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Issues Replacing Ball Joints

Discussion in '100-Series Cruisers' started by AppleTech, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. AppleTech

    AppleTech

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    I'm in the process of a front end rebuild on my 2006. I've got a set of new 555 joints. I'm using a rental "ball joint press" tool from OReillys. Old ones are out, but the new ones are not going in straight. They seem to tilt to one side or another while I'm hitting the press with the impact wrench and then seize up. I have to hammer them back out.

    I was thinking of hitting leading edge of the control arm opening with a file to kind of create a bowl for the taper on the joints to land in but I don't know if I'm just doing something wrong. The tool I'm using is the kind that are a large C-clamp with various sized pipes you can use on either side as spacers.
     
  2. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    I'd only file end just a little if edge is mare, just to round/smooth. Make sure open perfectly clean with wire brush and greased. Start pressing with hand wrench until started in squarely. Take your time!
     
  3. Layonnn

    Layonnn

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    I had the same exact problem. You have to remove the boot to the ball joint. Mine kept going in at an angle until I did this as well. To remove the boot, take a dull tipped flat head (less chance to tear the boot), and slowly start prying down the metal collar/spring. Then just remove the boot and install without it, then put it back on.

    I personally wouldn't use an impact to install them either. i Prefer a breaker bar for a little slower install but I can keep a closer eye on how it's going in.
     
    re_guderian and 87warrior like this.
  4. DirtDawg

    DirtDawg "It'd be alot cooler if you did" SILVER Star

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    Same as above, take your time. I didnt have to remove the boot, but slowly pressed it in, making sure it was square the whole way in.
     
  5. 87warrior

    87warrior SILVER Star

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    Removing the boot helped me as well. Make sure the press and adapters are clean when you remove the boot as you do not want to contaminate that brand new ball joint. I've never used an impact on my Harbor Freight ball joint press and agree with using a ratchet/breaker bar. If you have a joint that is being stubborn, try to tighten down the press and give the control arm a good whack with your favorite hammer.

    I recall the upper ball joints being a royal pain to seat squarely.

    I'd suggest coating the 555 ball joint with paint or marine grease once installed to prevent rust. I didn't treat mine and they immediately started to rust.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  6. re_guderian

    re_guderian SILVER Star

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    The O'Rielly tool sucks, too. In addition to removing the boot, go to Autozone and get the 27 piece ball joint kit. With the boot off, you'll be able to access the correct pressing surface on the bottom, and with the larger kit, you'll get the right sleeves to press the whole thing in with clearance on top. There's a larger thread on ball joints with the Autozone part number and pictures.