Ball joint adjustment sleeve

Ball joint adjustment sleeve


Active Jeeper
Idaho Falls
81 CJ7, I6, T5, D300, 4.2 block with a 4.0 head, Cherokee MPFI
Putting new ball joints in today, and when putting in the sleeve, I couldn't get it anywhere near the 50 ft/lbs of torque. It was almost halfway out the bottom before I thought something might not be right and stopped. I grabbed the old one and noticed it was thicker, which also means the I.D. is smaller. In the picture, the one on the left is the old one.

So my questions- Why are they different, and can I reuse the old one?

I put the old one back in, and it torqued back just fine.

Don't torque that to 50 ft/lbs
Put it in at about the same height as the old one. Then install the steering knuckle.
This is the pre-load adjusting collar. The point is to make sure it grips the top ball joint as hard as the bottom ball joint gets gripped. I don't remember how much force the collar needs to be screwed in but I will look it up later.

Imagine that you have the collar screwed down too far. Now the top ball joint will bottom out when the bottom isn't in the hole all the way.
Last edited:
FSM - Tighten the lower balljoint to 70-90. Then tighten upper ball stud seat to 50 ft/lbs.

I broke a cheap socket before hitting 50. Picked up a good made in USAand worked fine. Silly me for not noticing "China" on the socket.
Was the steering knuckle installed when you tightened the adjustment sleeve?
I would say yes, you should be able to reuse the old sleve.
Ok, I'm back, been installing floor tile at the in-laws house all weekend...something I would NOT want to do for a living!

It looks like the old sleeve when torqued to 50, is pretty much in the same place. Everything seemed to go back together pretty well, but this is my first time doing ball joints, so hopefully it all works out

Is there some way to tell if the amount of pressure it takes to turn the steering knuckle is right?

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