Lower ball joint

dfire

Original poster
Member
Dec 22, 2018
29
texas
Hello Everyone, After replacing my water pump and fan clutch I went to get an alignment due to some pretty bad wear on the inside of the tire. they said the ball joints where shoot. I had shook um around a bit before but the used a pry bar and i could see the movement. I started removing everything to get the job done but I am stuck on removing the lower ball joint from the LCA itself. I have a press with the correct adapters but It ended up bending the tabs before poping out the joint. The snap ring has been removed and this is what I have tried.

Using a torch with pb blaster and banging with a hammer.
using ball joint press with proper adapters and pb blaster.
- using hammer to try and drive the pressure bar while torquing down


I've tried for countless hours with no luck. These are after market moog ball joints. Any ideas that could help would be greatly appreciated
 
D

Deleted member 20902

Since you removed the snap ring, the only thing you can really do is get it hotter. Are you using mapp gas or propane? Heat it up super hot (more than you think it needs) allow it to cool back down for a bit and then spray penetrating lube on it. Once you get to the point it should pop out. Just make sure you aren't bottoming the tool out on itself. If that doesn't work, your best bet is to go to O'Reilly and get a lower control arm and they already have the ball joint installed. Make sure and clean it up and paint it before installing the new ball joint to avoid rust.
 

mrrsm

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Oct 22, 2015
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Try going to the "Other End of the Thermal Scale" again and use some CRC Freeze-Off if you have any left over from your recent, successful use you discovered when you tried it out during your Fan-Clutch "Jesus Nut" Debacle. Maybe...Lightning Will Strike.. Twice. :>)

...and ... Unless you want to "Take a Prematurely Permanent Dirt Nap"...
Never use Cleaning or Lubricating Solvents around any Open Flame or Incandescently Hot Metal Components... it will produce Deadly Phosgene Gas!
 
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D

Deleted member 20902

I should have specified to direct the heat around the ball joint avoiding direct heat on the ball joint itself.

Either method you choose, the idea it to expand the surrounding metal with heat or retract the ball join itself with cold. Not both at the same time.
 
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dfire

Original poster
Member
Dec 22, 2018
29
texas
Well I went both routes and heated the LCA and used some Freeze off for n the ball goint itself. After about an hour of banging it about half way out.... I’m sure my neighbors want to kill me so I figured I’d finish it off in the morning. Thanks for the input!
 

hockeyman

Member
Aug 26, 2012
726
I've been coming back to read this since you posted yesterday, and I looked up a replacement lower control arm for my old '03 Envoy. <<I do not know what your particular application is though.
Anyhow, since I've replaced all of the ball joints and tie rods (inner and outer) on it many years ago in a driveway full of snow, I would seriously just purchase a new / rebuilt lower control arm and install it. It makes life sooo much easier! With the upmost confidence, I can say that the upper ball joints weren't nearly as bad as the lower ones. I was using a press kit, BFJ (big f'ing hammer) and heat. Neighbors did not to say anything about the noise due to all of the cursing I was doing!

I really didn't think to price the LCA's when I was doing the job. If I did, I'm sure it would have saved me at least 3-4 extra hours of work because of those damn LBJ's! On top of that, the replacements are already powdercoated AND you get new bushings with it. For the dough, it's a win-win!
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p...2-P?navigationPath=L1*14921|L2*15012|L3*15781

I understand that money can also be tight. If you can afford it though, I'd go with replacing it altogether. Just offering advice from someone who has done that job before. Good luck!
 

Mooseman

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Dec 4, 2011
25,671
Ottawa, ON
Sometimes your time and vehicle down time is worth more than money, to a point.
 

TollKeeper

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Dec 3, 2011
8,199
Brighton, CO
Doesnt the lower ball joint have the 2 tabs that have to be hammered in?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,671
Ottawa, ON
The original ball joint is staked into the arm at 3 points. They have to be chiseled or ground off. He said he removed the C-clip, which means it has been replaced before.
 

dfire

Original poster
Member
Dec 22, 2018
29
texas
Thanks for the input once again everyone.... looks like half way is about as far as it wants to go....hockyman my neighbors did not say anything but I could hear about 20 dogs barking and the neighbors daughter start crying in the house so I figured I’d give it a rest lol. I’m going to just buy another LCA. Do I need to replace both or am I good with just the one side?

Oh and yes they are MOOG LBJ so it just has the C clip

674356D3-ABDD-42BF-A969-2839DC8554DE.jpeg
 

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mrrsm

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Oct 22, 2015
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It looks like you have insufficient clearance down there to gain ANY real Mechanical Advantage sufficient to win this Battle. Have you looked over how much more (or actually LESS) effort it would take to just R&R the LCA...? @hockeyman is really trying hard to 'save you from yourself' right now.

I can think of one thing you could add to your "Tool Kit" that would make life a bit easier on your Knees and Back: Laying down some Large Doubled Sections of Cardboard would go a very long way towards making this work seen less like a Mechanic's Torture devised by Torquemada during The Spanish Inquisition and very much improve your Comfort, Concentration and Endurance. ;>)
 

dfire

Original poster
Member
Dec 22, 2018
29
texas
Dang ‘save me from myself’ sounds rough 😅. Yes I already plan on going out and just getting a new one. But I figured it would be worth asking before I did. The vehicle has been lower sense giving up. No point in keeping it elevated if I’m not working on it. That being said I have heavy duty knee pads from my tech days
 

mrrsm

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Oct 22, 2015
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No Harm Intended... We ...One and All... have all been there ...working away with so much time and energy...that it seems foolhardy to abandon one direction for another. It sounds crazy... but it is probably just as hard on everyone else to observe someone being in such a struggle as it is for that person to be stuck there.
 
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dfire

Original poster
Member
Dec 22, 2018
29
texas
Yeah I’ve never been one to give up on a task. I also understand sometimes you gotta move on and know when to throw in the towel. That’s why I appreciate everyones input here because I’m not nearly seasoned enough to truly know where that line may be drawn. So thanks again everyone! Hopefully I’m not back in a day or two with issues installing LCA. Watched a videos and it seems like a few extra steps from where I am at. Then again the ball joints “looked” simple too 🙃
 

dfire

Original poster
Member
Dec 22, 2018
29
texas
Yeah it’s what I would recommend. I ended up taking the LCA out and having a shop do it. But if you haven’t bought the LBJ I’d recommend just buying the whole arm.
 

hockeyman

Member
Aug 26, 2012
726
Replacing the LBJ's sure helped me deal with my inner-demons on that particular day.
Yes, I finally got them out and replaced them, but oh man, I would have made the news if bible solicitors were to visit me back then!

Good to hear that everything is good now. Lots of awesome people and friendly help here!
...I taught them everything they know :biggrin:
 

dfire

Original poster
Member
Dec 22, 2018
29
texas
Yes I agree! To bad my Truck is gettting near the 200k mark. I hope the dodge RAM forums are as nice and patient as you guys. Something tells me they might not be though haha
 
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3-year old thread. I have to say that I'm really surprised that you had trouble getting the ball joint out.

Of course penetrating oil did no good. The joint is press-fit in place. Penetrant won't get between the joint and control arm, because the control arm has been microscopically streteched around the joint. There is no gap.

Big impact socket wasn't part of the ball-joint press kit.
Trailblazer_Ball_Joints_11.jpg

I could almost pop the original joint free with a 3/8" impact. Not quite. I put my old 1/2" impact wrench on it. Rattled a few seconds, and then "POP" the joint dropped about 1/8 inch. After that, it pretty-much slid right out--the 1/2" impact didn't even struggle.
Trailblazer_Ball_Joints_13.jpg

Trailblazer_Ball_Joints_15.jpg

Going back together was a two-stage process. I got the joint started with this set-up, then had to add a short spacer ring (not shown) between control arm and the upper plate to get the joint fully in place. These Moog ball joints use a new-design rubber seal, be sure the BJ is aligned so the vent in the boot is inboard, not alongside the brake rotor. You don't want grease venting from the BJ to contaminate the rotor.
Trailblazer_Ball_Joints_17.jpg

I think I tightened the grease zerk another 90-something degrees after this photo was taken. And I always twist the ball joint stud with an awl or pick or Allen wrench so the cotter pin goes in straight front-to-rear, therefore no problems removing it "next time".
Trailblazer_Ball_Joints_18.jpg

The "big secret" with ball-joint presses like this one is to grease the pressure screw before using it, and DO NOT use a ratchet or breaker-bar to turn the pressure screw. Use an impact wrench. A ratchet or breaker bar puts side-force on the C-clamp part, bending it. The impact wrench gives you torque without the side-force.
 
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