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Old 04-07-2017, 01:24 PM   #1
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Rear Control Arms - Help

I'm trying to replace the rear control arms. I have been able to loosen all of the required hardware. I noticed the nut holding down the ball joint is unable to be removed from the ball joint while still attached to the wheel bearing carrier. I used a pickle fork to create some space between the carrier and the control arm. At this stage, I am unable to go any further. The ball joint will not slide out of the carrier. What am I missing?



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Old 04-07-2017, 01:29 PM   #2
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I have had this same issue:

Help, I can't get this blasted LCA ball joint loose

The space you have made with the pickle fork I believe is from the destruction of the rubber boot - the ball joint hasn't released or moved.

I solved mine by getting the pickle fork in there, holding the carrier with my other hand, and hitting the pickle fork with a small sledge hammer 3-4 times very hard. I also sprayed some PB Blaster type spray (I think WD40 brand) into the ball joint and let it sit.



I replaced with Meyle LCA that have been working out good for me so far, I have 2 extra ones but it sounds like you have your new LCA arms already?
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:00 PM   #3
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The sledge hammer 'technique' requires the finesse that Steve has. Unless you are as deft as him with a BFH ,I suggest frequent applications of PB Blaster or Kroil over several days and much patience and tapping with a smaller BFH. When the corrosion has finally been dissolved ,it will separate without huge impacts.
Once you get a little movement in the joint ,tap it back together again,then apart.Rinse(with PB) and repeat - many times.
Some suggest heating it. That seems to help. I suspect it works because the heat helps 'draw' the penetrant into the corrosion and the expansion may help also. Be careful PB and Kroil burn eventually in a naked flame..
At work they use a "Bolt Buster" device similar to this because of a stubborn car(like yours) being immobile and hogging valuable lift space.
https://www.amazon.com/Bolt-Buster-BB2-ACC-Handheld-Induction/dp/B00ATSL7VE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAeFvUqTnk0

Last edited by Gelbster; 04-07-2017 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:49 PM   #4
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Soaked with kroil several times already. Guess I'll alternate soaking and hitting all weekend. I just wanted to make sure I was on the right path.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:02 PM   #5
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The key to making a pickle fork and BFH work is the ability to impart a SOLID impact to what you are abusing. Unfortunately as you know trying to get a solid impact when the car is on jack stands and the carrier hanging is everything moves when you hit the pickle fork. This absorbs most of the impact. Do you have ramps or some blocks? Try putting the wheel back on and set the car weight back on it. This will make a solid base so the parts will not move and the impact will have a lot more IMPACT.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:28 PM   #6
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No ramps, but I do have three kids who like to help. Maybe I could use the jack to slightly compress the carrier. That should stabilize it.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex.rhodes View Post
No ramps, but I do have three kids who like to help. Maybe I could use the jack to slightly compress the carrier. That should stabilize it.
If you do that, loosely reassemble the upper control arm. That will help to hold everything in position. Then take a couple test taps and HIT it! This is no place to use a purse LOL...
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:40 PM   #8
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Don't hit the arm or the ball joint, hit the knuckle with a big hammer and it will just pop out of there, it's a taper fit. It's the standard way of removing tie rods or ball joints on most cars. Pickle forks are rarely necessary and I don't recall using mine for the purpose of removing a tie rod or ball joint for over 20 years.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bwdz View Post
Don't hit the arm or the ball joint, hit the knuckle with a big hammer and it will just pop out of there, it's a taper fit. It's the standard way of removing tie rods or ball joints on most cars. Pickle forks are rarely necessary and I don't recall using mine for the purpose of removing a tie rod or ball joint for over 20 years.
This works on cars where the coil spring pushes against the a arm such as in american vehicles. This works by using the opposing forces of vehicle weight pushing up against the spindle and the coil spring pushing down against the a arm against each other. The vibration then separates the taper ball joint that joins the two. Just be sure you only loosen the ball joint nut a few threads. I have done this many times in my lifetime. However this will not work on a McPherson strut suspension since there is no force on the lower control arm and hammering on the aluminum machined carrier is not advisable and can fracture and/or damage the machined taper.

Last edited by 911monty; 04-07-2017 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911monty View Post
This works on cars where the coil spring pushes against the a arm such as in american vehicles. This works by using the opposing forces of vehicle weight pushing up against the spindle and the coil spring pushing down against the a arm against each other. The vibration then separates the taper ball joint that joins the two. Just be sure you only loosen the ball joint nut a few threads. I have done this many times in my lifetime. However this will not work on a McPherson strut suspension since there , no force on the lower control arm and hammering on the aluminum machined carrier is not advisable and can fracture and/or damage the machined taper.
You don't need spring force, it works on any taper. You hit the knuckle and it will pop right out, but suit yourself, that's just how I have done it 100s of times. If you ask me you have more chance doing damage with one of those forks. A good smack in the right spot will cause the taper to push right out, it works on any suspension and I never have tension on it, it also works on tie rods. You usually don't even need to smack it very hard. Of course some caution needs to be taken, hit it on it's flattest part and only use the force necessary, meaning that I hit and if that doesn't loosen it with one or 2 smacks I increase the force slightly and if I ever got to a point that I think I could damage something I would use a little heat.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:53 PM   #11
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I saw a video of someone loading up the joint with tension from a ball joint separator tool and then tapping with a hammer and it came right out. Might be another thing to try.

Maybe a piece of dry ice on the stud connected to the ball joint might contract it and allow it to come out? I was going to try that next if the pickle fork didn't work on mine.
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:37 PM   #12
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Did you try a pickle fork attachment in an air chisel?
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:11 PM   #13
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If you must use a BFH, at least do it properley and use 2 hammers!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX7GVWcB-bg

Last edited by Gelbster; 04-07-2017 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gelbster View Post
If you must use a BFH, at least do it properley and use 2 hammers!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX7GVWcB-bg
This really does work. You don't need to hit with both hammers simultaneously though, just hold the large hammer against the opposite side of the piece you're going to hit. When you hit with the small hammer, the mass of the large hammer transfers the blow into the part. It will then bounce and impart a second hit. Works very well to remove large well caps that have rusted for years. And to be honest IMO a BFH weighs 16 lbs. :P Oh and wail away on American Iron, if it breaks it wasn't tough enough...... Not so much on aluminum though.

Last edited by 911monty; 04-07-2017 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:40 PM   #15
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Wow guys... just... put the pickle forks (...and for that matter, big f*** hammers...) down!

Get a balljoint separator tool! They're not expensive, and you'll have a chance of suspension disassembly and component re-use that way (if it matters...)

Harbor freight sells an inexpensive one that works great for 986 balljoints, if you add some clearance to the inside diameter (grinding required.) Perfect fit without modification on 986 tie rod ends.
http://t.harborfreight.com/3-4-quarter-inch-forged-ball-joint-separator-99849.html?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.c om%2F
Lubricate all the metal-on-metal contact points with an extreme-pressure grease (my preference is cv joint grease), and make sure to get it fully seated close, so the tool has good leverage before you put the screws to it. You'll be shocked how easy it is to use. And, you won't be damaging precious, fragile, and expensive aluminum 986 suspension components in the process!
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Last edited by jakeru; 04-07-2017 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:38 PM   #16
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I'm with Jakeru on this one.

Pickle forks will more often than not destroy the ball joint boots. Not a problem now because you are replacing the LCA (which will come with a new ball joint), but what if you were pulling the spindle to change a wheel bearing? You don't want to have to replace the LCA (they are expensive!) because you destroyed the boot or messed up the ball with your pickle fork.

Instead, get a ball joint separator tool like the one Jakaru suggested.

I use a Kent Moore (aka OTC) tool like this one:




I've had mine for years. If you buy a quality tool it will last you for the rest of your life.

It also works great on tie rod ends.

The forked side slides in where you put your pickle fork (between the knuckle and ball joint). The single side goes over the top and sits on top of the bolt. (so in the picture, the tool would be installed upside down with the tools bolt pointing down). Put a nice long 1/2" drive ratchet (or breaker bar) on it and slowly tighten until it POPS! Be sure your head is clear of the wheel well because when it pops you will jump (I promise!) LOL I've used my Kent-Moore tool to replace 2 of my Boxsters LCAs.

bwdz's method also works if you are good with a BFH. But when I've seen it done (by pros at alignment shops), they usually press a large steel block on the other side of the knuckle. One good shot to the side of the knuckle and the ball joint will pop out due to the taper on the ball joint bolt. Me, I'm not that brave when it comes to hitting my car with a BFH, so I use my Kent-Moore tool.
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Last edited by BirdDog; 04-07-2017 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:08 PM   #17
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That tool looks very beefy, bird dog!

Here's my harbor freight balljoint tool, with inside u-shaped edge ground out to fit around the 986 balljoint's 26mm diameter. (Still works on 986 tie rod ends, too!) I have very little doubt that this tool will also last my lifetime.



If you only back off the nut a little bit, the joints will pop loose with yawn-worthy drama.
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:56 AM   #18
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I've got the HF tool as well which worked on the other side of the car, but not on the side I had trouble with. I didn't grind it though, I think that would have made a difference. That HF is a nice tool, better (and wider jaws) than the loaner version I tried from the auto parts store.

OP: When you do get it, put a little anti-seize on before you put the new one back in to make it easier for next time .
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:03 AM   #19
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You can also find them on ebay for under $10
That's where I got mine and works perfectly
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:31 AM   #20
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Looks like a trip to harbor freight it is. I can do the bfh route, but my back will appreciate the correct took route. I'll have to see if the local store has it in stock, thanks. The ball joints are thoroughly doused in kroil at this point, should make for easy work.

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