OEM Ball Joint Study - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Wrangler Forums > JK Wrangler Technical Forum > OEM Ball Joint Study

Rampage Bowless Soft Top Oconee offroadAlloy USA Still AvailableAdvance Adapters SYE Kits

Reply
Unread 02-01-2010, 10:55 PM   #1
ronjenx
Web Wheeler
 
ronjenx's Avatar
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,909
OEM Ball Joint Study

I recently received some old ball joints from Hellbound13. Thanks Hellbound!

I cleaned them up and dissected them to see how they are made, how they function, and determine if they can be made grease-able.
This is what I came up with:

The lower ball joint is designed to bend, rotate, and have no axial or radial movement. They come from the factory with no grease fitting. An inspection of the internal parts revealed it is designed to be grease-able. The amount of grease found in the ball joint was no more than what would be called "butter lubricated" during assembly.
The plastic socket liner has a hole in the top, and grease grooves going down the inside where the ball resides.. The very top of the ball is flat, making a nice grease reservoir. The top of the ball joint body can be drilled in the center without risk of damage, and tapped, providing suction is used to keep the filings from entering the joint during each operation.
There isn't room for a regular zerk fitting because the u-joint yokes will hit. At least that's the case on my Rubicon axle. A flush fitting would work. Here is one source: h**p://www.saeproducts.com/flush-grease-fitting-AK18F.html
Installing a grease fitting in this joint, on the vehicle, would be difficult. I would recommend doing it on the new joint, before installation.















The upper joint does not bend. It can rotate and is designed to allow for axial movement, and no radial movement.
The amount of grease found in the ball joint was no more than what would be called "butter lubricated" during assembly.
Installing a grease fitting in the upper joint is not recommended, as the pressure would likely blow out the thin plastic cover on the top.
The plastic liner in the joint is designed to make up for radial wear, for a while, at least.
So, installing grease fittings in only the lower ball joints may sill extend the lives of all four ball joints.














ronjenx is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-02-2010, 01:16 PM   #2
Ole Yeller
Registered User
2010 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 627
Wow!! Very impressive!!
__________________
2007 Patriot Limited
2006 Unlimited Rubicon
2006 Commander
2000 TJ Sport
My previous Jeeps
1992 Wrangler S (Ole Yeller)
1985 Cherokee Pioneer
1989 Cherokee Laredo
1995 Cherokee Country
1996 Cherokee Country
1996 Grand Cherokee Laredo
Ole Yeller is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-02-2010, 01:42 PM   #3
ronjenx
Web Wheeler
 
ronjenx's Avatar
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole Yeller View Post
Wow!! Very impressive!!
Thanks. It was a fun little project. I intend to put the grease fittings in my lowers to see if it makes them last longer.

I am also looking for an old JK front unit bearing for a similar project; mainly to see if my XJ hub tools will work on the JK hub.
ronjenx is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-02-2010, 01:43 PM   #4
N2rock
Registered User
2007 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 7,078
I'll second that- VERY IMPRESSIVE!
__________________
for details and info on our JK's, check out http://n2rock.com

His: '07 Unlimited X, Jeep Green, Hardtop, auto, 5.13, 2.5" RC lift and too many mods to list

Hers: '08 X Red Rock, soft top, auto. Bunch of mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by tlgraham View Post
If you made a snuggy out of a Shamwow, ....would you have to get up off the couch to pee?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deepskyy View Post
At this point if Obama tried to move a little to the right, he would trip over Stalin's corpse.
N2rock is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-02-2010, 04:00 PM   #5
muttytruckster
Registered User
2007 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: White House, Tennessee
Posts: 822
This is the perfect detailed description a person needs to understand the ball joint. Awesome job, thanks for taking the time to post this.
__________________
2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon -JKUR
Rescue Green 6-Spd, 33" KM2s- 17 x 8 BlackRock Series 909 wheels, Stainless Steel Gibson Exhaust & AFE Air Intake, Superchips, Aberle Front Bumper&10.5K Winch, PiAA ATP Lights
https://picasaweb.google.com/1047388...eat=directlink
muttytruckster is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-02-2010, 05:20 PM   #6
USAntigoon
Retired from Forum
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,084
ronjenx

Thanks for sharing..Job well done...
USAntigoon is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-02-2010, 06:20 PM   #7
Hellbound13
Registered User
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,500
Hmm, my lower ball joints seemed worn when I did the pry bar test, but now seeing it sawed in half it does not seem so..
Hellbound13 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-02-2010, 07:22 PM   #8
ronjenx
Web Wheeler
 
ronjenx's Avatar
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellbound13 View Post
Hmm, my lower ball joints seemed worn when I did the pry bar test, but now seeing it sawed in half it does not seem so..
You can't go by looks. It's the measurement you got that's important.
If the axial play on the lower ball joint was more than 0.050", it was worn.
ronjenx is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-02-2010, 08:01 PM   #9
chickenhawk7
Registered User
2007 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 956
So I was looking for my ball joints. They are close to the battery, right?
chickenhawk7 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-03-2010, 08:30 AM   #10
FatBuoy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenhawk7 View Post
So I was looking for my ball joints. They are close to the battery, right?
Yes, but only on 07s and 08s. In 09 they moved them to the other side.
__________________
Black Rubi JKU with a rompin' stompin' 6.1 magnuson supercharged hemi!
FatBuoy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-03-2010, 08:40 AM   #11
Ole Yeller
Registered User
2010 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 627
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenhawk7 View Post
So I was looking for my ball joints. They are close to the battery, right?
I think it's actually closer to the muffler bearing on 07 08 and near the blinker fluid on 09 10.
__________________
2007 Patriot Limited
2006 Unlimited Rubicon
2006 Commander
2000 TJ Sport
My previous Jeeps
1992 Wrangler S (Ole Yeller)
1985 Cherokee Pioneer
1989 Cherokee Laredo
1995 Cherokee Country
1996 Cherokee Country
1996 Grand Cherokee Laredo
Ole Yeller is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-03-2010, 06:14 PM   #12
AlterEgo
Registered User
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 272
Just look for the bat and glove joints. Its right there.
__________________
Gary Greenway - KD8NHC
08 4 Door Rubicon
Member of Two Trackers 4wd Club
Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
AlterEgo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-03-2010, 08:04 PM   #13
chickenhawk7
Registered User
2007 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 956
See, this is why I just love this forum. Everyone is so helpful. I was thinking it was close to the battery, but started to get a little overwhelmed when trying to locate the muffler bearing. I will find it, just got to keep looking. So the muffler bearing is actually in the same area as the battery, right?

Ronjenx, don't be offended by my stupid humor. It was a good write-up, just havin' fun.
chickenhawk7 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-03-2010, 08:14 PM   #14
Ole Yeller
Registered User
2010 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 627
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenhawk7 View Post
See, this is why I just love this forum. Everyone is so helpful. I was thinking it was close to the battery, but started to get a little overwhelmed when trying to locate the muffler bearing. I will find it, just got to keep looking. So the muffler bearing is actually in the same area as the battery, right?

Ronjenx, don't be offended by my stupid humor. It was a good write-up, just havin' fun.
If you haven't seen it before, KaleCoAuto, Hard to find automotive items! has all those hard to find parts.
__________________
2007 Patriot Limited
2006 Unlimited Rubicon
2006 Commander
2000 TJ Sport
My previous Jeeps
1992 Wrangler S (Ole Yeller)
1985 Cherokee Pioneer
1989 Cherokee Laredo
1995 Cherokee Country
1996 Cherokee Country
1996 Grand Cherokee Laredo
Ole Yeller is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-03-2010, 08:20 PM   #15
ronjenx
Web Wheeler
 
ronjenx's Avatar
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenhawk7 View Post
See, this is why I just love this forum. Everyone is so helpful. I was thinking it was close to the battery, but started to get a little overwhelmed when trying to locate the muffler bearing. I will find it, just got to keep looking. So the muffler bearing is actually in the same area as the battery, right?

Ronjenx, don't be offended by my stupid humor. It was a good write-up, just havin' fun.
No offense taken. I almost contributed to it.
ronjenx is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.