Remove lower ball joints 1967 El Camino
Car: 1967 El Camino w/ 396cid
How hard is it to remove lower ball joints with control arms still attached to car?
I am converting from drum to disk brakes and was looking into replacing all the rubber that is 45 years old while I'm at it. I've seen them being beat out by taking the control arm off and beating the ball joints out with a hammer. I don't have a vise that I can do that with and I'm not all that comfortable with taking the control arms off. Well, I'm sure I can get the control arms off, it's the getting everything back together and lined up that I don't know much about. I'm trying not to buy more tools to get this done.
I am just a little worried about getting into a bigger mess than I know what to do with and end up spending a lot more than I want.
Easy.. Support the car under the lower arm with a stand. Remove spindle assembly from car. Pound the joint out.
To put it in, stuff the joint back under the arm in its hole. Lift it slightly with a floor jack on the joint,use a wood block to keep from deforming the joint. Lift the cars weight onto it, then pound the control arm down to push the joint through it.
OR go to adavanced and rent the correct tool. A ball joint press is really the right way.
Lots of guys wont rent the tool or dont have local axcess to tools like that, which would be the only reason I described how to do it with the floor jack and a hammer. If you are not careful you can mess things up pretty bad.
I put many in with a floor jack and a hammer, but that is just me.
Either way (jack, wood, BFH or the correct tool) these thing have been in the car for nearing 50 years and will be difficult to remove.
When reinstalling----the must start in the holes absolutely square.
Not too difficult to crack the control arm upon reinstalling (done that).
I'd suggest removing the control arm and taking it to a machine shop to do the dirty work, but removing and reinstalling the springs in these cars can be a pain in the hiney.
I'll check the local part stores for a press. The top one doesn't seem to be too hard to get out.
I use a piece of 1/2 inch allthread and some washers to compress the springs, just enough to get the lower control arm bushings pinned on with the bolts.
Put allthread , (about an 18 inch piece) through the hole where the shoch absorber goes through. and at the top where it goes through the spring perch (bucket for spring)
I put 2 nuts on top end and tighten them together , then put a couple hefty washers on the bottom. Then you crank the bottom nuts down to compress the spring. Usually only a few inches is enough to get the bushing ends of the control arms close enough to slide the bolts in.
Once you have pinned the comtrol arm at the bushing end, lift the car by the ball joint end of the control arm, using the cars weight to compress the spring further so you can hang the spindle.
Once you have the spindle back on THEN remove the allthread. In case you slip before you get her coupled together, the allthread keeps the spring from flying out if things get hairy.
ALSO .. very important.. many guys make this mistake....
Dont tighten the control arm bushing bolts untill last. You need to have the car setting on its weight on the ground so the bushing is registered in the position it will be in with the car on the ground.If you dont, the center will rip out of the bushing and it will groan and creak like an arthritic old man and you wont like that, I assure you.
Good news everyone!
Got the lower ball joints out. Much easier than I feared. However, it seems to be the upper ones giving me trouble now. Think I'm going to see if I can borrow one tomorrow.
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