OEM Jeep ball joints come and go. They’re usually decent, but you can’t expect any tremendous performance or durability offroad.
At one point you have to change them and you find yourself at crossroads. There are a lot of brands that manufacture quality parts across all Jeep generations:
The Holy Trio: Dynatrac, Synergy and Teraflex
Budget-friendly brands: Moog or Alloy USA
Which one of these manufactures the best ball joints for Jeep?
Tricky question – and it also depends whether you drive a JK Wrangler or the classic TJ. Well, on how much you can/want to spend too.
I’ll discuss several options that make sense. If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to read everything, here would be my top two recommendations:
For JK/Wrangler owners, there’s the legendary Dynatrac ProSteer. An expensive set, yes – but it lives up to its reputation. Zero death wobble and the toughest manufacture you’ve (probably) ever seen.
We’re talking about military-grade stainless steel and Teflon coating. Rebuildable, made in the US – the real deal.
Alternatively, you can go with Teraflex. If you drive a 2007-2012 Wrangler, this set comes with reinforced coating against corrosion and won’t buckle under offroad conditions. Great value for the price.
For Jeep TJ owners, this TeraFlex kit will get you the most reliable performance in the long-term. Carbon steel housing, heat treated ball and stud, and this one comes with a knurled finish too.
I call it the TJ Boss. 🙂
Unfortunately, Dynatrac don’t produce any ball joints for TJ models for all I know. This leaves you with other alternatives like Synergy, Moog or Dana’s Spicer ball joints.
Sadly, Synergy has had pretty bad boots with their TJ joints according to quite a few people. Which means that instead I’d recommend you this set of Spicer TJ ball joints.
This is actually a good option if you’re looking for a budget pick. Does the job well for its price, even though it’s not remotely as hardcore as the TeraFlex.
Before I get to my reviews though, let’s first discuss something else.
Installing the ball joints:
DIY or get them done?
A lot of Jeep owners are surprised when they get a quote on the removal/installation of their ball joints. You can easily spend a lot if you hire someone else to do it. I’m talking about several hundred bucks here, easily the same $$$ as your new gear.
Changing the ball joints yourself isn’t particularly hard, but it takes some time. If you decide to do it, you might lose half a day or so, but you’ll save quite a bit of money.
If you decide to DIY, don’t forget to grab a ball joint press kit. The amount of time/physical force such a tool will spare you is insane.
I recommend this one, as it supports the Dana 30/44 front axle on Jeeps and as a company, Astro manufacture great quality kits.
Here’s one example video of changing the Dynatrac ProSteer ball joints:
4 best ball joints for Jeep JK & TJ
1. My top recommendation for Jeep JK ball joints:
No compromise. This is the tagline I’d attach to this set of Dynatracs. Manufactured locally on American soil, they come with built-in heat-treated stainless steel that lives up to military standards. To enhance this tough construction, there’s also Teflon coating on the wear points so you can say goodbye to premature wear.
A big plus here is the fact that this set of Jeep ball joints is both rebuildable and easily greaseable.
This is the holy grail for any owner! You not only have the “basis” – a solid construction, but you also have the means to prolong it further by lubricating it with grease. And if despite this something happens, you can rebuild your kit.
I guess you can understand why Dynatrac ProSteer is considered a masterpiece, right?
I’d also call them the “Death Wobble Killer” as the performance improvement and overall ride stability they give you are unmatched.
An absolute beast for any terrain, and especially recommended for you crazy off-roaders. The only downside is the price, but I think it’s well worth it.
2. Best value for the price
Synergy vs Teraflex ball joints for TJ/JK
To me, Synergy and Teraflex are virtually the same in terms of what they offer you. Price-wise too…
Both of them are better constructed and more durable than your typical OEMs which can even include plastic parts. Yikes.
Let’s cut to the important details:
Both of them can also be greased easily, but are not rebuildable. You will see your death wobble fixed and enjoy better driving, but you won’t have the full set of luxuries like the Dynatrac kit.
Also, both brands work with RCV shafts for those of you who are into this 🙂
If you plan on doing more off-road adventures, go for Teraflex like these. Just keep in mind that these are not suited for extreme off-road driving.
The main difference between these two lies in what generation Jeep you actually drive.
As far as Jeep TJ accessories go, Synergy fares a little bit worse due to some boots issues as evidenced by buyer complaints. I’d recommend Teraflex as the best value ball joint kit for a TJ owner.
Alternatively, you can go for Spicer ball joints. Sure, they don’t have teflon coating, military-grade constructions, and all bells and whistles. However, for their price, they hold their ground well.
Keep in mind they are close to OEMs! If you look at your Jeep’s U joints, the factory ones should be Spicer as the brand has been collaborating with Jeep for decades.
If you plan on doing some balance offroad/onroad driving or plan to mainly stick to the streets, they will be more than enough.
As with the Dynatracs, installation of either set isn’t rocket science. In some kits, you also have some hardware parts that will make the task easier for you.
Sometimes it’s not putting the new ball joints that are hard. It’s getting the old ones out, especially if they are a mess. Look at how rust this guy’s TJ had gotten:
3. Budget consideration:
Alloy USA ball joints
Alloy USA is pretty much comparable to Moog in my opinion. Their Jeep ball joints are decent, but definitely a step behind the brands I talked about above.
The big advantage you have with these is affordability. Keep in mind this kit includes knurled ball joints. Also, while you can grease them, the process can be a bit trickier than other higher-end Jeep ball joint brands.
A good solution to this trickiness is to make sure their fitting is facing forward when you press them in. Grabbing a needle nose adapter together with your kit is a good idea. Even then they’re not as easily greaseable.
That said, these perform significantly better than OEMs and cheaper alternatives. A decent choice for those of you who don’t care much about extreme terrain and stick to the usual road infrastructure.
Recommended for budget pickers, but if you can upgrade your budget I’d go for the more premium ball joint kits.
As a closure
I consider ball joints to be a fundamental part of any vehicle. In this sense, I’d advise you to invest in a proper set of these. It might not be Dynatrac if they’re outside of your budget…but don’t be cheap here.
The four choices I presented you with work well in varying degrees. All of them are without a doubt a huge improvement over the OEMs you’ve driven so far. They’re also better than other brands like Moog for example, which I otherwise recommend for other vehicles.
If you already have experience with any of these (or other) brands, let me know in the comments below!
Furthermore, if you’ve decided to get rid of your Jeep’s roof and are looking for a good way to protect yourself during the summer, you’re in luck. Check my thoughts on two of the leading brands – SpiderWeb Shade and Alien Shade in a sunshade top comparison here 🙂 Don’t think I don’t spread the Jeep model love – I also have this guide to XJ shocks.
Well, see you around!