Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review of the Teraflex Heavy Duty Ball Joint fitting all 2007 and up JKs. This will fit either the Dana 30 or the Dana 44, so regardless of which trim package you have, these are going to work on your JK.
Today, we're gonna talk through the installation of these ball joints, which I'm gonna give a strong two out of three wrenches. This is something you can do in your driveway if you have some traditional hand tools and a ball joint press. Although, it is an involved installation that not everyone is going to be comfortable getting into. We'll talk a little bit more about the installation. If you're not comfortable getting into the amount of detail you need to get into, to get these installed, you can absolutely take your Jeep to a shop and have these installed for you. We're also gonna be talking about the construction and a few of the features that make these ball joints unique compared to the other options on the market.
A new set of ball joints is necessary for those of you who have worn-out ball joints. A good way to check if your ball joints are worn is to jack up the front tire, grab it at 12;00 and 6:00 and move it. If it does wiggle, then chances are you have worn ball joints, and they should be replaced. Having larger tires, different backspacing, and wheeling are all things that can prematurely wear out a set of factory-style ball joints.
If you're replacing the ball joints because they wore out quickly because of the way your jeep is set up, it is a good idea to upgrade them and not just replace them with another set of OE ball joints. These ones from Teraflex are touted as the last set of ball joints you will ever need to buy, because you can actually adjust the preload on these ball joints. Even if they do start to wear out a little bit, you can adjust them without completely disassembling everything, tighten them down, and get rid of any wiggle that might start to occur.
These are a great option for replacement in your Dana 30 or Dana 44. In my opinion, they're really fairly priced. They're only a little bit more than other heavy-duty ball joints on the market that aren't adjustable. This set comes with all four ball joints that you'll need, both upper and lower for both sides of your vehicle. These are a 4140 chromemoly that is heat-treated to give them maximum strength. On the inside, there are no plastic bushings or wear surfaces. This is all metal. This is definitely heavy-duty, and this is definitely designed to hold up for a good long time.
Now, what makes these really unique is the adjustability that's built in to the ball joint. Up on the top here, if you loosen a couple of set screws, you can actually spin this section, which will tighten down the preload on the ball joint stud. That's something that you can't find in a lot of places. These are adjustable while they're on the Jeep, and they're also greasable on the Jeep. Sometimes even if you have a grease fitting on your aftermarket ball joint, the factory ones don't have it, but if you have aftermarket ball joints that have a grease fitting, you can't get to them without doing some level of disassembly to your vehicle.
These ones come with a special Zerk fitting. As long as you line up the grease passages, you can grease these and service them while they're installed in the Jeep, making these really the last set of ball joints you're going to need to buy. You can service them in the Jeep. You can tighten them down if they ever start to wear. These are gonna keep you from having to swap out ball joints over and over again if you're really hard on your components, because, again, you either wheel your jeep and/or have a large set of tires with a little backspacing that can wear out your ball joints prematurely.
Like I said before, I'm giving this a two out of three wrenches as far as installation goes, and it's a strong two out of three wrenches at that. You are going to have to do a good bit of axle disassembly in order to get these installed. You are going to need to have a ball joint press tool handy in order to get these done. Some of you might not feel comfortable tackling this job, and that's perfectly fine. You can always take your Jeep to a shop to have these installed.
Another thing to note is that if you have a 2012 or newer JK, they did come with a slightly different yoke on the end of the axle shaft. That is going to need to be ground down in order to install these with clearance. Again, that's another level that adds to this install that some of you might not be comfortable with. If you have a newer Jeep, you're not comfortable grinding on your axle shafts, I would recommend taking your Jeep to a shop. If you have a 2007 to 2012 JK and you are comfortable, you have the tools or you wanna rent them, then this is certainly something you can do in your driveway.
The first step in the installation is, of course, removing the tire. Then you'll remove the brake caliper, its brackets, the brake rotor and eventually remove the entire unit bearing and the axle shaft out of the front axle. From there, you can remove the outer C and finally press out the old ball joints. From there, it's just a matter of pressing in the new ball joints and reassembling your axles.
Now, you will wanna be very careful when pressing in these new ball joints. A lot of the time, it doesn't matter what the orientation of the ball joint is. Because these are serviceable, you are going to wanna make sure that you follow the instructions carefully for how you orient them. That's going to ensure that you can get to the Zerk fittings and to the set screws so that you can adjust these on the Jeep without needing to disassemble things when they do need adjustment. The nice thing about them is they come right out of the box, the preload properly set, so you won't have to adjust them right when you install them right off the bat.
As far as tools go, you'll need a jack and some jack stands. You'll need your traditional hand tools, and you're also going to need that ball joint press. A lot of auto part stores will rent them for you, oftentimes for free. They aren't easy-to-use tool. If this is something that you're comfortable with, again, it's completely doable in your driveway. If you're not comfortable with it or if you have one of those new Jeeps that requires grinding on the axle and you're not comfortable with that, then I would recommend taking your Jeep to a shop to get this done. If you are doing it in your driveway, this is something that I would probably set aside a good three, maybe even four hours if this is your first time doing this, get everything disassembled, pressed out, pressed back in, and reassembled.
If you've already gone through a set of ball joints on your Jeep either because you wheel hard, you have big heavy wheels and tires, or a low backspacing on your wheels, this is going to be a great option. It could be the last set of ball joints you'll ever need to buy and install in your JK.
That's my review of Teraflex Heavy Duty Ball Joint Set fitting all 2007 and up JKs that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.