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Old June 14th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #1
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** major problem!! Need help!!! **

So I went to install my camber kit today...which means replacing the control arms. First side, bam, no problem. Here's where my life story keeps recurring...

I go to pop the ball joint out of the spindle using a pickle fork. The same way I did the first side. I'm slapping the shat out of this pickle fork and NOTHING. Nothing budges...nothing wiggles...nothing at all. Now I'm stuck with a ball joint bolt that's literally welded to the spindle. Crap...I have to drill it out. Go buy a cobalt bit that's recommended for hardened steel and cast iron...this has got to do it, right? Nope. Can't drill into the part of the bolt that's in the spindle. So now I've got a majorly deformed ball joint bolt, and somehow it's fused with the spindle to form a super alloy that is apparently harder than hardened steel and cast iron.

ANY suggestions? I feel like I've tried EVERYTHING. I don't want to throw the wheel back on and drive to a shop because with my luck, the bolt would pop out and the wheel would just fall out sideways. The car is sitting in my garage and I have no air tools =/.

Please help. Thanks. FML.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #2
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damn viet i wish i could help! can u take pics? its hard for some of us to visualize
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Old June 14th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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get that tool.

i had the same issues, i ended up having to remove my whole knuckle, then using the fork with a big ass hammer. PITA. but i had to change my wheel bearings anyways.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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Do you think that tool would work? Did you have air tools to remove your knuckle? That hub bolt is torqued on at 181ft-lbs...I can't imagine breaking that loose without an impact wrench.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #5
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^Put your tire back on, put it on the ground without the center cap and use a 2-3' breaker bar.......

Also try knocking the spindle casting near the upper control arm back and forth a few times with a hammer, it is a cylindrical fit and the sideways banging will usually losen it up.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #6
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Knocking the spindle casting back and forth as in towards the front of the car, then towards the rear? Is this to loosen the ball joint or the spindle for hub removal?

I think if that doesn't work tomorrow morning, I'm gonna put the wheel back on and take it to my uncle's shop to see what he can do about it.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 09:17 PM   #7
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well i broke down and bought a axle nut socket (36mm i believe)

took out my breaker bar, and added the end of my jack stand pipe, put the wheel on, and gave it a good push down and it came loose.

i would have definately used an impact, but my friends ran off with it and i had no other choice.

for your upper control arm ball joint, is the fork you are using the right size? mine was a little too big, so i ended up hammering the ends of the fork together to make them closer together... kinda ghetto, but it worked :P

i hate ball joints.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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What did you use to put the axle nut back on? Get a huge torque wrench? 181ft-lbs is a lot!
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Old June 15th, 2009, 03:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VietNinjaJ30A1 View Post
Knocking the spindle casting back and forth as in towards the front of the car, then towards the rear? Is this to loosen the ball joint or the spindle for hub removal?

I think if that doesn't work tomorrow morning, I'm gonna put the wheel back on and take it to my uncle's shop to see what he can do about it.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys.
Same applies to the lower, only you hit the lower control arm near the ball joint. Another trick I use to use before I got the tools I now have is to put the nut on upside down leaving it lose a couple threads, then putting a jack stand under the nut and lower the car on it and use the weight of the car to push it out.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #10
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Thanks, Paul! I'll give the knocking another try. If it doesn't work I'll throw the wheel back on and take it to my uncle's shop.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 08:53 AM   #11
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So no amount of knocking could bust it loose. I'm taking it to my uncle's shop to see what he can throw at it. I was reading on other forums (not just Honda/Acura) that using a bigger hammer has worked for someone in my situation. The guy used a 4lbs sledge and hit the spindle where the ball joint connected...that popped his ball joint out. I don't have a 4lbs. sledge and I don't plan on spending (err...wasting) any more time on this. Off to the shop she goes... =[
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Old June 15th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #12
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wow was a PITA. keep us posted and take some pics at the shop
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:33 PM   #13
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I always get in the same situation as you. Anytime i try to work on my car at home I run into a problem I cannot take care of using the tools I have ahahhaha
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Old June 15th, 2009, 03:48 PM   #14
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One method I have actually seen work and use requires two people. On person holds the head of an 8 pound sledgehammer against the outside of of the ball joint while another person whacks it with a 3 to 4 pound sledgehammer on the opposite side. The impact squeezes the ball joint assembly for an instant, breaking the taper fit loose.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 09:48 PM   #15
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could you even get the pickle fork around the actual ball joint? my old integra did the same thing. i had to bang the hell out of it to get it around the joint and actually stand on the fork to pry it loose. i have a long fork, but ive seen pretty small ones so.... idk good luck with that. ball joints are so much fun
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Old June 16th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #16
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The car is at the shop right now...hopefully I'll get it back today or tomorrow...I guess it depends on how hard it is for my uncle to break it loose.

I'm just baffled as to why one side was so easy to pop loose and the other side is holding on for dear life. I was using a rubber mallet, so I think that may be one reason why I couldn't get it to pop loose...the mallet was probably absorbing a lot of the shock from each hit.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 10:11 AM   #17
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All it takes is a little moisture on the surfaces during installation to freeze it up real good.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #18
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interesting...

I wish I had known that before installing the new one =/. I would've double checked to make sure everything was dry.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 08:28 PM   #19
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Got the car back today. Everything's working great. No more knocking from the control arm hitting the strut tower. Wheels are straighter even before a real alignment, but I'll probably get that done later this week.

Bump steer is crazy now that I've got more tire on the road. Acceleration and handling feel better too...probably for the same reason.
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