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Pickle fork or hammer technique? #4525460
09/25/17 07:02 AM
09/25/17 07:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,992
Michigan
ZZman Offline OP
ZZman  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,992
Michigan
Going to be doing some suspension work and have seen both a pickle fork used or a hammer used on the side of the part to loosen ball joints/tie rod ends.

What seems to work best for you?


2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2008 Sebring Hardtop convertible. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Amsoil Metric 10w-40
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: ZZman] #4525463
09/25/17 07:07 AM
09/25/17 07:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,646
Cincinnati
Chris Meutsch Offline
Chris Meutsch  Offline
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,646
Cincinnati
Neither. Go rent the ball joint separation tool from AAP like I did and make your life easier.


2005 Honda CR-V EX, 263k
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: ZZman] #4525465
09/25/17 07:11 AM
09/25/17 07:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,479
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,479
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Hammer. Pickle forks and seperators are a pain.


02 Wrangler durablend 10w40
87 F250 traveler 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: ZZman] #4525470
09/25/17 07:19 AM
09/25/17 07:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,982
Guilford, CT
exranger06 Offline
exranger06  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,982
Guilford, CT
The pickle fork is basically guaranteed to rip the ball joint boots. Don't use one unless you're planning on replacing the joint/boot anyway.


2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2004 Honda CR-V LX
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: ZZman] #4525477
09/25/17 07:32 AM
09/25/17 07:32 AM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 2,795
NC
BigD1 Offline
BigD1  Offline
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 2,795
NC
Rebuilt the front end on my Toyota pickup this past Spring, and a pickle fork along with a 4 pound baby sledge was fast and easy work.


1992 Toyota Pickup--Harvest King Premium 10W-30--Fram PH3614
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: Chris Meutsch] #4525502
09/25/17 08:03 AM
09/25/17 08:03 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,011
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,011
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: Chris Meutsch
Neither. Go rent the ball joint separation tool from AAP like I did and make your life easier.

Agreed, or just buy the one from Harbor Freight that looks like this one. I've used it to separate large ball joints on my BMW that hadn't been dissembled in 20 years. It worked just fine:


1994 BMW 530i, 231K
1996 Honda Accord, 263K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 402K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 272K
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: exranger06] #4525514
09/25/17 08:16 AM
09/25/17 08:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,920
Texas
WyrTwister Offline
WyrTwister  Offline
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,920
Texas
Once upon a time I was replacing CV joint boots on a 2002 or 2004 Buick Century , Which necessitates pulling the half shaft .

( Caught the problem soon after the boots split and it had just began to sling grease . The CV joints were still OK . :-) )

I found this to be easier if I took the tie rod end off the spindle . One came loose using a hammer . ended up using a pickle fork on the other side . Naturally I messed up the rubber boot .

Being cheap , I did not wish to purchase a new tie rod end just to get the new boot . I did some internet searching & found NAPA had a new boot in stock , separately . Problem solved .

But , while using the hammer , I had screwed the castle nut back on the ball joint shaft / stud & pounded on the nut . Well , I had messed up the thread at the top of the " castle " .

Had to wait until the next day and purchase a new castle nut at a nut & bolt store .

Best of luck to you all , :-)


Wyr
God bless
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: ZZman] #4525523
09/25/17 08:26 AM
09/25/17 08:26 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,982
Guilford, CT
exranger06 Offline
exranger06  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,982
Guilford, CT
I've had really good luck loosening tie rod ends using a pitman arm puller. You can sometimes use them for ball joints too.


2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2004 Honda CR-V LX
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: ZZman] #4525534
09/25/17 08:42 AM
09/25/17 08:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 328
northern NY
Driz Offline
Driz  Offline
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 328
northern NY
You can rent those balljoint removers at Autozone and simply return them when you're done. Just don't expect anything to exotic.

Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: exranger06] #4525550
09/25/17 09:08 AM
09/25/17 09:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,604
Marshfield , MA
andyd Offline
andyd  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,604
Marshfield , MA
Originally Posted By: exranger06
I've had really good luck loosening tie rod ends using a pitman arm puller. You can sometimes use them for ball joints too.
Heh heh, compared to a 2 LB hammer That IS exotic grin2


'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: ZZman] #4525552
09/25/17 09:09 AM
09/25/17 09:09 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,280
WI
HoosierJeeper Offline
HoosierJeeper  Offline
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,280
WI
Sledge hammer.


15 Jeep KL Limited V6: Formula Shell 5W20
07 LR3 SE V8: Maxlife 5W30
05 Jeep KJ Limited: PHM 5W30
96 Jeep XJ Country: STP HM 5W30 (winter)
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: ZZman] #4525563
09/25/17 09:15 AM
09/25/17 09:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 8,797
Texas
440Magnum Offline
440Magnum  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 8,797
Texas
I'm a pickle fork user. Its always worked better and with less pounding than any other method. My experience with the puller-type separators is that they usually bend and pop off.


'66 Dodge Polara & '69 Dodge Coronet R/T both 440/727
'08 Ram 1500 4.7/545RFE
'12 Challenger SRT8 392/6-speed
'99 XJ 4x4 4.0/AX15, '14 WK2 4x4 3.6/8HP
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: kschachn] #4525598
09/25/17 09:34 AM
09/25/17 09:34 AM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 525
Albany, NY
ford46guy Offline
ford46guy  Offline
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 525
Albany, NY
Originally Posted By: kschachn
Originally Posted By: Chris Meutsch
Neither. Go rent the ball joint separation tool from AAP like I did and make your life easier.

Agreed, or just buy the one from Harbor Freight that looks like this one. I've used it to separate large ball joints on my BMW that hadn't been dissembled in 20 years. It worked just fine:


I had one like that, snapped after about 10 uses. I did really crank it down. My suggestion is as it starts getting tight(and after each rotation) strike it hard with a hammer, or an impact. The compression and impact will release even the worst stuck joints.


95 Tbird V8 240K PP SYNTH ULTRA 5W30
98 MGM 160K M1 HM 5W20
96 Explorer EB V6 159K PP SYNTH HM 5W30
95 Conti 155K MC 5W20
11 GS350 90K PP HM 5W30
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: ford46guy] #4525600
09/25/17 09:35 AM
09/25/17 09:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,011
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,011
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: ford46guy
I had one like that, snapped after about 10 uses. I did really crank it down. My suggestion is as it starts getting tight(and after each rotation) strike it hard with a hammer, or an impact. The compression and impact will release even the worst stuck joints.

Well you should strike/tap the ball joint head, not the tool. Sometimes that releases it with very little pressure from the separator.


1994 BMW 530i, 231K
1996 Honda Accord, 263K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 402K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 272K
Re: Pickle fork or hammer technique? [Re: Chris Meutsch] #4525647
09/25/17 10:30 AM
09/25/17 10:30 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,136
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,136
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Chris Meutsch
Neither. Go rent the ball joint separation tool from AAP like I did and make your life easier.


I agree with this but the hammer approach may be even better for parts looking to be reused.

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