When a ball cup pops off of one of my cars, it has got to be one of the most annoying things. I wish I could just bolt some linkage together and not worry about it breaking or wearing out. We don’t always live in an ideal world but there are some good tips for making your linkage work better, last longer, and break less.
If it pops off, replace it. Sometimes popped off ball cups are caused by abnormally hard hits but most of the time they come off because they are worn out. If the same joint breaks multiple times it is definitely time to replace the ball cup and or ball stud.
Watch your balls. Ball studs wear slowly, but the do wear. Keep an eye on them. If they look excessively polished or if a coating is worn off, it’s probably time to replace them.
Aftermarket ball cups. If you break ball cups a lot, aftermarket ball cups may be good for you. Many stock ball cups perform and wear equally to aftermarket ones, but the latter are usually stronger.
Keep your joints clean. After a day of bashing or a weekend of racing, cleaning out your ball cups is a good idea. Dirt in the joints will make them wear out much faster. Air compressors work well for this.
Use the proper tools. A turnbuckle wrench and ball cup socket make changing ball cups very easy. Not only does it speed up the process but it’s much easier on your fingers. I don’t recommend pliers on plastic ball cups. They tend to chew them up and could cause wear before you even replace a turnbuckle on your car.