Review & Install Video
Ball joints are a wear item, and if you have large tires on your Jeep and/or if you do a lot of wheeling, you are going to wear out those factory ball joints a little bit quicker. Once you do wear them out, it definitely makes sense to upgrade to a heavy-duty set of ball joints like these ones, versus just putting in another set of factory ball joints that are going to wear out just as quickly as that first set. Today, we're going to talk through the installation of these ball joints, which I am going to give a two out of three wrenches, and you'll probably need to set aside around three hours or so to get these installed. If you're not okay doing a lot of disassembly to your front axle in order to swap out your ball joints, you can always take your Jeep to a shop to have this job done.But we'll talk a little bit more about the install in just a second. Now, there are a lot of heavy-duty ball joints on the market, and a lot of them are going to be right in this price range. Of course, there are some sets that are a little bit fancier. They're adjustable. They are going to have some additional features, and those ones are going to be more expensive. But for a heavy-duty set of ball joints that's just a simple, well-built piece like this one, these are going to be right in the same price range as a lot of others, and they're going to work. As far as the construction goes, these ball joints, like most of the other heavy-duty ones, are going to have a metal-on-metal joint, and that's something that sets these apart from some of those newer aftermarket joints. These are going to be very, very strong. Of course, these are also going to be greasable while they're installed on the Jeep, even if you do have to do a little bit of finagling to be able to get your grease gun on the grease fittings. These have a polyurethane-style grease boot overtop of them, with a spring clip. So they shouldn't tear. They should hold up really well, keeping you greased exactly where you want them. The ball itself has a bit of a channel milled in it. So as the ball joints move and flex, it's helping them carry grease and keep that ball completely covered in the grease, which of course is going to extend the life as well. Now, these are going to be a knurled ball joint. So if you already have knurled ball joints installed, you're going to want to go with a set like this. If your ball joint seats are a little bit worn, then a knurled set is probably going to be a good idea. If they're in good shape, if you had smooth ball joints in the past, you can probably get smooth ones installed, or you can go to a knurled. It's completely up to you at that point. Now, as I said before, these are going to be greasable. They come with all [your] castle nuts, your cotter pins, your grease fittings, everything you need to get these installed. The install itself is going to be a two out of three-wrench install, and you are going to have to give yourself around three hours. You're going to have to jack up the Jeep, pull off the tires, the brakes. On some Jeeps, you're going to have to open up the differential, pull your C-clip, pull your axle shaft out, to be able to get the bare steering knuckle exposed. From there, it's a matter of taking off the cotter pins and the castle nuts, removing the steering knuckle, using a ball joint tool to remove the old ball joints, press the new ones in, and then reverse that whole process to get everything put back together. Now, this is certainly something you can do in your driveway if you feel up to the task, if you have the tools, if you have the time, and you do a little bit of research. However, if you're not interested in doing that much disassembly to your front axle, you can always take your Jeep to a shop to have these installed. These come in at right around $200 for a four-piece set of ball joints, and that's pretty much the standard for a heavy-duty set of ball joints like these ones. As I said before, there are some ball joints out there that are going to have some additional features. They might be a little bit more money. But for a good, simple, heavy-duty set of ball joints, I think this is going to be a good buy at $200. So if you've done the tests, you know your ball joints are bad, and you don't want to install an OEM set that's just going to wear out quickly, going with a heavy-duty set of ball joints is a great idea. These ones from Alloy USA come with a warranty. They come with the great Alloy USA name, and they're going to be priced competitively with the other heavy-duty ball joints that are available. So that's my review of the Alloy USA four-piece ball joint kit, fitting all 1987 to 2006 Wranglers, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.