Can't Get Ball Joint To Separate From Knuckle On '88 R10 1/2 Ton 2WD Suburban - Automotive Repairs - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 02-26-2009, 07:42 AM   #1
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


I'm replacing the coil springs and lower ball joints on an '88 Suburban but can't seemed to free the joint from the knuckle. I got a ball joint separator (looks like a big tuning fork) from Autozone but the boot on the joint was shot so it just removed the boot. I've removed everything else, so the lower control arm is just hanging by the joint. Any ideas?

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Old 02-26-2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


Pickle forks usually work. Did you try using it after you unbolted the control arm or before? I usually seperate the ball joint before unbolting the control arm. Sometimes it takes a couple good hits with a hammer to seperate them. You might want to bolt the control arm back up and take a few swings using the pickle fork.

Here is a link to autozones repair manual if that helps. http://www.autozone.com/addVehicleId...00c1528008f649

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Last edited by ponch37300; 02-26-2009 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


try replcing the nit to the very top of the threads, place a jack under the control arm for solid support and then with a BFH try hitting down on the nut you replaced. also some raps on the control arm while hitting the ball joint will help convince it to pop good luck
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:09 PM   #4
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


I'm going to try and heat it up with a small butane torch and try a home made screw jack and/or the biggest BFH I can get in there.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:48 PM   #5
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


Get a heavier hammer. Soak it with a bit of penetrant.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:25 AM   #6
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


Project complete...almost. Need to replace the shocks still but that is another trip into town. Thank everyone for their help. I ended up buying a much bigger hammer and using it on the separator I got from Autozone. The ballpeen I was using wasn't big enough I guess. Didn't need to heat it up or use the jack screw. But wow what a task to do alone! Setting that control arm back in place was a pain, especially on the side that I just replaced the coil spring.

Thank you again! Much appreciated!
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:27 AM   #7
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


Just for future reference the only tool you need to seperate this ball joint is a hammer, just hit the steering knuckle on the side where the ball joint shaft goes through it(after the ball joint nut is loose). This will pop it apart. You will need to hit it hard.
A pickle fork will damage the boot every time. So if you weren't replacing
the ball joint you would be out of luck.
This is the same procedure if you ever remove a tie rod end also.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:01 PM   #8
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


Yeah, when I lowered my old F-150, my mechanic friend, who had done a hundred billion of them, told me not to even deal with a pickle fork, because all it will do is damage the rubber boot on the ball joint. Just a BFH on the A-arm.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:16 PM   #9
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


Thanks again. I have to keep an eye on the boot on the passenger side. The boot on the one that I replaced was already completely destroyed so the pickle fork couldn't have made things worse. I now know what I need to do next time.
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:35 PM   #10
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemist1961 View Post
Get a heavier hammer. Soak it with a bit of penetrant.
FWIW: Soaking a hammer in penetrant does nothing to help.
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpypapa View Post
try replcing the nit to the very top of the threads, place a jack under the control arm for solid support and then with a BFH try hitting down on the nut you replaced. also some raps on the control arm while hitting the ball joint will help convince it to pop good luck
Thanks grumpypapa - tried all the other methods before finding your suggestion. After supporting the lossend nut at the end of the ball joint with a bottle jack I got it separted on the second wack of the hammer.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:11 PM   #12
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Can't get ball joint to separate from knuckle on '88 R10 1/2 ton 2WD Suburban


Glad my question was able to help someone else.

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Last edited by TJMS81; 11-27-2009 at 11:14 PM.
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