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#4603147 - 12/14/17 06:09 AM Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help!
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 818
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Guys -

'97 Mazda MPV RWD, 335K km racked up here in the moderate rust belt. I'm trying to remove a very stubborn ball joint shaft from the steering knuckle. The cotter pin and castellated nut came off OK. The shaft is tapered and is a friction fit. (Likely a rust fit at this point.)

Factory Recommendation:
Use the SST (special service tool) to press out the stud. (The Mazda SST is similar to the Harbor Freight one.) I was unable to find one locally, but doubt it would exert enough force anyway.

Recommendation from my professional mechanic friend from church:
Soak with penetrating oil, and beat on the knuckle proximate to the tapered shaft to deform the metal around the shaft, allowing the penetrating oil to work in. Better yet, shock the metal around the shaft with an air hammer.

What I've done so far:
Lots of penetrating oil, lots of beating with a heavy hammer (can't get to both sides, so one hammer only), air hammer, pickle fork jammed in and beaten on.

No go so far! This is the good (unbroken) side. I had to take the knuckle on the other side into a machine shop. They drilled or pressed it out, not sure. Would love to not have to remove the knuckle on this side.

On the one I had out, I had a ball joint press in place, and wailed on it with a hammer without success, before taking it to the machine shop. (Can't get the press in place when the knuckle is still on the vehicle.)

Any thoughts? I'm a wit's end. Thanks!

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#4603151 - 12/14/17 06:12 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
FordBroncoVWJeta Offline


Registered: 04/16/16
Posts: 765
Loc: KS
Might have to heat it up.
_________________________
17 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T
15 Honda CRV 2.4
12 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0
01 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2

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#4603168 - 12/14/17 06:33 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
bigj_16 Offline


Registered: 07/03/17
Posts: 1267
Loc: Douglas County, Colorado
Heat it up. PB Blaster.

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#4603170 - 12/14/17 06:38 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
DuckRyder Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 4206
Loc: Atlanta
Factory recommendation in combination with your mechanic friends recommendation.

You need a balljoint/tie rod tool that works like this (properly sized)



https://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-quarter-inch-forged-ball-joint-separator-99849.html

I’d be really surprised if that failed to remove it. I have never encountered one that it wouldn’t work on and I used to do this for a living.
_________________________
Robert
  • 2007 Toyota Prius Touring
  • 2005 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1972 Ford F100

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#4603175 - 12/14/17 06:52 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9369
Loc: Upper Midwest
Yes, use the tool that DuckRyder posted. Make sure it is fully engaged on the joint otherwise it won't work and you'll bend or break the tool. Use a hammer to tap the ball of the joint (not the stud) as you apply pressure with the tool. It will pop apart and be careful and ready when it does.

I used that tool and method to remove some large taper joints on my old BMW's control arms. Those joints hadn't been separated in over 20 years and the surface area of the taper was about twice that of a typical ball joint. Tapping (hitting) the ball as pressure is applied is key as that will help it to come apart much earlier than just tool pressure alone. Make sure you lubricate the threads of the tool screw as the instructions will indicate.

That tool works very well, as opposed to wailing on the stud which never worked for me.
_________________________
1994 BMW 530i, 227K
1996 Honda Accord, 262K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 394K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 267K

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#4603181 - 12/14/17 07:00 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
mooferz Offline


Registered: 01/30/16
Posts: 325
Loc: TX
+1 on the Harbor Freight ball joint removal tool. On my ES300, after an hour of useless banging with a hammer, it shot out like a bullet with that tool. Though first I had to widen the fork with an angle grinder for it to fit.
_________________________
2001 Lexus ES300, 235k mi, German Castrol 0w-40, Fram TG8316
1985 BMW R80RT (1L)- M1 15w-50
1993 Volvo 945 Turbo- Rotella T5 10W-30 (CJ-4)

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#4603189 - 12/14/17 07:15 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16810
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
I have never met a ball joint I could not beat out. Bring it to me! smile
_________________________
02 Wrangler durablend 10w40
87 F250 traveler 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
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#4603227 - 12/14/17 08:16 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Chris142]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9369
Loc: Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: Chris142
I have never met a ball joint I could not beat out. Bring it to me! smile

But why? Beating on suspension components just seems like an invitation to bend or break something, especially when it isn't needed.

The Cro-Magnon approach to auto repair isn't always required.
_________________________
1994 BMW 530i, 227K
1996 Honda Accord, 262K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 394K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 267K

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#4603239 - 12/14/17 08:25 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9558
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
I never had a ball joint that my old pickle fork did;t remove.
_________________________
CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)

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#4603248 - 12/14/17 08:38 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
vwmaniaman Offline


Registered: 04/18/13
Posts: 129
Loc: Kevil,Ky
Stack another nut or two on top of the nut you have to remove to get it out. Then remove the original nut. The pressure is against the steering knuckle and it pops out. Have done this many times.
_________________________
Don't waste your time on a slipshod repair.

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#4603273 - 12/14/17 09:00 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12321
Loc: The Motor City
Is this an aluminum knuckle?

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#4603452 - 12/14/17 11:42 AM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Eddie]
Srt20 Offline


Registered: 07/14/14
Posts: 494
Loc: Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Eddie
I never had a ball joint that my old pickle fork did;t remove.


X2 and I live in the rust belt

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#4603496 - 12/14/17 12:32 PM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
What's the part number for the special service tool ? I'd like to search it out and see what it looks like.

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#4603915 - 12/14/17 09:05 PM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: DuckRyder]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 818
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Originally Posted By: DuckRyder
Factory recommendation in combination with your mechanic friends recommendation.

You need a balljoint/tie rod tool that works like this (properly sized)



https://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-quarter-inch-forged-ball-joint-separator-99849.html

I’d be really surprised if that failed to remove it. I have never encountered one that it wouldn’t work on and I used to do this for a living.
I found the Princess Auto equivalent on line, phoned the store, and bought it this evening.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/ball-joint-separator/A-p8004135e

What a great tool, it worked like a charm!!! Thanks so much to all who had suggestions - I'm soaking the bolts and fittings in Evapo-Rust, and should be able to reassemble everything tomorrow in under an hour.

Wow, after all that banging ... the tool looks so insubstantial, but it sure did the job! I heard the BANG, the tool dropped off, I thought it had just come loose, and then realized the shaft had broken free of the knuckle. I now fear no ball joint.

Interestingly, there seemed to be no rust at all, just a very tight fit. I guess because the cone narrows toward the top, the fit gets tighter and tighter with bumps and potholes vs. loosening up. Anyway, thanks again everyone!

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#4606539 - 12/17/17 06:43 PM Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: DuckRyder]
George7941 Offline


Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2158
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Will that tool work on a RWD truck like mine? OTC describes it as a tool for use on front wheel drive vehicles
https://www.otctools.com/products/ball-joint-separator#60
_________________________
2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.

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