I'm goin' in!

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
here's what I have on tap for tonight and tomorrow morning:

Monroe Quick Struts
Mevotech upper ball joints
Dorman upper control arms

Ball joint set and tie rod puller on loan from Advance Auto Parts

The plan:
1. Complete the strut replacement on both sides.
2. Replace the ball joints.
3. Go for the control arms.

My biggest concern is with the control arms this instruction from the manual: "Gently pry out on inner fender body panel to access forward facing bolt."

By leaving the control arms to last, I'll be in good shape to be back on the road if I can't figure out how to gently pry out that panel and decide to bail on the control arms.

Any tips on the fender panel?
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
First run back to the store: 3" extension for 1/2" socket so I can take the 24mm nut off the strut yoke bolt ... without taking off brake parts.

Tools needed so far: 18mm deep socket for stut mount bolts.
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
The manual says to use a tie rod puller here, but all AAP had was a pickle fork set.

I'm not having much luck making that work.

Do i need that puller, anyone know?

Or other secrets? Just keep bangin' on it?
 

Decembersend

Member
Dec 3, 2011
316
6716 said:
The manual says to use a tie rod puller here, but all AAP had was a pickle fork set.

I'm not having much luck making that work.

Do i need that puller, anyone know?

Or other secrets? Just keep bangin' on it?

When I changed my ties rods I just hit them a few times with a hammer and the popped right out. NO need for a puller :biggrin:
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
Decembersend said:
When I changed my ties rods I just hit them a few times with a hammer and the popped right out. NO need for a puller :biggrin:

Cool. That's what I'll do on the tie rods.

What I didn't say very clearly was that a puller was recommended to get the strut mount yoke off the LCA. Did you ever do that job, and what did you do at that point?
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
I just got it. All I really needed was that dinner break I took, and a couple more whacks at it.
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
Another easier said than done tip from the manual.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,178
Ottawa, ON
For the removal of any tapered stud to knuckle, like tie rods and ball joints,after partially removing the nut, just give a sharp smack or two with a big hammer to the knuckle (not on the stud). The vibration will free it. Only instances where they were very overtightened will they refuse to let go. I haven't used a pickle fork in 20 years since learning this one.

For the upper balljoint stud to stud pincher, a flat punch to spread it works well but a flat screwdriver works in a pinch. Leave the punch in the there keeping the pincher spread while you get the stud out although it should come out anyway.

For the shock yoke to LCA, it's a Pitman arm puller you need, not a tie rod puller. If it still refuses to let go, the first trick above with a smack using a hammer on the yoke would likely work too.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Here's my picture that's been posted a couple hundred times over the years. That said, I now try the hammer on the side of the sleeve trick. If it doesn't work in 3-4 hits, I break out the pittman arm puller

removaltool-orig.jpg
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
I'm going out to get the Pitman Arm puller.

The right side ball joint isn't coming out nicely, either. Left side popped out of the UCA with one whack. Thoughts?

Thanks.
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
Bah! AAP had the Pitman Puller set the whole time, it was just that the guy I talked to yesterday couldn't find it.

I beat up the LCA pretty good using the pickle forks.

View attachment 22602
 

Attachments

  • LCA to strut yoke.jpg
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6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
6716 said:
I'm going out to get the Pitman Arm puller.

The right side ball joint isn't coming out nicely, either. Left side popped out of the UCA with one whack. Thoughts?

Thanks.

Pitman puller set from AAP had a tool that pushed it right out.
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
My reservations about using the Monroe Quick Strut were bascially that I wondered how well it would match up, and without any experience doing the work, and having no sense of scale from the online pictures. here's the Monroe Quick Strut next to the stock assembly I took out.

View attachment 22603
 

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Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,178
Ottawa, ON
6716 said:
The right side ball joint isn't coming out nicely, either. Left side popped out of the UCA with one whack. Thoughts?



Thanks.

Spreading the ears of the balljoint stud pincher with a punch or screwdriver should work. Usually not a problem on these. Same thing for the yoke's shock pincher. It could need a few smacks of a hammer to free due to rust and crud but should come out
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
Mooseman said:
Spreading the ears of the balljoint stud pincher with a punch or screwdriver should work. Usually not a problem on these. Same thing for the yoke's shock pincher. It could need a few smacks of a hammer to free due to rust and crud but should come out

I took it to a shop down the street and the tech had to beat the crap out of it to get it to come off. He used air tools and a BFH.

Seeing how hard it was to get those off, I had him put the Quick struts on the yokes.

'Cept now I can't get the $%^&ing yokes to turn, and the yoke is not lined up with the stud on the LCA.

Hit it with penetrating lubricant, trying to open the pinch gap, not having much success.

'Course this is how it goes. Getting it apart is one thing .....
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
Well ... it's HOW you hit it, not just HOW HARD. Live and learn.

Struts are mounted up, just need to be tightened.

Now I'm debating whether or not I really actually want to do the ball joints myself. Control arms are right out for now.

The retaining clip is rusted to the steering knuckle. I've hit it with Deep Creep, but it just ain't doin' it.
 

Regulator

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,496
Don't let the idea of having to adjust some sheet metal scare you, the upper controls arms are real simple to remove/replace.

The ball joints are hit or miss, I have had some that came out easily and I have had some that took a lot of work to remove. You wont really know until you try them. Good luck
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
Regulator said:
Don't let the idea of having to adjust some sheet metal scare you, the upper controls arms are real simple to remove/replace.

The ball joints are hit or miss, I have had some that came out easily and I have had some that took a lot of work to remove. You wont really know until you try them. Good luck

Well, I don't have a very good idea of how to move the sheet metal, like which bits to loosen and all that. Yet. Maybe I will break down and buy the Haynes manual. I've been trying to see how far I can get without one, though, just for fun.

Suppose I could use the search function a little better on that, too.

Thanks for the tip.
 

6716

Original poster
Member
Jul 24, 2012
821
Well, here's what I did:

I got the struts back in and put it all back together and test drove it. Now I'm off for an alignment ... lifetime at Firestone, so I can keep working on the front end a little bit at a time.

On the ball joints, I think that in a month or so I will take the front end apart again, and take the steering knuckle out completely and bring it back to the shop down the street and have them press the old one out and the new one in. That still saves me a bunch of dough (and I already have the ball joints, anyway).

UCAs I'm going to do more study on before I attempt.

Mostly I get kind anxious when I have the truck apart. Since I count on it for work I don't like getting in too far over my head.

On the Monroe Quick Struts, I can see where having the whole thing already assembled and entirely new saved me a huge amount of time in replacing everything from the yoke to the strut tower. And it wasn't any more expensive than putting all of the bits and pieces together separately, either.

As for performance, I can tell the difference. Much more solid feel. With the new Monroe Sensa Track shocks in back, it's definitely an upgrade from the (still original at 190K) equip. Less roll in corners, especially.

I still get dive when I hit the brake hard, but no bouncing after that. And on one road with a series of bumps and dips where I'm used to hearing the keys swing forward to hit the dash several times, I only heard them hit once. I guess I was hoping that switching out struts would make the TB corner and brake like the Princess' Jetta, but that didn't really happen. Oh, well ... better'n it was, plus it was easy to justify buying a bunch of tools for the $$ savings overall.

Thanks everybody for your input along the way.
 

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