All-in-One Ball Joint: A Case Study


Executive Summary

A prospective customer was having sourcing, quality, assembly and maintenance issues with some of the ball joint components used on the front suspension of rugged utility vehicles. CCTY Bearing Company designed a solution that eliminated the ball joint issues, which also proved to be:

  • Less expensive
  • Cleaner and faster to assemble on the production line
  • Easier to source by consolidating three part numbers
  • More reliable than previous parts

The Challenge

The ball joint, retaining plate and rubber shroud required assembly and greasing during production along with continued maintenance by the end user. CCTY Bearing Company was offered the opportunity to create a new design as long as it was backwards compatible. Meaning, CCTY Bearing Company’s design had to fit all current and previous models that incorporated this ball joint.

The Solution

CCTY Bearing Company‘s engineers fabricated a solution that combined all of the components into one part. In addition to tackling the re-greasing issue by designing a maintenance-free ball joint assembly, the solution provided a:

  • Positive seal that the previous rubber shroud could not support
  • Corrected a taper issue on the stud, eliminating the need for an additional washer
  • Eliminated the grease fitting and machining operations needed to provide a path of travel for the grease into the ball joint from the mating part


The Results

The design passed all of the client’s life and durability testing, eliminated the grease fitting and adjoining “how-to” maintenance instructions in the owner’s manual. It also provided maintenance-free, longer-life ball joints for the end user. In the end, the solution proved to be:

  • Less expensive
  • Easier to source by consolidating three part numbers and vendors into one
  • Backwards compatible and more reliable
  • Cleaner and faster to assemble on the production line
  • An enhanced design that eliminates routine maintenance requirements

The client is now saving time in production and enjoying a lower cost per unit.