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Discussion Starter #1
I can't get the ball joint to separate from the spindle/knuckle. This is on the passenger side...I am replacing the lower control arm on the passenger side, and the swaybar endlinks and strut rod bushings on both sides.

I have the brake caliper out of the way and have removed the rotor and swaybar end links to maximize space. I started by trying to use a pickle fork, but it seemed to short so I went to kragen and bought the biggest one tall wise and it still isnt enough. I have tried smashing down on the ball joint bolt (with the nut loosened to the end of the threads) as well as doubling up on the pickle forks - that worked great on the swaybar endlinks.

Its funny the easiest part so far has been the lower shock bolt, which everyone says is a PITA...but mine was loose from the start!!!
 

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Take a big hammer and give the spindle a good pop where the ball joint goes through (hit the side, either front or back, whichever gives you a clear shot). You can try this with a pickle fork stuck in the opposite side you hit as well. I did a ton of suspension work at the shop I was at, but seldom used pickle forks. Good luck!
 

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When I did mine, they didn't want to come out either! I did as coolhandzep & DLF said, used a big hammer, pounded a ball joint separator "tuning fork" in as hard as I could, but then had to tap elsewhere on it with the fork stuck in putting pressure on it before it would budge. I'm not positive, but I may have had to heat either the driver's or passengers joint up with an acetylene torch as well before pounding away to get it out!
 

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Use a pitman arm seperator from the parts store.

-Miller
 

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make sure the jack isn't holding the car up using the control arm or anythign connected to it or you will never get it out.

I did that for 30 mins before I realized I had to move the jack. once I moved the jack, I used a hand held torch to heat it up a bit, it popped right out after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Car is on jackstands, so its not on the jack. Looks like I will have to go buy a small but heavy sledge hammer. Pounding in the fork then banging down on the spindle is not working with the hammer or maul I am using LOL. Thanks for the tips guys hopefully the sledge will do it and I wont have to heat.
 

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If you arent re-using the LCA .. just whack the ball joint directly on Top after you bang the spindle knuckle a few times. Usually it will pop out if you give the knuckle a nice blow. You dont need to go buy a bigger hammer .. any regular old hammer will get it out. Make sure your shock's lower mount and strut rod are not installed on the LCA or it wont be going anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Turns out that I did need the bigger hammer. Finally got it apart after an ungodly amount of continuous banging on that mother! But I am afraid I am going to have a problem with the driver side, because I am not planning on removing the LCA, I don't see how to remove the strut rod without removing the LCA at the same time. Even when I pry the LCA as far rearward as I can (with strut rod and shock unbolted at LCA) I was unable to pry it far enough back to get the strut rod out of the hole in the LCA. I guess I might just have to order the driver side LCA too.

EDIT: I also backed off on the rear nut on the strut rod where it connects to the frame, all but a couple of threads. The difference if I had backed it all the way off would still not allow for removal of strut rod.
 

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You can leave the lower ball joint connected and remove the frame mount bolt on the lca. This will allow enough movement to remove the strut rod. The lca will basically be hanging by the spindle alone. Obviously you need to remove the tie rod end too. You'll need an alignment anyway since the other side is completely apart, so it doesn't really matter. You can get it close, but odds are it won't be perfect if you mark it for re-installation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I have been wondering if I should change the tie rod ends while I am at this. Any input on that?
 

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I would do the outers, the inners usually last until the rack goes.

Do the rack if you're replacing the engine, IMHO. :rolleyes:

You're aligning it now anyway; I'd do anything that needs done, all at the same time, before an alignment.

Look over the toe compensators on the rear lower arm, as well as the upper inner rear control arm bushings. I had both of those go bad this rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I had the rack replaced about two years ago, and I think that the inners came with it, so I will just do the outers and probably the driver side LCA while I am at it : /

What are the toe compensators? Do you mean the swaybar endlinks in the rear?

EDIT: I see what you mean now, the toe compensator bushings are definately shot on both sides. On one side it is the bushing at where the control arm bolts to the frame, and on the other side (pass) it is the rearward bushing where the link bolts to the control arm. Rockauto says 5 day delay shipping - non stock item - where else could I get these, don't have to go to dealer do I?

More I look at it, the control arm bushings in the rear themselves don't look too good either, but how exactly can I tell? From what I can see, the rubber is cracking, would that warrant replacement? Wow this is turning into a huge project now. Wonder if I should do something for the front shocks while I got this thing all tore apart - I got 2-3 yr old monroes, don't want to lower the car, so I could really only replace with monroes, right? In that case I would just leave that as it is.

Also, as the far as the rear lower control arm bushings go, think I am going to go with the prothane bushings kit for the mustangs.
 

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More I look at it, the control arm bushings in the rear themselves don't look too good either, but how exactly can I tell? From what I can see, the rubber is cracking, would that warrant replacement?

Also, as the far as the rear lower control arm bushings go, think I am going to go with the prothane bushings kit for the mustangs.
Some people prefer the urethane; I like the stock rubber better myself.

All the bushings will need replacement; my upper inner control arm bushings turned to powder, and made the rear end squirmy.

As long as it's there, it hasn't failed yet... I order parts and see if it fails or if I have time to replace it before it fails, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Why do you prefer the rubber?

I just did the knuckle a few years ago, so those are good. I am reading conflicting reports of wether or not the poly prothane bushings fit, so I don't know what to do now.
 

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SuperCoupe Performance used to sell a kit for mn12s.
 

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I use a 5 lb. sledge...
Indeed, the mechanic at the local Navy hobby shop said did you try a Mercury Tool? I was like a what....:confused: Then he came out with a 3lb hammer and started bashing my old LCA ball joint till it came loose...I was like wow:D I told him I need to buy a Mercury Tool now ;)
 
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when i couldnt get mine to come off, i beat on the bolt for a while with force and it still wouldnt come out. i then lifted up on the LCA and beat on the balljoint bolt again and it popped right out.
 
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