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View Full Version : Balljoint stuck in suspension assembly...help!


The Twin
08-10-2011, 08:21 AM
Murphy's law right?

everything was going perfectly smooth with my suspension work, untill I get to my LAST corner.

firstly, I end up stripping my rotor mounting screw (no biggie, drilled it out, not replacing it...useless anyway).

secondly I can't get my lower balljoint to seperate from the suspension assembly bolt (dont really know the proper name) everything else slipped out nicely, this one seems to be seized.

I've tried prying with a breakbar, hammering etc etc etc.

does anyone have any suggestions to free this up without damaging the BJ?

pic for reference
http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/4198/balljoint.jpg

El Gato Liso
08-10-2011, 08:33 AM
ok i had this problem the other day

get some heat on that bitch, then pickle fork, and hammer it out. i thought mine would NEVER come out. it did. heat heat heat!!!! but you will probably roast the rubber boot...

The Twin
08-10-2011, 08:39 AM
I'll pick up a pickle fork tonight and have at it.

I'd rather stay away from heat as I JUST replaced the BJ's not even 6 months ago (needed for safety) I know it's still good.

just wanted to know whether this was infact a common issue, or if I was doing something wrong thx!

InfiniteDice
08-10-2011, 09:17 AM
Put a jack under the strut assembly body, compress it slightly. Put some downward force on the control arm via a pry bar, and tap with a hammer around the strut assembly area where the ball joint passes through. This will remove it without damaging it.

Bullet Ride
08-10-2011, 09:31 AM
It sucks that they had to use an uncommon coarse thread on the balljoint, makes it harder to find replacement nuts. I wanted to remove a control arm without damaging the boot because it was a relatively new control arm so I just backed the nut out so the top of the nut was past the top of the ball joint stud then used a piece of steel bar and a hammer to punch it out. I got it out, but the nut was damaged then I went looking for a new one only to find out they can be hard to come by unless you buy a box of 100 lol. If you can find a replacement nut (M12x1.5) this is a good way to do it because a pickle fork will damage your boot more often than not. Putting a jack under the strut and compressing it slightly like Dice said is also important so your upper mount isn't taking all of the hammering force.

The Twin
08-10-2011, 10:13 AM
Good idea...ill try the jack trick 1st before pickling it thanks!

El Gato Liso
08-10-2011, 10:16 AM
the ball joint should have a 6/7mm hole to fit an allen key...try spinning it around to break loosen it too

The Twin
08-10-2011, 10:24 AM
the ball joint should have a 6/7mm hole to fit an allen key...try spinning it around to break loosen it too


really??

under the boot?
I couldn't find anything otherwise..

El Gato Liso
08-10-2011, 10:25 AM
on top, so you can hold it while you spin the nut on

Bullet Ride
08-10-2011, 11:27 AM
the ball joint should have a 6/7mm hole to fit an allen key...try spinning it around to break loosen it too

I haven't seen it yet on any of the control arms I've had. I've seen it on a sway bar link though, sometimes they have flats for a spanner, sometimes they have the allen hole.

Ceeker
08-10-2011, 01:00 PM
I've seen a bmw tech does this many times; once the nut spins, the ball joint usually does the same and the nut can't come off. Jack under the ball joint to compress the tampered shaft to the control arm. Then back off the nut. Drop the jack to see if the joint slides out. If not, take a hammer and hammer on the control arm just outside of the ball joint. it will free up and drop out. Then if it is still in pry bar it down to remove the strut from the control arm. Works like a charm. No damage to the joint, shaft, boot, thread or nut.

The Twin
08-10-2011, 02:12 PM
How solid is the control arm itself if I'm just wailing on it with a hammer? I got a better target connection....

Red_Rocket
08-10-2011, 03:29 PM
What I do is get a long bar that fits through one of the control arm holes and pry down on the control arm while whaling on where the bj goes through the strut. Keep the nut on a bit so you dont hit the threads and damage them. Don't use heat or a pickle fork if you want to save the bj. And sometimes I have to whale on them for a while to get them loose.

The Twin
08-10-2011, 09:20 PM
Still stuck on the FFS. Won't budge.
Anyone in orleans/cumberland area want a shot at it?

I'm limited with post surgery issues and can't slam on it like I want to...haven't tried heat yet, but trying to save my bushings.

Ceeker
08-10-2011, 09:50 PM
Still stuck on the FFS. Won't budge.
Anyone in orleans/cumberland area want a shot at it?

I'm limited with post surgery issues and can't slam on it like I want to...haven't tried heat yet, but trying to save my bushings.

Let the control arm hang. A good med sized sledge 2.5lb-5lb or ball pin hammer should do the trick. The control arm won't break. it will give, has too. heat will destroy the boot for sure.

hit the control arm on the edge just next to where the boot is. You gotta hammer on it. You may dent the control arm a bit but will hold up.

Also the position of the strut is important; make sure you have the ball joint positioned in the center so there is no binding on it.

wait, I just caught you pick. you gotta jack the strut up so there is room for the control arm to drop down. in the position the pic is showing, nothing is gonna happen.
There inner ball joint and bushing is holding this in place.

The Twin
08-11-2011, 09:36 AM
so essentially beat the cr*p out of there the arrow is pointing, where the jack is under the strut?
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd205/TKDJimi/untitled-1.png
time to get a sledge I suppose...

now to wait till work is done to attack this BS.

(btw not my pictures, just using for ref)

Ceeker
08-11-2011, 10:22 AM
no!! on the control arm below the arrow. :-) do you see there are two flat surfaces on the strut where the arrow points? the one in front of that and then below. hammer on the edge of the control arm.

The Twin
08-11-2011, 10:37 AM
alrighty thanks man.

also, thanks for all your patience with this, never had any issues with my 1987 E30's balljoints...I guess I just got lucky that time.

Axxe
08-11-2011, 10:50 AM
no!! on the control arm below the arrow. :-) do you see there are two flat surfaces on the strut where the arrow points? the one in front of that and then below. hammer on the edge of the control arm.

NO! Double hammer the area where the arrow is pointing. I usually use an air hammer, but the hammer method works fine. I put a ball peen hammer with the flat side on the taper, then whack the shit out of it with a 4lb sledge. A couple good whacks, then tap the top of the ball joint threads with a hammer (really lightly to not damage threads). If it does pop right out, double hammer the taper again. I've never had a ball joint not come out that way.

InfiniteDice
08-11-2011, 10:55 AM
Axxe is right. The arrow is where you hammer. If you apply heat use it just a bit also where the arrow is pointing, just place something over the rubber boot or it will melt.

InfiniteDice
08-11-2011, 10:56 AM
DUDE your sway bar link is still on!

Ceeker
08-11-2011, 12:54 PM
well, try both...what do you got to lose? if it doesn't work, well then, you've either destroyed your control arm or the strut or both. (Grin)

The Twin
08-11-2011, 12:56 PM
DUDE your sway bar link is still on!


no it's not, the 2nd pitcure I used was from the internet.

the 1st pic is of my actual car

SBL removed.

http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/4198/balljoint.jpg

The Twin
08-11-2011, 12:57 PM
well, try both...what do you got to lose? if it doesn't work, well then, you've either destroyed your control arm or the strut or both. (Grin)


hehe i'm actually pricing out e30 M3 control arms that come loaded with bushings anyhow *wiggle*

...just incase;-)

InfiniteDice
08-11-2011, 01:02 PM
Okay well, to help you can put a pry bar between the control arm and the subframe and put a bit of pressure not a lot. Then tap with the hammer where your arrow is.

I've done this about 10 times, it works. I can usually change that outer ball joint without special tools in about 30 minutes.

The Twin
08-11-2011, 09:01 PM
Update!

Got the both out.

Violent hacking got thos fkers out.

Unfortunately at the expense of my balljoint rubbers.

This means......upgrade time!

New control arms, and fresh tie rods


Garage queen 4everrrrr


Grumble groan.