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> what is the best way to remove a ball joint without the tool?
mepstein
post Sep 16 2020, 06:26 AM
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I disagree with Zach. I’ve removed the ballpoint nut on at least 20 pairs of rusty front struts. (The shop gets a lot of guys moving to 3.5” Bilsteins from 3” struts. 4 prong tool and impact gun every time.

This is the tool you want. JimmyT on pelican makes them. They are a work of art and as functional as they look. The cheap pelican tool is two piece and mine fell apart. Jimmy’s tool fits the ballpoint nut perfectly and an impact gun makes short work of the job. With the nuts costing $20 each, why use a hammer and punch which ruins the nut when you can use the right tool and reuse the hardware. Worth every penny.

I do use a large pipe wrench to remove the nut that threads into the top of the strut body and holds in the insert. Hold the strut in a vice at the caliper mount and add some heat if it’s really stubborn.

If you choose to use a large pipe wrench while working on your car, just be careful that you don’t pull the car off the jack stands or the lift. Seen it. It ain’t pretty.


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frostyf
post Sep 16 2020, 06:35 AM
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QUOTE(mepstein @ Sep 16 2020, 01:26 PM) *

I disagree with Zach. I’ve removed the ballpoint nut on at least 20 pairs of rusty front struts. (The shop gets a lot of guys moving to 3.5” Bilsteins from 3” struts. 4 prong tool and impact gun every time.

This is the tool you want. JimmyT on pelican makes them. They are a work of art and as functional as they look. The cheap pelican tool is two piece and mine fell apart. Jimmy’s tool fits the ballpoint nut perfectly and an impact gun makes short work of the job. With the nuts costing $20 each, why use a hammer and punch which ruins the nut when you can use the right tool and reuse the hardware. Worth every penny.



Thanks Zach and Mark for your advice. I bought the $70 tool from pelican. I probably need to buy an Impact wrench as I don't have one and will need it to tighten up the new nut.

Is it okay to heat the base of the strut? No risk of damage to the strut end. I had an initial go with a pickle fork but the top of the old ball jt seems to be stuck in there. I don't want to damage the bottom of the strut or the control arm. Is liquid heat a spray on product? I've been soaking it with WD40 for some days!

Nick
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VaccaRabite
post Sep 16 2020, 07:30 AM
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Sounds like there is a much better tool now then the one they used to sell. Learned something new.

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Zach
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frostyf
post Sep 16 2020, 10:20 AM
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QUOTE(VaccaRabite @ Sep 16 2020, 02:30 PM) *

Sounds like there is a much better tool now then the one they used to sell. Learned something new.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/first.gif)

Zach


Wish I'd seen the link on Pelican or asked earlier!
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mepstein
post Sep 16 2020, 01:27 PM
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QUOTE(frostyf @ Sep 16 2020, 08:35 AM) *

QUOTE(mepstein @ Sep 16 2020, 01:26 PM) *

I disagree with Zach. I’ve removed the ballpoint nut on at least 20 pairs of rusty front struts. (The shop gets a lot of guys moving to 3.5” Bilsteins from 3” struts. 4 prong tool and impact gun every time.

This is the tool you want. JimmyT on pelican makes them. They are a work of art and as functional as they look. The cheap pelican tool is two piece and mine fell apart. Jimmy’s tool fits the ballpoint nut perfectly and an impact gun makes short work of the job. With the nuts costing $20 each, why use a hammer and punch which ruins the nut when you can use the right tool and reuse the hardware. Worth every penny.



Thanks Zach and Mark for your advice. I bought the $70 tool from pelican. I probably need to buy an Impact wrench as I don't have one and will need it to tighten up the new nut.

Is it okay to heat the base of the strut? No risk of damage to the strut end. I had an initial go with a pickle fork but the top of the old ball jt seems to be stuck in there. I don't want to damage the bottom of the strut or the control arm. Is liquid heat a spray on product? I've been soaking it with WD40 for some days!

Nick

WD40 is water displacement, not penetrating oil. Liquid heat is tongue in cheek for a torch. Buy a mapp gas torch at your local home center. $50 and you will wonder how you ever lived without it. It's fine to get the strut hot. It will damage the paint but since heat will expand what's holding a part in place, it helps break the corrosive bond and is actually a more gentle way to separate parts than brute force. Once you get the part hot for 2 minutes, let cool a bit, spray penetrating oil to lube the area that needs to slide or get unstuck and then remove. If it doesn't come loose, repeat and don't be shy about the heat.
I've always found the pickle forks that are usually available have too shallow an angle to really wedge off the balljoint. There's a balljoing separator that sells cheap and your local flaps, autozone, etc might lend it out.


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