Lower Ball Joint really screwing with me

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Jun 19, 2009
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South Florida
I am working on rejuvenating my front end. Ball joints, bushings, shocks, bearings, etc. Whole shebang

But, I am on my last ball joint. And it is holding fast for a few days now.

I tried a pitman arm puller, ball joint separator, penetrating oil, hammer, hammer, hammer, pickle forks, more hammering, heat. It is froze good. I got 5 out of 6 joints separated. Just can't get this last one to let go.

1) I am open to suggestions.
2) I am starting to look at cutting wheels, not sure what will go in there.

Are there any components that will hold me up that need to be undone? I have the outer tie rod connected with just a few threads on the nut, and the upper ball joint broken loose but with a nut on by a few threads.
 

super90

 
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I used to have the same issues. I had certain separators not work, and I have zero luck with a pickle fork.

I bought one of these and have had no issues since. No guarantees, but so far, it's been amazing...

Amazon product
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
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I used to have the same issues. I had certain separators not work, and I have zero luck with a pickle fork.

I bought one of these and have had no issues since. No guarantees, but so far, it's been amazing...

Amazon product

Hi, Can you repost, for some reason nothing is showing up. The link is malformed

The ball joint separator I was using today keeps popping out, so I was going to try another one from Harbor freight.
 
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You're talking about separating the steering knuckle from the LBJ? Smack the side of the LCA a few times with a big hammer then smash below at the thread, since you're changing it who cares if you damage it. Find a nut with the same thread pitch so you can widen the strike area.
 
Joined
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Messages
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You're talking about separating the steering knuckle from the LBJ? Smack the side of the LCA a few times with a big hammer then smash below at the thread, since you're changing it who cares if you damage it. Find a nut with the same thread pitch so you can widen the strike area.
Yes, that's the one.

Been whacking the crap out of both of those points.
 
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What kind of hammer are you using? It's gotta be one of these ...i've worked on many many rusted rigs and never had one stuck on me like you're describing.





And you've tried this right? Crank it as hard as you can and just let it sit there, i've had many LBJs that popped out after i let it sit on it and went to get lunch. Or try whacking the knuckle while this is on it.

 

REZARF

 
 
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Have you used an impact gun? I used a rental LBJ separator and an impact gun... they sure get your attention when they let go.

Have you tried heat?
 
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I used to have the same issues. I had certain separators not work, and I have zero luck with a pickle fork.

I bought one of these and have had no issues since. No guarantees, but so far, it's been amazing...

Amazon product
I have one similar but it at harbor freight for $13 .
It's hard to get it in the right position but once in there works like a charm.
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
 
 
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Ball joint separator (to put pressure on it) and the judicious use of 'two' hammers will usually free it up. It is VERY important to 'back up' the striking surface (opposite it) with a second hammer in order to impart enough shock to do any good. Rarely had that method fail.

Last resort (if you aren't going to re-use the ball joint) is a 'good' air hammer with pickle fork adapter. It WILL come off with that.
BJ sep.jpg

Air Hammer.jpg
back up.jpg
IRAH2.jpg
 
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Joined
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Messages
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Location
South Florida
What kind of hammer are you using? It's gotta be one of these ...i've worked on many many rusted rigs and never had one stuck on me like you're describing.





And you've tried this right? Crank it as hard as you can and just let it sit there, i've had many LBJs that popped out after i let it sit on it and went to get lunch. Or try whacking the knuckle while this is on it.

Here's my hammer, it weighs a pound more than yours does(yours is sexier looking though...), it was also victorious in separating the other 5 joints in the front end.

That separator was what I was hoping to work today(one like it) But it keeps wiggling it's way out. That one you show is a Harbor Freight I think. I am going to get one of those tomorrow.

Hammer.jpg


Have you used an impact gun? I used a rental LBJ separator and an impact gun... they sure get your attention when they let go.

Have you tried heat?

I did try heat a few times(MAPP) with cooling with penetrating oil. And beating some more of course.

I have one similar but it at harbor freight for $13 .
It's hard to get it in the right position but once in there works like a charm.

Going to get one of those tomorrow. Tried to go out this evening but they are on Coronavirus hours and close at 6
 
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Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
339
Location
South Florida
Ball joint separator (to put pressure on it) and the judicious use of 'two' hammers will usually free it up. It is VERY important to 'back up' the striking surface (opposite it) with a second hammer in order to impart enough shock to do any good. Rarely had that method fail.

Last resort (if you aren't going to re-use the ball joint) is a 'good' air hammer with pickle fork adapter. It WILL come off with that. View attachment 2249214
View attachment 2249215

I've got another big hammer, I see what you are saying there.

I'll see if HF has a Air hammer pickle fork gadget as well.
 
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That balljoint separator will sound like a gun shot once that LBJ pop out, first time i used it, i had it clamping on it and gave up and just walked around finding another way to free it, then BAMMMM. I crapped my pants the same time the LBJ popped out.
 

suprarx7nut

The YotaMD Guy
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If you've got a compressor, I've been a big fan of the air hammer recently. If you're not reusing the part, air hammers can do some real damage. Get some pressure on it with a puller and lay into it with an air hammer.

Until recently, my 4 lb sledge had always been plenty. One of the 100 series joints would not budge. Puller and air hammer and/or impact finally did it.
 
Joined
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That balljoint separator will sound like a gun shot once that LBJ pop out, first time i used it, i had it clamping on it and gave up and just walked around finding another way to free it, then BAMMMM. I crapped my pants the same time the LBJ popped out.
The other ones went like that, this one is dead silent and obstinate.
 
Joined
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Messages
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If you've got a compressor, I've been a big fan of the air hammer recently. If you're not reusing the part, air hammers can do some real damage. Get some pressure on it with a puller and lay into it with an air hammer.

Until recently, my 4 lb sledge had always been plenty. One of the 100 series joints would not budge. Puller and air hammer and/or impact finally did it.

I am shopping the HF site for weapons of mass destruction as we speak. I've got a cheap air hammer that came with a Craftsman compressor a long time ago. I'm feeling like upgrading to the high dollar one at HF. Already tucked a 20% coupon into my wallet. They have a pickle fork adapter as well.
 
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One of mine left me feeling the same way. I probably left it for 2-3 days while scheming up a solution.


Look at the adjustable puller in this post. I rented it along with every other puller they had at AutoZone. This was the only one I was able to get to secure well enough for the required torque.

Once I got that set up, I put a big breaker bar on it and all the strength I could find and it finally popped free.
 
Joined
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Messages
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One of mine left me feeling the same way. I probably left it for 2-3 days while scheming up a solution.


Look at the adjustable puller in this post. I rented it along with every other puller they had at AutoZone. This was the only one I was able to get to secure well enough for the required torque.

Once I got that set up, I put a big breaker bar on it and all the strength I could find and it finally popped free.
Thanx! I'll puruse that whole thread. I used that large pitman puller first as well. It broke 5 free untill I ran into the last one. Glad I didn't start with this one. I'd be quittin' this job with my tail between my legs.
 
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My first time replacing that LBJ had the same issue, left the truck in jack stands for 3 or 4 days.
One day I came back from work infuriated and decided to take that LBJ no matter what.
I don't know why, that day took me 5 minutes to find the right position and angle for the HB tool (in my first attempt 4 days earlier struggled for hours)
Once in there, put some pressure (ok, maybe a lot) and went to get my 8lb mallet, as soon as I started walking that thing popped out and as @FxFormat mentioned above I almost crap my pants.
I'm not saying that tool is the magical solution, but for the cost it's worth trying.
 
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This is the one that got it the knuckle off for me fairly easily. Getting LBJ out was pretty easy with a 2.5 lb hammer straight to the top of surface of the joint. On the driver side, I wrestled with the ball joint cups for a bit to no success then just tried a couple of stiff whacks with the hammer and it came right out. Passenger side used hammer only. Also of note, I really like Deep Creep by Sea Foam, it’s got me out of jam’s that PB Blaster wouldn’t touch. I soaked all of the ball joints down over a few days with the Deep Creep.

image.jpg
 

super90

 
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Reposting. The difference with this one and others is that you tighten the main section, then start turning the smaller one, which pushes a piston in that gives you advantage with the hydraulic pressure it builds. It is NOT like a standard ball joint tool. Super burly too.

OEMTOOLS 25219 Hydraulic Ram
Amazon product


Summit sells it too:

Link to their site Part #OES-25219

Annotation 2020-03-27 134221.png
 
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