Ball joints might look like a small piece in the big picture that is your RZR’s suspension, but it’s a piece that can lead to disaster if not properly cared for. So how long do you have before they need replaced? And how can you make them last longer?
There’s no easy answer here because several factors are at play. We’ll get into that soon, but the most important takeaway here is that regular ball joint maintenance should always be a priority, no matter how you ride.
Stock RZR ball joints have been known to last riders anywhere from 500 miles to 6,000 miles or more. Helpful, right? Not really. That’s quite a range.
To find where your machine falls within this range, just take a look at a few different determining factors—how you ride, how much weight you put on your machine, and how well you maintain your ball joints.
We’ll start with the most obvious one. How hard you push your RZR will directly impact how long you have before those stock ball joints crap out on you. If your rides are mostly nice and easy, and if you’re running stock tires, you can probably get 2,000 miles or more out of them.
On the other hand, if you like to put pedal to the metal and tend to gravitate toward extreme and technical riding, your ball joints will have to work harder to keep up. In this case, it’s not uncommon for them to need replacing before hitting the 1,000-mile mark.
It’s not only about how fast or easy you go. The conditions you ride in also impact how long your ball joints will last. This is especially important to note if you’re into mudding or creek riding because submersion is particularly hard on your ball joints. If those ride styles are up your alley, your ball joints will need greased even more often than usual.
Regardless of where you ride, just remember that the harder you push your ATV or UTV, the more often you’ll have to maintain and replace your ball joints.
Carrying extra weight can put strain on your RZR and, as a result, strain on your ball joints. The weight of your machine plus passengers and cargo is certainly a factor, but the real ball joint killer is unsprung weight.
Unsprung weight, or unsprung mass, is the weight of components connected to your suspension, rather than supported by it. When you install a portal gear lift, bigger tires, or extended brake lines, you’re adding additional unsprung weight to your machine, thus causing your ball joints to work overtime.
If you want a part to last, you need to take care of it. That goes for just about anything on your RZR, but it’s especially true for your ball joints. Unfortunately, most stock Polaris ball joints aren’t serviceable. There are, however, plenty of replacement ball joints on the market that you can grease and perform upkeep on. If that’s what you’re running, be sure to grease them often to squeeze as much life out of them as possible.
In addition to greasing them, we recommend checking your ball joints after every ride. Regular checks can help you catch and fix problems before it’s too late.
As you can see, there’s no easy answer to the question of how long your RZR ball joints will last. But by being aware of the factors that affect their lifespan and properly maintaining them in between rides, you hopefully have a better idea now of how long until yours need replacing.
Because ball joints are a wear-and-tear part, there will eventually come a time when you need new ones. When that time comes, SuperATV has got you covered with a longer-lasting ball joint replacement. Our standard duty is the stock replacement you need for casual cruising, while our heavy-duty 4340 and super-duty 300M ball joints are designed for more extreme applications.
And once you have your heavy-duty SuperATV ball joints installed on your machine, we’re here to help when it comes to servicing them or making adjustments. Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to our customer service team or leave a comment below!