boot cover has to be pressed in to remove.
Another problem is that the boots appear a little flimsy.
But for the price, these units are worth purchasing. Certainly a good pick for someone on a budget.
8. Synergy Manufacturing 8009-12 Ball Joint Set
The Synergy Manufacturing 8009-12 Ball Joint Set includes four ball joints – two upper and two lower. Let’s get one thing straight – we’re not recommending these, but for some jeep users, they’d be okay to get.
So why have we included them in this review? Because you asked us to. Some of our readers requested us to talk about this specific model, and give recommendations, which is what this is about.
When we first looked at the housing, we thought it had to be plastic, but then we were wrong. It’s actually sintered graphite and bronze, which is a fairly strong material.
Made from 1045 steel, the ball joint is strong and also smooth for a seamless ride.
That being said, these ball joints are not designed for the pressure of heavy loads. You don’t want to use them if you’re running large tires and you don’t want to use them if you’re using a spacer to give your jeep lift.
Conversely, if your tires are normal-sized and you don’t have modifications on your suspension that increase the weight or height, then these might work well for you. There are those who have used them for years without any issues.
Apart from avoiding heavy loads and suspension modifications, there’s something else you got to observe. Before going on wheeling trips, be sure to grease the joints. Fortunately, these feature an easy to grease design.
The price seems a bit too high, and there’s our main problem with these. Rather than using 200 bucks on them, why not go for the Moog K3134T Ball Joints, which offer more strength and durability at around half the cost?
9. Moog K3185 Ball Joint
Even just by looking at the Moog K3185 Ball Joint, you might agree that it looks heavy duty, and it is! Made from premium hardened materials, this unit is able to withstand pressure, allowing you to handle up to 50 percent more weight.
Before we even jump into what makes this one special, let’s make it clear that it’s meant for the 2007 to 2014 Jeep Wrangler JK, the Jeep JK Rubicon, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The Moog K3185 is an update from an earlier design, and the update comes with both good and bad aspects to it.
First off, the grease reservoir is larger. That simply means that the grease you apply will last longer, and it will lubricate the bearing more effectively. As a result, you will feel the steering become firmer and the ride grow smoother.
Secondly, the socket is easier to grease. This lowers the rate of wear and corrosion and makes it simpler for new lube to remove contaminants.
One negative aspect to the update is that there isn’t a good flat shoulder for pressing them in from the lower side. This is virtually the only bad thing we noted about the unit, and it makes installation a bit of a hassle.
But once the joint is installed, its heavy duty service and the performance and durability surpass the initial hassle of installation.
Again, the price on this one is quite good. For less than 200 bucks, you get all four joints. These are not as good as the Dynatrac JP44-2X3050-C Pro Steer Ball Joints but they’re better than the ones from Synergy and they’re also cheaper.
10. Spicer 707488X Suspension Ball Joint Kit
Are you on a tight budget and need something that will work on your Jeep Wrangler JK or Grand Cherokee WJ? You may want to try the Spicer 707488X Suspension Ball Joint Kit.
This kit comes with two front ball joints, which are priced at an extremely fair rate.
Note that this kit comes with one front upper ball joint and one front lower ball joint. That allows you to do one side of the axle.
If you’ve been buying car parts for a while, you might already be familiar with the Dana Spicer brand. It’s one of the top producers and sellers of aftermarket motor parts that works as effectively as OEM parts.
When it comes to the Spicer 707488X Suspension Ball Joint Kit, Dana Spicer has created something decent for the buyer on a budget.
The first thing we noted and appreciated in the unit is the good construction. The joints are made of high-strength steel that is able to withstand the same pressure as the factory joints.
What about the ease of installation, you ask? Well, that’s where the main problem is with these. They’re not easy to install. You need some time and muscle. But once you get the job done, the units will serve you well.
Another thing – though these are well made and strong too, they’re not meant for heavy loads. Don’t use them if you’re intending to tow or install spacers on your vehicle.
Otherwise, for the budget minded buyer using their truck for light duty tasks, this kit would be a great option.
11. Spicer 2007354 Ball Joint Socket Assembly
Do you own a Jeep Wrangler JK 2007 to 2011? Looking for a good set of ball joints for it? Introducing the Spicer 2007354 Ball Joints. The set includes two joints, one for the upper and one for the lower front. So, with it, you can do one side of the axle.
What most people love about these is that they’re inexpensive, allowing folks on a budget to get a decent replacement for their worn or damaged factory ball joints.
However, we’d like you to note that these are not an upgrade. We’d like you to see them as a replacement instead. That’s because they’re only as good as the factory, perhaps with a slight step back on the quality.
Manufactured from heavy duty steel, the joints are able to hold out to the pressure of everyday tasks. If you use your jeep for the road and don’t tow or carry any extremely heavy loads, then these will work well.
On the other hand, if you use your truck for difficult tasks such as towing or carrying extra heavy weights, then these units are not for you.
Because you see, they’re not greasable. So, you cannot do continued maintenance on them. In the same light, if you run extra large tires like 33 inches and above, then these are not the right ball joints. You’ll need something more robust and greasable.
One more thing to keep in mind – these are not adjustable.
12. Synergy Manufacturing 8009-12-01 Ball Joint Set
Synergy products are great, but for some reason, most of the people we talked to regarding their Jeep ball joints had nothing negative things to say.
One thing you have to realize is that the Synergy Manufacturing 8009-12-01 Ball Joint Set are not meant for the hard places or times. We’ll clarify that in a bit, but let’s first see what the kit includes.
When you get the kit, you’ll find two ball joints for the front. One is for the upper and the other one is for the lower side. That means the kit is meant to complete one side of the axle.
Apart from the ball joints, there are a few installation hardware included.
The material that is used to make these doesn’t seem to be as strong as stainless steel or other materials used in the best jeep jk ball joints such as those from Dynatrac. It’s a combination of graphite and bronze. Strong, but not for the very harsh uses.
The ball bearing surface is 1045 steel, which is strong. So, with these, and with light duty operations, you will notice that the ride becomes smooth.
These joints are also greasable. There may not be a big grease reservoir, but the metal is designed for easy greasing. So, you can be continued maintenance to keep them working well.
So, what is the problem about?
The main issue with these is the construction. They’re not made very sturdy. That’s why many people have reported about them failing too soon. But the issue is also about not understanding what these are for. The joints are for the road user, not the offroad user.
Also, purchase these if you normally use your vehicle for light tasks.
best jeep jk ball joints Installing Guide
If you’re having some death wobble issues, that might be an indication that your jeep’s ball joints are faulty. In this section, we’re going to take you through the steps of replacing your ball joints.
The first step is to remove the wheels. So, use a jack stand to lift and support the jeep and get the tires out.
Remove the brake calipers. Before doing that, you’ll need to pop the hood and loosen the top on the brake fluid reservoir. A 12-point half-inch socket will come in handy for removing the brake caliper bolts.
Compress the brake caliper piston with a big c-clamp.
As soon as the brake calipers are out, hang them out of the way with a bungee cord, tying them to the lower front control arms.
With the brake caliper out of the way, you can now remove the brake lever and set it aside.
Now you have access to the hub and splash guard assembly.
Take off the three bolts connecting the hub to the steering knuckle. If they’re too tight, you could always use a breaker bar to loosen them up.
After that, remove the nut securing the axle shaft to the hub assembly.
To do that, remove the old cotter pin and the retaining washer and cap.
A large flat-head screw driver will come in handy for removing the cotter pin. You might also need pliers to get the pin straight. Once it’s straight, pull it out of the other side with your pliers or pound it through with a hammer.
Once the pin is out, you can remove the cap and spring washer.
With a 36mm socket, remove the axle hub nut. You might need a breaker bar if it’s very tight. Once you remove the nut, there’s another washer in there that needs to be removed.
Now grab the whole hub assembly and get it out.
You now have access to pull the axle shaft out of the differential. So, grab it and pull it straight out. It’s a long bar.
Time to remove the tie rod end that’s held to the front steering knuckle.
To do that, you’ll have to remove the castellated nut and the cotter pin holding it in place. A ¾-inch socket is what you need for that. But, don’t take the nut all the way out. Just loosen it a bit.
Then, use a tie rod end removal tool to get the tie rod out. Just place the forked part of the jaws beneath the steering knuckle and put the singular part on top of the nut.
Be sure to lube the removal tool’s threads before using it.
So, tighten down the tool. As you do that, the upper jaw will force the bolt attaching itself to the ball of the tie rod end to go down through the steering knuckle. Use a hammer to smack the upper jaw and the bolt will get off.
From there, remove the castellated nut and get your tie rod out of the way.
At this point, you have access to the steering knuckle and the upper and lower ball joints.
With a 28mm socket, remove the lower ball joint’s castellated nut. For the upper joint, you’ll need a 22mm socket.
Remove the steering knuckle so as to press out the ball joints.
First, reinstall one of the castle nuts, securing it just a bit to catch the unit.
With a 3-pound sledge, smack the shoulder of the steering knuckle at the upper part to lock out the unit.
Now you can undo the castle nut and remove the steering knuckle.
Time to remove the ball joints.
At this point, what you need is a really good ball joint set, such as the ones we talked about in the review.
Start with the upper joint.
The first step is to remove the dust boot. That way you can get your attachments to fir right on and press the joint out.
You have to figure out which of the attachments in the kit will help you remove the joints.
Set the appropriate fitting to the bottom of the press so the ball joint’s stem can go through.
Then take another attachment for the top and choose a top cap for the press to mount securely into.
Take for the top and place it on the ball joint with its cap on it. Ensure it sits snugly.
Slide the bottom fitting up on the lower side of the ball joint.
Set the press with the upper clamp holding the top cap and the lower clamp holding the bottom fitting.
When you tighten the press, the lower clamp will push the ball joint out through the top. You’ll need a breaker bar and a socket for tightening that.
Repeat the same process for the lower ball joint; only this time, line up the press in an upside-down fashion. The joint will come out through the bottom.
Time to install your new set of the best ball joints jeep jk.
Before doing that, grease the parts where the old ones sat. That will make the installation easier.
Like with the removal, the lower joint will be pressed from the bottom while the upper joint will be pressed from the top.
So, line up the necessary attachments and use the c-clamp to press the lower ball joint from the bottom up.
Since the upper ball joint is being pressed from the top, you want to remove its retainer ring and dust boot first, and then reinstall them afterward.
Don’t forget to add grease before pressing the joint down.
And, you’re all done. Here, we’ve attached a video in case you need a clearer illustration of the process. Note that in the video, they’ve recommended Synergy ball joints, but as you read in our review above and according to most users’ opinions, those aren’t the best.
Changing your ball joints, and in general, working on your jeep can be fun and rewarding, considering you’ll enjoy a better ride. Nonetheless, you’re in the risk of getting accidental injuries, and hence the need for precautions.
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe when changing your ball joints:
Common Questions and Answer For Jeep JK Ball Joints
What is the use of ball joints in jeeps?
The ball joint is the connection between the steering knuckle and the control arm. It pivots the knuckle, allowing you to steer the vehicle.
What shows my jeep has bad ball joints?
When ball joints wear, that leads to problems with the suspension and the steering. If the steering wheel keeps wandering to the right or left, or if there are clunking sounds from the front of your jeep, that might indicate the ball joints are bad. Uneven wear on the front tires is another common sign.
Is it hard to replace ball joints?
To be honest, replacing ball joints is not easy. It’s a 2/3 wrench job, needing more than basic DIY skills and tools. On the brighter side, there are lots of video guides on YouTube that can help you complete the process successfully.
All you need is time (a couple of hours), some muscle, and some patience.
How do I diagnose bad ball joints on my jeep?
Lift the vehicle with a jackstand so the weight is not on the wheel on the side you’re suspecting has bad ball joints. Don’t loosen any nuts.
Put some pressure on the top of the wheel and see if there’s movement. If there’s movement, that’s an indication that the ball joints are worn out and need replacement.
Can I drive with bad ball joints?
Yes, you can, but it’s a bad idea. Your suspension could come apart while driving and cause you to lose control of the vehicle, which can be catastrophic. Look at Quora for details about it.
How much does ball joint replacement cost?
The price ranges from 200 to over 1000 bucks per side for the lower and upper ball joints. If you got some basic mechanical skills, as well as some time and elbow grease, it’d be better to replace them yourself.
That could reduce the price dramatically as you’ll only need to purchase the joints, without having to pay for labor.
So, that’s it our friends. We hope that our review of the best ball joints for jeep jk has pointed you in the correct direction.
Follow the included links to get the right model and from the right seller on amazon. And one more thing – be sure to check the compatibility; make sure the model fits your Jeep before purchasing the product.