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Install of Shocks gone wrong!! need a bit of guida

This is a discussion on Install of Shocks gone wrong!! need a bit of guida within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; This weekend i was home moving my parents shit, since they sold the house. Thought i'd tackle the springs and ...

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    Install of Shocks gone wrong!! need a bit of guida

    This weekend i was home moving my parents shit, since they sold the house. Thought i'd tackle the springs and shocks. I found the how to on LS1. SOOO i figured i would start with the hardest one first, front passenger. Start tearing into her and broke the sway arm bolt. ( When i had it aligned the guy broke it and said nothing, so when i tore into it i broke it clean off again) So a quick stop at autozone and i was back at it. Started on the upper ball joint and i can't remove it from the spindle arm, its stuck in there!! How do i remove?? The how to, said to use a pickle fork?? which i have no idea on what that is, so I tried to pry it a bit but she is welded in there good from 10 years of driving. Other then this minor problem which i have no idea on how to fix it. everything is ready to come out. Hopefully someone has had this problem and can tell me what to do, to get this off?

    Any thoughts would be a big help
    Thanks guys

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    Car Nut ICRAZY6's Avatar
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    Just tap on the metal surrounding the ball joint shaft. Also penatrating fluid does wonders. Worst case you replace the upper ball joint while it's apart.

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GOR1LA View Post
    This weekend i was home moving my parents shit, since they sold the house. Thought i'd tackle the springs and shocks. I found the how to on LS1. SOOO i figured i would start with the hardest one first, front passenger. Start tearing into her and broke the sway arm bolt. ( When i had it aligned the guy broke it and said nothing, so when i tore into it i broke it clean off again) So a quick stop at autozone and i was back at it. Started on the upper ball joint and i can't remove it from the spindle arm, its stuck in there!! How do i remove?? The how to, said to use a pickle fork?? which i have no idea on what that is, so I tried to pry it a bit but she is welded in there good from 10 years of driving. Other then this minor problem which i have no idea on how to fix it. everything is ready to come out. Hopefully someone has had this problem and can tell me what to do, to get this off?

    Any thoughts would be a big help
    Thanks guys
    Quote Originally Posted by ICRAZY6 View Post
    Just tap on the metal surrounding the ball joint shaft. Also penatrating fluid does wonders. Worst case you replace the upper ball joint while it's apart.

    i had the same problem, this is how i did it (disclaimer..even tho i did it like this..it isnt recommended) i took a hammer and tapped the spindle down on the s part of it. and i tapped the ball joint threaded thing along with a lot of skunk piss (pb blaster) and it came off. i would avoid hammering the ball joint thing as it can damage it....i was just impatience

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    hey thanks guys i got it and she is now lowered about an inch all around. Looks a ton better!!

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    How did you end up getting it out?

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    Chief of his tribe! LSCyaL8R's Avatar
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    yeah.... it's not recommended to take a hammer to the threads on the ball joint because if you damage the end you might not be able to get the nut back on.... To tell the truth... i did it the same way.... just tap it lightly and after a few tries it usually just pops right out.

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    Member Camaro69Mac's Avatar
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    Just did my springs shocks and struts this weekend and i think i broke both ball joints, (I SURE HOPE SO) cause it looks great lowered with the eibach's but now it sounds horrible when i hit bumps like something is loose or just done wrong. I did smash the control arm upward to get the balljoint off so maybe i broke it. Just seems weird to break both but they are 11 years old. Cheap easy fix just sucks cause i'm not positive it its even that. Either way what a pain in the.... I have no idea what else could be the problem. I took the strut off 3 times so far and made sure everything is tight. Sway bar links are tight strut is tight, everything is snug

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    A "pickle fork" is also known as a ball joint spreader or ball joint tool. It has a long solid steel shaft attched to a "U" shaped end. The "U" is basicly two wedges that work to seperate the ball joint from the hub assembly, by placing it between the joint and hub then striking the end with a hammer till the joint seperates.. Imho once you strike a ball joint shaft with a hammer the joint is toast, not only can the threads be smashed, but the joint it self may become damaged inside. Heat, from a simple propane torch can help with seperation too.. Heat the threaded shaft, NOT the ball housing..
    Last edited by Smittro; 05-09-2010 at 10:19 AM.
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    Member Camaro69Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    A "pickle fork" is also known as a ball joint spreader or ball joint tool. It has a long solid steel shaft attched to a "U" shaped end. The "U" is basicly two wedges that work to seperate the ball joint from the hub assembly, by placing it between the joint and hub then striking the end with a hammer till the joint seperates.. Imho once you strike a ball joint shaft with a hammer the joint is toast, not only can the threads be smashed, but the joint it self may become damaged inside. Heat, from a simple propane torch can help with seperation too.. Heat the threaded shaft, NOT the ball housing..
    I smashed the control arm itself but still same result I think I never learn haha always top much force when I do things

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    what shocks did you use? if u run konis...i bet the sound you hear is like a rattling..a metal on metal...if so it is because you did not torque down the top nut enough ...the metal washer should not be able to move....... i would also check to see if you torqued/tightened the nut on the ball joint enough....you really need to get that tight to make sure the spindle and upper control arm is truly mated ..if not the spindle will be able to move up and down a certain amount independently of the control arm....i would double check these first before thinking your Balljoints are toast.....a lot of the time people will tighten them and the shaft will spin and they call it good ..

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    Member Camaro69Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    what shocks did you use? if u run konis...i bet the sound you hear is like a rattling..a metal on metal...if so it is because you did not torque down the top nut enough ...the metal washer should not be able to move....... i would also check to see if you torqued/tightened the nut on the ball joint enough....you really need to get that tight to make sure the spindle and upper control arm is truly mated ..if not the spindle will be able to move up and down a certain amount independently of the control arm....i would double check these first before thinking your Balljoints are toast.....a lot of the time people will tighten them and the shaft will spin and they call it good ..

    I got bilsteins the nut is tight I even took it out today compressed. The spring and tightened it again everything is very tight one thing I noticed (this is gonna be hard.to explain) but the nut on The balljoint is tight and it actually tightened way past the hole where the cotter.pin goes in if that makes any sense? But I really think it's balljoints It really is the only thing left I hope anyways I've taken the strut assembly out 4 times now Damn good at it haha well least it looks good sitting in my driveway...errrr

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    well than good luck
    just wanted to throw those out just incase you missed them.

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    Member Camaro69Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    well than good luck
    just wanted to throw those out just incase you missed them.
    Thanks I appreciate the help I just figured someone else would of had this problem...I guess. ill wait.till Thursday to find out parts won't be in till then

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    old timer blue02Z's Avatar
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    ball joints usually just dont break, they get slack in them. check for slack with them assembled on the car

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camaro69Mac View Post
    I got bilsteins the nut is tight I even took it out today compressed. The spring and tightened it again everything is very tight one thing I noticed (this is gonna be hard.to explain) but the nut on The balljoint is tight and it actually tightened way past the hole where the cotter.pin goes in if that makes any sense? But I really think it's balljoints It really is the only thing left I hope anyways I've taken the strut assembly out 4 times now Damn good at it haha well least it looks good sitting in my driveway...errrr
    Happens, you'll just need to tighten it a little further till the slots on the nut and the hole realign again. DO NOT drive without a cotter key in the hole. Best way to tell if the joint is shot is to move it around by hand. Notice, is it hard to move?, or very easy, OR does it just flop to one side or the other? The joint should be stiff to move but movable with no lumpiness feeling to its movement. If it just flops around, is very easy to manipulate, or feels as if it's sticking when you move it by hand the joint is prolly shot.

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    Member Camaro69Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Happens, you'll just need to tighten it a little further till the slots on the nut and the hole realign again. DO NOT drive without a cotter key in the hole. Best way to tell if the joint is shot is to move it around by hand. Notice, is it hard to move?, or very easy, OR does it just flop to one side or the other? The joint should be stiff to move but movable with no lumpiness feeling to its movement. If it just flops around, is very easy to manipulate, or feels as if it's sticking when you move it by hand the joint is prolly shot.

    when i had it out yesterday it definately feels like its sticking when you move it by hand. I'll find out tomorrow cause i am getting the parts in so i'll do one side and find out if thats what it was. I REALLY HOPE SO! This is pissing me off.I prolly shouldnt of just smashed the control arm upwards without using a balljoint fork i've done it many times i just was impaitent haha (thats what i get)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camaro69Mac View Post
    when i had it out yesterday it definately feels like its sticking when you move it by hand. I'll find out tomorrow cause i am getting the parts in so i'll do one side and find out if thats what it was. I REALLY HOPE SO! This is pissing me off.I prolly shouldnt of just smashed the control arm upwards without using a balljoint fork i've done it many times i just was impaitent haha (thats what i get)
    Well other than it's "prettiness" lol I doubt you hurt anything by wacking on it. My concern came with the mention of the cotter key holes. I had a friend whom did'nt use them for no other reason than he lost them. Well @ 80mph out pops a deer, he slams the brakes and the passenger wheel assemble seperated under hard braking. The car immediatly turned and nailed the Jersey barriers. Due to the continuous vibration that a ball joint is under, the keeper nut (without cotter) can actually "unscrew" itself and allow control arm seperation..

    Here in PA you can actually fail your vehicle inspection without cotter keys inplace..
    Last edited by Smittro; 05-12-2010 at 12:39 AM.

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    PS. If you don't have a grease gun grab or borrow one. Your new ball joint is lible to have a grease fitting where the stock one most likely did'nt. You just don't want a "dry" balljoint..

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    Member Camaro69Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    PS. If you don't have a grease gun grab or borrow one. Your new ball joint is lible to have a grease fitting where the stock one most likely did'nt. You just don't want a "dry" balljoint..
    I'd never skip putting the pin in I've heard some stories also screw that haha but ya they never have greese.in these joints we will see what happens after work today ill be lost if this isn't the problem

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Well other than it's "prettiness" lol I doubt you hurt anything by wacking on it. My concern came with the mention of the cotter key holes. I had a friend whom did'nt use them for no other reason than he lost them. Well @ 80mph out pops a deer, he slams the brakes and the passenger wheel assemble seperated under hard braking. The car immediatly turned and nailed the Jersey barriers. Due to the continuous vibration that a ball joint is under, the keeper nut (without cotter) can actually "unscrew" itself and allow control arm seperation..

    Here in PA you can actually fail your vehicle inspection without cotter keys inplace..
    just did one ball joint and well damnit! that wasnt it...same clunking took strut out again 5th time at least and for some reason i'm thinking that the upper control arm where the strut goes too is shot. (it was rusted really bad) maybe the metal got thinner if that makes sense? cause i threw this rubber washer thing i made and the clunk got quiter but still is there. any suggestions anyone? its pissing me off i just want this over and done with its not making sense to me

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