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Greetings Gents
I’m trying to remove my UCA from the knuckle but ball joint doesn’t seems to want to release. Is there a special trick for this? I have a pickle fork but don’t want to use it as my ball joints are less than a year old and I don’t want to damage the boot. Tried hitting the knuckle with a hammer but not working. Any tips ? Thanks
 

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I would try:

1.) Liquid Wrench between boot and knuckle
2.) Heat up the knuckle
3.) Big hammer (and maybe a large punch or socket extension so that you are not limited to just tapping the ball joint stud within the space of the knuckle)

An option the the hammer might be to get a long bolt & coupling nut to use as a press to push the stud out. Thread coupling nut on bolt. Insert bolt/nut combo between upper and lower ball joints (nut loose on upper ball joint). Turn coupling nut to lengthen the assembly, thus pushing up on the ball joint nut/stud. Once you have some good pressure on it, a couple taps on the side of the knuckle should encourage the ball joint to pop loose.

At $25/ea it might not be worth fighting it. (granted, I am sure more $$ in AK)
 

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On my 69 I just used the ball joint separator harbor freight sells. Worked like a charm. The factory shop manual shows some tool that Ford used to push off the lower when removing the upper ball joint. Not needed.
 

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I have had luck using a very large hammer as a backup and hitting the knuckle with another hammer to pop the taper loose. Did you have a back up hammer on the side opposite to where you were hitting?
How much would a new tie rod boot cost? The pickle fork is the easy way to separate them.
I would not put any heat on the knuckle as it may be heat treated and you don't want to change that.
 

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Pry up on the control arm or down on the spindle (ford guys call them nuckles) and hit the spindle where the ball joint goes through. Lots of prying and a really heavy hammer and just wail on it until it pops loose. This is how we did it when I was an ASE tech. It can take allot of hitting to get it to come loose.

You can also whack the stud itself by leaving the nut on it so the stud isn't damaged. There is also a tool that is a threaded rod and a nut that you can put between the ends of the upper and lower ball joints that is basically a jack that pushes it out.
 

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While I cannot say with 100% certainty, it is doubtful that old Mustangs had knuckles made out of anything other ductile iron. A little heat to expand it relative to the tapered stud should not impact the iron. I would keep the heat to a minimum so as to not harden the boot.
 

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Did you bolt the new ball joints on ? I assume you did. Can you just remove the bolts on the flange and leave it attached to the steering knuckle ?
 

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Years ago I made some of these for removing ball joints. Works on the same principle as the un-findable Ford tool. I've never needed heat with these, and they don't even damage the paint, let alone the rubber boot or spindle. Using a fork with heat will do all three.
 

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The tool 22GT mentions is all I use to do that job. I have one with a roller bearing on one end.

The hammer method also works well if a hammer is on either side of the ball joint stud and you strike at the same time. It doesn’t take more than 1 or 2 we’ll located “taps.”

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
 

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I refuse to use a pickle fork. Not only does it often damage the boot, on particularly tight joints one can mar the face of the balljoint itself. After seeing this damage in person I tossed mine. Your life can depend on the integrity of a balljoint. Now you guys are thinking I am going to say "use only the factory special tool". Nope, that's 22GT. :) I use a 2.5 pound hammer. The trick is to figure out how to get a "good swing" and strike the side of the spindle as square on as possible. Off square isn't effective and just tends to mark up the spindle. Slightly, that iron is very tough. The swing and hit actually take a bit of practice. I've seen a guy pop balljoints and tie rods with a 16 ounce ball peen hammer like they were nothing. I'm not that good, I have to whale on them. Happily one solid hit is all I need about half the time though. Practice. It very much helps if you can put tension on the arm. That way when it does pop you will see it and not keep hitting for nothing. That happens a lot. The joint separates faster than the eye can see and immediately reinserts itself.

I recall years ago I girded up my loins to to attack my apparently virgin 50 year old rusty and filthy upper balljoints. Right side took one hit, the left two. After restoring and modifying the whole assemblies I later took them back apart to do some modifications this Opentracker guy thought up. Brand new balljoints and all, never been driven, I had to beat Hades out of one side and like half a dozen hits for the other side to get them back apart. Ask me what the H is up with that? I don't know. Spindles came out fine but I did have to retouch the epoxy paint on them a bit.
 

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Practice!
 

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if i'm replacing them, I use a pickle fork attachment on my air hammer, knocks them right off. if i'm not replacing I use a 4 lb mini sledge and hit the spindle.
 

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Years ago I made some of these for removing ball joints. Works on the same principle as the un-findable Ford tool. I've never needed heat with these, and they don't even damage the paint, let alone the rubber boot or spindle. Using a fork with heat will do all three.
That tool is pretty much what tried to describe making. :thumbsup:
 

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With the advice of this forum, I picked up this HF tool. Worked perfect. I could not get the hammer or pickle fork methods to work on two of the ball joints. This tool popped them both nice and clean with no damage to the area. One was so stuck, when it popped, I thought the tool broke!

Harbor Freight - Twenty Bucks.

 

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Now you guys are thinking I am going to say "use only the factory special tool". Nope, that's 22GT. :)
Ah, no, that's not what I said. See above. Easy to make. Just be sure the parts are hardened. Cost about $20 to make one, including shipping.
 
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