MoparFins

Techical Discussions => Tech- - STEERING WHEELS AND SUSPENSION => Topic started by: Dan Cluley on June 10, 2009, 07:07:58 PM

Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Dan Cluley on June 10, 2009, 07:07:58 PM
I need to replace the upper ball joints on the Dart.
 

Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Steve on June 11, 2009, 05:35:56 AM
Impact gun
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Snotty on June 11, 2009, 09:02:37 AM
I have done this three times.  All but one joint came out with my impact wrench.  However, that one needed to be done by hand unsing a breaker bar.
 
This may sound like a put-down, but, are you turning to the left?  I don't mean to insult you, but I've seen a couple of instances where people have told me they could not remove a bolt, and they were turning the wrong way.
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Steve on June 11, 2009, 09:09:17 AM
Gee Snots. . .I've never had a problem with the impact gun.
 
The other thing you could try is with two people, slip a pipe over the end of the breaker bar and pick up some leverage.  Make sure the car is good and sturdy. . .   One guy holds the tool on the joint and the other swings.
 
Too much leverage or poor mounting of the car and you'll be dragging that sucker all over the neighbor hood.
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Snotty on June 11, 2009, 10:34:29 AM
Quote from: POLARACO
Gee Snots. . .I've never had a problem with the impact gun.
 
 
When I rebuilt the front-end on the '70 the Passenger side upper ball-joint was a bear!  The IW would not turn it.  However, I did have a smaller compressor at the time, so air pressure dropped off in a hurry.  I was glad I had a breaker bar, for a large, half-inch ratchet would not have done the job.
 
Once I turned it two or three revolutions, the wrench did the rest.  With the lack of pressure, I'd say it took me close to an hour to get both sides off.
 
With a new 25-gallon cmpressor, I got both sides off in less than 15 minutes last July.
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Leaburn Patey on June 11, 2009, 04:53:00 PM
You can use heat to help remove them--but run the risk of taking the threads out of the control arm.
Very common and had seen ball joints welded to the control arms with no problems.
Until they need to get removed-that is!!
 
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Dan Cluley on June 11, 2009, 10:46:14 PM
Actually I did try turning both ways.  I hadn't heard about them being left hand thread, but I figured anything was possible.
 
I've never been fond of playing with fire, so don't own a torch.
 
I would love to get a compressor and air tools, but I just haven't needed them enough to justify the expense (although this one is getting close)  Hmmmm....
 
What I'm thinking at this point, is picking up a 4 foot pipe and trying that.  If that doesn't work, I'm pretty sure I can get the upper control arm and the spindle unbolted and just take that to a shop and let the pros take the ball joint out.
 
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Snotty on June 12, 2009, 07:47:19 AM
Hey Arlen!!  This guy's in Michigan!  How you close enough to give him a hand??
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Dan Cluley on June 13, 2009, 05:56:40 PM
Arlen is a little over an hour away,  so projects take some planning.
 
The 4' pipe didn't work, so on to plan B.
 
I unbolted the upper arm from the frame.   This allowed the spindle to be tipped out enough to get my puller in behind.
 
So now I've got the control arms with the ball joint loose in the garage.
 
I'm thinking of trying the cut off wheels in the dremel tool to split the ball joint from the bottom to break it loose.  Otherwise, I'll track down somebody with an impact wrench.
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Stan Paralikis on June 14, 2009, 04:18:55 AM
People drive me nuts when they say turn the bolt to the left or to the right.
That is oh so wrong.  Its CW or CCW.
 
Commando12009-06-14 09:20:21
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Butch Houghton on June 14, 2009, 07:16:49 AM
Only had 1 that we couldn't get out years ago on a friends Barracuda...

we got the arm out & he took it to where he works to the machine shop guys.   They fought forever with bigger tools & finally welded a larger standard nut onto the top of the Balljoint & heated it & finally got it out.

So it does happen.    Haven't had any trouble since,  bigger Impact guns & longer pipes usually do it & maybe the torch for heat.

Butch


Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Snotty on June 16, 2009, 08:51:31 PM
Quote from: Commando1
People drive me nuts when they say turn the bolt to the left or to the right.
That is oh so wrong.  Its CW or CCW.
 
 
How about "European or American Dirt Track Racing?"  Sheesh!  To the left or CCW, a rose by any other name....
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Dan Cluley on June 19, 2009, 05:35:01 PM
Well it is indeed possible to remove ball joints with a dremel tool.  (http://www.moparfins.com/forum/smileys/smiley4.gif)
 
First cut a series of vertical slits from the bottom, and then connect them horizontally.  Hammer and chisel knocks these pieces of skirt off, and then pop out the stud & ball.
 
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v601/dcluley/0906oldballjointA.jpg)
 
Unscrew the grease fitting and cut an X across the top, and then knock the top center out.
 
Then cut on an angle through the wall of the ball joint from top and bottom almost to the control arm.  In the middle cut a groove almost through the wall of the ball joint, and use the chisel to split this open (this way you don't cut into the threads of the control arm)
 
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v601/dcluley/0906oldballjointB.jpg)
 
At this point, the ball joint unscrewed quite easily.
Switched from the cutting disks to a wire wheel and cleaned up the surface rust from the control arm threads, and easily screwed the new ball joints in.
 
Figuring this out, the first one took a couple of days, but the second one not much over an hour.
 
Now I just need a dry day to put the rest back together.
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Steve on June 19, 2009, 06:42:19 PM
Sheeesh Dan
 
That's compared to emptying Lake Erie with a thimble.  (http://www.moparfins.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif)
 
Hey if it works. . . .
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Butch Houghton on June 20, 2009, 05:23:46 AM
Don't laugh,  the very first ones I did in my Dart I took out with a hammer & chisel cause I was too cheap to go buy the tool......and I was bound & determined to do it!

Butch


Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Dan Cluley on June 25, 2009, 11:59:54 PM
Quote from: POLARACO
That's compared to emptying Lake Erie with a thimble.  (http://www.moparfins.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif)
 Who needs a thimble?  Niagra Falls do it so nicely. (http://www.moparfins.com/forum/smileys/smiley2.gif)
 
 
Obviously not the most direct route, but it got the job done using the tools and skills I already had.
 
 
The good news, everything is finally back together.  (Once I realised the boots have to be pressed on as well, and I remembered to put the calipers back in place before bolting the control arms to the frame.(http://www.moparfins.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif))
 
 
 
The bad news is, everytime I fix something I realise that something else needs replacing.
 
Didn't notice slop in the upper ball joints until I did the upper bushings.
 
Now that I have nice new ball joints, I'm noticing a tiny bit of slop in one of the lower ball jonts.  Worse than that, the idler arm is definitely shot.  I replaced the pitman arm last year, and I think I would have noticed the idler then. 
 
D Cluley2009-06-26 05:01:00
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Ken on June 26, 2009, 12:52:25 PM
Ah, the joys of owning an older car, eh what?

Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Tom Dawson on June 27, 2009, 05:38:19 PM
Quote from: Moesy
Ah, the joys of owning an older car, eh what?
 
 
But they are so much easier to work on than the newer ones
Tom
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Arlen Vander Hoff on June 28, 2009, 02:28:58 PM
Oh well I'm too late again!!! I have a compressor and an Impact Dan,for future projects!! Good job though using things you already had and your brain!!!
I still owe you some help so maybe next time.
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Snotty on June 29, 2009, 10:39:46 AM
Quote from: furyman67
But they are so much easier to work on than the newer ones
 
That depends on what the new car is and what you're doing.  I recently swapped all stuts, did a complete front brake job, and changed the driver's side front wheel bearing on the old Stratus.  I spent less time performing all four of those jobs than I did swapping the brakes on my Newport.  When you consider that in order to swap the front struts on a Stratus you must disasemble the front suspension, that's quite a difference.
 
However, the same job on a Honda would require the pressing on and off of that same bearing.
 
Also, I would do three disk brake jobs a day as opposed to one drum brake job a month.  I don't think older necessarily means easier.
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Dan Cluley on June 30, 2009, 02:26:58 AM
Arlen, I will keep that in mind.  I didn't remember seeing one in the garage, but then we didn't really need it.
 
Picked up the idler arm today, that looks pretty straight forward, just need a dry day.
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Snotty on June 30, 2009, 09:28:14 AM
I didn't go back and look.  If you are swapping the idler arm, are you also going to swap the Pitman arm?  If so, you will need a Pitman Arm Puller, plus a very large deep socket for the nut that holds it on.  I don't rememebr the size.
 
As for the puller I learned an important lesson - don't buy the cheap one!  A bonus that comes with the puller is it's the perfect size to remove the steering knuckle from the upper ball-joint on a '96 Stratus!  (http://www.moparfins.com/forum/smileys/smiley4.gif)
Title: Tricks for removing upper ball joints?
Post by: Dan Cluley on July 01, 2009, 02:05:56 AM
Actually I did the pitman arm last year.  At the time the idler seemed ok.   The puller also works nicely on the Dart  ball joint/knuckle.  Much less drama than a pickle fork and big hammer. (http://www.moparfins.com/forum/smileys/smiley4.gif)