Buying guide for Ball Joints

 

In automobiles, a ball joint is a spherical bearing with the primary purpose of making a connection between the control arm and the steering knuckle.

Ball joints work similarly to the ball and socket design of the human hip joint, pivoting between the steering and wheel. Over time, ball joints can be prone to wear and tear, affecting a car’s stability, whether driving at a low or high speed.

Best Ball Joints

OTC 8031 Ball Joint

OTC Tools is a major manufacturer of electronic diagnostic equipment of vehicles and a wide range of servicing tools and equipment with various manufacturing facilities. The company also manufactures and supplies automotive fuel maintenance tools. The company became a Bosch brand in December 2012. It was integrated into the ASSBU (Automotive Service Solutions Business Unit) of the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket Business Division.

What comes in the kit?

The OTC 8031 includes a special large C-frame and a complete set of adaptors (19 adaptors) to remove and install ball joints. It also comes with a replaceable forcing screw tip that allows for the use of the adaptors in the 6530 kit for other applications. A blow-molded case is also included in a kit, together with instructions and an application chart.

 

Buying guide for Ball Joints

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

The OTC 8031 can be used on most Chrysler and Dodge light-duty trucks, Grand Cherokee, Liberty (1997-2004), Wrangler, and 1999-2004 Jeep Cherokee.

Other features

The specially designed and produced high clearance OTC large C-frame also allows for the repair of most recent vehicles aside from the vehicles mentioned above.

Pros

  • The large and lengthy C-frame makes replacing ball joints easier
  • The sockets and adaptors are huge – allowing for the OTC 8031 to hold up better and last longer
  • The cups, also known as the cylinders, are truly heavy-duty and far more superior compared to others
  • The case is made of heavy plastic. Its inside is formed around each cup, so there is no mix-up

  • Each cup has a number stamped onto it and is in the proper location within the case
  • The contents are made of the highest quality steel all around and do the job in a professional manner

Cons

  • The case is fragile

Alltrade 648617 Ball Joint

Established in 1979, Alltrade Tools is a leader in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of genuinely innovative products for the home, the garage, and worksites. Alltrade is a privately held company that maintains research, global sourcing, assembly, and sales facilities. They offer their customers on every continent over 3 decades of consumer products experience, together with the resources for both a personalized touch and partnering with the world’s largest retailers.

What comes in the kit

The toolset includes a plug, 11 receiving tubes of different sizes, 2 receiving cups of varioussizes, an installing tube, a screw, a C-frame, an installation adaptor, a remover/installer, a removal adaptor, an installation adaptor, and a blow-molded case. The Alltrade 648617 lets you have everything that you may need to replace a joint at the comfort of your home.

 

Buying guide for Ball Joints

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

The Alltrade 648617 kit is designed to remove and install special threaded ball joints found on many Chrysler vehicles. It can be used for most vehicles to remove and install U joints and pressed-in ball joints. The Alltrade 648617 will also work with most makes and designs of any vehicle type.

Other features

The Alltrade 648617 kit is designed to make one’s life easier as it lets you remove and install a new ball joint without removing the control arm from your vehicle – which is quite an impressivefeat. It is designed to exceed Alltrade’s standard safety and health rating. Overall, this ball joint tool is a bang for the buck.

Pros

  • It makes working with ball joints a breeze, and it holds up great
  • It seems to be very well made, and the make and construction is sturdy
  • There are lots of adaptors included
  • It makes replacing lower joints pretty straightforward
  • The C-frame / C-clamp is heavy-duty
  • It is a superior product with its high-quality components and reasonable price tag

Cons

  • The product sticker is on the wrong side of the case – which may cause the pieces to be dumped out of their slots when opening the case with the sticker up

Astro 7897

They offer several product categories that include the popular equipment classics and tools. They are dedicated to bringing the utmost satisfaction to their customers. Their priority is to provide elite quality products at an affordable price without compromising product reliability.

What comes in the kit?

The Astro 7897 set includes removing and installing adaptors and receiver tubes that are needed when working on press-fit upper and lower ball joints. Also included in the kit arethe #2030-1 live center forcing screw plug and a blow-molded carrying case that contains the same number of pieces in a much smaller footprint, allowing for easier toolbox storage.

 

Buying guide for Ball Joints

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

The Astro 7897 can be used on most Ford, GM, and Dodge 2 and 4 wheel drive pickups. It can also be used on sport utility vehicles and vans through 1997.

Other features

The Astro 7897 has a new forged alloy C-frame press with industry-leading strength. This C-frame can also be used alone to remove and replace universal joints.

Pros

  • The Astro 7897 presses in like a dream and just takes about 30 minutes to press in the joints
  • It comes in a very sturdy plastic case
  • All of the pieces quality and finish are impressive
  • It works great and does the job well – it has all adaptors needed
  • The C-press is forged, its threads are nicely machined, and the forcing screw is extremely smooth
  • It makes the dreadful job of replacing the ball joints an absolute snap

Cons

  • The case could use some upgrading
  • The press opening is on the small side
  • The parts aren’t numbered

Powerbuilt 648604 Kit

Established in 1979, Alltrade Tools is a leader in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of genuinely innovative products for the home, the garage, and worksites. Alltrade is a privately held company that maintains research, global sourcing, assembly, and sales facilities. They offer their customers on every continent over 3 decades of consumer products experience, together with the resources for both a personalized touch and partnering with the world’s largest retailers.

What comes in the kit?

It comes with all the necessary adaptors and inserts for the process and also a step-by-step usage instruction with photos showing how to use every tool it comes with. The instruction sheets are laminated and fastened to the case. The instructions are all developed by professional repair manual writers.

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

The AlltradePowerbuilt 648604 kit is designed for rear-wheel-drive vehicles from Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc. It is designed for use on autos only and not trucks.

Other features

The AlltradePowerbuilt 648604 kit is built to exceed tool standards and be the most reliable on today’s market. It allows changing press-in bushings without having to remove the vehicle’s control arm. It provides solutions for almost all situations.

Pros

  • Gets the job done and makes doing it a pleasure
  • Works like a champ and is a great kit for the price
  • Looks good and is sturdy enough
  • Reduces the workload since you don’t have to remove the control arms of your vehicle

Cons

  • One might need an additional socket or tube for it to work on some cars upper control arms
  • The sizes of all pieces included and their outside dimensions are not indicated
  • Is a little flimsy – could be a bit beefier

Cal-Hawk 4-in-1 Ball Joint

Established in 1983, Cal-Hawk Tools is a family-run business located in New Hampshire.

What comes in the kit?

The Cal-Hawk 4-in-1 ball joint deluxe service kit toolset includes a C-frame press, a C-frame screw, 3 receiving tubes with sizes of 2 ¾ by 3 inches, 2 ¼ by 2 ½ inches, and 1 ¾ by 2 inches. The kit also includes install and remover adaptors. These tools come in a high-impact blow-molded storage case.

 

Buying guide for Ball Joints

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

The Cal-Hawk 4-in-1 ball joint deluxe service kit toolset is built for 1967 to current ½ and ¾ ton 4 wheel-drive vehicles with Dana 44 front axles, which is found in most Ford, GM, Dodge, IHC, and Jeep vehicles.

Pros

  • It seems to be well made, and it works great – it gets the job done easily
  • All of the parts included in the kit is sturdy enough to get the job done
  • Does not bend easily
  • It comes complete with all the adaptorsneeded
  • It is exactly as described and advertised

Cons

  • The plastic case is brittle and cracks easily

OrionMotorTech Ball Joint

OrionMotorTech’s products can be trusted by all off-road weekend warriors, novices, and professional mechanics. The company sources the highest quality components from all over the world. Most of their products are constructed from heavy-duty forged steel with a black oxide finish on their adaptors for maximum longevity and strength as they resist rust and corrosion.

What comes in the kit?

The OrionMotorTech 21-piece master ball joint press includes 9 adaptors, a center rod, a C-frame, an installation adaptor, an installation cup, an installation cup adaptor, a receiving cup, a removal adaptor, a screw, a sleeve, and 3 receiving tubes. These tools are made of carbon steel with a black oxide finish on their surface.

 

Buying guide for Ball Joints

Other features

TheOrionMotorTech 21-piece master ball joint press is of professional-grade quality and durability. It is conveniently organized in a custom-molded case made of blow-molded heavy-duty ABS plastic and has a handle for easy storage and quick organization. Because OrionMotorTech stands behind their products, this master ball joint press is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • The kit works very well, even in very narrow spaces, to fit the receiving cup
  • It is well-built, very strong, is of good quality, and could be assembled in different ways
  • The case is solid and comes with actual metal latches
  • The attachments it comes with seem well diverse, and it comes with everything you are going to need
  • The adaptors and armature are robust and well-made
  • It comes in different sizes, which is nice – overall an excellent kit for the price

Cons

  • Getting a good alignment with the C-clamp and adaptors during a press operation is a bit hard
  • Not a good kit for heavy-duty applications

Million Parts Ball Joint

Million Parts is a professional supplier of automotive parts and provides a variety of options for auto enthusiasts like tires, struts, coil spring assembly, air intake parts, filters, and a lot more. They are committed to providing high-quality products and amazing service to their customers and ensuring that their customers always get what they want and need from them.

What comes in the kit?

The Million Parts universal 21-piece ball joint service toolset comes with a C-frame press, a C-frame screw, 3 receiving tubes with sizes of 2 ¼ by 3 inches, 1 ¾ by 2 ½ inches, and 1 ¾ by 2 inches. The toolset also comes with an installation adaptor, a remover adaptor, a center plug, a receiving cap adaptor, a remover installer, an installation cup, and 5 receiving cups of different sizes. They all come in a plastic box and step-by-step instructions.

 

Buying guide for Ball Joints

 

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

The Million Parts universal 21-piece ball joint service toolset is designed to use on almost all cars and light trucks with press-fit type ball joints.

Other features

The tools included in the Million Parts universal 21-piece ball joint service toolset are made of solid carbon steel with an anti-rust finish – making it versatile and durable.

Pros

  • The kit is big and good
  • The case it comes with is pretty good
  • Holds up even under extreme pressure
  • Comes at a good price point
  • Well made and is easy to use

Cons

  • Some of the big thin-walled attachments feel weak

Ram-Pro Ball Joint

A family-owned company based in New York, Ram-Pro provides the East Coast with high-quality hardware and automotive hand tools, and car care products. They have an exceptionally strong presence on online marketplaces – shipping over 40,000 products per month. The company aims to cover a wide variety of hardware and automotive hand tools. Their tools are tried and tested and are available for a multitude of auto body projects. You can count on Ram-Pro for your specialty tools, accessories, and general maintenance needs.

What comes in the kit?

The Ram-Pro ball joint press service repair kit and removal toolset is a 10-piece tool kit. Itcomes with a ball joint press (C-clamp), a jackscrew (forcing C-screw), 3 receiving tubes of different sizes, an installation adaptor, a removing adaptor, an installing cup, an installing cup adaptor, a receiving cup, and a heavy-duty blow-molded carrying case. The case allows for convenient storage and helps on protecting the components on transports.

 

Buying guide for Ball Joints

Other features

The Ram-Pro ball joint press service repair kit and removal toolset makes removing and installing ball joint bearings a breeze as you don’thave to remove your vehicle’s control arm. The components are made from solidly crafted heavy-duty drop-forged steel to improve their strength and durability. The adaptors are black oxide treated to resist rust and corrosion.

Pros

  • The kit and toolset work fine, is heavy-duty, and does what it is meant to do
  • The tools seem solid enough to use
  • It saves you so much time on changing ball joints
  • It comes with a lot of adaptors of different sizes

Cons

  • It can be a little tight for upper ball joints
  • The middle-sized sleeve is a little bit small for bushings

CARTMAN Ball Joint

What comes in the kit?

The CARTMAN 4-in-1 ball joint deluxe service kit toolset comes with a C-frame press, a C-frame screw, 3 receiving tube sizes in different sizes – 2 ¾ by 3 inches, 2 ¼ by 2 ½ inches, and 1 3.4 by 2 inches. All these come in a high-impact, blow-molded storage case.

 

Buying guide for Ball Joints

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

The CARTMAN 4-in-1 ball joint deluxe service kit toolset is the best fit for 4-wheel drive service or repair.

Pros

  • All the pieces are well made and feel really sturdy and heavy-duty
  • The C-frame press and C-frame screw are strong
  • Overall a great tool at a great price
  • Changing a U-joint with it is easy

Cons

  • The receiving cups are not strong enough – getting them pressed against the knuckles deforms or messes their openings up

ABN Ball Joint

What comes in the kit?

The ABN ball joint press 10-piece set comes with everything you’regoing to need to service the ball joints on your vehicle. It includes a C-frame press and forcing screw, 3 installation adaptors with cups, 3 removal adaptors with cups, 3 receiver tubes, and a blow-molded carrying case. These parts are constructed from forged steel. The adaptor has a black oxide finish for maximum strength and longevity as it resists rust and corrosion. On the other hand, the carrying case allows for easy storage, maximum protection, and quick organization.

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

The ABN ball joint press 10-piece set is compatible with most imported 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive cars and American domestic cars. It is also compatible with light pickups that have press-fit type ball joints.

8MILELAKE Ball Joint

Being a leading online retailer,8milelake has committed to becomingthe most trusted and loved online store. They untiringly pursue their goals by offering a superior shopping experience, fast delivery, and stellar customer service. Their promise to source only the best consumer goods helps ensure that their products are of the highest quality possible.

What comes in the kit?

10-piece ball joint removal/installation tool kit comes with a C-frame press, 3 receiver tubes with sizes of 2 ¾ by 3 inches, 2 ¼ by 2 ½ inches, and 1 ¾ by 2 inches, an installing cup, a receiving cup, an install cup adaptor, a removal adaptor, an installation adaptor, and a screw with a size of 1.08 inches. All these come in a blow-molded case to allow for easy transport and storage.

Buying guide for Ball Joints

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

8milelake’s 10-piece ball joint removal/installation tool kit allows service for 1967 though current ½ and ¾ ton 4 wheel-drive vehicles, having the Dana 44 front axle found on GM, Ford, Dodge, IHC, and Jeep vehicles.

Pros

  • Does not flex or bend –is really tough
  • It is well-built and gets the job done
  • It is heavy and sturdy
  • Excellent product at a great price

Cons

  • It is not really built for bigger jobs

HFS R 4-in-1 Ball Joint

What comes in the kit?

The HFS R 4-in-1 ball joint deluxe service kit toolset comes with a C-frame press, a C-frame screw, and 3 receiving tubes with sizes of 2 ¾ by 3 inches, 2 ¼ by 2 ½ inches, and 1 ¾ by 2 inches. Also included in the kit toolset are remover and installer adaptors.

Vehicles that the ball joint set can be used for

The HFS R 4-in-1 ball joint deluxe service kit toolset is designed to be used on all cars, including light trucks with press-fit type ball joints, without needing to remove the control arm from the vehicle being serviced. With remover and installer adaptors, it can be used for 1967 to current ½ and ¾ ton 4 wheel-drive vehicles with Dana 44 front axle found in Didge, Forde, GM, IHC, and Jeep vehicles.

 

Buying guide for Ball Joints

Other features

The HFS R 4-in-1 ball joint deluxe service kit toolset has a maximum clamp load of 4 tons. The HFS R 4-in-1 ball joint deluxe service kit toolset also removes corroded and rusted parts.

Pros

  • The kit toolset is heavy-duty – making the job easy to do
  • Everything you are going to need to service a vehicle is in the kit
  • It is just awesome for the price it costs

Cons

  • The case could use a better latch system

Types of ball joints

  • Compression

Compression ball joints are where the control arm is attached beneath the hub. The hub always tries to pry apart the ball joint when the vehicle’s weight is placed onto it. While this type of ball joint is pretty good, if the joint fails, the control arm will separate from the hub – making the vehicle not operational.

  • Decompression

Compared to compression ball joints, decompression ball joints are where the control arm is attached to the hub’s top part. The hub always stays in contact with the ball joint and always tries to squeeze it as the vehicle’s weight is placed onto it. This type of ball joint is good to have as the control arm may stay in contact with the hub if the ball joint fails.

  • Ball joint presses

Motion control ball joint presses tend to be retained with an internal spring to prevent vibration problems in the linkage. Ball joint press sets are essential for automotive enthusiasts and professional auto mechanics who like to do their own repairs on their cars. Purchasing a ball joint press gives you the ability to use them to remove and replace ball joints in a variety of vehicles. Some things that professional auto mechanics should look for in a ball joint press are durability and sturdiness. It is crucial to choose the right ball joint press. For instance, you may need to select kits with larger C-frames if you want to work on larger ball joint components.

Professional mechanics will need a larger, and most of the time, more expensive set to accommodate a variety of designs that they might encounter. Kits usually come with an assortment of driving cups and adaptors and a C-frame tool to accomplish the task on hand. Ball joint press kits also usually come with charts and instructions. Ball joint presses are necessary to replace ball joints since ball joints fit tightly together, and disassembly requires extreme pressure.(We have also written a comprehensive guide about the finish and brad nailers.)

Using a ball joint press

Using a ball joint press is reasonably straightforward. In this section, we’re going to talk about how to actually use it.

  • First, the front end of the vehicle must be lifted up using a car jack, then the front wheels must be removed.
  • After this, the brake caliper must be detached. The rotor must then be slid off (you will need to detach the lower strut bolts and the tie-rod to allow for enough movement to shift the steering knuckle).
  • Removing the cotter pin that keeps the upper control arm in place gets you ready to remove the ball joint using the ball joint press.
  • After removing the ball joint, the ball joint press must be placed over the ball joint on the control arm (the long-threaded shaft of the press should be facing upward).

The deep cup of the ball joint press that controls the ball joint must be placed over the top of the ball joint. After this, the ball joint press’s threaded shaft must be tightened with a socket and ratchet – popping the ball joint out of the control arm. When this is done, you are now ready to put in the new ball joint. The deep cup of the ball joint press should then be mounted on the new ball joint. The threaded shaft should be tightened to put the new ball joint into place, and then you are done. Just check if the joints are going in straight after every few turns of the press.

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