Upper Ball Joint Hell!

02-28-2010, 05:41 PM
After a full day wasted and an aching smashed hand, I've decided to back up and punt...I'm trying to replace my upper & lower ball joints and my sway bar links. All the bushings and boots are obliterated. I read my Haynes procedure and the following links:


Problem 1: Cannot break the upper BJ stud out of the steering knuckle!!!! Here is what I did: Took cotter pin out of stud and loosened castle nut as much as I could without removing it. Attempt1: Beat the hell out of it with a hammer. Attempt2: Broke a pickle fork from Advance Auto. Attempt 3: Pneumatic pickle fork. Attempt 4: Jacked up lower controll arm and placed a board between the ground and the upper CA, then removed the jack. Tried the pneumatic fork in unison with the board. Nothing has moved the stud! What am I doing wrong? I used a Pittman puller on the lower and it popped right out.

Problem 2: My lower BJ isn't mounted to the surface of the lower CA. It is actually inserted into the lower CA between two plates. It looks like I need to swing the disk out of the way (like shown in an above link) to be able to pull the LBJ body out of the LCA. The problem here is a flex hose that runs from under the UCA to the back of the disk. It isn't long enough to allow the disk to be moved and I'm not sure what it is. I'm not talking about the hose running to the brake caliper, it's something else.

My truck is a 98 Rodeo 3.2L V6. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

02-28-2010, 08:13 PM
As for #1, you need some heat. An oxy-acetylene torch is best. Heat up the steering knuckle moderatly (not glowing red!!) around the BJ stud, then whack the hell out of it with a BFH and a pickle fork.

If you do not have access to an OA torch, use two plumbing - type propane torches, on both sides of the knuckle at the same time. Get the knuckle as hot as you can, then try the fork.

02-28-2010, 10:44 PM
I got it! I jacked the lower CA up and braced the upper before lowering the jack. Then after much pounding on the steering knuckle, the BJ stud just popped out! That just seems crazy after all the prying between the upper CA and the steering knuckle. Just whacking the knuckle works! As for the unknown flex hose, I just pryed it over enough to be able to get a socket on an extension on the UBJ castellated nut. These MOOG parts look much sturdier than the factory stuff that was on my Rodeo. I like the grease fittings. Thanks for the encouragement. I'll snap some pics tomorrow when I wrap it up.

Cat Fuzz
03-01-2010, 02:47 AM
Yeah, pickle forks don't work well on our trucks. Smacking the hell out of the knuckle is the only thing to do. Also, do NOT use heat. Especially something as hot as an oxy-acetylene torch.

Add your comment to this topic!