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Hey all. I'm in the middle of doing the ball joints and CV axles on my 1988 ea82 4wd wagon. Getting them out wasn't hard, and one side went in like a charm (with some hammer persuasion), but the passenger's side will NOT pop into the steering knuckle. I've tried PB blaster, lightly wedging the pinch bolt open with my pickle fork, lithium grease, BFH treatment, and last but not least installing the new joint into the control arm first and wedging the knuckle down onto the ball joint with a breaker bar. 

 

Anybody have any tips for getting the new ones in??

 

for the record I'm using ACDELCO ball joints from Rockauto, they are both identical and seem to be the same in all critical areas as the old ones. 

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I had the same issue... got mine from napa sanded all the black paint probably 400 grit? I dont remember..it fit alot more easier..

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I had the same issue... got mine from napa sanded all the black paint probably 400 grit? I dont remember..it fit alot more easier..

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Cool. I'm going to try using a c clamp style ball joint press on the knuckle and see if I can get it in. I'm nervous to sand the ball joint unless absolutely necessary so I don't encourage extra play in it once installed.

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Try just setting the weight of the down on it? Your not supposed to tighten the pinch bolt till it's back on the ground anyway. That's like the last step.

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Tried setting the weight of the car on it to no avail. Ended up removing the whole knuckle with the axle attached. Was able to get the ball joint in with some encouragement from my medium BFH, but now I can't get the castle nut off the ball joint stud! It doesn't look like I damaged any threads while installing, but the stud spins around in the joint while I try to remove the nut.

 

Did I damage the ball joint if it spins/moves like this? Doesn't have any up or down play but it does move more freely than when it came out of the box.

post-39926-0-71093300-1464754554_thumb.jpg

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Ok so lesson learned, never hammer on the end of a bolt or stud you're planning on using again. You've mushroomed the threads and now the nut isn't going to come off. File it down flush with the nut and you might be in business. A pneumatic impact would help here... Whatever you do, don't grab the taper with visegrips or it'll never seat right. Try to get the nut threaded further on to free up some working room on the threads. Threads aren't meant to take impact, so when you get the nut off make sure they aren't damaged.

 

Also just a caution, don't pry open on a pinch fit like the subaru knuckle, when I worked in a shop I saw more than one guy break one of the ears off.

Edited by 987687

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They should just slip in. No serious pressure or hammering needed. Sand the rust out of the pocket, and of that is clean, sand any paint off the new joint. I would not use the one that was hammered on. Apply anti seize to the pocket and the ball joint and the pinch bolt. Be a little lighter on the tightness, since the lube will alter the torque vs tension.

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Shame on you for hammering on a brand new ball joint, lets hope you didn't damage either of them.

 

Your problem is with the bore in the steering knuckle.  It will most likely be filled with scaly rust, which has misshapen the nice concentric bore.  You need to wire brush out that bore and make sure it is clean metal.

 

Also, I like to put a generous coating of grease on the body of all new ball joints.  The grease will be held in the small voids between the ball joint and its bore and will keep out moisture, easing installation and future removal.

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That's what I was afraid of, good thing the parts themselves are pretty cheap. Unless of course you call Subaru and ask about genuine parts... Carter Subaru's parts department quoted me $108 per ball joint?!! Totally insane. 

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no one has mentioned my trick to use a flat blade screwdriver, usually just the stumpy one and jamb it into the slot that the bolt closes down on. I have had a pair that measured up 0.5mm more than other new ones I had, or measured.

 

Complained to the ebay supplier who smart arsedly replied that they were a press fit. I ended up runing them down to spec on the bench grinder. I mistakenly bought another pair of same brand as problem ones Mitsuba boxed BJ from same supplier years later. Went in like a dream as the measured up correctly.

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I'm with Jono. I've always just used a short, flat bladed screwdriver and wedged it in to open the gap slightly.

Can also put something under the lower control arm to hold it up and then lower the car onto it.

 

To ask a silly question, you've got the pinch bolt completely removed?

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I'm with Jono. I've always just used a short, flat bladed screwdriver and wedged it in to open the gap slightly.

Can also put something under the lower control arm to hold it up and then lower the car onto it.

 

To ask a silly question, you've got the pinch bolt completely removed?

Yep, pinch bolt is totally out. I tried the lower control arm method to no avail. I'm going to try the above mentioned wire brush cleaning of all mating surfaces with new ball joints. 

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But did you try hammer a screwdriver in there to open the gap slightly? I know someone earlier said never to pry open, but if you put the screwdriver in directly, it'll only go in a small way otherwise it'll interfere with the ball joint going in. This isn't far enough to break anything.

Like others said also, try some sandpaper on the inside of the knuckle to clear any rust.

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