Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side. - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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7.3L IDI Diesels (Not Power Strokes) Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 7.3 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 11-25-2006, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

Short version:
The lower ball joint won't come off, therefore I can't take the spindle off. I just need to change the upper ball joint, but to do so the spindle has to come off, right? Everything else is ready, but I hammered around the lower ball joint area for about an hour, no luck. What can I do to get the spindle off?

Long story:
The driver side upper ball joint is making some rattling noise, a brief check showed about 1/16 movement, and there are ball joint press on sale for CDN$89 at princessauto, so why not. Got a cheap upper ball joint at NAPA for about $25. I just replaced the upper and lower ball joints on passenger side last year, piece of cake, some hammering, a press borrowed from a friend, a few beers later, all done. So I was plan to do the same thing this time without the beer, but I rememer some post here mentioned you can replace the upper ball joint without remove the spindle. I put the press on the upper ball joint, took a six foot bar, press the h*** out of it, the bottom popped open, but the ball joint stay put. Ooops, looking at the new one, realized I pressed the wrong way, duh, now the upper ball joint is damaged. Proceed to loosen up the lower ball joint in order to remove spindle, but it stuck, I hammered and hammered, it won't even losen a bit. I'm almost out of ideas, except put everything back together, loosen the nut on the lower ball joint a few turns and drive around the block till it come loose. But I'm a bit nervous doing so with a badly damaged upper ball joint. So what should be my next move?

Thanks in advance.

Norm
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

To remove the spindle you need a ball joint fork thing. You need a pretty big one too, rented mine from pep boys, all their ones you could buy weren't big enough.

I had the same exact problem you did. I pretty much beat on that thing all day with anything i could find to no avail, then i went and found that fork and had it off in 5 minutes.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

All you do is hammer the fork inbetween the axel and the spindle around one of the ball joints, and it just pushes it apart and the spindle pops off.
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

Thanks for the advice, Eric.

Unfortunatly, I'm not aware of any storesd rent specialty tools in the Great White North. Remember in the good old days when I lived in Taxes, I can borrow all the tools I need from AutoZone.

I acturaly have tried to use a pry bar to pry it open with no luck. Is there anyway I can make a simple fork with hard wood or aluminum? Any pictures floating around?
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1990 Ford F-250 Lariat XLT 7.3L diesel NA, two wheel drive, 5 speed manual, 450,000 km. 3.55, 6250 lb...

------ WB:155 TYPE-GVW:X259 BODY:FJM AXLE:39 TAPE:3 SPRING:K F --------

Dual tank, Master/Carter(P74017) electric pumps. OkieGringo idler pulley, K&N air filter, Cat fuel filter, Manual GP switch.

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Old 11-25-2006, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

Did you take the large circlip of the bottom ball joint base....
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

[ QUOTE ]
Did you take the large circlip of the bottom ball joint base....

[/ QUOTE ]
Yes, sir, the circlip/snapring was off.
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1990 Ford F-250 Lariat XLT 7.3L diesel NA, two wheel drive, 5 speed manual, 450,000 km. 3.55, 6250 lb...

------ WB:155 TYPE-GVW:X259 BODY:FJM AXLE:39 TAPE:3 SPRING:K F --------

Dual tank, Master/Carter(P74017) electric pumps. OkieGringo idler pulley, K&N air filter, Cat fuel filter, Manual GP switch.

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Old 11-26-2006, 03:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

you need a ball joint press and lotsa good penatrating oil
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

you need a bigger hammer [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]

and don't be afraid to use it, your not going to hurt anything down there
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Old 11-26-2006, 07:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

If you have access to a torch, heat does wonders on things that don't come apart.
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

zRob, I do have a ball joint press, but I need to take the spindle off first, that's where I got stuck.

PowerStrokeDogg, I'll see if I can find a bigger sledge hammer, I already beat the snot out of it, so I guess some more won't hurt.

Greg77, I'm a little reluctant using heat on suspension parts, so I probably going to use it as last resort.

Thank you guys very much for the advices, I'll give it another try today, it's been snowing outside where I work on my truck, it's going to be a lot of fun.
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1990 Ford F-250 Lariat XLT 7.3L diesel NA, two wheel drive, 5 speed manual, 450,000 km. 3.55, 6250 lb...

------ WB:155 TYPE-GVW:X259 BODY:FJM AXLE:39 TAPE:3 SPRING:K F --------

Dual tank, Master/Carter(P74017) electric pumps. OkieGringo idler pulley, K&N air filter, Cat fuel filter, Manual GP switch.

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Old 11-26-2006, 12:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

I wouldn't recommend hammering the metal directly though, that can't be good for anything...

I still vote for the fork, order one on ebay if you have to, it'll get it apart and not damage anything.
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Old 11-26-2006, 07:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

The shop uses an air hammer less destructive energy.........
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

Update, I just managed to replace the upper ball joint today, using a big fork I borrowed from a truck maintainance shop next door.

Thank you guys for pointing me to the right direction.
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1990 Ford F-250 Lariat XLT 7.3L diesel NA, two wheel drive, 5 speed manual, 450,000 km. 3.55, 6250 lb...

------ WB:155 TYPE-GVW:X259 BODY:FJM AXLE:39 TAPE:3 SPRING:K F --------

Dual tank, Master/Carter(P74017) electric pumps. OkieGringo idler pulley, K&N air filter, Cat fuel filter, Manual GP switch.

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Old 12-10-2006, 07:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Urgent: lower ball joint won't come off the I-beam side.

For future information, what you do is loosen the nut till it's at the end of the stud (so the spindle doesn't fall off and get damaged) then you take a large hammer and smack the side of the I beam where the tapered stud goes in. This "shocks" the tapered hole and releases the tapered stud. It usually doesn't take more than a few blows to do the job.

You can do the same thing with tie rod ends.

I learned this some years ago in Auto school, our instructor was an old (probably now dead) Army mechanic who probably did repair work on the Ark.

I never even owned a pickle fork until this year, I had to get one to remove a bad drag link from a steering box and I was afraid to hammer hard and damage the bearings. Pickle forks are "OK" as long as you don't have to re-use the part you are removing.
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