For the ball ends that you mentioned I use this tool (but I got it somewhere cheaper, and in black). I'll try to remember where else I saw it. This tool does it quickly and really easily w/o any damage to the boots. The hammer method isn't as reliable for me, but works great for some other folks.
The Golden Rule
1984 300SD (bought new, sold it in 1988, bought it back 13 yrs. later)