(approx) 2 Hours
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Ryan: Hey, what's up guys. Ryan here from ExtremeTerrain. And today I'm here with the Alloy USA Heavy Duty Ball Joint Kit fitting your 2007 to 2018 Jeep Wrangler JK. Now this gonna be for those of you Jeep guys out there that are just looking to upgrade or replace those factory ball joints. So it's gonna cater to you base model guys and of course, you Rubicon guys as well. Now, currently, this kit is priced right around $200 which I think is pretty reasonable considering what you're getting. At $50 a joint for a heavy-duty greaseable ball joint, I really don't think that's bad and this kit is priced right around other heavy-duty options. Now, as far as installation goes, I'm gonna give this a three out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter. This is a pretty labor-intensive install. Requires pulling apart the whole entire axle, taking the breaks and everything off, using some special tools like a ball joint press. So some of you guys might wanna do this at home and tackle this. Some of you might wanna take it to a shop. However, you can choose whatever you wanna do.Now, ball joints. Factory suspension and steering, of course, is a wearable item. Eventually this stuff will wear out and this stuff that we tend to do to our Jeeps just makes everything wear out a lot faster - running over-sized tires, low back spacing on aftermarket wheels, heavy wheeling. All this stuff is just gonna wear out and ball joints is one of those things that you really don't wanna break or snap on a trail. These are very well-built. They're very strong. They are a lot stronger than the factory ball joint and they're made by a very good name in the business. Alloy USA makes really good suspension and steering stuff and ball joints just happens to be one of them. These are greasable unlike the factory ones and some of those other heavy-duty options out there, which is just gonna add to the longevity of these ball joints and they come with polyurethane dust boots. That's gonna keep all that grease in there and it's gonna extend the life of these ball joints. Now, these come complete ready to install. They come with everything that you need to get these things in. All you have to do is just get a ball joint press and some tools out of your toolbox. Now, these are non-adjustable and there's some adjustable options out there which cost a little bit more. However, these are very well-built. They're gonna last you a long time. They're really gonna hold up whether you're beating the crap out of them or if you're just driving around. So with that being said, let's hop in to our install.Tools we'll use for this install: dead blow hammer, regular hammer, torque wrench, needle-nose pliers, 1/2-inch drive extension with a 13-millimeter socket, 12point, 1/4-inch drive ratchet, 5/16, 9/32, flat-head screwdriver, bearing grease, a flashlight, 21-millimeter socket, 22-millimeter socket, 7/8, 15/16, 28-millimeter socket, 5-millimeter Allen, 3/8 drive ratchet, 3/8 drive air ratchet, pry bar, rust busting lubricant, 1/2-inch drive breaker bar and a very long pry bar. Other tools you'll need: a ball joint press and a grease gun.All right, guys, now this is a pretty labor-intensive install. You can do this at home by yourself. You'll wanna jack the vehicle up. First thing you wanna do is take your wheel and tire off. After that, we're gonna work on getting these brakes off. So, you wanna free up this ABS line from the brake line because we're actually gonna set this caliper...the caliper bracket apart from the rest. After that, you're gonna grab a 21-millimeter socket out of your toolbox, preferably, on a breaker bar. What we're gonna do is we're not gonna take the caliper off, we're actually gonna take caliper off with the bracket. That's gonna be these rather large bolts back here so you're gonna have one at the bottom that we wanna crack free and then we're gonna have one at the top as well. You might need to take this section of the ABS out just so you can get your socket in there. Get on that other bolt. Crack that free. All right, so once you crack those bolts loose, we're just gonna take them all the way out. You wanna set both of those bolts aside in a safe spot. After that, we're just gonna wiggle this off of our rotor. We're gonna set it over here. I'm gonna grab a zip tie and zip tie it to that control arm. So after that, we're gonna pull our rotor off. Now, if you've never taken your rotor off, you never changed your brakes, you're gonna have these little circular tabs on here. You'll need to cut those off with some wire cutters or just break them off with a flat-head screwdriver. Then the next thing we're gonna do, we're gonna work on getting our ABS sensor out and getting our steering linkage disconnected.Now, to get this ABS sensor, we're gonna take it out of our hub here. You're gonna use a 5-millimeter Allen to take that bolt out and then you can wiggle this out. Now, if you take that bolt out and this thing is seriously stuck in there, you can trace the line all the way back up behind the shock tower and you can unplug it from its harness. All right, so what you wanna do to get this out, you wanna push it back and forth, make sure that it's free and it's not stuck in place. If it is stuck in place, it's probably gonna be incredibly hard to get out and you risk breaking it, but we're gonna do is just get one flat-head screwdriver on the other side and you're just gonna work back and forth, kinda wiggling this thing out. If you have to, you can shift it back and forth. Also, you can spray some stuff down in here and let it sit for a while and that should free it up. So, on this side, we're gonna get both the drag link off and our tie rod. We're gonna start with our tie rod because it's gonna stop the drag link from coming off. So right here, we're gonna take both of these nuts off. We're gonna use a 21-millimeter socket on an impact. It'd be a good idea to spray these ahead of time just to loosen them up a little bit. After that, we're gonna smack the knuckle. You don't wanna hit the boot. You don't wanna mess the boot up. You don't wanna hit the stud because you'll mess the threads up. We wanna smack right there until this thing breaks free. Like that till it comes out. So now we're gonna do that one.So, next, we're gonna work on separating the hub from the steering knuckle. So, you're gonna have these bolts back here. There's gonna be three. There's one at the top, one here, one at this position on the other side. What you'll need, you'll need a 13-millimeter socket or a wrench and you're gonna need it to be 12-sided. So what we wanna do, we wanna get that on there. They're probably gonna be a little bit rusted up. If you don't have a 12-sided socket, what you can do is you can use a wrench. Put a wrench on there, the boxed-end of a wrench. You can actually smack it with a hammer and that will crack the bolts free. Once you get them cracked free, they should come out for you relatively easily. So you're gonna have to crack this one free. Down here, this is gonna be the third one, the last one. You can follow the bolts to the other side. You see the thread sticking out right behind the flange that has all of your wheel studs on there and you can spray that with some WD-40, any kind of [inaudible 00:07:05.829] oil. And once we get all these cracked, we can get some air tools in here, try to break them free, get them all the way out. So we're gonna get our impact on there. So after that, you wanna just run them back in and out, just, kinda, loosen up, break all that rust off because eventually, we wanna screw them back in a couple threads so we can knock the hub out of the steering knuckle. So we're gonna do that to both of these. So go back in a couple threads.All right, so this is the method we're gonna use. We're not gonna smack the hub bearing. We don't wanna mess the hub bearing up. That's fine if you are replacing the hub bearing and you just wanna get this thing out. However, what I do is I just take that socket with the extension on there. We're gonna cock that thing all the way to the side and we're just gonna smack on this. You wanna make sure that those bolts are in a couple threads. What you wanna do is just go around, go back and forth in between all of these bolts. We'll crack all of them free and you'll see that eventually this will start to separate right here. That flange will start coming out of there, that bearing out of this steering knuckle. So we're gonna go to the other side, smack on that and kinda wiggle this thing out. All right, so that's all the way out. You can see that it's separated, it's moving around. We're gonna take all those bolts out. So, once we pull this out a little bit, now this is gonna come out with the whole axle shaft. Since this is the passenger side, this is going to be the long side, so you wanna be really careful when you go to pry this thing out. We're gonna get it out just a little bit like that. We're actually gonna move this shield out of the way, that way we can get this sensor all the way out, put it aside so it's safe. After that, wanna straighten this thing out and we're gonna pull this all the way out. You wanna put your hand on the inside, in between the end of the axle tube and the steering knuckle because we wanna support that axle shaft as it's coming out. We don't want it to really drag on the inside. There's a bunch of crap that gets in these tubes.All right, so next we're gonna get rid of this ABS line. So we're gonna get it out of this last little bracket right here. Just be careful you don't tear it or mess it up and we wanna get that out of the steering knuckle. Just set that aside, somewhere safe. After that, we need to get these cotter pins out. So you're gonna have a cotter pin in the top, just pull these things around here. Probably gonna break but it's okay if they break because we have brand new ones. So you wanna take both of these ends, try to get them as parallel as possible. [inaudible 00:10:39.637] like that. Now, the one trick that I do to get these out since they're usually pretty rusted and stuck, just grab it with some pliers like that at the very end and then we're just gonna tap the pliers. That's gonna to push it out the other side. Once you push it out the other side, you can stick your needle-nose pliers inside of that little loop end. Yeah, you just stick your pliers in the end of that then you can smack on the hammer or just pull it all the way out. So we're gonna discard that one and then we'll get the bottom one out. Same thing for the bottom one. Try to make these flat so they can go through that hole. Bend both of those down. Squeeze them together like that. Take that, smack it in. The other side, put the tip through that little loop. That's gonna allow you to get that out. All right, so 22-millimeter socket on a breaker bar. You're gonna break that free, gonna get an air ratchet and now this is gonna come off with that bracket. You need to save that bracket because we're gonna put it back on. All right, now to get the bottom one off, you'll need a 28-millimeter. So we'll get that all the way off.All right so 28-millimeter socket to get this bottom one off. You wanna run it on and off a little bit. Just make sure that the threads are loosened up. After that, we're gonna run it on a few threads because we're actually gonna smack this steering knuckle off. So, to smack this steering knuckle off, we need to disconnect it from both the ball joints. They're pressed to fit so what we need to do right here on this top edge, we're just gonna smack up here with a hammer and that way this whole thing is gonna drop, but we have that nut on the bottom so the whole thing doesn't go flying off smashed to the floor. Once you break it free, set your hammer down. We're gonna lift up a little bit, take that nut off and then we can slide the whole thing off.All right, so, next thing we're gonna do, we're gonna take the ball joints out. We're gonna start by removing the top ball joint. So you're gonna need a ball joint press, a C-style one just like this. First thing you wanna do is take the little rubber grease boot off and then you wanna grab a cup. So we got a cup right here. It's gonna fit around this because we want this to slide up into the cup. So that's gonna fit around there. We got our set up on the bottom and this is actually gonna slide up and butt rate against the bottom of the ball joint and we're gonna wind up pressing this thing up. Once you get your ball joint press set up, what we're gonna do is we're just gonna crank this down. It's gonna push the ball joint out from the top. So I'm gonna use...this particular one is gonna take a 22-millimeter socket up here. You just wanna grab the appropriate socket. We're gonna slide that on. I'm gonna use an impact just to make it a lot faster. So, you can see through this little window, that thing is all the way out. So we're just gonna take this back apart. Get that up and off of there. Pull out all our little sleeves and then that's the ball joint. So, next we're gonna get out the bottom one.Now, to get the bottom one out, it's gonna be the same thing. First thing we're gonna do, we're gonna take off that little grease boot. Once you get the boot off, we're gonna press this out. Now this is gonna press out down through the bottom so we're gonna take the top, stick it up through there in the bottom. We'll put a little cup and that way the ball joint can come inside of the cup and you can see that it will eventually poke out the bottom of this. So we don't wanna get it stuck or trapped inside. You want that bottom cup to go all the way around the ball joint and this top little rod right here is gonna push it down through. So same thing. Once you get it in place, we wanna adjust it, make sure that it's all lined up and then we can start tightening it up. Now, if it doesn't move and it doesn't start to break free, just take a hammer and strike the side of it.All right, guys. So before we get these brand-new ball joints installed, we got the old one out and I just wanna talk about some of the differences, do a little bit of a comparison. Now, externally, there's not really gonna be many differences. All that is really gonna be with the construction and the internals, but there are a few differences on the outside. The one notable one being that this aftermarket one from Alloy USA is gonna be greasable. So this is gonna allow you to maintain that, pump some grease in it as you need it and it's just gonna extend the life of this ball joint. Your factory one, it just comes pre-filled with grease. If it dries out, runs out, whatever, it's just gonna go bad. It's a wear out item and they eventually need to be replaced. The other difference you're gonna see on the outside, the factory one has this very smooth edge around it and that does a great job at seating it in the end of the axle. Now, this one, you're gonna notice there's a little bit of a difference. You're gonna have this splined edge all the way around it and this is gonna be great for, if that hole inside of the end the axle tube is a little worn out, you want a tighter seat or since we need to clock these in a particular direction, that's just gonna give you that extra little bit that's gonna hold it in place, keep it from moving around if you do have a loose seat. Now, as far as the internal go, the ball joints shaft right here, this is gonna be a chromoly ball joint shaft. This is gonna make it very strong and it's gonna handle a lot larger tires, a lot more abuse than the factory one. Now, inside of this housing, this is a carburized alloy housing and of course, that's gonna make it even stronger. As a whole, this thing is a very strong ball joint and it's a great upgrade if you're doing a lot of heavy wheeling or if you're just trying to run larger tires. Another cool feature of these, not only do they come with brand new dust boots, hardware, nuts, everything to get these installed but inside, on the actual ball end of this shaft, you're gonna have some grooves that are machined into this and that's gonna allow for all of that grease to flow all the way around that joint and kinda keep it lubricated even under extreme pressure, hard wheeling, anytime you are really just using the crap out of these things. So, overall, this is gonna be a really good upgrade and as of right now, I'm gonna shut up and we're gonna get the rest of these installed in our axle.All right, so there's a couple things to keep in mind when installing these. These have a grease fitting in them. They have a little hole. We wanna orient that to the front. So we wanna make sure that that is facing frontward. Second off, these are gonna go in through the bottom. So, you wanna position a cup that's gonna fit over top of that and then for the bottom, what I'm gonna do is I have a setup where that whole thing can just, kinda, stick through the bottom and free float there. It's okay to press on this little edge right there but you don't wanna actually press on the actual stud. The other thing that you wanna do is you wanna take the grease boot off. We're gonna put the grease boots back on once we get this thing fully installed. So, remember, face that forward. I'm gonna set it in place. We need to go up through that upper hole and position that, then I'll get my cup situated and there's one last thing that you wanna do. So I'm gonna get this all squared away and then I'll tell you about that. You wanna take some grease, some automotive grade grease and you just wanna go around here on the splines. You can do this before you get it in because it'll make it a lot easier. We'll grab our impact. Now, when you're installing this, you wanna make sure that this is very even. We don't wanna cock this in a weird position while we're trying to get this installed. So we wanna make sure that it's gonna go in straight, it's not gonna be crooked or anything like that because this thing is under extreme pressure when it's pushing this in. If it does seem like it's getting stuck, obviously that's sliding off and getting a little crooked, so I'm gonna readjust that. So, remember, you can take a hammer, just tap it as you go. You wanna go until that seat is all the way flush with the end of the axle. So that looks like it's all the way in. We're gonna back the tool off, pull this whole assembly out, we'll check it, make sure that it's all the way in. Looks like it.So, at this point in time, we wanna put that fitting in because we don't wanna get it all dirty. Now, you're gonna have two different grease fittings. One's gonna be that standard grease fitting, that's for the upper ball joint. This one is gonna have a weird concave here. It's for a needle grease fitting, so we're just gonna install that in the bottom, and don't worry, I tried to put the other one in here just to pre-grease it but it doesn't fit. It's a different thread pitch. Once you get that started, we'll just take a 1/4-inch ratchet with a 9/32 socket and you just wanna tighten that bad boy up. So, you wanna make it pretty tight but of course, you don't wanna break it off. So that seems to be good, we'll get the upper one installed. All right, so, before we get this one installed, I'm gonna put a little bit of grease on it. Now this one doesn't have to be clocked in a certain way because the fitting on top is just a standard one. It points straight up in the air. So after we get that in, we'll set the whole thing up and we'll get started. Now, normally, what you wanna do for the top one, what you actually wanna do for both of them is you wanna use a slanted cup just because the backside of this is thicker than the front side. We don't really have a slanted cup so we're gonna make do with what we have. So I got this whole thing set up. That ball joint is gonna pass right in between everything and we'll go ahead and start ramming this thing in.All right, so next, we're gonna slide on the grease boots. Just gonna push that up. You wanna make sure that this edge goes all the way around, clicks onto that, there's not any dirt inside of it, that that ring right there stays on it, doesn't fall off. We'll push that all the way up and then we'll get the boot on the top. Now, to get the top boot on, it's gonna be a little bit different. You're gonna have an edge that you need to go inside all the way around this backside. So, it would be a good idea just to take a flat-head screwdriver, kinda clean out any crap that may be in there, maybe any scab rust that you may have. Get that real clean. Once again, just make sure that there's no metal flakes, pieces of rust, anything in there. So we're gonna push this backside up. Now, what you wanna do, what I do is take a flat-head screwdriver and just, while you're pushing up, just push it up inside of that little seam and that's gonna allow that boot to slide all the way up in there. That way when you grease them up it's not just gonna squirt out. It won't let water and all kinds of other stuff in there. It's gonna be pretty tricky to do, so it might take you a little bit just to get that boot to seat all the way up in there. All right, so that's all the way up in there. What we're gonna do right now, we're gonna put the steering knuckle back on. We still have to put that fitting in, so you can do that at that point in time as well and then yeah, gonna go grab that knuckle, slide it back on, put the new nuts on.All right, so we're gonna slide this steering knuckle over both the upper and lower ball joints. Once you get that up, we're gonna put the new nuts on. Now you're gonna get this fat washer. That's gonna go on the bottom so we wanna put that on and of course, the nuts are only gonna go on one stud. The bigger one's gonna go on the bottom. We'll run that all the way up. Now, when we go to put the top nut on, we're gonna have to put that ABS line bracket on. So you're gonna have this downward-facing section up here towards the front. In this other area that stands up, it's gonna go to the back. So we'll slide that bracket up. We'll put that new nut on there and then we can torque them down and put the cotter pins in. So we're gonna torque this lower nut down to 80 foot-pounds. I'm gonna use a 15/16 socket. Once we do that, we can do the upper one. Now, for this upper one, you're gonna have this bracket on. You wanna try to keep that as even as possible but it's just gonna spin with the nut. We're gonna use a 7/8 socket to tighten that up and that's gonna get torqued to 75 foot-pounds. So we need to spin that all the way around that way it stops and we'll just access it from the backside. All right, so now we need to get the cotter pins in. So, what we need to do, we need to line up the holes in this castle nut with the stud. You don't wanna loosen this up to line the holes up. So you torque it properly and then we're gonna tighten it a little bit more to line the holes up. After that, we'll put the new cotter pin in that they give us in the kit and then we're gonna bend both of these down and around. Same thing. Tuck those under, all nice and neat.All right, so before we put the axle back in, last thing we're gonna do to button up these ball joints, you are going to put this top fitting in. Once you get that started, we're gonna use a 5/16 on a 1/4-inch drive ratchet, we'll just snug that up. Now you wanna go increase both of these up and then we'll get our axle installed.All right, so what you wanna do, if you got any dirt on the end of these splines, you wanna just take a rag, you wanna wipe that off. We don't wanna be putting all kinds of metal shavings and dirt inside of the actual center section. After that, we are going to gently install this. You wanna make sure, at least you wanna try your hardest to get it in the middle, not really drag it on anything. Fit that all the way in. So we wanna spin our dust shield around, line that up and make sure that that...you're gonna feel the teeth of that end of the axle go in and you'll feel them mesh with that center section in there. Now, before we get this all the way in, what we have to do, we have to reroute this ABS since we were not able to get it out with that shield tight. So, we wanna go through the middle just like this, then we can pop that in our little hanger over there. We'll come over here, we'll get that side in and then, same thing, you wanna clean this whole edge. This has a bunch of rust on it, some other crap. So you just wanna take a rag, clean any of that excess stuff up. If you have any metal shavings on the tip, you wanna wipe that clean as well. We don't wanna put anything in there that would mess up the reading for our ABS. Grab a little tiny bit of grease and we're just gonna put it on that O-ring because we want...it'll just make it easier for this to slide in. After that, we're gonna pull this shield back a little bit. Well first off, you wanna spin this bearing around so we have the ABS on the right position. We want that facing out over here, that top hole lined up. We're gonna spin the shield around and then we wanna just bring this through the shield.Once you get that in, next thing we're gonna do, we're gonna line this shield up. We're gonna start getting these bolts installed. So, get that as close as you can. Clock that bearing. Then we'll feed these bolts in through the back, through the shield. So we wanna get all three of these bolts started. Let's do that. We're just gonna go around very evenly and we're gonna pull this whole hub bearing into place. Now, of course, if you ever wanna take this stuff apart, if it was really hard to get back to...or apart, in the first place, I would recommend putting some anti-seize on everything. That way, when you go to take it apart, it'll just come back apart. So we're gonna put that factory bolt back in the ABS. It already has Blue Loctite on it. If you wanted to add a little bit more, you could. I don't really think it's necessary. It's not something that's really gonna come loose. So, if you don't remember, 5-millimeter Allen key. Tighten that back up.All right, so now we're gonna put our steering linkage back in. We're gonna start with our drag link. So you just wanna move this around. So that's gonna line up. Once you get that in place we'll put the nut back on it. What I'm gonna do, normally, these things wanna spin on you. So I just take a pry bar and I press it up against it so you just go underneath the drag link on top of the axle. We'll use a 22-millimeter socket and then we'll tighten this thing up. Just applying the force up there with the pry bar usually does a good enough job to keep it in place. So same thing. This time you can go inside of the C-channel on the end of the axle. We'll use that 21-millimeter socket to tighten it up. All right, so we are gonna torque both of these nuts to 63 foot-pound. We're gonna use that same 21-millimeter socket. So you might wanna just let it run all the way out until the steering knuckle stops.Man: Do the other one again.Ryan: All right, so now we're gonna put our brakes back together. First thing is going to be the rotor. We're gonna slide that on, then we gotta get our caliper on. So, you might need to spread the pads just a little bit to get it to go over but you might be able to wiggle it back on. Once we do that, we just wanna put those caliper bracket bolts back in, so I'll line that up. Get those things started. Of course, you wanna do all of this by hand because we don't wanna cross anything by using power tools. I actually might need to take this line out of the way because it's gonna be in the way when we go to get this bolt in and go to torque it down. To tighten them up, we're gonna need a 21-millimeter socket and we're actually gonna torque these to 120 foot-pounds. So you wanna set your torque wrench to that. Obviously, we got a little whiles to go. Gonna put that ABS line back in and then also you wanna hook this in your brake line. So, both of these are gonna go back in just like that.All right, guys. Now that we have everything put back together, what you wanna do is just grease these a little bit. You wanna just throw a couple squirts in there. They do come pre-greased but you just wanna add a little bit more, but you don't wanna add too much. However, that is gonna wrap it up for my review and install. For more videos and products like this, keep it right here at extremeterrain.com.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
Specs. The Alloy USA heavy duty ball joint kit is designed to eliminate wheel vibration while extending the service life of your ball joints in extreme, off-road applications. These greasable joints feature an oil quenched and tempered chromoly ball stud with spiral grooves to ensure even lubrication during hard use. The carburized alloy housing can withstand extreme use and vibration while the polyurethane dust boots won't get cracked or torn out on the trail. If you want tough, serviceable ball joints, Alloy USA has them.
Application. This ball joint kit fits 2007-2018 JK Wranglers.
Fitment: 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Details
Alloy USA 11800
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 2 Hours
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
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