The Jeep JK, or Wrangler, has always been known to have weak and problematic ball joints. Due to the “nature of the beast”, Jeep ball joints are vulnerable to premature wear. The original equipment ball joints were designed with synthetic linings, which are very susceptible to damage from dirt and dust.
In addition, many Jeep JK owners customize their vehicles by altering the suspensions and adding wider rims and tires. Doing this adds to the load pressure on the ball joints, causing them to wear even quicker. As your Jeep’s ball joints begin to deteriorate, you may experience steering looseness, front-end vibration (commonly called the death wobble), suspension popping, or track wandering, as in drifting away from a straight driving path.
Best Ball Joints for Jeep (JK) Wrangler:
|TeraFlex 3442002||Alloy USA 11800||Synergy MFG||TeraFlex 3442022||DV8 Offroad||Dana 2007354|
|OEM Part Number||3442002||11800||Synergy JK/JKU/WJ |
HD Adjustable Ball Joi
|Vehicle Fitment||2007-2015||1999-2018||2007-2018||2007-2015||2007-2018||2012, 2016, 2018|
|Latest Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
Replacing the ball joints with factory joints will result in the same premature wear patterns. You will be much better off financially by spending a few more dollars up front and purchasing better built aftermarket replacement ball joints. Below is a review of some of the best ball joints to replace the factory originals with.
Important Considerations When Replacing Ball Joints
A ball joint is a car part that you don’t see very often. Its function is similar to your shoulder joint. If you shoulder causes you problems, it is something that you feel. With your Jeep’s ball joint, the same may be true. Steering may become loose and your jeep may develop shimmying issues (referred to as the death wobble). So what is important when selecting a ball joint replacement?
Quality materials – choose products that have been created with hardened steel or considered heavy duty. This will provide better protection against wear and improve the life of the ball joint.
Best ball joints for quality materials: TeraFlex 3442002 or Teraflex 3442022
Resistant coatings – choosing a ball joint with resistant coatings will protect your ball joints from corrosion. This feature will greatly extend the life of the ball joint by preventing contaminants from damaging the joints. This is especially important if you do a lot of off-roading with your Jeep.
Best ball joints for resistant coatings: Synergy MFG HD Adjustable
Quality design – all ball joint parts are basically the same, but that doesn’t mean that their durability is equal on the inside. If the design isn’t high quality, longevity will be affected.
Best ball joints for quality design: TeraFlex 3442002 or Teraflex 3442022
Individual Ball Joint Reviews
TeraFlex 3442002 HD Ball Joints
This ball joint kit comes as a set of four, upper and lower, and are engineered to handle the increased load caused by oversized tires and offset wheels. They are constructed of 4140 chromoly steel, steel that is used when more strength is required than that of carbon steel. TeraFlex then coats their ball joints with a magnesium phosphate to help resist corrosion. Each joint has two grease zerk fittings to allow you to apply grease from either side of the ball joint.
Because these ball joints are greaseable and adjustable to wheel weight loads, maintenance and longevity is improved when compared to the factory originals. Internally, the TeraFlex 3442002 ball joints have a harder, tool steel wear plate that provides better wear resistance and better grease flow through and around the joint. Also included is a neoprene boot that helps prevent contaminants from getting into the ball joints.
- 4140 chromoly steel construction
- Magnesium phosphate coated to resist corrosion
- Adjustable according to weight loads
- Lifetime warranty
- Requires axle modification on 2013 and newer models
Alloy USA 11800 Upper/Lower Ball Joint Kit
Alloy USA is a respected manufacturer of heavy-duty ball joints and their ball joints are specifically designed to handle the stress caused by over-sized wheels and tires. If your Jeep has a lift kit, these ball joints may be the ideal replacement item. However, they perform better if you limit your driving to paved roads and avoid extreme terrain.
The upper and lower ball joints come with a crown pressurized plate with a threaded preload unit. This will increase the durability and weight-bearing capacity of the joints, and help provide precise steering control. The ball and shaft are constructed from SAE 4120 and SAE 4140 chromoly steel.
- High-grade SAE 4140 and 4120 steel construction for durability
- Zerk grease fittings allow for greasing after installation
- Preload system for accurate and precise steering control
- Ideal for lifted vehicles with over-sized wheels and tires
- Consumer complaints about upper dust cover fit issues
- Several consumer complaints concerning longevity and durability
- Difficult to access to grease fittings once installed
Synergy MFG HD Adjustable Ball Joint Kit
The Synergy MFG kit is designed with lifted vehicles with larger off-road style tires in mind. These ball joints will improve performance and provide increased durability.
The ball joint is constructed from 4140 steel and has an induction heat treated bearing surface. The housing is made of a combination of sintered graphite, bronze, and 1045 steel for added strength. The included boot is silicone polyurethane.
- Designed with lifted vehicles and off-road tires in mind
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Made from high-quality materials
- Fully greaseable
- Consumers report problems with the boots
- Steering may be too stiff
TeraFlex 3442022 Dana Knurled Ball Joint Set
The TeraFlex knurled ball joints, in addition to being constructed of 4140 chromoly steel with 1045 carbon steel housings, and have sintered wear bushings to take on the extreme side loads your Jeep may experience. Sintered steel is more resistant to high temperatures and it also slows the affects of deformation.
Using a knurled ball joint may help seat the ball joint more firmly in the axle and is especially useful if you own an older vehicle. If your Jeep has had a knurled ball joint previously installed as a replacement, you must always use joints with a knurled version because they do scar the axle bore.
These TeraFlex ball joints have a factory-style serrated flanges and grease fittings. Installation and maintenance is easy and they are ideal for older jeeps with a lot of miles on them.
- Fittings are greased
- Can handle severe side load pressure
- 4140 chromoly steel construction
- Magnesium phosphate coated to resist corrosion
- May not come with boot bottoms
- Grease fittings may be different from advertised
- No installation instructions
DV8 Offroad Atomic Green HD Ball Joint Set
These ball joints will smooth out a rough ride and keep steering tight. The DV8 is made of high-quality SAE 4140 chromoly steel with SAE 1045 housings, which will increase joint strength and durability. And as their name says, they are designed with off-roading in mind.
The housing groves are closer together than other brands, providing excellent resistance to side-load stresses, and also assists with installation.
- Made in the USA
- Greaseable for standard maintenance
- Includes all hardware necessary for installation
- You must be in love with the color green
Dana 2007354 Suspension Ball Joint and Component
These Dana ball joints are internally greased and require no further greasing. They are not adjustable as some of their competitors are, but do include all of the necessary hardware to install them. Beware that these joints are only sold per side, and not as a set of four.
- Ease of installation
- Maintenance free
- Priced individually, per side
- OEM replacements, not really an upgrade
Replacing ball joints is not the simplest of DIY jobs, so you definitely don’t want to undertake the task very often. A mechanic with the right tools at hand can accomplish the task quickly, with precision. If you are lying on your concrete driveway, crawling back and forth from wheel to wheel, the task can seem next to impossible. That’s why you should go to the added expense of buying quality replacement ball joints. Being able to periodically add grease to the joints is beneficial to performance and durability. Overall, we feel that you can’t go wrong choosing either of the above reviewed TeraFlex ball joints when replacement time comes for your Jeep.