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Thread: Control arms and shocks/struts question

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Franklin,Mass
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    405
    I think I just used a breaker bar on the nut and had a large adjustable wrench on the strut rod and wedged it so it wouldn't move.

    Joe
    It's not a 97 Sport, it just looks like one!

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    NE PA
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    491
    OEM style strut rod bushings

    https://www.supercoupeperformance.co...both-sides-583

    I used a pipe on the end of my breaker bar and an open end wrench or adjustable on the rod. You might need a second pair of hands. I recall enlisting the help of my father.

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Daytona Beach, FL
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    223
    Quote Originally Posted by TbirdSCFan View Post
    Yup. If you can just get a backup wrench to hold onto the 18mm nut on the back side of the shock tower, you can then reach behind the spring with your 15mm 6pt socket, and an extension, and should be able to take the bolt out. Its actually not too hard if you raise the car up and look from the underside.. SAFETY FIRST! NEVER get under a vehicle not fully supported by solid jack stands.
    If I tighten the UCA bolts from the bolt side (under the car), instead of the nut side, while having someone hold the nut steady with a wrench, will the torque specs be off? I know it's not ideal, but honestly I have no idea how I'd fit a torque wrench on the nut inside the engine bay, especially with a socket deep enough to account for the length of the bolt.

    Everything else is going great, I have only been able to work a little bit at a time since school started back up this week, but it's coming along xD.

  4. #49
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    Salem OR
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    I didn't bother to torque those particular fasteners, just leaned on them best I could, and after years of use, I've not seen any indication of a problem from that process.

    As long as the nuts are fully seated/snugged down, I'd not worry. I don't think it's critical in this example. Be sure to do a good sanity check with clear visual inspection when done. Just like with any nut/bolt application, confirm no stripped threads and no major difference in visible thread count beyond the nut, etc.
    Last edited by KMT; 01-10-2018 at 04:59 PM.

  5. #50
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    Dec 2015
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    Daytona Beach, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    I didn't bother to torque those particular fasteners, just leaned on them best I could, and after years of use, I've not seen any indication of a problem from that process.

    As long as the nuts are fully seated/snugged down, I'd not worry. I don't think it's critical in this example. Be sure to do a good sanity check with clear visual inspection when done. Just like with any nut/bolt application, confirm no stripped threads and no major difference in visible thread count beyond the nut, etc.
    Lower ball joint woes...

    I expected it to be difficult to remove, but it's at the point where I'm worried I'm gonna damage something if I keep hammering on it this hard. I stopped when I saw sparks and smoke from the blunt force of the hammer. The ball joint remover I rented isn't wide enough to go completely around the lower ball joint, and even the pickle fork didn't give me any help. I'm soaking it in penetrant overnight...again. Is there another tool I could use, would it be safe to use a ball joint press to press the entire joint out and then just remove the rest of the control arm?

  6. #51
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    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roboplex View Post
    Is there another tool I could use
    While letting it soak to help release any chemical bond that may have occurred over the years, be sure to keep it under load/tension with a tool that resemblers the one Tim shows below, or maybe a carefully placed picklefork - if it's still in place the next day, smack the side of the arm it passes thru with a 12 oz. ballpeen.

    If that doesn't do it, there are still other measures, so...
    Last edited by KMT; 01-11-2018 at 05:34 PM. Reason: added tool reference

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Roanoke, Virginia
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    I really don't see the lower ball joint coming out with hammering, regardless of how much penetrating oil is used.

    When i did mine, I used a rental tool from the local parts store that pressed the ball joint out. It looks like a C clamp with various fittings to press out the ball joint. Even with that I had to use air tools to press the old lower ball joint out. I believe the same tool also helps assisting press the new ball joint into place also, been a few years since I did the job.

    -Tim
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  8. #53
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    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Groth View Post
    I really don't see the lower ball joint coming out with hammering, regardless of how much penetrating oil is used.

    When i did mine, I used a rental tool from the local parts store that pressed the ball joint out. It looks like a C clamp with various fittings to press out the ball joint. Even with that I had to use air tools to press the old lower ball joint out. I believe the same tool also helps assisting press the new ball joint into place also, been a few years since I did the job.

    -Tim
    I might have to get that kind then. I've got this one, but the clamp doesn't open up enough to fit around the entire ball joint. It got the uppers, but the lowers are too long for the tool to fit.
    Name:  41lwbgZWd+L._SX300_.jpg
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  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Groth View Post
    I really don't see the lower ball joint coming out with hammering
    If you're referring to my comment, I recommended one smack on the side of the spindle arm (might distort the cavity long enuf to release the stub) while the joint is under directional load from a puller/separator down and away. If you mean hammering on the stub itself to force it down/out, I agree...fruitless. If you're talking about replacing the ball joint in the lower arm then we're talking about different things.

    When a stub has been effectively pressed into the arm by tightening the nut and left there for decades, a puller alone is unlikely to move it...in severe cases, it takes a combination of methods in order to succeed without doing damage. The last thing you want to do is wreck a spindle because you got carried away during the process If you have to spend more money taking things apart, spend it on tools....the right tools.

  10. #55
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    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    If you're referring to my comment, I recommended one smack on the side of the spindle arm (might distort the cavity long enuf to release the stub) while the joint is under directional load from a puller/separator down and away. If you mean hammering on the stub itself to force it down/out, I agree...fruitless. If you're talking about replacing the ball joint in the lower arm then we're talking about different things.

    When a stub has been effectively pressed into the arm by tightening the nut and left there for decades, a puller alone is unlikely to move it...in severe cases, it takes a combination of methods in order to succeed without doing damage. The last thing you want to do is wreck a spindle because you got carried away during the process If you have to spend more money taking things apart, spend it on tools....the right tools.
    Yeah I'm just worried I'm gonna break the spindle if I keep hammering it like I have been. I'll try hammering it while I have the joint under pressure with the pickle fork. If that doesn't work, I'll go rent a ball joint press (like Tim was saying). Use that to press the joint out of the arm, (and consequently the spindle) and then just take out the LCA afterwards if that's something you think might work.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roboplex View Post
    Yeah I'm just worried I'm gonna break the spindle if I keep hammering it like I have been.
    I'm not advocating repeated hammering, just one or two well placed smacks/jolts. If it's that hard to remove, a small press may not make much difference. Things that might help while still on the car: heat, tension from a puller, penetrating oil and one or two well placed hammer hits...combined.

    If those don't work, stop fighting it, remove the spindle from the car, take it to a machine shop and ask them to press it out for you. Still no joy, find another, naked, spindle.

  12. #57
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    May 2002
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    Dallas, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Groth View Post
    I really don't see the lower ball joint coming out with hammering, regardless of how much penetrating oil is used.

    When i did mine, I used a rental tool from the local parts store that pressed the ball joint out. It looks like a C clamp with various fittings to press out the ball joint. Even with that I had to use air tools to press the old lower ball joint out. I believe the same tool also helps assisting press the new ball joint into place also, been a few years since I did the job.

    -Tim
    Ditto what Tim and KMT said. The tool works much better. Its not perfect, removal will still mangle the old ball joint but that doesn't matter. You can heat up the LCA with a propane torch and that eases installation as well.

  13. #58
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    Jul 2002
    Location
    Roanoke, Virginia
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    The tool I used looks like this picture I found on google.



    I want to say the major parts stores rent them for like $150 or something outrageous...granted you get everything back with return. That tool you posted picture of looks like its more work than help.

    -Tim
    Last edited by Tim Groth; 01-11-2018 at 04:48 PM. Reason: errors
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  14. #59
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    Dec 2015
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    Daytona Beach, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Groth View Post
    The tool I used looks like this picture I found on google.



    I want to say the major parts stores rent them for like $150 or something outrageous...granted you get everything back with return. That tool you posted picture of looks like its more work than help.

    -Tim
    Okay, I'll have to see if I can pick one up. I'm gonna try heating the spindle around where the ball joint goes in first and hit it with the pickle fork, if that doesn't get me anywhere I'll run out and get that tool.

  15. #60
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    Jan 2010
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    Bossier City, LA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roboplex View Post
    I might have to get that kind then. I've got this one, but the clamp doesn't open up enough to fit around the entire ball joint. It got the uppers, but the lowers are too long for the tool to fit.
    Name:  41lwbgZWd+L._SX300_.jpg
Views: 40
Size:  11.6 KB
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Groth View Post
    The tool I used looks like this picture I found on google.



    I want to say the major parts stores rent them for like $150 or something outrageous...granted you get everything back with return. That tool you posted picture of looks like its more work than help.

    -Tim
    Different tools, different jobs.

    The one Roboplex shows is to remove the STUD from the spindle (usually!) for the tie rod or ball joint.

    The one TIM shows is to remove the BALL JOINT BODY from the control arm.

    What you're supposed to do is take Roboplex's tool, get it tightened up to put tension on the stud, then give the spindle a whack or two ... the tension in addition to the pressure will pop that stud right out! Usually, anyway ...

    THEN you use the tool Tim showed to remove the ball joint from the control arm. Unless you're like me, and replace both together.

    RwP

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