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Thumbs up Speedy tip for removal of frozen ball joint nuts

Hi-

So I am currently replacing the ball joints as part of a suspension overhall and I ran into the old frozen castellated nut problem. One of the ball joint nuts came loose pretty easy with a little heat and a big breaker bar, but the other one just wasn't gonna move. Here's a simple tip that I bet is even easier than the carbide cutter in the dremel trick. I got the nut off in less than 5 minutes- no sweat. This will destroy the nut and the ball joint, but if you are replacing the parts anyway than it doesn't matter.

You need a cordless drill and a few bits. Start with about a 3/32" bit and drill a hole right on the threads between the castellated nut and the ball joint. Start in one of the grooves where the tooth of the ball joint tool would sit. Drill down to the A-arm. Use a piece of masking tape wrapped around the bit as a depth gauge so you don't drill too far. Increase the bits successively in size until you breech the o.d. of the nut. Once you have breeched the o.d. of the nut, stick a big screwdriver in the slot you formed and give it a pop- this should do the trick. If you are careful, you won't even make a mark on the A-arm. Piece of cake. If drilling is a little tough, add some WD40 or light oil to the bit to act as a cutting oil.

Good luck!
BG
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Old 12-28-2002, 08:23 PM
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Hmm, I have a better suggestion - simply cut the nut in half with a carbon-reinforced cut-off tool and a Dremmel. Mine came off in about 1 minute. Drilling will work too, but you might go through a bunch of drill bits (they are not really designed to drill like this).

-Wayne
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Old 12-28-2002, 10:51 PM
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BG and Wayne,

I assume that you guys have the special socket that fits the nut? Where can I get one to reinstall the ball joints?

Noticed this socket on the website but it does not look like it has the tits that go in the nut.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/DWKS/POR_DWKS_toolsL_main.htm

Thx,

Joe
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Old 12-29-2002, 08:36 AM
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Obviously the cutoff wheel will work, but I didn't have one on hand. The drilling did no damage to the bits and was so easy I thought I'd post.

Wayne, your book says the final nut torque is 33.1 ft. lbs (ball joint to a-arm). The detail sheet that came with my new Sway-Away bars says its 108 ft. lbs. I am assuming the lower value is correct. Care to confirm?

Check for the ball joint tool here : (look under ball join tools)

http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/911M/por_911M_suspen_main.htm
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Old 12-29-2002, 09:39 AM
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I think that 33 ft-lb value you have is for the castle nut on the tie rod at the steering knuckle. That's what's stated in the 84-87 spec. book.

The torque spec. for the slotted nut on the ball joint is 250 Nm = 184 ft-lb
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Old 12-29-2002, 01:54 PM
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+1 on the dremel. Wonderful tool for the garage. Does just about everything, like the old commercial they had, except hammer a nail (well, you could hammer a nail but it would kill the tool swinging the housing against the nail). Get the flex shaft version and you can get into tight spaces.

Pickle forks are a PITA tho. On most cars the control arm is hefty enough that you can smack it with a big hammer one good blow while prying down on the joint, popping the ball joint out from the shock vibration of the smack. Have not done this on a P-car, never had to replace the joint. Be warned, some cars this will not work on as the form of the arm is wrong. In that case you can get a pickle fork that fits in an air hammer Keep the force low, it won't take much.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:09 AM
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Just removed a pair if ball joints on my '80SC last week. Pondered for a while, got the 18" pipe wrench, a little grunting, and Voila!, they spun right off!
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:36 AM
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Hmm, I have never had a problem with the ball joint tool, and I have done dozens on early cars. I use a ball joint tool on an impact and use a jack to apply pressure. make sure everything is square, zap the gun a few times and they usually spin right off. Sometimes I hit with WD and heat a few times, but I have always been able to get them off without cutting.
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:48 AM
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I used an air hammer. Ground an old punch tool down to the shape needed to fit the ears on the nut. Took about a two second burst to get it spinning.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:25 AM
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Dremel! No contest (I haven't got a air hammer so couldn't compare)

Last edited by tvanbroekhoven; 05-08-2010 at 08:53 AM..
Old 05-08-2010, 08:50 AM
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Joe,

The correct tool is PEL-TOL-P210. The teeth are on the inside.
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwanna View Post
Just removed a pair if ball joints on my '80SC last week. Pondered for a while, got the 18" pipe wrench, a little grunting, and Voila!, they spun right off!
Yup. I used a 24" pipe wrench and an old galavanized fence post. The balljoint socket was not even damaged, so I re-used it.
Old 05-09-2010, 11:29 AM
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