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Front Ball Joint Issue by DKcustoms
Started on: 10-05-2014 04:13 PM
Replies: 14 (442 views)
Last post by: cmechmann on 10-10-2014 09:21 PM
DKcustoms
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Report this Post10-05-2014 04:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DKcustomsSend a Private Message to DKcustomsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am in the middle of re-doing my entire front suspension, but the simplest balljoints are holding me up.

I can't get the lower balljoint to slide out of the spindle.

After researching the forum, I found this link to Rodney's tool.

To use this tool, is it simply placed between the studs on the upper and lower balljoints and then twisted to expand the tool and then remove the balljoint?



Balljoints were the one part of this project I did not expect to take a long time, I already have the tie rod disconnected, swaybar bushing removed, etc.

Any tips would be appreciated

[This message has been edited by DKcustoms (edited 10-05-2014).]

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Report this Post10-05-2014 04:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RodneyClick Here to visit Rodney's HomePageClick Here to Email RodneySend a Private Message to RodneyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Make sure you have a floor jack under the lower arm. Once the studs release the lower control arm will fly downward and the spring might pop out if not supported.

------------------
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All new web page!:www.rodneydickman.com
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Phone/Fax (262) 835-9575

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DKcustoms
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Report this Post10-05-2014 04:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DKcustomsSend a Private Message to DKcustomsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rodney:

Make sure you have a floor jack under the lower arm. Once the studs release the lower control arm will fly downward and the spring might pop out if not supported.



Thanks for contributing Rodney!

I am prepared for the release of the control arm, thanks!

But that is how your tool is used, right?
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Bloozberry
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Report this Post10-05-2014 04:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The ball joint studs don't simply slide out once the nut is removed. They are a tapered fit which needs mechanical force to separate them from the knuckle. There are three methods:

The lowest tech, lowest cost, but least favorable method is to use a hammer on the side of the knuckle where the stud passes through the metal. A quick hard rap perpendicular to the stud often temporarily deforms the knuckle just enough to pop the ball joint out. Just make sure to screw the nut back on part way before you try this otherwise the front spring will force the lower control arm down uncontrollably when the joint lets go. An alternative to this method, especially if you're replacing the joints, is to screw the nut back onto the stud leaving a 1/4" or so before it bottoms out on the knuckle, then smacking the tip of the stud downward.

The second method is to use a "pickle fork". Pickle forks are cheap. They look like a tuning fork with tapered tines. It slips between the ball joint and the underside of the knuckle and is hammered until the tapered tines final exert enough pressure to force the two apart. Again, make sure you leave the nut screwed on part way. The trouble with pickle forks is that they tend to ruin the ball joint boot, but if you're replacing them too, then it doesn't matter.

The best method is to use a ball joint separator (just google the term and you'll see what one looks like). A separator allow you to keep the ball joint and boot intact, but they are more expensive than any other option.
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Patrick
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Report this Post10-05-2014 04:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by DKcustoms:

I can't get the lower balljoint to slide out of the spindle.

After researching the forum, I found this link to Rodney's tool.

To use this tool, is it simply placed between the studs on the upper and lower balljoints and then twisted to expand the tool and then remove the balljoint?


I've used this tool many times.

*Do not remove the ball joint castle nuts until after you've popped the ball joints.*

On whichever ball joint you wish to detach, loosen the castle nut and back it off just a couple of turns max. It doesn't need much. With the suspension hanging free, use the tool. After the ball joint pops (it'll scare the heck out of you the first time!), a floor jack is then used to support the lower control arm assembly. After the nut is removed, the LCA assembly can be lowered using the floor jack. It's a good idea to have a chain going through the spring to restrain it from leaping about when you pry the spring out of there.

If you wish for both the upper and lower ball joints to be detached on either or both sides, then back off both the upper and lower ball joint castle nuts a couple of turns before using the tool.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 10-05-2014).]

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DKcustoms
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Report this Post10-05-2014 04:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DKcustomsSend a Private Message to DKcustomsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

The ball joint studs don't simply slide out once the nut is removed. They are a tapered fit which needs mechanical force to separate them from the knuckle. There are three methods:

The lowest tech, lowest cost, but least favorable method is to use a hammer on the side of the knuckle where the stud passes through the metal. A quick hard rap perpendicular to the stud often temporarily deforms the knuckle just enough to pop the ball joint out. Just make sure to screw the nut back on part way before you try this otherwise the front spring will force the lower control arm down uncontrollably when the joint lets go. An alternative to this method, especially if you're replacing the joints, is to screw the nut back onto the stud leaving a 1/4" or so before it bottoms out on the knuckle, then smacking the tip of the stud downward.

The second method is to use a "pickle fork". Pickle forks are cheap. They look like a tuning fork with tapered tines. It slips between the ball joint and the underside of the knuckle and is hammered until the tapered tines final exert enough pressure to force the two apart. Again, make sure you leave the nut screwed on part way. The trouble with pickle forks is that they tend to ruin the ball joint boot, but if you're replacing them too, then it doesn't matter.

The best method is to use a ball joint separator (just google the term and you'll see what one looks like). A separator allow you to keep the ball joint and boot intact, but they are more expensive than any other option.


I have both a ball joint separator, the c-frame type, as well as a pickle or balljoint fork.
The fork is being stopped by the control arm about halfway in, no matter what may I have the wheel turned.
There is not enough room to get my c-frame in there to press out the balljoint.

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weloveour86se
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Report this Post10-05-2014 05:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for weloveour86seSend a Private Message to weloveour86seEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just get a long pry bar and stick it under the upper control arm between the spindle. Then take a BFH and WHACK the spindle right where the ball joint goes through it. Might take a few whacks but it will "pop" eventually. Oh and as others have stated, put the castle nut back on loosely. Just to keep it all from coming apart.

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tebailey
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Report this Post10-05-2014 06:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The right size pickle fork at just the right angle will work, I had to use that with mine since the whack on the side would not pop it loose. The pickle fork will ruin the boot but if your replacing the ball joints that won't matter.
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theogre
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Report this Post10-05-2014 07:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yup, BJ and Rod End use tapered joints. Nut just keeps joint tight.
Even w/o the nut, the joint works well in most direction. Often have little to no effort to split the joint when nut is loose.
see www.autozone.com/autozone/r...113&subtitle=replace

Some have use tapered joint on Drill Press and Milling machines. These joints take huge amount of torque but tap the small end of bit and often falls on floor.

 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:
*Do not remove the ball joint nuts until after you've popped the ball joints.*

Yes. Loosen nut 1-2 turns but do not remove. Nuts will solve spring safety problem.

Rodney etc BJ tool is easy.
Many time works w/o much effort. If BJ is stuck...

Use the tool to load on end of BJ stud.
Then use a hammer on the knuckle where stud goes thru knuckle to vibrate the joint.

You do not beat the knuckle!
Load and vibration does all the work.
I found that 2-5 bumps w/ 3# hammer does quick work.

 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:
The second method is to use a "pickle fork". Pickle forks are cheap. They look like a tuning fork with tapered tines. It slips between the ball joint and the underside of the knuckle and is hammered until the tapered tines final exert enough pressure to force the two apart. Again, make sure you leave the nut screwed on part way. The trouble with pickle forks is that they tend to ruin the ball joint boot, but if you're replacing them too, then it doesn't matter.

I've never had luck with them on any BJ or rod end. Bad BJ/end or not.

Rod ends I use same as above. Use rod end "press" remove tools.
If needed, hammer in same method... gently hitting the knuckle to vibrate the joint.

Using them won't fry the BJ/end or tear the boot. Very good when you are saving parts.

------------------
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


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DKcustoms
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Report this Post10-05-2014 07:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DKcustomsSend a Private Message to DKcustomsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for all the tips everyone!

 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

I've used this tool many times.

*Do not remove the ball joint castle nuts until after you've popped the ball joints.*

On whichever ball joint you wish to detach, loosen the castle nut and back it off just a couple of turns max. It doesn't need much. With the suspension hanging free, use the tool. After the ball joint pops (it'll scare the heck out of you the first time!), a floor jack is then used to support the lower control arm assembly. After the nut is removed, the LCA assembly can be lowered using the floor jack. It's a good idea to have a chain going through the spring to restrain it from leaping about when you pry the spring out of there.

If you wish for both the upper and lower ball joints to be detached on either or both sides, then back off both the upper and lower ball joint castle nuts a couple of turns before using the tool.



Am I correct in my interpreted use of Rodney's tool?
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Patrick
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Report this Post10-05-2014 07:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by DKcustoms:

Am I correct in my interpreted use of Rodney's tool?


Yes, but follow my instructions... and don't have the castle nuts removed as you do in your images!

Keep in mind the springs are pushing hard... and the tool is pushing very hard as well when it's been cranked. When the ball joints finally let go... they let go with a helluva wallop. You will jump! The castle nuts need to be on to prevent stuff from violently flying around when the ball joints let go of the spindle.
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DKcustoms
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Report this Post10-05-2014 07:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DKcustomsSend a Private Message to DKcustomsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Yes, but follow my instructions... and don't have the castle nuts removed as you do in your images!

Keep in mind the springs are pushing hard... and the tool is pushing very hard as well when it's been cranked. When the ball joints finally let go... they let go with a helluva wallop. You will jump! The castle nuts need to be on to prevent stuff from violently flying around when the ball joints let go of the spindle.


Yes I will reinstall the castle nuts as an extra safety measure.
But I do also have my jack underneath the LCA, as well as spring compressors attached (not attached in pictures).
Thanks

[This message has been edited by DKcustoms (edited 10-05-2014).]

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Patrick
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Report this Post10-05-2014 07:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by DKcustoms:

But I do also have my jack underneath the LCA, as well as spring compressors attached...


Get that stuff out of there!

If you have the jack supporting the lower control arm (as well as the spring compressors attached), then you're not following the instructions. It's the spring pressure (along with the tool) which helps to pop the ball joints. The lower control arm is supposed to hanging free until after the ball joints pop.

 
quote
Originally posted by DKcustoms:

I will reinstall the castle nuts as an extra safety measure.


Other than a chain through the spring (when you're about to pry the spring out of there), the castle nuts are the only "safety measure" that's required.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 10-05-2014).]

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Gandalf
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Report this Post10-10-2014 04:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GandalfSend a Private Message to GandalfEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When I removed the lower joints on my 86 (I'm pretty sure they were original) it took me FOREVER to get them out trying to use a pickle fork. Rodney's tool got the job done in about half an hour all told.

I did find that because mine were particularly bad Rodney's tool ended up taking a bit of a beating. Now I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with the workmanship of Rodney's tool AT ALL, lets make that very clear. I did, however acquire an original GM tool for the other side, which is quite a bit heftier but essentially the same design, and didn't seem to be fazed by the task.

Does anyone have a view on the safety/sensibleness of using a propane/MAPP torch on the spindle when having an issue releasing tapered ball joints?
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cmechmann
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Report this Post10-10-2014 09:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cmechmannClick Here to Email cmechmannSend a Private Message to cmechmannEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Another tool that works is the U shaped(not the cylinder shaped) pitman arm puller. You can work the tabs of the puller under the spindle and the puller bolt on the ball joint stud. Lately there have been more aluminum spindles and the good old BFH approach cracks them. Forks get bound. And the Ball joint taper breaker, sometimes, just don't get in there.
Make sure it is the type with the 3-4 inch puller bolt. A longer puller bolt won't clear the other ball joint.
[URL=http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/lisle-pitman-arm-puller-lis41970/22981370-p?cm_mmc=ACQ-_-Google-_-GPLA-_-22981370&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=22981370&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw=&iv_=__iv_p_1_g_12425515822_x_pla_y_6201684_f_online_o_22981370_z_US_i_en_j_736812717 82_s_]http://shop.advanceautopart..._en_j_73681271782_s_[/URL] _n_g_t__d_c_v__vi__&gclid=CIrLyeS5o8ECFSVo7AodnXoA9w#utm_source=acq&utm_medium=google&utm_campaign=gpla&utm_content=22981370
This is the type I have had for around 25 years now. Saved me many times

[This message has been edited by cmechmann (edited 10-10-2014).]

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