can't separate the ball joint - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 01-15-2008, 05:34 PM   #1
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Default can't separate the ball joint

Any one have a trick or something to release the ball joint from the knuckle. I have the car on a jack stand wheel off and the ball joint nut loose (I cant clear it from the threads beacuse there is no clearance from the axle). The book says to use a pry bar. I am using a 36" pry bar but cant get it to separate. I didn't want to ruin the joint by using a pickle fork but if that'* the only way then I guess...
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:41 PM   #2
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There is a tool out there called a "Ball Joint Separator"


You may be able to rent one from your local auto parts store.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:43 PM   #3
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Yeah I just realized that the FSM called out a tool J29330. I'll give it a try.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:16 PM   #4
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Where do you have the jackstand at? If you put the jackstand under the cradle and let the suspension hang, then you have a better chance of getting the ball joint to seperate. Also, sometimes if you pry down on the control arm and smack the balljoint with a big hammer you can get them to pop out. But, a pickle fork would work the best
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:13 AM   #5
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jackstand'* on the sub frame. the prybar was wedged between the subframe and the control arm as close as possible to the ball joint. I tried jacking up the knuckle while prying and pounding with a mallet but it didn't budge.

Gonna try the separator idea.

Engine swap is held up by it.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEOTOK
jackstand'* on the sub frame. the prybar was wedged between the subframe and the control arm as close as possible to the ball joint. I tried jacking up the knuckle while prying and pounding with a mallet but it didn't budge.

Gonna try the separator idea.

Engine swap is held up by it.
if you are re-using the ball joint, you may re-consider using a pickle fork. you are very likely to tear the boot.

you may ask zone if they have a u-joint/ball joint press in their loaners. its basilally a c-clamp on steroids.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:30 AM   #7
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Pry down with a long prybar and whack the outside of the joint really really hard with a sledge hammer. You really have to put some muscle in it. It makes me cringe whenever I do it.
Sort of like removing crank bearing caps.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:07 AM   #8
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Default People, there is a better way

If you have a Harbor Freight store near you and you also have an air compressor, you may want to look into getting a pneumatic air hammer with a pickle fork attachment. It is much easier than banging anything by swinging a hammer and a lot less stressful to the parts involved. I suggest HF because they are cheap, and a good source for tools you will only use once or very rarely. You may find a better tool at a price you can live with somewhere else. Once you use the air hammer method of separating ball joints and tie-rods, you won't want to use anything else.
Yes, the pickle fork tends to rip the boot, but most ball joints I have dealt with have a replaceable service boot available or can be fixed with a universal service replacement boot. And by using a sledge hammer on the outside of the A-arm or tie-rod, you are putting unnecessary stress on the rest of the front end and taking a chance on cracking the part you are hitting, not to mention the possibility of wild swings that could really do some damage. And past that, my experience has shown that ball joints and tie-rod ends are cheaper to replace than having a loose front end prematurely wear out tires.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000SilverBullet
Pry down with a long prybar and whack the outside of the joint really really hard with a sledge hammer. You really have to put some muscle in it. It makes me cringe whenever I do it.
Sort of like removing crank bearing caps.

Sounds like what I do when one won't let go.... Has worked every time so far

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Old 01-16-2008, 02:45 PM   #10
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Yeah I've done the wacking the outside already - wont give. I'm gonna try the tool first then if that doesn't work I try the fork.
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