Broke upper ball joint

2001FZ1

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2011
43
So I was replacing the upper ball joints yesterday and I forgot about the C-clip holding them in. That ball joint press I borrowed from Advanace auto is tough! I was cranking away and thought to myself, "This sure is hard to get out...." A couple hard 1/4 turns later and bang! The bottom blew out of the ball joint!!:biggrin:
I took the clip out on the other side and the ball joint came out much easier....
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR

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MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
2001FZ1 said:
So I was replacing the upper ball joints yesterday and I forgot about the C-clip holding them in. That ball joint press I borrowed from Advanace auto is tough! I was cranking away and thought to myself, "This sure is hard to get out...." A couple hard 1/4 turns later and bang! The bottom blew out of the ball joint!!:biggrin:
I took the clip out on the other side and the ball joint came out much easier....

And how the heck do you own a 2012 Buick Rainier?!?! (looking at your profile info) I smell a SPY from the OS!!!! j/k! :biggrin:
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
This thread addresses the job I am looking to complete, namely replacing my worn upper ball joints.

The upper ball joint has a flange on the bottom and a clip on the top to lock it in place. To press the joint out (I have a U joint / ball joint press kit) it would appear that I have to press on the top of the joint (the threaded end)....but this does not seem right. Am I missing something..??

Dave. :smile:
 

v7guy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
298
You're not missing anything, that is indeed how you do it.
Remove the snap ring, put the receiving cup on the top of the a arm (as it is when on the truck), then get the ball joint pointing straight down and clamp down on the end (the end that has the groove for the bolt) of the balljoint. It'll pop right out.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
davenay67 said:
This thread addresses the job I am looking to complete, namely replacing my worn upper ball joints.

The upper ball joint has a flange on the bottom and a clip on the top to lock it in place. To press the joint out (I have a U joint / ball joint press kit) it would appear that I have to press on the top of the joint (the threaded end)....but this does not seem right. Am I missing something..??

Dave. :smile:
Upper ball joints don't have a threaded end. Lowers do.
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Thanks for the reply v7..!!

Did you use any kind of adapter on the pressing end of the tool..?? My concern is that the threaded part of the ball joint will move (off to one side) when pressure is applied and then not apply direct downward force to remove the ball joint.
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
the roadie said:
Upper ball joints don't have a threaded end. Lowers do. Does this thread show what you're looking at:

http://gmtnation.com/f93/how-lower-ball-joints-gmt360-1339/


The link didn't work, but you are absolutely right about the ball joint not having a threaded end. It is simply a smooth spindle that is grabbed by the pinch bolt mechanism on the upper control arm. I am still worried that spindle will deflect to one side (if not supported) when pressure is applied to it....
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
the roadie said:
Sorry, it was a mod-only link for an article that's been submitted and about to be approved as a How-To.

No problem, I actually found the link you were referring to by searching on "lower ball joint". To answer your question....No. I am definitely replacing an upper ball joint. Because of the large flange on the base of the ball joint I need to press it out from the spindle end and not the base of the ball joint as in this write-up.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I seem to remember using a socket that slipped over the spindle to transmit the force from the c-clamp and not have a floppy-spindle issue. There was nothing in either of the two kits I borrowed that was exactly right.
 

Tofer76

Member
Dec 8, 2011
148
davenay67 said:
Thanks for the reply v7..!!

Did you use any kind of adapter on the pressing end of the tool..?? My concern is that the threaded part of the ball joint will move (off to one side) when pressure is applied and then not apply direct downward force to remove the ball joint.

i used a old socket that fit around the stud to give it a wider base to push on
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Roadie and Tofer....excellent suggestions..!!

I have a set of deep sockets that I bet will fit quite nicely and put load on the ball joint where the spindle emerges (still basically the body of the ball joint) and have none of the potential sideways movement.

Thanks guys..!! :smile:
 

Tofer76

Member
Dec 8, 2011
148
davenay67 said:
Roadie and Tofer....excellent suggestions..!!

I have a set of deep sockets that I bet will fit quite nicely and put load on the ball joint where the spindle emerges (still basically the body of the ball joint) and have none of the potential sideways movement.

Thanks guys..!! :smile:

just keep in mind you might ruin the socket. i have a bucket with all my old cheepie sockets that i use for all kinds of things.
 

Gevans17

Member
Jan 8, 2012
63
davenay67 said:
Roadie and Tofer....excellent suggestions..!!

I have a set of deep sockets that I bet will fit quite nicely and put load on the ball joint where the spindle emerges (still basically the body of the ball joint) and have none of the potential sideways movement.

Thanks guys..!! :smile:

Use a deep impact socket over the spindle to press it out, putting the force on the ball. This job is MUCH easier if you have an impact wrench!! I could not have done it by hand with a breaker bar, as the C clamp would not stay in place when torque was applied by hand.
 

v7guy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
298
Tofer76 said:
i used a old socket that fit around the stud to give it a wider base to push on

I did that on the first one, cut off the boot to make it easier the get a footing. The second one I just lined up and pressed away.
 

rmsg0040

Member
Dec 10, 2011
285
This actually happened to me when I was doing the upper ball joint for the passenger side. I had the ball joint press on it and was using my air impact. Has the retainer clip off, few seconds later the ball joint blew out. Then I just pressed out whatever was left.

IMAG0169.jpg
 

Billdaman

Member
Jan 19, 2012
32
2001FZ1 said:
So I was replacing the upper ball joints yesterday and I forgot about the C-clip holding them in. That ball joint press I borrowed from Advanace auto is tough! I was cranking away and thought to myself, "This sure is hard to get out...." A couple hard 1/4 turns later and bang! The bottom blew out of the ball joint!!:biggrin:
I took the clip out on the other side and the ball joint came out much easier....

I did the same thing today! I pulled the clip off on the right side yesterday but the today when removing the left upper I forgot to remove that c clip and neither my impact gun (Stalled) or a three foot breaker bar would press it through. Had a got ya moment and pounded the joint back up the 1 mm removed the clip and it pressed out like butter. Cant believe I did this after all the others that made the same mistake.
 

Gevans17

Member
Jan 8, 2012
63
davenay67 said:
Thanks for the reply v7..!!

Did you use any kind of adapter on the pressing end of the tool..?? My concern is that the threaded part of the ball joint will move (off to one side) when pressure is applied and then not apply direct downward force to remove the ball joint.

Use an impanct socket as an adapter to transmit force to the ball and not to the spindle. Also, I hope you have an impact wrench to do this. 10x easier than with a ratchet
 

jimmyjam

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,634
2001FZ1 said:
So I was replacing the upper ball joints yesterday and I forgot about the C-clip holding them in. That ball joint press I borrowed from Advanace auto is tough! I was cranking away and thought to myself, "This sure is hard to get out...." A couple hard 1/4 turns later and bang! The bottom blew out of the ball joint!!:biggrin:
I took the clip out on the other side and the ball joint came out much easier....

ermmm.... ive done this... :redface: :redface: :redface:
 

Gevans17

Member
Jan 8, 2012
63
davenay67 said:
This thread addresses the job I am looking to complete, namely replacing my worn upper ball joints.

The upper ball joint has a flange on the bottom and a clip on the top to lock it in place. To press the joint out (I have a U joint / ball joint press kit) it would appear that I have to press on the top of the joint (the threaded end)....but this does not seem right. Am I missing something..??

Dave. :smile:



pics of how i did mine: Trailblazer Uper Ball Joint R And R Photos by Gevans17 | Photobucket
 

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