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How to get ball joint out of bearing housing '96 Legacy?


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43 replies to this topic

#1 porcupine73

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:05 AM

Hi, I can't seem to get the ball joint to come out of the bearing housing. I have the pinch bolt out (had to drill it out), and I put a chisel in the pinch opening and opened the pinch point a little bit.

 

I put a large prybar between the A-arm and the bearing housing, but I can't get the ball joint to pop out. I could put a pipe on the pry bar and apply a ton of force but I almost feel like the stud part of the ball joint is going to rip out the ball end and leave the ball end in the bearing housing, is that possible?

 

Is it just rusted in there and that's why it's stuck? Did I maybe not 'pry open' the pinch point enough with the chisel?

 

Do i just need a ton of heat and penetrating oil? Thanks!



#2 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:23 AM

you could try something similar to this;

 

 

 

Probably have to try different size sockets or hammerheads or tool handles. Whatever fits tightest I guess.



#3 ivans imports

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:28 AM

saw a tool on the snapon truck to do exactly that job was about 200$ i whould put it back on car and i use a old axle shaft and a big hammer and pound the lower arm downward to pull on the ball joint out of knuckle



#4 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:40 AM

I have little experience with this stuff, but I will say, I recently used the 'blue wrench' and was impressed by what a little heat could do.



#5 J A Blazer

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:02 PM

I think the SnapOn tool is about $125.



#6 Gloyale

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:10 PM

Pry open the pinch a little more, not too much though it can crack. Then spray lots of PB blaster in there, wait 20 mins then try again. Leave the strut top all attached. Detach the lower arm pivot bolt and swaybar link so the arm can be pulled down hard

#7 CNY_Dave

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:06 PM

Could be the chisel is not really wedging into the crack, and not really spreading the pinch open.

 

A (or maybe a pair) screwdriver might work better.



#8 naru

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 02:11 PM

Put a pipe on the pry bar and apply a ton of force.

#9 hohieu

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:19 PM


saw a tool on the snapon truck to do exactly that job was about 200$ i whould put it back on car and i use a old axle shaft and a big hammer and pound the lower arm downward to pull on the ball joint out of knuckle

 

I used this method.  When I replaced mine, the right one came out with relative ease.  The driver's side was a bear -- snapped the pinch bolt as well.  I had some long solid bars laying around and whacked away with a 3-lb. hammer on the control arm until the sucker finally popped out.  In order to create a better working angle, you'll want to turn the steering wheel full left or right depending on which side you're doing. 



#10 89Ru

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:39 PM

hammer it out with a bull pin as a wedge between the knuckle and the control arm.



#11 ocei77

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:35 PM

After the pinch bolt was opened a little, used PB, then put castle nut back on but not all the way tight, and finally a 4 ft spoon bar.

Pryed it right out. 

On a previous ball joint,the arm pried down, so I used a chisel at an angle on the BJ to break the rust loose, then reattched castle nut some then pried.

 

O.



#12 porcupine73

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:51 PM

Thanks for the tips. So far ball joint = 1, me = 0. I've used a mapp torch, pry bar with a pipe on the end, pickle forks, the acura trick, beating the sides with a hammer, lots of Kroil, and it still won't let loose. I think I'm going to have to pull the whole bearing housing and take it somewhere to get the ball joint pulled out.

 

I have the LIsle impact pickle fork set. Looking at it, I think it would help only pull the ball joint out of the A-arm, and not out of the bearing housing. I think it was a mistake to have tried that, since the ball joint stud feels really loose now.

 

I put the lug nuts on backwards on the rotor, and jacked it up until that side just lifted off the jackstand, stuck a breaker bar between the bearing housing and a-arm, let the jack down, and started jumping on top of the rotor but it didn't do anything.

 

I think my ball joint is majorly majorly rusted into the bearing housing.

 

I may try the mapp torch again, I gave it as much as I felt comfortable giving without the cv joint boot getting damaged, and without a huge ton of smoke coming from the grease and ball joint rubber boot.

 

I was almost thinking of putting some conrete anchors into the garage floor, and then wrapping some heavy aircraft cable around the a-arm and securing it to the anchors, then trying to jack up the rotor to see if that might hold enough force to rip it out? Oh wait a minute, how about a piece of strong chain around the frame of the floor jack and around the a-arm, then the jack pushing up on the rotor? That seems like it might do something, could put maybe 6 tons of force. Can the wheel bearing withstand that kind of force though without damage.


Edited by porcupine73, 12 March 2013 - 06:54 PM.


#13 ivans imports

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:31 AM

So for all you guys who have ever broken a pinch bolt try taking a 3/8 drill bitt and drill from the back side of bolt about a 1/4 inch thiss will takeout about half the threads on the bolt making it about 60 % less likly to break if it still whont go drill abitt farther and watch the back side of bolt while turning it. If your turning the front side and dont see the back side move STOP and drill heat or beat but donot keep turning unless you see movment on the backside i used to break 2 a week now havent broke one in two years but have spent over a hour on that one bolt to get it out in one peice



#14 89Ru

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:46 AM

you need to break up the rust, hammering is the best for that.

 

here's the tool you need.

 

1-5/16" X 12" Standard Bull Pin    klein-3259 

 

wedge the bull pin in between the a-arm and the bearing housing.  make sure the castle nut is on the ball joint.  hammering on the fat end of the bull pin will drive out the ball joint head from its rusty cave in the bearing housing.  tons of rust in there.  no way you are going to pry it out easily.



#15 porcupine73

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:03 AM

you need to break up the rust, hammering is the best for that.
 
here's the tool you need.
 
1-5/16" X 12" Standard Bull Pin    klein-3259 
 
wedge the bull pin in between the a-arm and the bearing housing.  make sure the castle nut is on the ball joint.  hammering on the fat end of the bull pin will drive out the ball joint head from its rusty cave in the bearing housing.  tons of rust in there.  no way you are going to pry it out easily.

 
Thanks, I just ordered that bull pin, it comes on Friday. I have some bull pins but nothing nearly that large. It sounds like that would similar to how Ivan says he uses the axle shaft. I think I returned all my axles as cores but if I have one left I will try it.

I ordered the OTC ball joint extractor, it should arrive today, but I don't think it will work because I think it's made more to pull the stud end out of the a-arm (rather than out of the bearing housing). That seems to be what the pickle forks I have do too.

I soaked the whole area in Kroil again last night hoping it will seep up in there.

I'll try spreading the pinch point open a little more. Maybe I don't have it open enough. At first I think some of the remaining bolt material I drilled out was keeping it from opening, but I think I have that all cleaned/drilled out now.

On the plus side, so far, I have managed to not burn a whole in or tear the cv joint boot.

Haha, I assume this is the gift for the person who has everything, a bull pin holster!

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Edited by porcupine73, 13 March 2013 - 10:18 AM.


#16 johnceggleston

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:46 AM

i have heard tales of removing the knuckle entirely and then digging the ball joint out of the knuckle with a hammer and hefty screwdriver.basically hammering the screwdriver in bewtween the ball joint anf the knuckle housing and then prying it out. this boogers up the ball joint so bad that once you start you have to continue. so i would use this as a last resort.



#17 porcupine73

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:34 PM

YAH finally got it to come loose. Thanks for the tips. This thread maybe should get merged with the ball joint thread in the USRM?

 

For me I think it was a combination of two things. First severe rust. Second, after, drilling out the pinch bolt, I think I didn't quite get it all out, and the residual metal was holding the pinch joint closed a bit. I used a metal jigsaw bit and 'cut' the reminaing material out of the pinch joint. Then pried it open a bit more. Then jacked under the rotor, and then crammed a piece of metal stock and a chisel between the bearing housing and a-arm (replicating the bull pin effect). Then I hammered around a bit, and put a chisel on the ball joint itself and hammered, and hammered on the stud end. Then I let the jack down and jumped on top of the rotor.

 

I heard something let loose, and looked under and the ball joint was starting to come out finally! But it was still stuck. So I applied more Kroil, and then put the jack under the stud part, and jacked it back up, and jumped on the rotor again (trying to shove it back into the bearing housing now with more Kroil). It went in a bit, so then I jacked under the rotor again, and put a pry bar between the a-arm and bearing housing and really laid  on it and it FINALLY CAME OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahhh dang it feels good when something finally works. Thank you!!!

 

I find it odd all the commercial tools seem to be geared toward getting the stud part out of the a-arm, sheesh that's the easy part!


Edited by porcupine73, 13 March 2013 - 06:34 PM.


#18 J A Blazer

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:36 PM

The Snap-On BJR1 is the tool you needed.



#19 porcupine73

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:35 AM

The Snap-On BJR1 is the tool you needed.

 

Ah thanks that is neat looking, almost like a wheel bearing tool. I wonder if that would be hard to make with a piece of the right dia. heavy wall tubing and a couple other parts? I'm surprised SPX doesn't have something like that but I didn't find anything like it on their site.

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Edited by porcupine73, 14 March 2013 - 05:37 AM.


#20 grossgary

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:57 AM

indeed - getting it out of the bearing housing holds the potential for the worst issues by far.  in the rust belt there's an enormously wiiiiiiiide variety of ball joint difficulty levels.  some are relatively easy...some are really hard....and then you get some that are rust welded into place and need very special treatment.  what works for some cases won't touch others.

 

when they get really hard no amount of impact or leverage will work because the strut/bushings allows the entire assembly to move too much and not enough force to be transferred to the ball joint.

 

i'd like to find a method that's easy and works every time - even on the ridiculously hard stuff that i've had to actually bash and drill out before.



#21 grossgary

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:58 AM

what do you do with the bullpin? 



#22 porcupine73

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:31 AM

The bull pin I believe you would drive in between the a-arm and the bearing housing. So it would work sort of like a pickle fork. Since I didn't have that bull pin, I used a cold chisel and a piece of metal stock to make up the difference, and drove it in there with a jack under the rotor, than let the jack down, I think that's what started to free it up finally.

The snapon tool looks pretty slick. It comes up at $125 on their site, maybe off a truck or a dealer who sells online and ships it could be less? Didn't see any on ebay.

How about a homemade tool something like this? I think it would be similar to the snap-on tool, except it would use the ball joint's stud itself to pull the ball joint directly. The tube could maybe even be just a piece of black iron pipe if there's a size with the right diameter. The washer could maybe be one of those washers from a wheel bearing tool. Maybe if one of the adapters in the wheel bearing kit is the right size that could be the tube, but I think they are too large.

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Edited by porcupine73, 14 March 2013 - 07:56 AM.


#23 ivans imports

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:25 AM

ya that tool +1 mr 73



#24 J A Blazer

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:27 AM

The problem with the simple version you plan is that the ball will rotate within its housing as you try to tighten the nut, frustrating the effort to draw the entire ball joint assembly out of the bearing housing.



#25 porcupine73

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:41 AM

The problem with the simple version you plan is that the ball will rotate within its housing as you try to tighten the nut, frustrating the effort to draw the entire ball joint assembly out of the bearing housing.

Ah good point I didn't think of that. That would explain why the Snap-on version has its own built in screw to do the extraction. Usually all the good snap-on tools there's a cheap Chinese knockoff, but I haven't found one for this tool.

Hm google search shows many different versions of a 'homemade' version such as http://www.subaruout...int-puller.html

Edited by porcupine73, 14 March 2013 - 10:43 AM.





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