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CV axle out, ball joint probs


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8 replies to this topic

#1 89Ru

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 11:31 AM

Firsty '95 legacy CV axle removal was a success (outer boot was torn). I followed the steps on cvaxles.com after reading a mix of helpful procedures on this site from edrach and mpvsubaru87. My apologies, some of my vocabulary may not be standard.

Background: I used a long 3/16" punch with a 3 lb. hammer from harborfreight.com to drive out the spring pin of the inner CV from underneath. Now, my lower front ball joint needs to come out (bj boot was initially torn, now mangled by the 'pickle fork' tool, I used 11/16 fork which might not match the width of the ball joint shaft exactly...crude but overall effective if you are going to replace it anyway). After removing the cotter pin and 19 mm bj castle nut (rusty!) I used the fork to separate the ball joint shaft from the lower control arm. It took a lot of hard shots from a 3 lb. hammer. I also removed the 14mm bolt that compresses the split joint ball keeper. Once the ball joint shaft was free, the axle popped out of the hub with a few light taps from a copper hammer. Now the ball part of the joint is hanging from the socket in the hub housing.

Question(s):

Pressing in/out: How do I get the ball joint out of its housing socket (pressed in?) Is the ball joint shaft also pressed into the lower control arm? Other folks have written that its perhaps best to bring everything to a machine shop to press in/out. Do I have to remove the control arm as well for pressing?

Alignment: What about the two bolts that fasten the hub assembly to the strut tower? Folks have written about scribing alignment marks before removal...where?

thanks in advance,

Michael

#2 RallyKeith

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 11:43 AM

The ball joints aren't pressed in, but after 10 years they are rusted in. Removing that 14mm bolt on the split joint behind the ball joint is all that really holds it in. Like I said though, because of the split joint, water gets in there and they rust together. The best way I've found to get them apart is by removing that 14mm bolt, un-bolting the sway bar so the lower control arm moves freely, and then actually bolting the ball joint back onto the lower control arm. Then I carefuly heat the area of the hub that holds the ball joint and proceed to use a small sledge hammer and hit downward on the lower control arm. Once I get the ball joint out I take sandpaper and clean all the rust out of the socket the ball joint sits in. That's how I've done mine. They aren't fun.

Keith

#3 MilesFox

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 12:03 PM

soak it with lots of PB. you can wege a screwdriver or chisel in the split to splay it open a little to help release the ball joint form the knuckle

#4 RallyKeith

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 12:06 PM

soak it with lots of PB. you can wege a screwdriver or chisel in the split to splay it open a little to help release the ball joint form the knuckle



I was just coming back to add that. I also use what is basically a chisel to help pry that split joint apart.

Keith

#5 89Ru

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 01:21 PM

ok, chisel and lots of pb (I have pyroil, works good). that's good advice. So installing the new ball joint doesn't need any kind of press tool, just a hammer? I can do all this in my driveway, sounds like...

I just got the ball joint boot off to inspect the innards. It seems like its possible to just replace to boot, although its probably not worth the trouble. It was barely torn but there is a bit of sand in there...

There seems to be a lip that keeps the upper rim of the boot on, I have a wide pickle fork as part of the set, 1 1/16 I think, maybe I can use that to encourage the ball out although it might not be strong enough. I'll try the hammer and torch idea first.

Thanks!

#6 89Ru

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 11:16 PM

Well, hammering the control arm with the castle nut on the ball joint shaft finally popped the ball joint head out of the pinch joint (took all day, hammering and spraying pyroil about once an hour) RUSTY! This car spent part of its life in the northeast.

Unbolting the sway bar was a great idea. I didn't need to remove any other control arm fasteners. The new axle didn't have a grease seal on the inner CV so I hammered the old one off. Sanded out all the crud in the pinch joint, slid in the new axle and fit the ball joint (shaft is tapered so it went into the control arm easily) -the pinch joint gave me some trouble. The ball joint head was hard starting into the joint. Trying to minimize hammering...I apply pressure from a scissor jack under the control arm to re-install the sway bar and also to help seat the ball joint, with additional pinch spreading from a screwdriver tapped into the pinch joint.

Dilemma: The head isn't fully seated into the pinch joint. It has maybe 1/10" to go or less. Pinch joint bolt is loose. Either I hammered too much on the removal and damaged the surface, or I haven't applied enough pressure to overcome residual rust in the joint. I even installed and lowered the tire and torqued all the bolts. Pressure wasn't enough. I tried a short test drive, no movement. Something clicked/rubbed for a while while driving straight, worse on turns (rebuilt CV axle? Posted Image) but then quieted down Posted Image and became silent. Thought I might have left a tool in there somewhere but nope Posted Image. Maybe too much grease in the CV seal(s)?

Back to the 1/10" gap. Anyone know of a ball joint press that works with Subarus? Does the Autozone rental press work? Lots of others on the market from $60 to $$$

#7 89Ru

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 12:11 PM

Done. :banana:The gap was my imagination. Pressure from the scissor jack under the control arm was enough to seat the ball joint head with a few light taps to widen the pinch gap. Key point of finishing a job is to know when its done. :rolleyes:

#8 RallyKeith

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 01:04 PM

Sweet!
Glad you got it all to come apart and back together again. One time it took me three days, because on the first day the sledge hammer missed the control arm and hit my hand. Didn't break it, but it swelled up to the size of a softball!

Keith

#9 yohy

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 08:19 PM

89Ru,

Dang, I thought this stuff only happens to me, especially the part about “The gap was my imagination”. Amazing how you can “imagine” apparent problems. I congratulate you on your persistence




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