How Much Does It Cost To Replace Jeep JK Ball Joint?

The Jeep JK front axle ball joints have long been known to be troublesome. Jeep appears to have scrimped on this part somewhere along the way, leaving it subject to premature wear and creating owner unhappiness. So, if you have are facing issues with the ball joints of your Jeep JK, how much is it going to cost you for the replacement?

The ball joint itself will cost anywhere from $20 to $150 or more, depending on where you buy it and which model you have. The total ball joint replacement cost will range from $100 to $400, or possibly more depending on other circumstances.

In this article, I am going to discuss everything about Jeep JK Ball Joint. Read to the end to know the estimated cost of the replacement project and the procedure.

What are the Signs of a Faulty Ball Joint?

Before you decide to change or replace the ball joints of your Jeep JK, you need to know whether or not it needs replacement.

The following symptoms can be a potential sign of a faulty ball joint-

Creaking or clunking noise

As ball joints age, they develop excessive friction when in use. This frequently results in a creaking sound, similar to a squeaky bed spring on a mechanical level. Because the ball joints are in use when you turn your wheels or drive over bumps or potholes, you’ll most likely hear this noise. While creaking is the most prevalent sound, you could hear clunking around the wheels. This is also an indication of ball joints that are nearing the end of their useful lives.

Worn tires

Excessive tire wear can be caused by a variety of factors, one of which is faulty ball joints. Your car’s alignment will be thrown off if the ball joints don’t do their job, resulting in faster wear and tear.

Loose Steering

While less common than the other symptoms, failed ball joints can cause very loose steering, which can be very unsettling for a driver.

So, if you are driving your Jeep and notice one of the mentioned symptoms, it is best to get the vehicle checked.

Jeep JK Ball Joint Replacement Cost?

There are a few factors that help determine the approximate replacement cost of the ball joint of a Jeep JK.

In most cases, the ball joint itself will cost you from $20 to $150 (or more) and the labor cost will range from $100 to $400. 

However, this estimate will vary depending on various important factors such as the ball joint’s brand, material, and manufacturer.

Your Jeep model, production year, and preferred servicing business are all elements that go into the estimated cost.

For a better understanding, I have highlighted a few Jeep JK models along with the estimated cost based on their location:

Jeep ModelLocationEstimated Cost
2018 Jeep JK 2.0L L4 Turbo Hybrid • 31,000 miles  CA 92672$225 – $275
2018 Jeep JK 2.0L L4 Turbo Hybrid • 31,000 miles  CA 92672$151 – $185
2008 Jeep JK 3.8L V6 • 110,000 miles  OR 97045$204 – $250
2008 Jeep JK 3.8L V6 • 110,000 miles  OR 97045$173 – $211
2007 Jeep JK 3.8L V6 Rubicon • 98,000 miles  AZ 85296$509 – $623
2007 Jeep JK 3.8L V6 Rubicon • 98,000 miles  AZ 85296$457 – $559
2016 Jeep JK 3.6L V6 75th Anniversary • 45,000 miles  CA 92335$1,072 – $1,310
2000 Jeep JK 4.0L L6 • 68,000 miles  AZ 85202$367 – $449
2010 Jeep JK 3.8L V6 • 137,000 miles  CA 95762$289 – $353
2010 Jeep JK 3.8L V6 • 137,000 miles  CA 95762$409 – $499

When Should You Replace Your Jeep JK Ball Joint?

Ball joints are an important component of your vehicle’s steering and suspension system. They allow the car’s front wheels to pivot in the same way that your knees or shoulders do. Additionally, they allow the suspension to travel up and down when you drive over road irregularities.

There are a few signs that indicate a faulty ball joint such as creaking or clunking noise, worn tires, and loose steering.

If notice one of these signs, get your Jeep checked as soon as possible.

Is replacing a Ball Joint difficult?

Ball joint replacement is tricky since they are difficult to reach and install, especially as they age and corrode. The ball joint is sometimes integrated into the control arm. It’s recommended to take your car to a garage for a professional inspection if you’re not familiar with the suspension and wheel assembly.

How To Replace The Ball Joint of A Jeep JK?

Follow these steps to replace the joint-

Necessary tools for the replacement project

  • Ratchet
  • 21mm socket
  • 13mm (12-point) socket
  • 5mm Allen wrench or socket
  • 15/16″ socket
  • 7/8″ socket
  • Breaker bar
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Diagonal cutting pliers
  • Mallet
  • Ball joint press
  • Penetrating oil
  • Suspension grease
  • Jack and jack stands or lift

Follow these steps-

  • Take off your vehicle’s wheels.
  • Always compare the new and old components side by side to ensure that your new part matches the one that’s going out. Remove the plastic shipping cover and the new retaining nut.
  • Make sure the new ball joint is level before inserting it into the knuckle.
  • The adapters you’ll need to install the new ball joint aren’t the same as the ones you’ll need to remove from the old one. A small, carefully made adapter fits snugly over the ball joint’s upper half. Place the press on top of the upper adapter and secure it in place.
  • The lower adapter fits over the large ball joint screw underneath the ball joint, leaving enough room for the stud and threads to avoid damage during installation.
  • Check that everything is square and true to the knuckle, then tighten the press by hand. It’s critical to press the joint into the knuckle in a level and square manner, with the joint centered and aligned. To ensure that everything stays straight, wiggle while tightening.
  • Use a socket wrench to finish pressing in the ball joint with the press once you’re sure you have clearance and everything is safe and secure.
  • Remove the press after the upper mating surface of the joint is securely seated against the knuckle. Make sure the rubber boot hasn’t been nicked or tampered with, and that the threads are intact. Make sure the ball joint is fully pressed down.
  • Start re-engaging the axle shaft in the wheel bearing. To make it easier to slide back in, use a rust penetrant. In the hub, line up the splines.
  • Reattach the knuckle to the lower control arm, as well as the new ball joint stud. Check to see if the axle is correctly feeding through and beginning to poke through the outside of the hub assembly.
  • Tighten the locking nut with a socket wrench.
  • Toss in the cotter pin.
  • Replace the axle nut and torque it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

You’ve completed the task! A ball joint replacement that was both safe and successful.

Conclusion

The ball joint is one of those crucial sections of the car that is critical to the driver’s and vehicle’s safety when driving.

As a result, having a poorly maintained or dysfunctional ball joint increases the likelihood of an accident, and the best remedy is to replace it at the appropriate time.

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