How To Grease Sealed Ball Joints: Step By Step – Cargister

Tools and Materials

Greasing sealed ball joints is a chore that’ll keep your vehicle running smoothly. You gotta have the right tools and materials. For example, a grease gun, grease fitting, and grease. Let’s check out what you need for this task:

  • Grease gun
  • Grease fitting
  • Grease

Ball joint press

A ball joint press is a tool specifically used for removing and installing press-fit parts like ball joints. It can be manual or powered and offers more torque than a hand wrench. It is designed to handle the strength needed to push out old, worn joints.

Ball joint presses come in sets with various thrust and pressure sizes, so you need to check the correct size before repairing them. Generally, the press includes adapters fit for many vehicles. Be sure to use these adapters when possible. They guarantee a precise, tight fit that won’t loosen or slip in time.

Grease gun

A grease gun is essential for filling sealed ball joints with new grease. There’s a range of sizes and styles, from manual pumps to air-powered models. They’re not too pricey. Consider one with adjustable pressure, delivery rate, and fingertip control for consistent output. Plus, you can attach larger, better hoses for filtered lubricants. The right gun will make your task easier and save time.

Socket set

A socket set is needed to access and remove the ball joint from the vehicle. It should include sizes between 8mm and 22mm.

An impact gun can be attached to the sockets for extra torque power. Using an impact gun is suggested for difficult nuts and bolts that have likely been stuck because of weather conditions. Rust on exposed hardware can limit movement and not let the sockets fit properly. To try and loosen tough nuts, a lubricant spray can help. But be careful not to spray any of it on your skin – it could lead to skin irritation.


Lubricating a sealed ball joint requires the right type of grease. Experts usually recommend automotive grease for optimal lubrication and protection. Ensure you get high-temp, multi-purpose grease designed for ball joints. There are many lubes available – pick the best one for your car’s model and specs. Also, check the owner manual for grease recommendations.

How often should you grease your car’s joint? Every 50,000 miles is recommended for optimal performance. As for the amount, use 1/3 of the volume inside a cylinder or 5 cc’s. Up to 10cc is ok, but don’t overdo it or it can damage components due to too much pressure. Read your owner’s manual for instructions about how much to use, depending on engine type or driving style.


Before greasing sealed ball joints, you must take precautions:

  • Park the vehicle on a level surface and use the parking brake.
  • Use the right tools, such as a ball joint remover, sockets, a grease gun, and a torque wrench.

These steps will ensure safety while completing the task.

Raise the vehicle and secure it

Before you start greasing sealed ball joints, raise the vehicle and secure it. This will make it easier to access areas and be safe. Use specific car jacks to raise the car off the ground. Make sure any area where the car is jacked up is secured and any chocks are in the right place.

If there is an issue with the suspension components, get all the items needed for repair and check they are in good condition before continuing.

Remove the wheel

Raise the vehicle using jack stands. Then, remove each lug nut with a ratchet or breaker bar. Pull the tire away from the spindle until it is loose. Set the tire aside on a flat surface. Now, you can start greasing the sealed ball joint.

Remove the brake caliper and rotor

Greasing sealed ball joints starts with removing the brake caliper and rotor. Use a wrench and socket set with caution. Find the two 10mm or 12mm bolts on top of the caliper and loosen them slightly before taking them out. These bolt holes will likely have an anti-seize product to prevent corrosion.

For loosening the rotor, use a screwdriver to pry off the tabs on each side. There will be two 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock tabs that hold it against the wheel hub shaft. To do this without damaging any parts, use a hydraulic jack or another tool behind the wheel hub to lift it off slightly when prying off these tabs.

Once everything is removed, inspect for damage or any other signs that replacements may be needed. Then, you can proceed with greasing sealed ball joints.

Removing the Ball Joint

Greasing sealed ball joints needs you to remove the ball joint. Be careful when doing this! You must make sure it is safely removed and not damaged. If it is damaged, it will cost a lot to replace. Learning how to do it the right way can save you time and money.

Here’s what to do:

Disconnect the tie rod end

Once the wheel is off, you can start to remove the ball joint. You should spot a metal or rubberized stirrup attached to the ball joint. It stretches from the axle shaft to the tie rod end. Find out which one it is. Use a ball joint separator tool to disconnect it from its mounting point.

Most times, disconnect the tie rod end first. This gives you access to the ball joint. Some cars may need other components removed first. Find the fastenings and insert a pry bar to loosen them up. Unscrew any bolts or screws. Pull out the tie rod end with your hands or pliers. Note down all removed parts. These will need replacing after greasing the sealed ball joint.

Remove the ball joint nut and bolts

To remove your sealed ball joint, you’ll need to start by taking off the nut and bolt. It depends on the type of vehicle you’re working on. Some only require hand tools like ratchets, wrenches, and a flat bar. Others may need an impact gun or a special tool to loosen the bolts and take them out safely.

After removing the nuts and bolts, you can grease the ball joint. Before doing so, inspect the area around it. Make sure all dirt, grease, salt water, and other materials are gone. Clean it with a soft cloth before applying oil or grease. This prevents damage and ensures proper functioning.

Remove the ball joint from the knuckle

Removing the ball joint from the knuckle requires popping it out of place and breaking the grease seal. Gather the necessary tools such as a hammer, pry bar, drill bit, and socket set.

  1. Lift the vehicle off the ground.
  2. Find the ball joint connectors on the knuckle. Use a socket wrench to take out each bolt.
  3. Pry out any hidden fasteners or retaining clips. Depending on the size and type, use less force.
  4. Use a large punch or metal rod to pop out any remaining parts. This could take effort, so be patient.
  5. Find the ball joint connector in the center. Wiggle it until it comes out. The whole assembly should be removed!

Greasing the Ball Joint

Regularly greasing the ball joint is a must for maintaining your vehicle. Lubricating the ball joint will prevent rust and keep the party going for longer. Greasing the ball joint also helps stop too much wear and tear. Plus, it makes driving more secure.

Apply grease to the ball joint

Greasing your car’s ball joint is essential. Have a grease gun and silicone-based grease. The correct amount is important, not too much or too little.

  • Locate the ball joint and remove any protective covers.
  • Apply lube to the surface.
  • Reattach covers to keep dirt and debris away.

Cycle through several motions with your car’s suspension. Establish greased ball joints are operating correctly. This ensures sealed ball joints last longer without wearing down.

Attach the grease gun to the ball joint

First, disconnect your vehicle’s brake lines. Next, take a wrench and twist it right. Then, firmly attach the grease gun to the upper ball joint. Fill it with fuel lubricant. If you can’t get it on, use a screwdriver and hammer to tap the grease fitting. Be careful not to use too much force. This could damage the ball joint.

Make sure the grease gun is securely attached by turning the handle clockwise until it has a good seal.

Pump the grease gun until the ball joint is full

To get grease in a sealed ball joint, use a grease gun. Check the type of fitting it has, usually Zerk or Pivotol. They’re small metal cylinders, but can be hard to spot. Pick the right size tip for the gun and hook it up to the port.

Push the nozzle into the opening and pump until you feel resistance. This means the ball joint is full. Keep pumping until there’s a slight overflow. Do this for all ball joints on your vehicle to keep the suspension working properly.

Wipe away any excess grease

Fill all the ball joint compartments with grease. Wipe away any extra with a rag. Clean around the edges of the joints and other areas where grease may have reached. Excess grease can damage the brake system, so remove it all.

To prevent buildup, use compressed air to get rid of dirt on and around the joint area. This creates a protective layer, extending the lifespan of your ball joints.

Reinstalling the Ball Joint

Greasing sealed ball joints is key! Lubricating the joint prevents wear and tear. The right type of grease must be used. Here’s how to apply it correctly:

  1. Get the right grease.
  2. Apply it to the joint.
  3. Reduce friction.
  4. Prevent rusting.

These steps will help keep the ball joint in good condition.

Replace the ball joint in the knuckle

To replace a ball joint in the knuckle assembly of your vehicle, you’ll need some basic hand tools and supplies. Start by loosening the nuts on either end of the tie rod and then pushing it out of its mounting hole. You might need to use a pickle fork or hammer to get it loose. When it’s disconnected, remove all four bolts that hold the lower ball joint stud in place. Disconnect and remove other suspension components like shocks, sway bar end links, steering links, control arms, and steering components. This will help you access the lower ball joint stud. Carefully pull down each side of the ball joint until it’s free from its mountings.

When reinstalling, follow your vehicle’s instructions for lubrication (usually a thick grease). Reattach any components you removed during installation, like shocks/struts, sway bar end links, and steering links. Tighten all parts of the new ball joint assembly using the manufacturer’s torque specifications. Finally, make sure everything is properly aligned before driving.

Tighten the ball joint nut and bolts

Once you’ve greased the ball joint, tighten the nut and bolt combo. Make sure your tools are rated correctly. A bad installation can cause injury.

Turn the castle nut clockwise with a wrench or ratchet. This will take a few turns ‘til you reach the normal torque level. The castle nut should be at 35 ft/lbs and the ball joint bolt at 105 ft/lbs. Use a torque wrench to make sure it’s not over-tightened. And double-check that the tools are rated for the job.

Once the torque is correct, use a cotter pin to keep the parts aligned and secure. Insert it into the castle nut slot. Replace the cotter pin regularly to make sure the ball joint stays secure and doesn’t cause any issues while driving.

Reattach the tie rod end

To reattach the tie rod end, reinstall the ball joint to your vehicle. Hold the new one where the old one was underneath your car. Insert the pin of the ball joint into the hole in your car’s frame. Use a hammer to make sure it is secure before attaching other components.

Then attach the tie rod end to the new ball joint using studs, nuts, or bolts, according to your car’s model. Tighten evenly with about 6 foot-pounds of torque, unless specified by the manufacturer. Check that everything is lined up with the steering arm and control arms.

When tightening, use a torque wrench for evenness. Lastly, if sealed ball joints, add grease according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will lubricate and help the longevity of the component.

Final Steps

Lube up a sealed ball joint and bolt it securely. Use the right torque and check for wobbling. Examine the ball joint boots too! Check for any damage or wear. All of these steps are important to guarantee that the ball joint stays greased and lasts.

Reinstall the brake caliper and rotor

To grease sealed ball joints, reinstall the brake caliper and rotor. Ensure the side slides are evenly inserted into their slots. Then, attach the brake line to the caliper. Fasten the bolts that hold the rotor with a torque wrench. Tighten them to manufacturer-specified levels. Push back on the brake lever/pedal until it stops. Make sure the wheel does not spin freely. If it does, recheck or ask for help.

Assemble the vehicle. Put away the tools. Double-check that everything is tightened properly. Now you are ready for a test drive!

Reinstall the wheel

Grease and reassemble the sealed ball joint. Then, install the wheel. Ensure the lug nuts are tight and the wheel is secure. Fire up the engine and drive around for a few minutes. Check the steering for anything odd. If something’s amiss, contact a mechanic.

Maintaining your vehicle can save you money on costly repairs. Get issues fixed early!

Lower the vehicle

Expose the joint and seal the grease nipple. Gently lower the vehicle with a jack. Place it on the tires, and release the pressurized suspension. Make sure the weight is evenly spread. Take away the jacks and supports. Engage the parking brakes before you leave the work area. You’re now ready to start greasing your sealed ball joints.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of grease should I use when greasing sealed ball joints?

A high-temperature, waterproof, non-melting grease is recommended for greasing sealed ball joints.

How often should I grease sealed ball joints?

Sealed ball joints should be greased every 6 months or 6,000-8,000 miles.

What tools are needed to grease sealed ball joints?

To grease sealed ball joints, you will need a grease gun, a rubber mallet, and a spanner or other suitable tool.