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Front Ball joint removal


Kieran T

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Silly Question time :rolleyes:

 

Do I need to drive out the pin as shown Red Arrow ? is it similar to a cotter pin ? should I ensure I have a spare :ani_nerd:

 

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Also if I don't have the tool and hammer out the balljoint is it kaput? to be relaced ? thinking of trying to lever where shown

 

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while I was in there replaced both bushings - seemed to be worth it

 

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Kieran

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Yes you do need to remove it and yes, it is a cotter pin. They're not very expensive to replace and I would advise you to get one. The old one will probably be in there so tight that it'll be destroyed when you take it out. You might need to get some heat on the area, because it will be in very tight. If it puts up too much of a fight, get a big 'G' clamp and take the sole plate off the end of the screwed rod. You'll be able to get the remaining ball on the end of the cotter pin and the other side on the other side of the strut. You can exert a lot of controlled force this way that you'll never gert with a hammer an punch.

 

I'd invest in a ball-joint seperator to split thestrut from the ball-joint. Again, the upstand of the ball-joint will be tight into the strut and there isn't a lot in the area that you can get purchase against with a lever. When the new cotter pin goes in, make sure the groove in the ball-joint upright is perfectly aligned, (90 degrees to the direction of the cotter pin) and your life will be a whole lot nicer. There's a groove in the ball-joint upstand that is fairly easy to align.

 

When you come to remove the ball-joint, the fun starts. There's a castle nut on the bottom side of the wishbone. First remove the locking tab, (a bit of wire) and take the small guard plate off that it retains. The castle nut is about 45mm diameter IIRC and the nice way of removing it is to get yourself a big socket and cut four pockets out of it so there are four upstands remaining that'll insert into the castle nut. Then get a trolley jack ready, put the socket and ratchet to the nut and raise the trolley jack to support the ratchet. It'll take effort to turn it, but it'll go.

 

The not so nice way of removing it is to put two relief cuts in the castle nut with a grinder so the tension is decreased. Then get the hammer and chisel out and belt the thing to turn it; (my preferred method :D ). You get a new castle nut with a ball-joint anyway and it saves a perfectly good socket.

 

Good luck!

Edited by oliverjamesthomas
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Managed to remove one A frame yesterday - things should be quicker on the passenger side :whistling:

Questions

in view of the fact that I will probably be getting the floor suspension panel replaced and have to remove the two A frame control arms any suggestions while I'm in there ?

I Think

 

1 Replace stabiliser bar bushings + will do the bushings on the A frame itself (how do these come off?)

2 Paint Frame, stabiliser and bar

 

Options are to replace ball joints? Is this worth doing as I haven’t had any issues I’m aware of and the car is never tracked – anything else I should do?

Cheers

Kieran

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  • 12 years later...

Quick question on the subject of ball joints. The rubber boot that seals the top of the joint, mine has cracked on both sides. What's the procedure for taking the link off the top of the ball joint to replace the rubber boots? The boots are under a fiver on fleabay with new clamping rings. Anything else to do in there while the boots are off? 

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Front strut ball joint right?  You'll need a new pinch bolt for reassembly, a very sturdy ball joint fork, a hefty lump hammer and decent forearms.  I fashioned some thin steel plate that protected the A arm around the balljoint as the fork drags itself across it.

A good hammering aim is key.

Can't think of any worthwhile whilst you're in there stuff other than considering replacing the balljoint as a whole?  You'll have done half the job already.

Edited by Nige
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7 minutes ago, Nige said:

Front strut ball joint right?  You'll need a new pinch bolt for reassembly, a very sturdy ball joint fork, a hefty lump hammer and decent forearms.  I fashioned some thin steel plate that protected the A arm around the balljoint as the fork drags itself across it.

A good hammering aim is key.

Can't think of any worthwhile whilst you're in there stuff other than considering replacing the balljoint as a whole?  You'll have done half the job already.

Cheers Nige. Yup, strut ball joint. It’s just the rubber boot that’s split. Do I undo the pinch bolt on the bottom of the strut and try to separate the bottom of the strut from the ball joint top? 

8876D682-7E08-41F8-B161-9C95ECDE16DF.jpeg

E334C51F-DC62-4504-A795-EEFE05AF1FFE.jpeg

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Yes remove the pinch bolt, you'll need to drift it out.  Loosen the nut but leave it on the bolt a few threads as that will give you more hammering surface area when drifting.

With that removed position the balljoint fork between the strut base and A arm belt it with you lump hammer.  It takes some force.  Place some over the A arm to protect it, I just bent some sacrificial steel plate around it.

I'd also remove the discs for better access.

Axle stands and a trolley jack under the A arm for support, etc, etc.

 

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You will need new cotter pins and nuts when you drive them out. Matt@Type911 stocks them.

A decent ball joint fork splits the ball joint from the strut with a good blow from a lump hammer.

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