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A key component in a vehicle's suspension system, the ball joint has a round, ball-like head that swivels inside a cup-like socket. Usually there are four ball joints in a car's front suspension, with an upper and lower joint fixed to each wheel. Depending on the wear pattern on the suspension system, it can be necessary to replace one, two, or all four ball joints. Upper ball joints are also used in some 4WD drive vehicles with solid axles. In a solid axle assembly, the upper ball joint connects the knuckle to the axle. The upper ball joint consists of a heat-treated ball stud, mounted inside a steel housing. This ball stud can swing and rotate inside the housing, which allows the spindle or knuckle to pivot. Greasing the ball joint on a regular basis will greatly increase the life of the part. Lower ball joints are used in some 4WD drive vehicles that have also solid axles. In the case of a solid axle application, the lower ball joint connects the knuckle to the axle. The lower ball joint consists of a ball stud that is mounted into a steel housing. The ball stud can swing and rotate inside the housing, which also allows the spindle or knuckle to pivot. Greasing the ball joint on a regular basis will greatly increase the life of the part. Ball joints will clear RCV axle shafts.
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