My new Howe upper ball joints arrived in the mail and I took off my old upper ball joints for inspection. Mind you these things have never been touched in 3 years haha!
Brand new upper ball joint to the left and old on the right. I installed the new ball joint so my car is ready to go.
Old ball joint disassembled and grease cleaned off for inspection. Everything looks good from the housing, ball/stud has no major galling or nicks still very smooth, o-ring still good. You can see the areas of wear on the ball as it has a mirror finish as well as slight wear on the housing. Other than that there is no damage whatsoever.
Re-assembly and setting lash is very simple. Tighten cap down with 1/2" drive until it comes contact with ball, then back off 1/8 of a turn. I have to get some Redline CV2 and re-grease but I would not hesitate to re-use these upper ball joints in the future. They will be spares on hand ready to use.
Last tip is to not use the Howe dust boots as they do not have a metal insert in the top portion to keep things sealed. I instead used a Moog dust boot and these are still great after 3 years of use/ kept all the grease inside.
So there you have it. You can run Howe upper ball joints on the street for 3 years if you had to, but I don't recommend it haha! I just have to remember to inspect these every January.