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Old 01-06-2009, 10:16 AM
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Learned a new tip about tie rod and ball joint removal

I learned something new a couple days ago that is probably common knowledge to some but not so common to people that don't do much suspension work. So I thought I'd share. To remove stubborn tie rods and ball joints, without ruining the boots, use a hammer to hit the part of the spindle around the area that the cone is seated in. Hitting the threaded portion of the tie rod or ball joint is a sure fire way to ruin the internals. I've never been able to use a fork to break one free without tearing the boot. Unfortunately I learned this from a buddy after ruining $100 bucks worth of parts. Hope this helps.

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:12 AM
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Yup, just heard about that one myself a few years ago and it works like a champ.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:06 PM
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The bigger the hammer----the better it works.

Also----if you can get behind the area you are smacking with another hammer
-- it pops off easier.

Note: do not fully remove the castlenut before hitting----the nut will keep the everything in check until you can properly support the control arm.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:11 PM
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Been doing that for 20 years and there is still people that tell me it won't work!
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:53 PM
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thats the way i have always broken loose tapered joints.
my dad taught me to do it that way back in the 60s when i was a little kid.
i bought a separator for my air hammer only because i had a joint i couldn't get room to swing a hammer at on a wrecked car. the only other times i've used it was when i was hurt and couldn't swing a hammer.
a dead blow hammer works much better than a standard hammer, most tie rods come loose with 1 hit, 4~5 swings on the hardest to separate ball joints.

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:51 PM
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That is how we removed the torsion bars on the rear suspension of 5 ton trucks in the Marine Corps. A big sledge hammer and some hearing protection and they vibrate right out of where they are seated. Of course they weighed almost a hundred pounds and had a cone three inches in diameter
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:18 AM
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I have been using that a long time too, probably not 20 years ago though. Like someone else pointed out, it works even better when you hold a hammer on the opposite side from where you are hitting. I discovered the technique by accident trying to get a tie rod loose on a Kubota tractor at work. Didnt have pickle fork. Been using it ever since.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:16 PM
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Sometimes it also helps to put some pressure on the part, like prying it apart, it can help release a bit easier.
"When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not." - Mark Twain
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