Easiest way to get the lower ball joint out of the knuckle?

Discussion in '7.3L Powerstroke Diesels' started by fields_mj, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. fields_mj

    fields_mj Full Access Member

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    I have the knuckles off the truck, and I'm getting ready to remove the ball joints from them. My current plan is to remove the lowers first, then use a piece of pipe as a punch to drive the uppers out. Is this the best way? What's the best way to get the lower ball joint out?

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  2. IDIoit

    IDIoit MachinistFabricator Supporting Member

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    I fought and fought with mine, gave up and went to a buddys shop and used his 10 ton hyd press.

    had the old ones out and new ones in, in 20 minutes
     
  3. fields_mj

    fields_mj Full Access Member

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    My plan is to give it a go by hand. If that doesn't work, it's off to harbor freight to purchase a 12 ton shop press. I've had a couple of uses for one over the years, but never enough to justify the floor space or the $125 cost. That may change this evening :)
     
  4. 79jasper

    79jasper Chickenhawk

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    I used the orielly rental tool. Worked well. Not that much to it.
    Do the lower first, then doing the upper you run the bolt through the hole from the lower one.


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
     
  5. snicklas

    snicklas 6.0 and Loving It!! Staff Member

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    As you have seen from everyone, getting the ball joints out of the knuckle suck. If you mean by hand, in using a big ratchet or a huge breker bar, then good luck. I was in my buddies shop that he works on Jeeps all the time in, and he has a guy that builds diesel transmissions out of. He has a decent ball joint kit, which we used, and to have enough power to pop them out, we ended up using a 3/4 inch air impact wrench. I was able to press the first 2 out by hand, using a 24" breaker bar, with it in a vice, and him holding the knuckle and tools steady. I really had to LEAN on the breaker bar. Now to explain my LEAN, the wrench was about shoulder high, and I go about 350-375lbs and it took me pulling and pushing with everything I had, to get it to move...... which is why we used the big impact.

    I'm hoping when I replace them here soon, for a second time, maybe they won't be so hard to get apart........
     
  6. austin92

    austin92 Full Access Member

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    You can really Jew down harbor freight guys. My 20 ton press listed for 200$. Walked out the door with an inside track club card and the press for 130$. I don't have a garage and it stays inside, it's not that big


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  7. fields_mj

    fields_mj Full Access Member

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    Well, looks like I won't be getting a hydraulic press. I got home at 6:15 last night, and by 6:45 I had all 4 of them out, tools put away (thrown back in the bucket), hands half way cleaned up, and was back in the house. I sat the knuckle on my vise and used a 3lb sledge and a 1 1/4" deep impact socket to drive out the lowers, then used a length of 1-1/4" black pipe with a cap to drive out the uppers. Sounds like I finally got lucky on something :)
     
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  8. IDIoit

    IDIoit MachinistFabricator Supporting Member

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    wish I was that lucky...congrats

    but in my defense, the title of the thread did specify "easiest" lol
     
  9. fields_mj

    fields_mj Full Access Member

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    Very true. Easiest would have been the hyd press. Saved me a Benjamin this time.
     
  10. tschus

    tschus Registered User

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    I took mine to a local shop that works on tractor trailers, dump trucks, etc. They tried to use the hydraulic press method and guess what ... it broke their press with my ball joints. They ended up using some pipe and a 1 inch air ratchet and told me to get a different truck.
     

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