Suspension & Steering
Ball Joint Removal
Using a "pickle fork" type ball joint separator can result in damage to the boot or other parts. So, I was able to locate a different kind of ball joint separator that worked really well for this task. It has 2 claws and a threaded center post. Just hook the claws onto the spindle, put the sharft on top of the ball joint post and tighted until it pops off. I prefer this method because it doens't involve any hammering like with the pickle fork kind. You can probably buy or rent one at a local auto parts store.
The "two hammer" method works pretty well. The ball joint stud is tapered, which makes it grip the tapered hole VERY tightly. To remove the tapered stud:
1) Loosen the nut, but leave it on the threads. This keeps the joint from flying apart if there is spring pressure or weight on it, and also protects the threads from impact damage.
2) Take the largest chunk of steel that you can get in there and hold it tightly against one side of the part right next to the nut (NOT the ball joint!) It helps a lot if you can get someone else to hold the steel.
3) Hit the other side of the part hard with a large hammer.
You are attempting to momentarily distort the tapered seat, so the stud will pop out.
You can really, really mash the heck out of your fingers if you aren't careful.
You can miss and hit something fragile, such as the ball joint.
The steel will rebound, and can mash your hand.
After you have done this once, you will be astonished at how easy it is and how well it works. Done properly, there is no damage to the joint or to the rubber boot.
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