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  #1  
Old January 12th, 2008, 19:40
kevin s kevin s is offline
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Frozen Ball Joint

Well, I found another reason why the Factory Service Manual is just a cruel joke. I am convinced that it is a communist plot to seduce me into thinking I can do my own repairs, when in fact, the real mechanics of the world laugh derisively at my self inflicted misadventures.

I had a grinding sorta' noise from the right front end,and correctly diagnosed a bad hub. No big deal. Done a few before. While I was in there, I found a ton of play in the lower ball joint, so I went to NAPA and got the parts.

Well...I spent the next 4 hours trying to get the stupid thing out, to no avail. I rented the tool from Autozoo. Wouldn't budge it. Ended up wailing on the stud for awhile. All that did was punch a hole in the top of the thing. Tried some heat. Started working with a dremel, then got out the air grinder. Still couldn't get the stud out. By now it is dark, cold, and my back hurts. And oh yeah, I have a toasted ball joint with no lower nut.

Put it back together and plan on limping it to the dealer tomorrow. With any luck, they might squeeze me in Monday. Eddie can do it. That's why he makes the big bucks.

Stoopid FSM. Why do you mock me?
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  #2  
Old January 12th, 2008, 19:54
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nick86 nick86 is offline
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

The FSM doesn't lie very much. Just need the right tools for the job is all. That's why we get paid the big bucks, cause all our money goes to the Snap On guy.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 20:04
kevin s kevin s is offline
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

I hear ya'. I don't begrudge you guys one cent. Eddie is a real guy who has worked on all my XJs since 1987. He's bailed me out more times than I can count.

The FSM say that you need to remove the steering knuckle to do the job correctly. I assume it is easier to press in the new parts with the knuckle in a vice. But how, praytell, are you supposed to do that IF'N YOU CAN'T GET THE STOOPID THING OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
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Old January 12th, 2008, 20:07
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

they press into the axle C, not the knuckle
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  #5  
Old January 13th, 2008, 07:11
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falcon556 falcon556 is offline
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin s
The FSM say that you need to remove the steering knuckle to do the job correctly. I assume it is easier to press in the new parts with the knuckle in a vice. But how, praytell, are you supposed to do that IF'N YOU CAN'T GET THE STOOPID THING OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I think you are going about it the wrong way. Assuming that you didn't mess the knuckle, you can still do it.
http://www.pavementsucks.com/tech/balljoint.php
I think this is an excellent article. When you put the BJ separator between the upper BJ and knuckle you will feel some flexing, get it in but don't overdo it.
As you can see from the pictures the jack stand is very close to the end, I think that is pretty important.
Give it another try.
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  #6  
Old January 13th, 2008, 07:57
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Archdukeferdinand Archdukeferdinand is offline
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

Ball joints aren't that bad after you've done them a few times.

My process for them now if they won't press out easily is to torch a hole straght through the center of the joint then put a cold chisel in the hole and give'r with a BFH. Air chisel usually comes into play to clean up too, I am just always careful about hitting the sides of the C where the press-fit is supposed to happen.

Couple'a pickle forks will get the knuckles off no problem.

I've done balljoints with no press at all, just a torch, couple of chisels, BFH, big socket and a bottle jack, so just think about what you're doing and don't be afraid to use the hammer. You're going to be recreating the forces of a big press with what you have on hand- you can't kiss the old joints out.

Of course when you put the new joint in, be careful that you don't mar your threads with the hammer.
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  #7  
Old January 13th, 2008, 09:36
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Timber Timber is offline
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

I used online write ups instead of my FSM for this job, too. It took a few hours (no air tools, just an electric impact and hand tools), but I got it done correctly. I say just keep at it--unless you have more money than time/inclination, in which case, take it to your buddy.
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  #8  
Old January 13th, 2008, 10:04
kevin s kevin s is offline
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

Yeah, I know I am a wuss, but now I am out of time, it's raining/snowing and there is football to be watched. I'll have to drive my wife to work tomorrow and hope they can get it fixed while we work. Still gotta eat (as does Eddie).

Thanks for all the helpful hints. I have a set off 44s in the garage waiting for me to get to them. We'll try it all again on something that is not as urgent as a DD.
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  #9  
Old January 13th, 2008, 10:20
WB9YZU WB9YZU is offline
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin s
I hear ya'. I don't begrudge you guys one cent. Eddie is a real guy who has worked on all my XJs since 1987. He's bailed me out more times than I can count.

The FSM say that you need to remove the steering knuckle to do the job correctly. I assume it is easier to press in the new parts with the knuckle in a vice. But how, praytell, are you supposed to do that IF'N YOU CAN'T GET THE STOOPID THING OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I have found that the FSM is written assuming you know something about taking things apart. If you want step by step directions, you get a Motors, Haynes or Chiltons manual.

In essence.
Remove the brakes.
Remove the disc.
Remove the hub.
Remove the axle shaft.
Remove the steering knuckle (you will need a "pickle fork" to remove the steering linkage and the loosen the balljoint from the knuckle.)
Press the ball joints from the axle yoke using a ball joint press.

Reverse.

Note1: the lower ball joint sometimes comes with a grease zerk. Insert the zerk, grease the joint. Remove the zerk and install the plug in the ball joint. The zerk and axle can not occupy the same space, so you need to install the plug.
Note 2: You use a ball joint service tool to Remove and Reinstall the ball joints. This tool looks like a very beafy "C" clamp with a bunch of dies in the box with it. A good quality tool is about $120, though you can get a HF special for about 1/2 that price which may work, OR you can rent one. You do not use a "Vice" for anything in this procedure.

Don't know What you were doing, but that's how it's got to work.

Good Luck!

Last edited by WB9YZU; January 13th, 2008 at 10:26.
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  #10  
Old January 13th, 2008, 11:18
kevin s kevin s is offline
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

As I said originally, I did "rent" the proper tool. And I did all that other stuff too. It's just at this stage in this particular XJs life, it doesn't so much have individual parts. It's more just a mass of steel globs petrified togther into one amorphous mass. Things go together a whole lot easier than they come apart.
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  #11  
Old January 13th, 2008, 11:41
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Re: Frozen Ball Joint

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin s
It's just at this stage in this particular XJs life, it doesn't so much have individual parts. It's more just a mass of steel globs petrified togther into one amorphous mass.
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