Adjustable Ball Joint needed???? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-22-2018, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Adjustable Ball Joint needed????

Hello JK Experts
We have a 2016 JKUR with a 2.5" Rubicon Express lift. I took it in for an alignment and I was told that they could not do the alignment because it needed to have Adjustable Ball Joints.

They then quoted me $1200.

I understand the need to have adjustable upper control arms on a IFS suspension to get better Caster but I am ignorant to the need to have adjustable ball joints on a Jeep suspension.

If adjustable ball joints were needed I would have put them on during the suspension lift (done by Dream 4x4).

My thoughts are the place I took it to for the alignment either does not know what they are doing or they are trying to rip me off.

Do I actually NEED Adjustable Ball Joints?
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-22-2018, 09:09 AM
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Adjustable ball joints are not needed but will give you the ability to increase caster without increasing the pinion angle which can lead to front driveline vibrations and can eliminate the need for adjustable control arms or drop brackets. The price quoted is insane as these thing run about $90 each and you generally only need to do offset uppers. They can also allow you to adjust camber if you have a bent axle.

With a 2.5 rubicon express lift (no specific model listed) It is likely you don't have any adjustable links except for the drag link and tie rod so an alignment would not do you any good since the shop can not adjust anything but the toe and straighten the steering wheel. They are giving you and true statement but you can also adjust caster with control arms or drop brackets both would be less labor to install but would be higher in the parts cost.

To get a good alignment dialed in you need front and rear adjustable track bars, adjustable tie rod, adjustable drag link, and adjustable control arms. IF axle or inner C's are bent then you also need to add offset ball joints.

Some build info here:
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-22-2018, 09:12 AM
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You will also find almost no info for JK offset ball joints because they don't "bolt on for the JK crowd" and require some mechanical skill and a couple of hours to do. You need a press and those can be got from most part suppliers as a loaner so you can do it yourself.

Off set ball joints are actually a better way to regain caster and adjust pinion angle then adjustable control arms and is much cheaper if you can do it yourself.
A good shop should take no more then 4 hours to do the job.

Some build info here:
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-22-2018, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Off set ball joints are actually a better way to regain caster and adjust pinion angle then adjustable control arms
The main problem is the companies that make really strong ball joints for the JK don't make them, so if you're off-road a lot there aren't particularly compelling offset ball joints.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-22-2018, 09:38 AM
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As far as I know only one company actually make offset ball joints for the JK axle and no aftermarket ball joint for a JK is all that great for serious off roaders. They are just physically too small for big rubber and abuse.

Some build info here:
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