It was finally time to fix the front ball joints, the only MOT failures on the car (well, 5 years ago anyway…). Working on the front axle also meant refreshing the front brake lines and chipping rusticles off the brake calipers.

I feel like a broken record but, once again, the internet delivered with an excellent guide to ball joint replacement. This YouTube video is a very detailed strip down and rebuild of a Wrangler TJ front axle but the setup is identical on the Cherokees (with the addition of some ABS sensors in my case). To speed things up I removed the axle and the hub together rather than splitting them, and also kept the steering knuckle attached to the steering arm by swinging it clear after splitting it from the ball joints.

The amount of pressure required to remove the old ball joints was pretty terrifying and it didn’t help that they wanted to pop rather than slide out – when the first one finally came unstuck I thought the splitter had broken!

The brake lines were relatively easy to replace – I swapped out the shorter nearside line back to the fitting at the ABS module and cut, flared and joined the offside line just inside the engine bay. Revitalising the calipers turned out to be a lot more work than I’d anticipated and issues with the pistons and the bleed nipples meant that, in the end, it was easiest – not to mention safest – to replace them completely despite the extra cost. It’s also a lot easier if you don’t install the driver’s side caliper on the passenger side, and visa versa. Just an observation, obviously 😳


-£350.00 (Jeep Cherokee XJ)
-£ 65.00 (AM058R battery)
-£ 69.00 (Used OEM alternator)
-£ 46.94 (Autopal headlight x2)
-£ 29.90 (Rear brake cylinder x2)
-£ 22.96 (Brake shoes, full set)
-£  5.00 (Copper brake line x2)
-£ 13.49 (Rear brake spring kit)
-£ 62.54 (Upper & lower ball joints x2)
-£ 28.95 (Hub knuckle bolt x6)
-£ 90.00 (Brake caliper x2)
-£ 19.95 (Brake pads, full set)
-£ 10.00 (Copper brake line x2)
- - -
-£813.73