best ball joints for jeep wrangler jk

The Best Ball Joints for Jeep Wrangler JK [2022 Buyer’s Guide]

Functioning ball joints are essential for any vehicle, but this is especially true for a Jeep Wrangler JK that treks through rough terrain. A ball joint helps ensure your Jeep’s suspension system is functioning properly, so a worn-out ball joint can be a crucial issue.

In this article, we’ll explore ways to detect faulty ball joints, how to change them yourself to save some bucks, and help you choose the best replacement ball joints for your Jeep Wrangler JK.

Table of Contents

What is a Ball Joint?

Ball joints are located on a vehicle’s suspension system and help connect the control arms and the steering knuckles so that the front wheels of a vehicle can be rotated, or steered, with precision and that the shocks are able to absorb bumps.

You can compare them to human hip joints. They are essential for the appropriate steering of your front tires, just as the hips are crucial to the functionality of our legs.

Ball joints are usually made of a metal casing, protecting the stud and socket from dust and water. The stud will pivot in the socket with the help of grease, thus producing a clean and steady steering experience.

Like with many other car parts, ball joints wear out with time and use. Even more so if your Jeep goes through rough terrain often. And just like with a human hip, if it deteriorates, it needs replacing to maintain comfortable control of your Jeep.

Thankfully, replacing a ball joint is a lot cheaper and easier than a hip bone!

What Happens When A Ball Joint Fails?

A failing ball joint is a critical issue. The first symptoms of a worn-out ball joint are:

  • Steering vibrations and looseness
  • Unusual noises
  • Drifting to one side

You’ll also notice that the car starts steering slightly differently, and you no longer have full control of the vehicle.

If the stud comes loose and leaves the socket, you can immediately lose control of the vehicle. Obviously, this is a serious problem and can lead to an accident.

How to Check If A Ball Joint Is Bad

There are three useful techniques to check if a ball joint is bad. We suggest you follow them in this exact order for a proper diagnosis:

Road Test

Locate a straight road around your area that does not have heavy traffic and another site with speed bumps. Then start with the test:

  • First step: Drive in a straight line at the maximum allowed speed. Take note of any vibrations and clanking noises.
  • Second step: With your hands on the wheel, loosen your grip slightly. Take note if the car starts drifting to one side instead of driving straight as it should.
  • Third step: Next, locate another road or parking area with speed bumps. At a low speed, drive over the bumps and take note of any metal clanking noises.

If you noticed vibrations, metal noises, or your car is drifting to the left or right, you may have an issue with your ball joint.

Visual Test

For the next test, park your Jeep JK in your garage or open parking space with enough room and light for checking your vehicle. You will need a few tools with you for this test:

  • A jack with its stands
  • A flashlight
  • A lug nut wrench
  • Some wooden blocks
  • A pry bar

Now it’s time to start with the test:

  • First step: First and foremost, check your tires for any wear. A faulty ball joint will cause your tires to wear out faster than they should. How can you check your tires for wear? Most tires have tread wear indicators (TWI) marked on their sides. If the tire tread reaches the TWI mark, they need to be replaced. If you use your Jeep for off-roading, tires can get worn out quite easily.
  • Second step: Jack up the Jeep and secure the vehicle by placing the wooden blocks behind the rear wheels. Now loosen up the lug nut, just enough to be hand-tight. Using your hands, grab the top and bottom of the tire and rock it around. Take note if it moves too much (it shouldn’t) and if there are any clanking noises.
  • Third step: Next, remove the tire entirely and visually inspect the ball joints with a flashlight. Take note of any rust, grease leakage, or damage.
Warning: Please, be careful when conducting this test. Always secure your Jeep and every piece you wish to remove. Ensure to connect them properly again once you finish the test. Safety always comes first!

Now you can put everything back in place and tighten up the lug nuts.

If you noticed tire looseness, clanky noises, rust, and damage, you may have an issue with your ball joints.

Mechanical Test

If both the tests above were positive, you don’t necessarily need to undergo this third test. However, if you wish to be 100% positive, then go ahead and take your Jeep to your mechanic of choice.

They will be able to provide a complete diagnosis and confirm your suspicion.

If your ball joints need replacing, it’s time to find the best ball joints for your Wrangler.

The mechanic will be able to do this for you; however, expect a costly bill. You also have the option to do it yourself, and we’ll go over step-by-step instructions later in this article.

The Best Ball Joint Kits for a Jeep Wrangler JK

We’ve narrowed down several top ball joints and ball joint repair kits for a Jeep Wrangler (plus one really useful tool) to help make your hunt for a replacement easier.

Dynatrac JP44-1X3050-C Pro Steer Ball Joint Rebuild Kit

Type: Rebuild kit (It does not include ball joints)

Material: Stainless Steel

Price: Approximately $149



  • It does not include Ball Joints

The Basics

Made in the US, Dynatrac is known for its high-quality products. The JP44-1X3050-C Pro Steer Ball Joint Rebuild Kit comes in a military standard stainless steel design.

As its name states, it’s not a complete ball joint replacement, but a rebuild kit. If your ball joints start to wear out or fail, you’ll be able to regrease them and rebuild them at home. This provides extended life to your OEM ball joints.

What People Are Saying

Most users agree that it is easy to use with basic tools at home. They also praise the high quality of the kit. However, a small number of users complained that they didn’t receive all the parts in the kit. This can be easily solved by contacting Dynatrac. Dynatrac has an excellent customer support team and warranty. This makes purchasing their products accessible and should give you peace of mind.

The Final Word

If you want to keep your OEM ball joints, this kit will help you do just that getting them working like new. However, this won’t do the trick if your ball joints are damaged. If they are damaged, keep reading for some of the best ball joint replacement options.

Moog K80026 Ball Joint

Type: Ball Joint

Material: Heat-treated Metal

Price: Approximately $30 per ball joint


  • High-quality materials
  • Easy to install
  • Excellent customer support


  • Warranty issues
  • It needs some minor adjustments
  • The grease fitting might be too long for Jeep

The Basics

Moog is well known for its excellent products and service. And the K80026 Ball Joint isn’t an exception. Its heat-treated metal parts ensure up to 90k miles of use. In addition, the socket is greasable so that it can function for as long as needed.

Another positive thing about Moog is that its customer support is exceptional. The Moog website provides detailed information and tutorials, including sections on how to replace or fix damaged areas. If you ever have any mechanical issues, we recommend checking their detailed guides.

What People Are Saying

Most users are delighted with this option, however, a few users have mentioned that some slight adjustments were needed, even when following the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Final Word

If you only need to replace one joint, it’s an affordable option. Plus, the company’s excellent customer support is always available to help with any questions.

TeraFlex 3442022 ‎JK/JKU HD Dana 30/44 Upper & Lower Ball Joint Kit

Type: Ball Joint

Material: Carbon steel casing, 4140 Chromoly steel inner parts

Price: Approximately $300 for the complete set


  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • High-quality materials
  • Prevents rusting


  • None

The Basics

This TeraFlex set includes two upper and two lower ball joints to completely replace your current OEM ball joints. One thing to note is its high-quality materials. 4140 Chromoly is steel made of chromium and molybdenum — a unique, strong alloy for lasting performance.

Additionally, the stud and socket come with a coating that protects them from rusting.

What People Are Saying

Nearly every review of the TeraFlex 3442022 JK is glowingly positive. You’d be hard-pressed to find negative feedback about this ball joint kit.

The Final Word

Even though their price point is higher than competitors’, the TeraFlex Ball Joints are an excellent choice. With thousands of positive reviews, they are one of our favorite options for replacing your ball joints.

The bottom line: Even though they’re on the pricier side, it’s a worthy investment.

Alloy USA 11800 Upper/Lower Ball Joints

Type: Ball Joint

Material: Steel

Price: Approximately $200 for the complete set


  • Made in the US
  • Made of Chromoly steel


  • Not for off-road driving

The Basics

The Allow USA 11800 offers an affordable solution for those Jeep JK owners that don’t do much off-roading. They are standard ball joints for everyday use, but they aren’t very effective on rough terrain. So, if you plan on hitting the trails, this might not be the kit for you.

Made of Chromoly steel, these ball joints are easy to install and will be durable if used for everyday commuting and urban driving.

What People Are Saying

Unfortunately, many users complain that these ball joints are not very durable. Even though the warranty states that they should last for up to five years, most users report them failing within 1 to 2 years. Additionally, as mentioned previously, they are not made for rough terrain and off-road driving.

If you love going on off-road adventures in your Jeep Wrangler JK, this might not be the best option for you.

The Final Word

If you’re planning on taking your Jeep off-road, then you’ll need to look past this option. However, if you plan on using your Jeep strictly for urban driving, they are an affordable option.

DV8 Offroad Heavy Duty Off-Road Ball Joints

Type: Ball Joint

Material: Heat-treated Metal

Price: Approximately $200 for the complete set


  • Flashy green color
  • Sports look
  • Made of heat-treated stainless steel
  • Good price


  • They might not be as durable as promoted
  • Not compatible with extremely rough terrains

The Basics

One thing that stands out the moment you see the DV8 Offroad Heavy Duty Off-Road Ball Joints is their flashy green color. They add a touch of personality to your Jeep. They are built for off-road durability with a stainless steel alloy. They’re designed, engineered, and tested in the USA.

What People Are Saying

There are some controversial reviews from its users. About half the users are delighted with their performance and color; they love how they stand out. The other half reports having issues only after a few months of installing them. However, most people agree that DV8 support is excellent, and they provide replacements when needed.

The Final Word

If you plan on taking your Jeep off-road on moderate terrain, this may be an affordable option. However, you might not be able to count on them for extreme adventures.

If you are more of an urban or highway driver, they are a fantastic and affordable option.

Bonus: Astro Pneumatic Tool 7865 Ball Joint Service/Removal Tool

Type: Toolkit (it does not include ball joints)

Material: Heat-treated Metal

Price: Approximately $80


  • Durable steel materials
  • Compatible with Jeep JK


  • None

The Basics

This is not a ball joint replacement kit. Instead, it’s a useful pneumatic tool to service or remove ball joints.

It comes in handy when you need to work on your Jeep’s ball joints. If you plan on replacing or repairing your ball joints yourself, then you’ll need the right tools. And the Astro Pneumatic Tool 7865 has everything you need to get the job done.

What People Are Saying

Overall, users are happy with this toolkit. However, some users complain about it not being fully compatible with some Jeep axles. As with any other product, always check compatibility with the manufacturer before purchasing.

The Final Word

If you plan on servicing or removing your Jeep’s ball joint, this tool is a must. Even though it’s not a ball joint set in itself, it’s worth a mention.

Can I Install A Ball Joint On My Own?

The simple answer is yes; however, there is a “but.”

As with any job, you want to make sure you do it right.

The ball joints kits listed above come with clear instructions. If you have the tools and understand the process, then you can definitely install them yourself. This option will save you some money.

However, if you feel like you don’t have the knowledge or if you fear damaging your Jeep, the best option is to take it to a mechanic. Of course, this option will cost you more, but you will have peace of mind.

A General Guide to Replacing Your Ball Joints

Note: If it’s your first time replacing your ball joints, it’ll likely take longer than the estimated time below.

  • Estimated time: Two to four hours
  • Cost: It will depend on the ball joint set of choice (plus toolkit)
  • Difficulty: Moderate

First Step: Prepare the Tools

In order to do it yourself, you’ll need a few tools on hand.

  • Ball joint toolkit including a press
  • Allen wrench set
  • New ball joints of choice
  • Pry bar
  • Screwdriver set
  • Jacks and jack stands
  • Cutting pliers
  • Grease for the suspension
  • Mallet
  • Penetrating oil
  • Heavy-duty gloves

Second Step: Remove the Wheels and Secure the Brakes

Start by lifting the car with the jack and removing the two front wheels. Then, with a lug nut, secure the wheel stud to protect the brake rotors from falling.

Third Step: Remove Excess Parts

Now it is time to remove the following parts in order:

  • ABS wiring harness
  • Brake caliper bracket bolts (once done, secure the assembly so that it doesn’t hang)
  • Remove the lug nut and remove the brake rotors.
  • Tie rods
  • Uni-bearing bolts (use penetrating oil if necessary)
  • Uni-bearing
  • Axle shaft and also the speed sensor of your wheels

Now you’re ready to access the ball joints.

Fourth Step: Work on the Ball Joints

Now it is time to disassemble the original ball joints and prepare the area for the new ones.

  • First, remove the cotter pins of both upper and lower ball joints
  • Then remove the ball joint nuts
  • Using the mallet, loosen the steering knuckle
  • With the help of the ball joint press, remove the ball joints

Before you start installing the new ones, make sure to clean the ball joint seat. Now that everything is ready, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install your new ball joints.

After you’re done installing them, follow this guide backward to reassemble your car.

If you prefer to have a visual guide, here’s a great tutorial video on replacing Jeep JK Ball Joints by YouTuber AdventureDex.

How Many Ball Joins Are in A Jeep Wrangler JK?

Jeep Wrangler JK comes with four ball joints, all of them on the front wheels. Two upper and two lower ball joints. The Jeep JK model does not come with rear ball joints.

The replacement sets mentioned above include all four ball joints for your front wheels.

Things to Consider when Buying a Ball Joint Replacement

There are a few things to consider when buying replacement ball joints.

  • Look for durable, high-quality materials. Since you’ll be spending money on replacements anyway (and because functioning ball joints are crucial), you don’t want to go cheap and risk it. It’s worth it to spend the extra bucks and look for quality materials that provide a high level of security and durability.
  • Warranty. A quality ball joint kit should also include a lengthy warranty. The manufacturer’s customer support needs to be top-notch too.
  • Easy to install. Since you might want to do it yourself, the kit you purchase should be easy to install.
  • Greasable. The products that we highlighted above are straightforward to grease without removing the axle shaft. This is important if you want your new ball joints to last as long as possible.

Our Top Choice

When it comes down to choosing a winner for the top ball joint for a Jeep Wrangler JK, there is one that checks all the boxes; and that is the TeraFlex 3442022 JK.

Here’s why.

Aside from the fact that TeraFlex is a well-known, reliable brand, this specific ball joint set passes all of our requirements with top marks:

  • It’s made of 4140 Chromoly and Carbon steel, which is highly durable and will withstand the test of time.
  • Its exclusive coating prevents rust and dust from damaging the stud and socket.
  • It is straightforward to install, and it is specifically designed for Jeep JK.
  • Their customer support is outstanding, and all the reviews are positive. Users are delighted with this kit.
  • And even though it’s more expensive than others on our list, it’s still affordable. The price point is worth it for the premium quality it offers.

All in all, TeraFlex 3442022 JK is an excellent product.


Your safety should always come first. Faulty ball joints are a severe problem that can cause accidents both on and off the road. If you notice any steering vibrations, clanking noises, rust, or damage, then it’s time to replace your ball joints. The tools and kits that we’ve mentioned will help you get the job done effectively.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *