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Lower Ball Joint STUCK in Knuckle...Any Helpful Hints

9882 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  bmxfuel007
I'm in the process of removing the stock motor before swapping in a KLZE. Everything is ready to drop with the exception of removing the axles but I'm at a standstill with the damn balljoints.

I removed the tie rods from the knuckle and the front sway bar endlinks are disconnected from the lower control arm. Unfortunately I can only get the lower ball joint to separate from knuckle about half way.

I jacked up the strut assembly in hope that the ball joint would completely separate from the knuckle and pried the crap out of it with a big flat head luck. Even tried using a chisel to expand the pinch bolt location. Maybe I need a different chisel that with further seperate it?

Any tips?

Visually here's where I'm at:

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Very strange. Normally when you have got it partway out the rest is easy. Try pushing the ball joint back to where it was, then flushing out the hole where the pinch bolt was. Maybe some crud got into that hole, and is wedging against the groove in the ball joint spindle?

A "pickle fork" (great big fork-like thing with wedge-shaped prongs, used for removing tie-rod ends etc.) might be better than a large flat head screwdriver. You hammer it in between the ball joint and the knuckle. Or use a large prybar to lever the two apart. Even a large screwdriver just isn't really large enough.
i had the same prob on one of mine, had to take long pipe clamp and clamp it underneath the car and to the rotor somewhere to pull the strut assembly in a bit then fell out
You might have ruined the knuckle with chiseling. I did that once when changing lower ctrl arms on my old 1st Gen and after that the balljoint couldn't be fixed tightly to knuckle again.
You don't need to touch the balljoint to get the axle off. Just release knuckle from the strut/spring assembly and swing it aside.
yeah i hope your knuckle is ok, my car used to have a hard pull at highway speeds were it would jerk like half a lane over when going around a turn and it ended up being that the knuckle was worn to the point that the ball joint was popping out like and inch. when you reinstall it after tightening it pry on it really hard to make sure the knuckle still grips it properly
You need to align the ball joint to strut angle. It will hang exactly where you show it due to the "waist" on the stub (for the pinch bolt) allowing the stub to move slightly out of vertical alignment with the strut.

Best option I've found is to use something (length of pipe, assistant etc..) to push/pull the strut such that the stub of the ball joint is parallel with the strut. It will then easily drop out. Don't force it with a picklle fork or similiar - you'll only damage the ball joint.

Torch and hammer?

The joint is already loose - stub is half way out dude...

Dexterity, not brute force on this one. Align it and it will drop with little or no effort.
Thanks for the help everyone, rather than following the Haynes manual I took Evert's suggestion and disconnected the 2 top 17mm bolts on the knuckle from the strut assembly and the axles easily came out.
I'm glad I could help:D

I wrested with the exact same thing most of the day! And have been on here for a couple of hours looking for the solution. I was about to quit when I came upon this thread. Thanks, all. I am going to try lining it up with the strut tomorrow.

Thanks again. Simple things can really ruin your day.
if only you posted this 3 years ago.......
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