Ball Joints Won't Last

OleBlackyLBZ

Active member
May 22, 2020
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I am getting tired of replacing upper ball joints, they are lasting me 5,000-10,000 miles. Do you guys have any ideas?
 

OleBlackyLBZ

Active member
May 22, 2020
217
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It's the lifetime warranty ones from O-reilly's, but I have used kryptonite in the past and they didn't do much better, they lasted maybe 20,000. My torsion keys are cranked putting the front end maybe 1.5" up from stock. It is a little lower than level.
 

ironmax

chock full of goodies
Jul 6, 2010
502
26
28
Col. Ohio
That shouldn't be wearing them out that fast. I can't speak for oreilys parts, I've never used them. What size wheel and offset are you running? When I had cranked keys to the max 3" lift, I still got around 30-40k miles out of a set. I ran 20" wheel with stock offset. Usually used moog replacements. Then I put on the cognito upper a arms and it helped. Got about 60k out of a set. I was also commercially pushing snow, so that didn't help longevity. Now I have a true lift kit and stock angles.
 

Chevy1925

don't know sh!t about IFS
Staff member
Oct 21, 2009
18,297
488
83
Phoenix Az
are you installing them correctly? they have limited range of movement forward and back. if not clocked correctly, they wont last.

at full droop, is the upper control arm bump stop being used or is the ball joint seeing bind before the arm reaches it? is the shock stopping full droop from being reached?

are you running anything off the upper control arm like a dual shock hoop?

are you running factory arms or upgraded upper arms?

what kind of road/terrain does the truck see on a daily basis?
 

SoCalMike

Member
Dec 11, 2010
748
12
18
SoCal
Pictures of your angles?

Back in the day when I was leveled my ball joints /front end parts didn't last long. About one year. I got tired of the rough ride and replacing parts so I lowered the front and they lasted longer.

Now I'm lifted to correct all the angles.
 

OleBlackyLBZ

Active member
May 22, 2020
217
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28
The truck isn't a daily driver anymore, I'm running 33x12.50's with 20x10 -24 offeset and stock control arms, nothing crazy. What james said about them being clocked correctly when installed is a big part of my problem, I was not aware of that. Thanks james
 

Chevy1925

don't know sh!t about IFS
Staff member
Oct 21, 2009
18,297
488
83
Phoenix Az
The truck isn't a daily driver anymore, I'm running 33x12.50's with 20x10 -24 offeset and stock control arms, nothing crazy. What james said about them being clocked correctly when installed is a big part of my problem, I was not aware of that. Thanks james

good deal but i will also suggest keeping that upper arm from hitting its own bump stop. limit straps will stop that and significantly increase the ball joints life. the upper ball joint is just too small to deal with stopping the torsion bar, wheel weight, brake weight, control arm and knuckle/wheel hub from extended farther down. that abrupt stop is killer. the factory uses the shock as a limiter on purpose to stop the hard crashing from happening and giving a "smoother" feeling ride due to the bushings used. I use to think that was dumb of the factory to use the shock as a limiter till my engineer friends informed me of the reasoning's.
 

clrussell

pro-procrastinator
Sep 23, 2013
5,671
194
63
Also most ball joints have a dot orienting straight out from the frame.
That’s how I install them without pulling the boot down.
 
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