Top 16 Best Ball Joints – Great Options for Enhanced Performance (2021)

Most regular car drivers probably don't know the existence of ball joints in a vehicle or their importance. Like many other vehicle components, ball joints are crucial and can impact the driver's safety. Therefore, installing the best ball joint is non-negotiable.

A ball joint is a small component that allows rotary movements in a vehicle’s suspension system. Since it is a critical component, riding with a worn-out or poor-quality product can jeopardize your safety and the car's suspension system.

If you’re not sure about the ideal ball joint to buy, then this article is for you. Here, my team will provide the best brand of ball joints for optimal performance.

What You Should Know

Ball joints impact your vehicle's steering ability and safety.

Here are the key features of some of the best ball joints in 2021.

Features of the Moog K80026 Ball Joint

  • Brand: Moog
  • Model: K80026 Ball Joint
  • Weight: 1.4 Pounds

Find out more about this product on this website.

Features of the Detroit Axle - 2WD Ball Joints

  • Brand: Detroit Axle
  • Model: 2WD 8Pc Front Upper Control Arms w/Ball & Lower Ball Joints
  • Weight: 17 Pounds

Find out more about this product on this website.

Features of the Detroit Axle - 14Pc Ball Joint

  • Brand: Detroit Axle
  • Model: 14Pc Front Suspension Kit Inner & Outer Lower Ball Joint
  • Weight: 14 Pounds

Find out more about this product on this website.

Features of the AC Delco 46D2281A Ball Joint Assembly

  • Brand: AC Delco
  • Model: 46D2281A Advantage Front Lower Suspension Ball Joint Assembly
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds

Find out more about this product on this website.

Features of the Detroit Axle - Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joint

  • Brand: Detroit Axle
  • Model: Front Upper Control Arm with Outer Tie Rod Ends & Lower Ball Joint Replacement
  • Weight: 27 Pounds

Find out more about this product on this website.

Features of the Epi Standard Ball Joint Kit

  • Brand: Epi
  • Model: Standard Ball Joint Kit Polaris ATP Magnum Ranger Scrambler Sportsman Trail
  • Weight: 7.2 Pounds

Find out more about this product on this website.

Top Pick Section

Best for Overall Performance - Moog K80026 Ball Joint

This ball joint is robust, fits easily, and resistant to corrosion and wear, resulting in a great overall performance.

Best for 2WD - Detroit Axle - 2WD 8Pc Ball Joints

These 8pc ball joints are designed with great quality materials for a unique performance in 2WD cars.

Best Complete Ball Joint Kit - Detroit Axle - 14Pc Front Suspension Kit Ball Joint

This suspension kit comes with all the accessories you need to have a fantastic driving performance.

Best for Budget - AC Delco 46D2281A Advantage Ball Joint Assembly

Despite its high-quality features, this suspension ball joint is readily affordable.

Best for Easy Installation - Detroit Axle - Front Upper Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement

This replacement kit comes with the required tools to enable the user to install this ball joint seamlessly.

Types of Ball Joints

Ball joints act as a pivot between the wheels and the suspension [1]. There are two types - loaded and unloaded/non-load joints.

Loaded joints are joints designed to bear the vehicle's weight, such as the lower joints on the front and rear suspension. Due to this weight, loaded joints wear out very fast.

Unloaded are not designed to carry any weight. However, their primary objective is to support the load-carrying joints.

Due to the joints' low expectations, unloaded joints experience reduced wear and tear and pressure compared to loaded joints. You can find unloaded joints mostly on the upper control suspensions to support the lower control suspension.

The type of ball joints in a vehicle depends on the suspension type. For example, cars with Short-Arm Suspension have two upper joints and lower ball joints. Those with strut suspension have no upper control suspensions but two lower ball joints in the front suspension.

Other suspension systems types are those found in front-wheel drive vehicles and rear-drive vehicles.

Review of the Best Ball Joints

MOOG K80026 Ball Joint

The Moog K80026 Ball Joint is top of this list because of its durable composition and incredible performance. The ball joint gave my team a satisfactory performance during testing.

The ball joint is designed from steel to improve its strength and wear-resistance. This allows it to last for an extended period.

Moog K80026 includes oversized housing, offering a more secure fit when installed in a vehicle. Plus, the greasable socket construction promotes lubricant flow, reducing corrosion and flushing out contaminants and old grease easily.

The ball joint rotates excellently due to the full metal stud, resulting in a more responsive steering performance.

Things I like

  • Strong and durable
  • Highly responsive
  • Fits perfectly
  • Great price

Things I don't like

  • Has grease fitting issues.
  • It comes as a single piece. 
Detroit Axle - 2WD 8pc Front Upper Control Arms w/Ball Joint Assembly

Detroit Axle 2WD 8Pc Front Upper Control Arms is the perfect replacement part for 2-Wheel Drive vehicles.

The durability and wear-resistance of this ball joint are top-notch, as it's made with excellent quality materials. This ensures that they last long. Moreover, it has undergone thorough testing to ensure its quality and safety.

My team installed this ball joint in a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 2WD, and it fitted impeccably, without any issue. If you're looking for a ball joint for your truck, this Detroit Axle ball joint will make a good choice. It's one of the best ball joints for lifted trucks.

Things I like

  • Installation is easy
  • Compatible with most Dodge Ram 2WD trucks
  • Resistant to impact and wear
  • Tested to ensure its durability and quality
  • Affordable

Things I don't like

  • Some models are not tapped for the grease fitting.
Detroit Axle - 14pc Front Suspension Kit Inner Outer Tie Rods + Idler Pitman Arm + Lower Ball Joints

Detroit Axle 14Pc Front Suspension Kit includes everything that you need to replace your worn-out ball joint for better performance.

The full ball joint kit contains upper, and lower suspension ball joints, four front inner and outer tie rod ends for an excellent fitting.

It also includes two front stabilizer bar links end links, adjustment sleeve, Pitman arm, and Idler Arm to make installation easier.

The ball joint is reasonably easy to grease, as it comes with grease certs that permit users to push out the old lubricant easily.

The best part is the ball joint is affordable, even with its superb quality.

Things I like

  • High-quality
  • Value for money
  • It fits well when installed.
  • Comes in a full kit.

Things I don't like

  • The lower ball joints seem a little oversized.
  • Incompatible with specific vehicles
ACDelco 46D2281A Advantage Front Lower Suspension Ball Joint Assembly

If you want the best ball joints for F150, you should consider AC Delco 46D2281A Advantage Front Lower Suspension Ball Joint Assembly.

AC Delco is a top supplier of premium quality, reliable automotive parts. This ball joint replacement part boosts a vehicle's overall steering performance excellently.

It is highly resistant to wear and extreme impact and abrasion, thanks to its forged polyurethane housing and machined shell. The forged housing and machined shell also maximize the product's durability.

The ball joint assembly is ISO-9001 certified, so you are sure of its safety and quality. It’s also coated with resistant material to minimize corrosion, promoting longevity.

Things I like

  • Resistant to extreme impact and wear
  • Certified for safe use
  • Durable
  • Coated to prevent corrosion
  • Great value for money

Things I don't like

  • Doesn't fit well on other vehicle brands.
  • Somewhat difficult to grease
Detroit Axle - Front Upper Control Arm

This is another excellent Detroit Axle ball joint to consider if you want the best replacement part for your Ford F-150 vehicle and Lincoln Mark LT.

The Detroit Axle Front Upper Control Arm lower ball joint replacement kit contains all the accessories that provide an outstanding service.

It includes one front upper left and right control arm and ball joint assembly, two front lower ball joints, and two front outer tie rod end links for improved control.

The kits are super easy to install and fit perfectly on compatible vehicle models. Given the price and quality, I'd say this a great replacement part.

Things I like

  • Great price
  • Great fit
  • Highly durable
  • Installs conveniently

Things I don't like

  • The tie rods are relatively short.
  • Has compatibility issues
 Epi Standard Ball Joint Kit Polaris Atp Magnum Ranger Scrambler Sportsman Trail

If you’re looking for the best ball joint for your Polaris ATP, ACE, Magnum, Ranger vehicles, Epi Standard Ball Joint is the ideal choice.

This great quality replacement ball joint comes in a full kit that includes a snap ring, ball joint, inner ball cage, washer and nut, and cotter pin. It comes fully ready to install in your strut housing.

Epi ball joints are designed with steel for more durability. What's more? The ball joint is easy to lubricate. I didn't encounter any difficulty removing the old grease out with a grease gun and lubricating it with WD-40.

Things I like

  • Greasable
  • Great quality
  • Fits well
  • Comes at an affordable price

Things I don't like

  • It’s a single one replacement ball joint.
4 Piece Suspension Kit Upper and Lower Ball Joints

Finding the right auto part that is safe and designed to fit can be pretty demanding. However, this suspension kit has it all.

Parts Warehouse 4-Piece are good quality, super-sturdy ball joints that offer a smooth steering performance and boost other vehicle components' durability.

It includes two front lower ball joints and two front upper ball joints, designed to fit vehicles with Short-Arm Suspension systems. Plus, this suspension kit is compatible with several Cherokee jeeps and Grand Wagoneer suspension systems.

The kit meets OEM designs and specifications and have undergone several durabilities and wear tests for improved quality.

Things I like

  • Designed to fit
  • Meets OEM standards
  • Delivers exceptional performance
  • Highly resistant

Things I don't like

  • Installing it is somewhat complicated.
  • The upper ball joint is slightly oversized. 
MOTORMAN 14 pc Front Suspension Set - Ball Joints, Sway Links

Motorman is a major automotive replacement brand that designs aftermarket parts to meet OEM standards. The Motorman 14Pc Front Suspension Set Ball Joints is an example of their unique design.

If your ball joint is aging or producing some clunking noise, you shouldn't worry. Installing this replacement part will completely solve those issues.

The ball joint is easy to install, and the best part is you can easily lubricate it to reduce wear and corrosion.

This kit is compatible with several vehicles. It's not surprising to see that this set fits Chevrolet Suburban 4x4 models, Chevrolet Gross Vehicle Weight models, and most Four-Wheel drives.

Things I like

  • Easy to lubricate
  • It fits most 4WD vehicles.
  • Straightforward to install
  • Great design

Things I don't like

  • Not suitable for 2WD cars
DLZ 4 Pcs Truck Front Suspension Kit-2 Lower 2 Upper Ball Joints Compatible with Wrangler 1990-2006

If you’re looking for the best ball joints for off-roading, I recommend DLZ 4Pcs Truck Front Suspension Kit 2-Lower & Upper Ball Joints.

This suspension kit includes several components that boost a car’s steering performance.

The performance of this suspension kit is impressive. Its control arm is made with strong material to withstand impacts, abrasion, and road bumps; hence, why the suspension kit is one of the best for off-roading.

The heavy-duty suspension kit is easy to grease to prevent rust. What's more? It has no fitment issue and is super easy to install.

Things I like

  • Strong
  • Resistant to rust
  • Comes in a double layer cover for extra protection
  • Great fitment
  • Installation is straightforward

Things I don't like

  • The upper ball joint is a little too long.
  • Grease fitting on the lower ball joint is wrongly positioned.
Epi We350040 Ball Joint Kit

Epi We3500040 Ball Joint comes in an all-new design, ensuring that your vehicle's steering performance is not compromised.

This ball joint has no compatibility issues and fits well on most cars, thanks to the perfectly-sized ball.

The small space in the ball joint also allows easy lubricating. My team didn't experience any issue greasing the ball joint.

The ball joint is also durable, enhancing its resistance to wear and rust. This product will last for a long time before thinking of a replacement.

Overall, my team finds the Epi ball joint very satisfying and great in terms of performance.

Things I like

  • The ball joint fits well.
  • Highly resistant to wear
  • Rust-free
  • Greasable

Things I don't like

  • Fits only specific models.
CTR Suspension Ball Joint

Most low-cost suspension ball joints tend to have fitment and compatibility issues and lack durability, exposing them to increased wear. However, CTR Suspension Ball Joint exceeded expectations, even its price tag.

The ball joint is designed with durable steel material, increasing its resistance to wear and corrosion. This helps to elongate the product's lifespan.

Though the bolt on the ball joint is slightly oversized, once cut, installing it is not difficult. Also, it fits perfectly, leaving no space inside the strut assembly.

Overall, the CTR Suspension ball joint performs well and would make an excellent choice.

Things I like

  • Great price
  • Has no fitment issues
  • Highly durable

Things I don't like

  • The bolt is a little oversized.
  • Pressing the ball joint to fit is challenging.
Mopar 5086674AB Lower Ball Joint

This ball joint is manufactured in Mexico and comes in an excellent durable design for prolonged use.

Mopar 5086674AB Lower Ball Joint is designed for the lower control arm suspension system. This means that it comes as one and not in a pair, like most ball joints in this review.

This replacement part enhances steering performance and eradicates vibration, squeaking noise, which are common signs of a worn-out joint assembly.

The ball joint has no fitment issues, as it easily fitted in the Dodge Ram truck my team tested.

Things I like

  • Wear-resistant
  • Fits easily
  • Durable
  • Compatible with 4x4 vehicles

Things I don't like

  • Doesn’t come in a full kit
Afco Racing Products 20032LF Upper Ball Joint Low Friction

Afco Racing Product 20032LF Upper Ball Joint Low Friction is an excellent alternative ball joint. This adjustable ball joint comes in a sturdy design to maximize longevity and improve performance.

This product has small openings that enable you to lubricate the device for extended use. Lubricating this ball joint helps minimize friction, which can wear out the ball joint.

My team encountered no fitment issues while installing this ball joint. It fitted comfortably, giving us a satisfying performance.

Additionally, it won’t cost you so much to purchase the aftermarket replacement ball joint.

Things I like

  • Lightweight
  • Easily affordable
  • Fitted conveniently
  • Lubrication is easy

Things I don't like

  • Comes as a single replacement part
  • The ball in some models is larger than the Strut assembly. 
SuperPro Sway Bar Adjustable Ball Joint Link Kit Front for 1981-1987 BMW 5

My team loves the SuperPro Sway Bar Adjustable Ball Joint because of its compatibility and fitment. The sway bar fits several car brands seamlessly.

This Sway Bar has a provision for lubrication. You can grease the part to reduce wear and minimize friction - two factors that hamper ball joints' performance.

The Sway Bar link kit is made with strong material for long-lasting use. Unlike some sway bar links unsuitable for heavy use, the SuperPro Sway bar can withstand bumpy roads and impacts.

Things I like

  • Fits easily
  • Compatible with several car models
  • Strong

Things I don't like

  • Comes as a single product
TRQ Front Control Arm Ball Joint Sway Link Tie Rod Suspension Kit 6pc for Pilot

If the ball joint in your Jeep is faulty and you need an affordable replacement, TRQ Front Control Arm Ball Joint is the right choice.

This kit comes with steering components, such as two front outer tie rods, front lower control arms with ball joints for seamless installation. There are front sway links included to enhance your vehicle's maneuverability.

TRQ ball joint comes pre-lubricated, but you can lubricate manually to prevent uneven wear and rust formation.

Thanks to the one-year limited warranty, you can safely return the product in the advent of failure and defect.

Things I like

  • Backed by a one-year limited warranty
  • Easy to grease
  • It offers a great riding experience.
  • Affordable

Things I don't like

  • Not compatible with many vehicles
  • Wear out faster under frequent heavy usage.
SKP SK7346 Suspension Ball Joint

Like other brands listed here, SKP is a famous brand, notable for supplying some of the industry's best aftermarket replacement parts. SKP SK7346 is one of the ball joints that give utter satisfaction.

This premium-quality chassis is loaded with excellent features, such as strong forging and durable material for robust performance. The ball joint is corrosion and wear-resistant to boost your automobile's performance.

This suspension ball joint is designed to meet OEM standards. It fits comfortably, and the installation process is hassle-free.

Additionally, the ball joints enable even lubricant distribution to reduce friction and prevent wear for long-lasting use.

Things I like

  • Easy to lubricate
  • Sturdy
  • Comes with a one-year limited warranty
  • Hassle-free installation
  • Coated to prevent rust

Things I don't like

  • Not compatible with all strut assemblies

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Ball Joints

At some point, you may have to replace the ball joint in your vehicle, as they will succumb to wear and tear eventually. If they aren’t replaced, you’d be risking your safety.

When buying these best ball joints, getting the perfect replacement is crucial. In this guide, my team will take you through factors that you should consider when purchasing the best ball joint.

Material

The material used in designing a ball joint is an essential factor to consider. You should consider buying parts that are made of steel for more durability and robustness.

Hardened metal is another good alternative material, as they offer some degree of durability and resistance to wear and corrosion [3].

Additionally, you should choose ball joints that have high-resistance coatings like polyurethane. This makes them less susceptible to wear and tear and rust.

Compatibility

Most buyers make mistakes when it comes to finding compatible ball joints for their vehicles. Eventually, they end up wasting their money.

Each ball joint is designed to fit a specific vehicle. To ensure you have the right joint, check your vehicle’s specifications on the company’s website or manual to determine whether it’d fit that exact part.

Grease

Some ball joints require you to grease them manually, while others are self-lubricated.

Though the idea of self-lubricating ball joints sounds fun, greasing them manually will aid in smoother operation. This is because when you grease manually, you're pushing away contaminants and the old grease, elongating the ball joint's lifespan.

Suspension Kit

Some ball joints come as a full kit, containing full upper and lower suspension arms, while others don't. This can come in handy if you want to replace numerous parts in your vehicle. Also, it's more economical to buy a full suspension kit than to buy single components.

Moog Ball Joints vs. OEM

Moog makes one of the best heavy-duty ball joints in the world. Moog ball joints enhance a vehicle's stability and reduce friction, improving the car's overall performance. Its design also allows grease flow, flushing contaminants that would shorten the lifespan.

Though popular, Moog ball joints are an example of aftermarket parts, meaning they are not made by the vehicle's manufacturer, unlike OEMs.

The advantage Moog ball joints have over OEM is they are less costly while offering similar or even better quality than their OEM counterparts. Moog ball joints come in steel designs, increasing their sturdiness and robustness.

Who Makes Driveworks Ball Joints

Driveworks ball joints are aftermarket products made in China, with distribution and retail centers in countries like the USA.

Best Ball Joints Brands

The best ball joints brands supply premium-quality suspension components that allow your vehicle to perform at the optimum level. Below are some of them:

Moog

Moog ball joints are notable for their resistance and groovy design. This makes it possible to discharge old lubricant completely when you lubricate the joint.

AC Delco

AC Delco joints have a superior construction design. They mostly come in steel designs to withstand wear and tear and have an impeccable fitting.

Other great ball joints brands include Dorman, Detroit Axle, and Mevotech.

Functions of Ball Joints

  • The ball joint's main function is to connect the suspension system to the vehicle's wheels/steering. This allows for safer and more precise driving.
  • The front ball joint enables the wheels and vehicle's suspension system to work together seamlessly.
  • They help the vehicle steer in the appropriate direction relative to the wheels without losing its balance.
  • Ball joints help to maintain the wheels' cambers. Some vehicles are designed so that the front wheels relative to the vertical angle can't be adjusted for wear, making driving complicated. Ball joints in a car with Short-Air Suspension help to maintain the camber angle for more convenient driving.

Common Symptoms of Faulty Ball Joints

Below are common symptoms of faulty ball joints:

Clunking Noise

When ball joints begin to wear out, over time, they tend to become smaller, creating spaces around the housing assembly. This causes the front suspension to start to generate clunking noises.

Vibration

Due to the spaces in the socket, the ball joints become loose, causing some vibrations. These vibrations are evident when a car drives at high speed. You can also feel the vibrations through the steering wheel.

Uneven Wear of Tires

Once the front tires' inner and outer treads begin to wear unevenly, it's an indication of a faulty ball joint.

Wandering/Misdirection

Since ball joints directly impact steering control and precision, a wear-out causes the vehicle to drift in the wrong direction. This happens if the car stumbles on road bumps or if your hands aren't on the steerings. A worn-out ball joint impacts the vehicle's alignment.

Replacing Ball Joints

Replacing ball joints requires disassembly of the vehicle's suspension system and steering system. You'll need some specialized tools, such as;

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stand
  • Lug wrench
  • Spring compressors 
  • Ball joint separators.

You also need to be conversant with some processes to execute the job successfully. However, you’ll need to be more careful because cars are engineered differently.

The following steps are necessary information on replacing ball joints.

  1. Lift the car with a floor jack and support it with the appropriate jack stand.
  2. Loosen the bolts with a lug wrench.
  3. If the vehicle has coil springs, use the correct coil spring compressors to compress the spring carefully. 
  4. Separate the control arm(s) from the steering knuckle with ball joint separators.
  5. Once separated, detach the old ball joints from the control arms using the right tool. Before installing the new one, compare both joints to see if the new one will fit accurately. Check also if the new joints need lubrication.
  6. Install the new ball joints and tighten all fasteners to prevent breakage or separation during use.
Assemble the suspension systems and the steering in the correct order.

How to Check if a Ball Joint is Bad

Best Ball Joints (FAQs)

1. What are the ball joints, and how do they work?

Ball joints are components that help a vehicle to steer accordingly in a precise manner.


Like the human ball and socket joint, a typical ball joint comprises a ball that sits inside/connected to the socket. Though inside, the ball rotates freely. The ball joints allow the vehicle's suspension's vertical movement while you steer the wheels left or right.

2. Should I replace both ball joints at the same time?

Replacing both ball joints depends on lots of factors. Most experts would recommend changing both ball joints if one of them is faulty.


However, it might be expensive to replace all ball joints in a vehicle with a Short-Arm Suspension system (two upper and two lower ball joints). In this case, I suggest that you only replace the worn-out ones to cut down on costs.

3. How often should I replace my ball joints?

The rule of thumb is to replace ball joints after leaving 70,000 - 100,000 miles. Replacing ball joints depends on the road condition, vehicle condition, construction of the ball joint, etc.

4. How do I know if ball joints are worn?

These signs indicate that your vehicle’s ball joints are worn;

  • Uneven wear and tear
  • Squeaking/ clunking noise (this is the most common)
  • Vehicle steering from side to side while on the road
  • Abnormal vibrations

5. How long do Moog ball joints last?

Moog ball joints last up to 100k miles before replacement. Some last beyond 100k miles. 

Final Words & Recommendation

With these comprehensive reviews, I’m sure choosing the best ball joint for your vehicle will no longer be an issue.

I have chosen the Moog K80026 Ball Joint as the best ball joints in this review. It's durable and strong due to the steel construction.

Moog is resistant to wear and tear, making it last longer. It also fits well when installed and is easy to grease.

Furthermore, the ball joint comes at a great affordable price. As a result of this, I rate it 4.6/5.

Would you like to improve the steering performance of your vehicle? Click here to buy the best ball joint available!

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