Lower Ball Joint Stuck To Knuckle

driftscape May 30, 2020

  1. driftscape

    driftscape Test Drive

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NEVADA
    Hey all. I'm trying to replace the ball joints on the upper and lower control arm. I've managed to pry apart the upper ball joint, but the damn lower ball joint and knuckle won't separate from each other so I can remove the cv axle from the knuckle and the knuckle from the ball joints.


    I've done the following to no avail...

    1. Thread the ball joint fastener/nut back on and tried hitting it with a 4 lb. hammer.
    2. Used a tie rod separator and nudged it between the knuckle and lower control arm and banged the separator with the 4 lb. hammer.
    3. I've nudged the tie rod separator between the lower control arm and knuckle and tried using my floor jack to press up on the separator to pry it.
    4. I've used the 4 lb. hammer and banged the knuckle to try and knock the lower ball joint loose.
    5. And lastly, I tried banging the upper part of the knuckle downwards.
    I tried this without the upper ball joint fastener on except when trying to pry it with the floor jack and tie rod separator. I just can't seem to get the knuckle to loosen. And yes, I've used penetrating fluid. Been at this all day. Any tips would be appreciated.

    View attachment 14376 View attachment 14377
     
  2. Blackbird SR 71

    Blackbird SR 71 Test Drive

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    Man...this is rough. I was going to recommend everything you've already spelled out 1-5.

    I vaguely remember the "couple good whacks with the hammer " method and mine came free.

    Bang the lower control arm upwards ! Three good whacks.
     
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  3. Newb

    Newb Test Drive

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Charlottesvile, VA
    You probably already did this, but if not, try lifting the Lower control arm or the hub with your jack to change the angle. That might take some pressure off the joint, then bang it with the hammer.
     
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  4. HolyGhost

    HolyGhost Bought an X

    Messages:
    137
    Looks like you have done all the basics next step is heat personally I am not a fan of heat next to the CV so I would just cut the ball joint and press the nub out if you have access to a press.

    Usually they break loose after a smack to the knuckle with the BFG but we are not always that lucky.
     
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  5. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin Super Moderator

    Messages:
    38,641
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Try taking the jack, put a piece of wood on it. Put it under the threads of the ball joint and lift the entire assembly up using the stud of the ball joint. With the pressure on the ball joint, wail will n the knuckle.

    There's also a torch. Heat up the knuckle so it expands a bit then hit on it.
     
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  6. driftscape

    driftscape Test Drive

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NEVADA
    I was hoping to avoid heating the knuckle. I will try the other suggestion with the piece of wood. I was also thinking, maybe if I remove the lower control from the frame I can slide out the axle and then use my ball joint press kit to take it out of the control arm.
     
  7. Bklyn.X

    Bklyn.X Sliders Supporting Member Founding Member

    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    You can take the axle out without removing the LCA. Take the shock out first
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  8. driftscape

    driftscape Test Drive

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NEVADA
    Well, day 4 and nothing. Tried every tip given here and nothing. I keep spending more money on tools and I'm getting no where. I've burnt myself out to the point i lost interest in this project. I'm not interested in throwing any more of my time and money at this and getting little to no results. I regret this whole thing.

    I appreciate all the tips you guys gave me. Really do.
     
  9. Bklyn.X

    Bklyn.X Sliders Supporting Member Founding Member

    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Believe me when I tell you that I’ve been in a similar situation. I’m pretty sure that most of the guys here that work on their own junk heaps feel your pain…truly. My wife has found me in the driveway, full of grease and near tears more than once.

    One time trying to remove the fuel pump from the tank I thought I was losing my mind.

    I’ve never had your trouble with a ball joint, close, but never as bad. I’m kinda surprised since your LCA and everything pictured looks in good shape.

    If you decide to give it some more time; with the truck securely and fully supported on good quality jack stands, I’d remove the shock and axle. I assume the ball joint is completely shot at this point so there is no reason to try and protect it. Spray with PB Blaster. Get a pickle fork in there with a few whacks from a BFH in a spot that leaves you room to hit the knuckle. Then add “Prime’s” idea with the jack and leave it there for a bit. Have a smoke and a beverage...time and pressure. When you go back to it hit the knuckle with the hammer and hopefully it will pop loose. If not, leave it over night. Take the wife out to dinner. Tomorrow the sun will rise and you can give it another shot. It's just a truck and with patience I believe you'll win in the end.

    Be careful with your LCA during this entire process, you don’t want to nick, bend or damage it in any way. Yours looks in great shape but if it fails it can be catastrophic.

    I hope this helps. Again, please know that most of us have been where you are now.
     
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  10. driftscape

    driftscape Test Drive

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NEVADA
    You're right Bklyn.X. Just been 4 days of wrestling with it. I finally got it off with the help of my roommate. It took two of us to do the job. Now I can finally focus replacing both and then the other side.
     
    Prime likes this.
  11. Bklyn.X

    Bklyn.X Sliders Supporting Member Founding Member

    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Great! I hope the other side doesn't battle with you as much.
    Be careful with the LCA, they're not as robust as they seem or should be...
     
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  12. Blackbird SR 71

    Blackbird SR 71 Test Drive

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    Fantastic... what was the final act that did it ?
     
  13. driftscape

    driftscape Test Drive

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NEVADA
    I held the knuckle because with the top ball joint off it would slant to the side and downwards, so I had to hold it evenly while the roommate grabbed the hammer and tie rod separator and hammered down on it next to the lower ball joint. The knuckle slowly started to slide down. Then I went at it while he held the knuckle and we got it off. Dinked the knuckle a bit, but should be okay. It took about 30 good whacks. There was no rust on the ball joint.
     
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  14. driftscape

    driftscape Test Drive

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NEVADA
    Alright. I ordered a 1/2 to 3/4 adapter and a 1 7/8 socket for the lower ball joint and it finally came in. So I was finally able to tighten up the LBJ and finish the rest (ball joints and tie rods) on the driver side. But I'm a bit concerned with the new lower ball joint I installed. Once I put the castle nut on there's still a gap between the nut and the steering knuckle after putting in the cotter pin. Is it supposed to be like that until force is applied by the weight of the vehicle?

    View attachment 14487

    I had to use some ingenuity to get the snap ring on the UBJ because the snap ring plier that I have is cheap and doesn't provide enough to install/remove it. So I had to use some needle nose pliers and use the largest adapters from my ball joint press kit to get the ring to open wide enough to slide it in.

    View attachment 14483 View attachment 14484 View attachment 14486
     
  15. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    16,930
    Location:
    Dallas
    No, that UBJ you need to tighten up. The nut needs to be up against the knuckle, otherwise you'll get some hop in the knuckle and destroy the boot. As long as you can get a cotter pin in the crenelation, it's fine.
     

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