A ball and socket joint assembly incorporates an internal preload whereby a relatiely constant torque may be realized over the useful life of the assembly. In a preferred form, the assembly includes a housing having a ball socket cavity, a ball, a pair of socket beraings supporting the ball, and a stud shaft integral with the ball. The housing defines an axis along which the socket bearings position and retain the ball for limited oscillatory movement within the housing. One socket bearing defines a ring through which the stud shaft extends for coupling to the tie rod end of a steering arm assembly. The other socket bearing is cup-shaped and formed of an extrudable plastic material. A radially oriented seat in the housing is adapted to support a conical disc spring washer interposed between the seat and the cup-shaped bearing. The conical washer is preferably a Belleville spring capable of providing a relatively constant force over a limited deflection range.