Ball Joint for A-link install? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old November 24th, 2009, 11:35 PM
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Ball Joint for A-link install?

I searched through the posts about reinstalling the ball joint for the rear A link and it looks like I need to find a socket to go over the joint to evenly push on the flanges. Anyone here have any other advice before I go buy a socket I'll use only once? Any other tried and trued techniques in the past? Thanks
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  #2  
Old November 25th, 2009, 05:52 AM
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A big shop press and a plenty of PB Blaster made my repair much easier.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 09:49 AM
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Ball Joint Rear link

Mudder, I just completed this job. You can spend 1-2 days wresteling with some method of removal while the assembly is in the car or take the A arm assembly out. After studying the force needed to remove the ball joint for all of 1-2 minutes, I took the assembly out.

What you need are short pieces of pipe, not a socket. If you use a socket, either 6 or 12 point, you wont acheive a solid linear force on the part. You also might end up shattering the socket too. Ideally, the Ball Joint carrier should be separated from the two A arms for ease of handeling, but the job can be done with the assembly together. If the thing is corroded, your probably going to need more than a bench vise for pushing and pressing. I suggest for getting the job done right, bring it to a machine shop, particularly for pressing the new ball joint in place. If you've got a vise, 1st back out the ball joint retaining bolts half way. Then place one pipe on the top ID of the Ball joint and one pipe in contact with the two bolts on the bottom. Slowly press. If something distorts or corrosion just wont move the parts with reasonable force, then I'd suggest you need a machine shop where fixturing is safer. Installation is a bit easier but alignment of the Ball joint is important and pressing evenly on the OD of the bottom face of the Ball joint to get it in place is important. Use plenty of anti-seize. They last reliably 40-50K miles and thats w/o thrashing.

Hope this helps
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Old November 25th, 2009, 12:50 PM
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Thanks Mark,

I removed the ball joint last week. Ended up buying a shop press to do it. Figured I will need it to remove other bushings etc. Definitely going to put anti-seize on everything. I just hope the ring n the A arm doesn't break when I press the new ball joint in. It seems like a really tight fit.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Stick the ball joint in the freezer before installing. I do this with bushings and it makes it much easier for the evilfij press (big hammer).
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Old November 25th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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I have done this with headests for mountain bikes. Makes it much easier to press it in when the metal shrinks
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Old November 25th, 2009, 02:16 PM
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Metal shrinking

Yes, making the part smaller helps. Old racer trick to get a tolerance bearing into a bearing carrier hub. Freeze the bearing and warm the hub carrier. Works much easier.

The fit for the Ball joint is very tight, however, if your working with (typically) corroded up parts, it would be advisable to hone the ID just a bit also. If you see surface corrosion, the tolerance fit will not be correct and all the anti-seize in the world wont help if your working with somthing out of tolerance. I actually had to trash the Ball joint carrier on the A arm that came out of the truck due to corrosion and pitting of the ID. Didnt like the way it looked. Other thing that is a bit suspect to me is the idea of an adjustable Ball joint. I saved the old one and will disect it some time but my guess is this design may allow for corrosion intrusion of the joint from the top down. Why anyone would think of making a moving part that offers a resting place for dirt, mud, rust and the like to sit on is beyond me. I used an oem sealed Ball joint/non adjustable.

Challenge in driving the Ball joint home is ensuring it goes in straight. The top surface of the carrier is flat but due to ist overall irregular shape, it wont sit flat in a press without some fixturing. So, your fixture needs to be absolute zero in perpendicularity to the ball joint bore. I also question the use of a big hammer to accomplish this vs. a slow steady press. It wouldnt be the first time I've heard of someone altering the inner surfaces of a ball joint by whacking it home.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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I always use the opposite side of my large Hub nut wrench. I take off the new boot and the large round end fits right over it. Then into the 15 T press it goes. slides right in with some lube on it
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Old November 25th, 2009, 02:51 PM
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To be clear I use a hammer for bushings, not the ball joint in the A-arm.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDSUX
I searched through the posts about reinstalling the ball joint for the rear A link and it looks like I need to find a socket to go over the joint to evenly push on the flanges. Anyone here have any other advice before I go buy a socket I'll use only once? Any other tried and trued techniques in the past? Thanks
Or do what i do....


turn the A frame the other way up, so the "wings" are resting on the plates on the lower part of the press, then push the back of the A frame with the press piston (with a piece of hefty bar across the back of it)
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  #11  
Old November 26th, 2009, 11:36 AM
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To remove it, I always cut off the wings with a cutoff wheel then just lay it in the press between the plates.
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  #12  
Old November 26th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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This is good stuff. Thanks for all the input, exactly why I am here on this forum. I was able to press it back on lastnight after freezing the balljoint and boiling the A arm. Goes on so much easier. And to think I paid all that good money on a college tuhition and couldn't remember simple physics. Thanks again everyone
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Old November 27th, 2009, 07:46 AM
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In case anyone else is looking for this info. I used a 58mm socket I bought from northern tools for $12 and a 12 ton press.
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