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Unread 05-18-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
patricknolan
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Ball joint removal woes.

D30 97 Wrangler. I am trying to remove the ball joints. This is my frist time doing anything with ball joints, and like every other project I ever do I recieve no help and it doesn't matter how many threads of advice or how many videos or guides I read. Something always goes to ****.

I got the upper removed with the help of a 4 foot steel pipe cheater bar and lots of cranking. The lower is now giving me an endless amount of frustration. I cannot get the C-clamp removal tool to seat properly. It is slipping off the top of the ball joint. I have bought the adapter set, which has not helped one bit. The entire system doesn't seem to be working. The threaded rod as soon as it has any pressure under it just gets cock eyed and tightening it will only ruin the the threads.

Does anyone know how I am doing this wrong? In a few hours I am going to say **** it and just pull the axle and take it to a shop, it would have been faster from the beginning had I just done that. I will go take a picture and try and upload it.

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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:00 AM   #2
afusco1222
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You probably bent the ball joint press.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:13 AM   #3
J03_TJ
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I've never done that job, but do remember reading that a section/sliver of angled pipe helping since one of the surfaces isn't perpendicular to the press . I would think if you can find a thread that talks about this angled spacer you might be able to wedge a price of metal in there to keep the press square to the joint. But like I said, I've never done it, hopefully you get it figured out.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:27 AM   #4
patricknolan
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:33 AM   #5
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:38 AM   #6
durango-bob
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Go to Advance or Autozone and "rent" one of their tools. It will cost well over $100 but you get it all back when you return the tool. You will get a full set and a quality C press so that you can get the exact pieces that you need. I just did mine a few weeks ago and I seem to recall that I used the press on the lowers with the top portion of the threaded rod inside the hole left after taking out the upper ball joint. If I would have had the Jeep higher off the ground, the press would have fit with the threaded rod on the bottom which looked like it would be more stable. But both ways should work.

Also, does your new lower ball joint have a grease fitting? Mine did and I had to install the zerk fitting, grease it, and then remove the fitting and install a plug so that the axle clears.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:40 AM   #7
patricknolan
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
durango-bob
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Flip it over and try it the other way. If that's the Harbor Freight tool, you might as well just toss it. I bent mine the first time I used it and now always just rent a good one.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:51 AM   #9
BYuen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durango-bob View Post
Flip it over and try it the other way. If that's the Harbor Freight tool, you might as well just toss it. I bent mine the first time I used it and now always just rent a good one.
X2. You have the clamp upside down. Here's a good writeup:

http://www.stu-offroad.com/axle/ball...alljoint-1.htm
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:56 AM   #10
patricknolan
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Stu-offroad's guide states you can flip the ball joint upside down. Is he wrong? Or is my setup not what he is saying.

I have both - a friends harbor freight tool, and a tool i rented from pepboys. I guess I will try to flip it over and try the pep boys tool with the adapter. I guess I will give it a try if the rain holds out.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #11
BYuen
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Originally Posted by patricknolan View Post
Stu-offroad's guide states you can flip the ball joint upside down. Is he wrong? Or is my setup not what he is saying.

I have both - a friends harbor freight tool, and a tool i rented from pepboys. I guess I will try to flip it over and try the pep boys tool with the adapter. I guess I will give it a try if the rain holds out.

"For the lower ball joint you can devise a plan the go through the upper ball joint hole, or else you can jack up the axle and put the press in upside down. I do not have a pic, but its pretty much exactly the same setup as the upper ball joint, just turn the press upside down"

You can do it the way you have it, but I think it will be easier to keep things lined up and easier to crank on if you switch it the other way. That is the orientation I always use when I replace the balljoints.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 11:40 AM   #12
freeskier93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BYuen View Post
"For the lower ball joint you can devise a plan the go through the upper ball joint hole, or else you can jack up the axle and put the press in upside down. I do not have a pic, but its pretty much exactly the same setup as the upper ball joint, just turn the press upside down"

You can do it the way you have it, but I think it will be easier to keep things lined up and easier to crank on if you switch it the other way. That is the orientation I always use when I replace the balljoints.
I think it's much harder to go through the upper ball joint. I tried it that way the first time and no matter what the press would move a little bit and the threads would start digging into the bore of the upper joint. Didn't feel like having to get a new axle because I messed the bore up so I jacked the axle up and flipped the press around. Had it out in 30 seconds.

Your issue is you don't have the angled adapter. I rented the master press kit from Advance Auto, which came with the angled adapter.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:04 PM   #13
patricknolan
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Originally Posted by freeskier93 View Post
I think it's much harder to go through the upper ball joint. I tried it that way the first time and no matter what the press would move a little bit and the threads would start digging into the bore of the upper joint. Didn't feel like having to get a new axle because I messed the bore up so I jacked the axle up and flipped the press around. Had it out in 30 seconds.

Your issue is you don't have the angled adapter. I rented the master press kit from Advance Auto, which came with the angled adapter.
I bought the jeep/dodge ball joint adapter kit suggested in some other threads on this forum. I thought that was suppossed to make it easy to remove the ball joint. Are there any part numbers for this kit or adapter you are talking about? Most of the auto parts places are filled less then helpful employees in my area, so PNs really help.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 10:09 PM   #14
BYuen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patricknolan View Post
I bought the jeep/dodge ball joint adapter kit suggested in some other threads on this forum. I thought that was suppossed to make it easy to remove the ball joint. Are there any part numbers for this kit or adapter you are talking about? Most of the auto parts places are filled less then helpful employees in my area, so PNs really help.
I actually didn't use the Jeep/Dodge adapter kit to press the joints out. I needed the slanted adapters to press the joints in though.
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Unread 05-18-2013, 11:55 PM   #15
JEK3
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Hmm... I bought the Harbor Freight ball joint press and the adapter kit, and it's worked flawlessly for me for several pairs of ball joints. Only used a 2-foot breaker bar. Maybe I got lucky. Make sure you liberally coat the threads with anti-seize.
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