If you own a jeep wrangler TJ, then chances are you have already swapped its stock tires for larger ones. While the larger tires will make your wrangler look awesome and turn it into an off-road monster, its ball joints are probably not going to last as long as you would hope.
In most cases, you will probably need to change them after 40k miles or even less. Fortunately, replacing the factory ball joints on your jeep wrangler isn’t complicated and is something you can do at home.
But to replace your worn-out ball joint, you will need a new set of joints. As such, you will need the best ball joints for jeep TJ that will last longer than the stock ones. There are plenty of aftermarket joints to choose from.
If you are looking for the Best Jeep TJ Ball Joints, we are here to help. We have compiled a list of five excellent options you can pick from. Also, we have included a guide on how to select your next joint.
The top spot on our list is the TeraFlex 1353100 TJ/YJ/XJ/ZJ Dana 30/44 Premium Series Ball Joint. This set of ball joints offers exceptional quality and durability compared to other options made from high-quality carbon steel.
The Spicer 706944X Socket Assembly comes in second place and is the best option for replacing OEM ball joints. They offer the same fit and size as the stock jeep ball joints.
Why Should you Trust Us?
When searching for the best ball joints for jeep TJ, we tested a wide variety of ball joints to see how they compare. Our reviews are thus based on real-life tests and our own experiences with the ball joints we have reviewed below.
How do we pick those ball joints for Jeep TJ?
In our search, we considered several things: the quality of the ball joints, other users’ reviews, the fit and ease of installation. The five ball joints we picked for reviewing ticked all the right boxes on our criteria list and were the best options for the Jeep Wrangler TJ.
What is a ball joint?
Ball Joints are flexible connections, which allow the movement of two interconnected parts in more than one direction simultaneously. Lower ball joints attached to the steering knuckle at the wheel and upper ball joints attached to the lower control arm.
When you drive in the road, and the tire hits a bump, you can’t really feel the bump because the ball joints enable the suspension system to move up and down. But suppose the tire hit on bumps, and you need to take a turn as well. In that case, the ball joint will allow you to turn the wheel and move up and down at the same time.
How to identify a bad ball joint on a Jeep TJ
There are several things you can do to check whether your ball joints are worn out or not. First, lift the jeep using a jack. You can use one of these best floor Jacks for lifted trucks. Then grab one of the front tires and try to rock the tire in and out. In case the joints are worn out, you will notice the movement of the tire.
Alternatively, use a pry bar under the wheel and try rocking the tire up and down. Then check for any movement in the ball joints area and whether the tire is rocking up and down. If you notice the movement that causes the tire to rock up and down, you need to replace the joints.
If you try to pry the tire with good ball joints, you will not notice any movement; if anything, you will notice the entire Jeep shaking.
How much will it cost to replace bad ball joints? And can I do it myself?
On average, the Jeep TJ ball joint replacement cost ranges from $350 up to$2000, depending on the vehicle make and model. However, you can opt to do it yourself, which is very much possible.
To change the joints yourself, there are several tools you will need. The first thing you will need is a ball joint kit. Most used joint kits cost between $125 and $300, but a $125 one will be sufficient for the jeep wrangler.
Jk Vs. Tj Ball Joints: Are they identical and interchangeable?
No, while they look similar, and you would have to inspect the two to get the difference closely, these two ball joints aren’t the same. The TJ Wrangler was the second generation jeep produced from 1996 to 2006.
On the other hand, the JK wrangler came after the TJ and was produced up until 2018. These two models use different ball joints as like the dodge ram 2500 the ball joints. As such, their ball joints cannot be used interchangeably.
Review Of Best ball joints for the Jeep Wrangler TJ
TeraFlex 1353100 TJ/YJ/XJ/ZJ Dana 30/44 Premium Series Ball Joint
TeraFlex makes some of the best ball joints, especially for jeeps. As such, we simply couldn’t skip out on the TeraFlex 1353100 premium series ball joint. These come in a pack of four-ball joints and can fit both the Dana 30 and 44 axles.
We fitted these onto a 2005 Jeep TJ with a lift and 31-inch tires. Since they are designed to fit both the TJ and long-wheelbase LJ models, they fit perfectly on our lifted TJ. This makes them a versatile option for jeep owners.
The housing is made from 1045 carbon steel, which ensures it will not corrode easily. And since they are exposed to all kinds of weather conditions when driving, this is crucial. But what we loved the most about their construction were the sintered thread bushings.
These give them the ability to handle more side load than the stock ball joints. In addition, these come with a lifetime warranty, which is great.
While these are among the Best Tj wrangler ball joint on the market, they are not without flaws. Firstly the cotter pins are a bit small and daintier. Secondly, they tend to squirt grease.
Spicer 706944X Socket Assembly
The spicer 706944x socket assembly offers the perfect OEM replacement ball joints for the Jeep Wrangler TJ. They fit with both the spicer dana 44 and 30 axles. Furthermore, these ball joints aren’t oversized like most other aftermarket options.
As already mentioned, these are meant to be direct OEM ball joint replacements. And they fit perfectly. However, the installation process was quite time-consuming but well worth it. You get both a lower and upper joint in the package.
We installed these on a jeep wrangler TJ with worn-out ball joints, and the results were fantastic. The new joints offer a smoothly predictable ride. Of worth noting is that you may notice a gap between the steering knuckle and the bottom of the ball joint.
The reason for this is that the ball joints come dry, and you need to grease them. Once greased, they will fit perfectly with no gap.
Our only concern with Spicer ball joints Jeep TJ is that the boot seemed weak. Also, some people have complained of the upper ball joint being too loose after installation.
Detroit Axle – Front Outer Tie Rods + Sway Bars+ Upper Lower Ball Joints Replacement
If you are looking to complete your ball joints with tie rods as well, the Detroit Axle Front outer tie rods and upper lower ball joint replacement are for you. This package comes with four ball joints, two inner tie rods, and one outer tie rod.
Also included in the package are two front track bars, two outer tie ends, and two sway bars. Overall, you get a complete set for replacing your ball joints and tie rods. This package will fit the 1997 to 2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ.
All components are of high quality and can fit into other car models, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, specifically the 1993 to 1998 models. More importantly, you get a ten-year warranty on this package.
Our main issue with these 2006 jeep TJ ball joints is that the threads on the castle nut arent of the best quality. As such, the castle nut may break when being tightened.
MOOG K100312 Ball Joint
Moon is another brand synonymous with ball joints of exceptional quality. The Moog K100312 ball joints are designed to fit a wide variety of vehicles, including the 1997 to 2006 Wrangler TJ. Thus if you are looking for new 2000 jeep TJ ball joints or 1997 jeep TJ ball joints, these will be a good option.
One of the things that makes this one of the best aftermarket ball joints out there is the hardened ball stud. The latter is built to match the quality of OEM ball joints and can withstand higher heavy loads.
The joint also has a greasable socket that allows you to apply grease to reduce corrosion. Also, the 360 range of movement this joint has provides for consistent stud articulation. This ball joint also comes with a lifetime warranty.
This comes as a single ball joint, which can be great if you want to replace only a single ball joint. But if you are looking to replace all four, you have to purchase them individually.
Detroit Axle – 4WD Front Upper & Lower Ball Joints Replacement
The Detroit axle 4wd front upper and lower ball joint replacement is designed to replace stock OEM ball joints for 4wd trucks. These joints will fit into a 1993 to 2006 Jeep wrangler, as well as Jeep Grand Cherokee, Comanche, and grand wagoneer models.
This replacement package comes with four ball joints, two upper and two lower ball joints. In terms of installation, these joints were relatively easy to install. Furthermore, these are fully greasable.
Though we recommend greasing them while the axle is still out of the way, also, compared to other similar products, these were quite affordable. This doesn’t mean they are of a lower quality, though.
This budget-friendly ball joint for Tj will not fit into all jeep wrangler models, and it is important to check if they will fit your specific model. Also, in terms of durability, they may not last as long as other pricier models.
Why we didn’t pick any Synergy Ball joints
One thing you will notice is that there isn’t a single Synergy ball joint on our list. The reason for this is that these ball joints have become synonymous with premature failure. Most Synergy ball joints will last you only a couple of miles before requiring a replacement.
Moreover, they will not last as long as the stock factory ball joints, and as such are not a good replacement for the factory ball joint.
What To Consider For Buying The Best Jeep TJ Ball Joints
There are a couple of things to consider when shopping for ball joints for your jeep wrangler TJ. The main factors to consider are.
Ball joints are exposed to all kinds of weather conditions. Furthermore, they bear the load of the truck due to their position in the suspension system. This is the main reason why they wear out and need replacing.
To ensure you do not have to replace the ball joints regularly, consider their construction material. Heavy-duty steel is a good material for making ball joints. Steel is a tough and durable metal that does not wear out as quickly as other metals.
Carbon steel is another great metal; this metal alloy is also tough and does not corrode easily. This makes it the perfect option for making ball joints. As such, the best ball joints such as the TeraFlex 1353100 are made from this material.
Jeep is a vehicle manufacturer with a lot of vehicle models under its brand name. As such, just because one ball joint fits a specific jeep model does not mean it will fit all. Also, different joints are designed to fit models of different years of making.
When shopping for ball joints, it is important to check whether it fits your specific model. For example, some are designed to fit the 1997 to 2006 models. On the other hand, other ball joints are compatible with newer models.
The size and material of these components can affect both handling and fuel efficiency. Ball joints come in many types with different features, such as those that rotate on all sides. In addition, it is important to note that ball joints are often paired with other parts, such as tie rods and steering knuckles. So, you should not only check the size of the ball joint but also make sure it is compatible with other parts.
Some ball joints, such as the MOOG K100312 Ball Joint, come as a single ball joint. Others such as the Detroit Axle – 4WD Front Upper & Lower Ball Joints Replacement come with four. The latter will be a better option if you want to change all ball joints.
Furthermore, if you want to replace other parts, such as the tie rods, you may consider those that come inclusive with all these parts. A good example is the Detroit Axle – Front Outer Tie Rods + Sway Bars+ Upper Lower Ball Joints Replacement.
More Stability on Quality Ball Joints:
Try to choose ball joints that are made with high-quality material. Remember the material used to construct ball joints also affects the smoothness of the ride. So it’s important to attach a stable ball joint that lasts long. And that is why you need to look for ball joints with quality materials. The best way to achieve this is by choosing the ones made from heavy-duty steel or carbon steel. Heavy-duty metal allows for greater durability, especially when it comes to ball joints.
Strength of the Ball Joints
Grab the ball joints that can tolerate rotations of the vehicle wheels, all sides to provide better performance. Also, choose the ones that are durable enough to withstand heavy-duty road conditions. This will ensure your vehicle is stable, even on rough roads and bumps.
A warranty gives you peace of mind of being able to return your ball joints if they are defective. A warranty is also a sign of a manufacturer’s trust in their own products. A lifetime warranty is what you should always look for.
However, some affordable ball joints come with a ten year warranty, which is still a good warranty period to have.
Perhaps the last thing to consider is your budget. Different ball joints have varying price tags. Some cost less than others. Thus if you have a tight budget, you may consider more affordable options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do Bad Ball Joints Sound Like?
A bad ball joint will produce a faint, intermittent clunking sound that seems to be coming out of the corner of your vehicle. This is usually the first indicator that your ball joints are worn out.
Can I continue driving with a bad ball joint? And what happens when it wears out completely?
No, it is never advisable to drive with worn-out joints. When ball joints wear out completely, you will experience difficulties in steering the vehicle. This can lead to a crash, and in some cases, the wheel falling off.
How hard is it to replace ball joints on a Jeep Wrangler?
Replacing lousy ball joints on a jeep wrangler isn’t that complicated, given you have all the right tools. These include a set of wrenches and a ball joint kit.
How long do Jeep ball joints last
Typically, Jeep Wrangler will last you between 70,000 and 150,000 miles. However, this will depend on how and where you drive your Jeep. Also, jeeps with larger tires and a lift will require ball joint replacement more often than those with the stock tires.
Ball joints are essential to your jeep’s functioning. However, they are vulnerable to wearing out since they are exposed to harsh weather, road debris, and pressure. Therefore replacing worn-out ball joints is something you should expect to do several times during your Jeep’s lifetime.
Purchasing the best ball joints for jeep TJ is the best way to ensure that you do not have to replace the ball joints regularly.
Last Updated on October 6, 2021 by Rifen
Last update on 2022-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API