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  #1  
Old 07-29-2001, 11:27 AM
hectortam
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Anyone has a good trick for removing tie rods/ball joints?

I have used the pickle fork. I have used the special tools to remove (the one resembling a C clamp) and got bent. The tool cost me $150 and bent like if made of pot steel.

I tried some heat via a flame torch and directly on the steering knuckle. This, to open up the hole and allow the ball joint stud to pull out. Nothing either (I did not apply too much heat for fear for overheating other nearby components)

Any other approaches?

Thanks for your responses...
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  #2  
Old 07-29-2001, 11:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
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It seems that every installation requires different technique/tools. As you have seen sometimes it takes more than one.

Most techs use a technique that requires little in the way of tools. This requires loading the joint and smacking the casting, that holds the tapered pin, sharply with a hammer. Sometimes two hammers from different sides with blows coming simultaneously. The key is to load the joint through jacking technique or otherwise.

BTW if you have arranged a good load be sure to leave the nut on a few threads so that things don't fly apart when it gives.
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Continental Imports
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  #3  
Old 07-29-2001, 11:55 AM
hectortam
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Thanks stevebfl

I will assume that smacking it means really a hard smack!

Also, I was going to apply some heat to increase the OD of the larger casting. Is that a good idea? I removed the ball joint rubber already and only the grease will fry. Got an extinguisher just in case. I feel that simple smacking is not enough. Unless, of course, as a rookie I don't know how hard to smack.

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  #4  
Old 07-30-2001, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York City Burbs
Posts: 177
on my 190E, I pulled the lower control arms off and put 'em on my 12 ton press to get the buggers out. It took some extra wrenching and a good wrestling with the coil springs, but it went ok. It was a lot of work , as I didnt have the 'right' tool.

A better-quality ball joint remover , like the c-clamp one you were using, sounds like the best way to go in terms of time, sweat, and safety.

Just my humble opinion,
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2001, 01:30 PM
hectortam
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Beware of tools

Yes, the C-clamp, in theory, sounds great. I purchased the tool and I used it yesterday. Instead of the ball joint stud moving out, the C clamp opened up. This is a "heavy duty"-looking tool. It cost me $150 for it and was crap. Turning the screw of the tool did not take much of an effort. This tells me the tool has some cheap pot steel, or something.

I have sent an email to the vendor for a replacement. Will let you know if the new one is OK. Again, theoretically, the tool should make life very easy.
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2001, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York City Burbs
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Sorry to hear that the tool is failing. A good ball joint tool costs around $350, I think. I remember seeing one offered by Sir Tools. I have dealt with them before and they are fairly priced and offer prompt response/shipping on specialty tools. Check 'em out on their web site.
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'84 Porsche 944 (parts car)
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2001, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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I recently did this job on my 1984 300SD, and paid a machinist about $70 or so to press out the old ball joints (from the steering knuckle) and press in the new ones.

On my car, they are pressed in at an angle that makes using most ball joint tools ineffective. There are places that will rent you the MB tool (manufactured by SIR) but I decided against that option as the price differential was not that great and didn't want to wait for the tool to arrive.

Not a fun job, but the results were worth it. I also replaced the track rod mount bushings at the same time and the front end is now very quiet and feels new again.

Chris Blanchard
1984 300SD 141.4k
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2001, 11:04 PM
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I used the C Clamp type tool that I borrowed from AUTOZONE on my 190E when I bought the lower ball joints there. The joint pressed out slightly then would not budgeat all . The joint was pressed in at a slight angle. I then used a thin pipe wrench as a shim to " square up" the ball joint press and it pressed right out. ( The wrench was thicker on one side) The other side went very easily when the tool was square while pressing the joint out.
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