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Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! #4603147
12/14/17 06:09 AM
12/14/17 06:09 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,029
Winnipeg MB CA
Number_35 Online content OP
Number_35  Online Content OP
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,029
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!

Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603151
12/14/17 06:12 AM
12/14/17 06:12 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 966
KS
FordBroncoVWJeta Offline
FordBroncoVWJeta  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 966
KS
Might have to heat it up.


2017 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T - 2015 Honda CRV 2.4 - 2012 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 - 2001 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2
Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603168
12/14/17 06:33 AM
12/14/17 06:33 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,292
Douglas County, Colorado
bigj_16 Offline
bigj_16  Offline
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,292
Douglas County, Colorado
Heat it up. PB Blaster.

Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603170
12/14/17 06:38 AM
12/14/17 06:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,628
Atlanta
DuckRyder Offline
DuckRyder  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,628
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
Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603175
12/14/17 06:52 AM
12/14/17 06:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,306
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,306
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, 238K
1996 Honda Accord, 266K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 407K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 280K
Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603181
12/14/17 07:00 AM
12/14/17 07:00 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 325
TX
mooferz Offline
mooferz  Offline
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 325
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)
Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603189
12/14/17 07:15 AM
12/14/17 07:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,815
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,815
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
I have never met a ball joint I could not beat out. Bring it to me! smile


02 Wrangler carlube 5w30
87 F250 traveler 15w40
07 fjcruiser Chevron 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Chris142] #4603227
12/14/17 08:16 AM
12/14/17 08:16 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,306
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,306
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, 238K
1996 Honda Accord, 266K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 407K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 280K
Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603239
12/14/17 08:25 AM
12/14/17 08:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,926
Florida, Cape Coral
Eddie Online sleepy
Eddie  Online Sleepy
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,926
Florida, Cape Coral
I never had a ball joint that my old pickle fork did;t remove.


CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603248
12/14/17 08:38 AM
12/14/17 08:38 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 181
Kevil,Ky
vwmaniaman Offline
vwmaniaman  Offline
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 181
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.
Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603273
12/14/17 09:00 AM
12/14/17 09:00 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,645
The Motor City
Kestas Offline
Kestas  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,645
The Motor City
Is this an aluminum knuckle?

Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Eddie] #4603452
12/14/17 11:42 AM
12/14/17 11:42 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 557
Wisconsin
Srt20 Offline
Srt20  Offline
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 557
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

Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: Number_35] #4603496
12/14/17 12:32 PM
12/14/17 12:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
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.

Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: DuckRyder] #4603915
12/14/17 09:05 PM
12/14/17 09:05 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,029
Winnipeg MB CA
Number_35 Online content OP
Number_35  Online Content OP
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,029
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!

Re: Tapered ball joint shaft seized in - help! [Re: DuckRyder] #4606539
12/17/17 06:43 PM
12/17/17 06:43 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,249
Toronto, Canada
George7941 Offline
George7941  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,249
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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