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Discussion Starter #1
I need to change my lower TCA ball joints. I've heard that there is a tool available in the US to press them out, without taking the arms off the car. Does anyone have one that they could send me some pictures/dimensions of?

I work for a company in the UK (www.doughty-engineering.co.uk) that make all kinds of clamps, mainly for theatre lighting etc, but we have a fully fitted machine shop, welding bays, foundry, and I could get practicaly any type of clamp made, as long as I have enough info to draw it up.

We also have an office in the US and regularly export stuff, so if it all works ok I could supply them to TCCOA guys too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes I did see some images on Google before, but I wasn't sure which of the tools would be best suited to the T-birds joints. I was thinking that if someone has an actual tool that they know works on the T-birds LCA's, and could measure it for me, that would be better than trying to work it out from scratch.

I could def get something like the ones in the google link's images made at work.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe no-ones got a press tool, as everyone in the TCCOA just fits a whole new arm (which I am also considering)??
 

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Andy625UK said:
Yes I did see some images on Google before, but I wasn't sure which of the tools would be best suited to the T-birds joints. I was thinking that if someone has an actual tool that they know works on the T-birds LCA's, and could measure it for me, that would be better than trying to work it out from scratch.
I bought and replaced my '95 Tbird lower ball joints (not the entire arm) with this exact tool:
http://boostnbenz.1baddsm.com/DIY/FrontSuspension/balljoint/tool.jpg
It was actually more of a PITA pressing the new ones in then pressing the old ones out!

I also changed the upper ball joints complete with arms because I couldn't find just the ball joints, it was MUCH easier.

Good luck with yours and Happy Holidays!
 

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I bought and replaced my '95 Tbird lower ball joints (not the entire arm) with this exact tool:
http://boostnbenz.1baddsm.com/DIY/FrontSuspension/balljoint/tool.jpg
It was actually more of a PITA pressing the new ones in then pressing the old ones out!

I also changed the upper ball joints complete with arms because I couldn't find just the ball joints, it was MUCH easier.

Good luck with yours and Happy Holidays!

did you have enuf clearance to use the tool between the ball joint and the pavement? The car was on jackstands, right?

My trick is to leave the ball joint in the freezer overnight in a bag in the ice cubes (make sure no women see this!).
Then I use a heat gun on the hole for like 30 seconds to warm it up a bit (nothing extreme).

Makes it much easier to press in because its a bit smaller due to the temp.
________
 

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i know youre not supposed to do this but i actually sanded where the ball joint goes in a little before pushing the new one in. it was like some kind of weird stuff in there. been fine for 3 years now.
 

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I bought and replaced my '95 Tbird lower ball joints (not the entire arm) with this exact tool:
http://boostnbenz.1baddsm.com/DIY/FrontSuspension/balljoint/tool.jpg
It was actually more of a PITA pressing the new ones in then pressing the old ones out!

I also changed the upper ball joints complete with arms because I couldn't find just the ball joints, it was MUCH easier.

Good luck with yours and Happy Holidays!
i used the same tool he used, its universal. i got it loaned at an auto parts store(autozone), so i didnt have to pay anything
 

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I just swapped the entire arm out since it was just a couple of bucks more then the ball joint alone. Plus you get new bushings at the other mounts.
 

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did you have enuf clearance to use the tool between the ball joint and the pavement? The car was on jackstands, right?

My trick is to leave the ball joint in the freezer overnight in a bag in the ice cubes (make sure no women see this!).
Then I use a heat gun on the hole for like 30 seconds to warm it up a bit (nothing extreme).

Makes it much easier to press in because its a bit smaller due to the temp.
Sounds like a good idea. My car was on a lift, I work at a shop that has three car lifts. Actually I changed one side, my buddy changed the other. Also...

95tbirdv8 said:
i know youre not supposed to do this but i actually sanded where the ball joint goes in a little before pushing the new one in. it was like some kind of weird stuff in there. been fine for 3 years now.
...truth is, I ground mine out a little too to make it easier to get them in. Someone told me at the Ford stealership they will eventually fall out if you do that, but they've been in my 'Bird 2 1/2 years and everything is fine. If I had to do it over again, I think I'd change the whole arm too, speed95!...lol!!!

Happy Holidays y'all!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hmm I'm not sure what to do now. I have two ball joints that I bought when in the US on vacation. My original plan was to just fit one of them. But reading all your posts saying about trouble getting the old ones out, and then getting the new ones in again, makes me think I'd either be better off getting a shop to change them (in which case I've been told that they'll probably take the whole arm out to press the joints anyway), or bite the bullet and just buy a new arm.

The cars a keeper, so maybe I'll scrap plans of making a tool and just change the arm.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh yes I nearly forgot: Happy Holidays to y'all too! I wish I was spending Christmas in the US.
 

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Yeah, the arm is definately the way to go. The local store sells a ball joint for $42 and the SC arm for under $56, so there is a no brainer there.


Make sure to put anti-sieze on the shock bolt and and the strut rod bushings (any metal to metal contact) when the new arm goes in.

Do they salt the roads in the UK?
 

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Yeah, the arm is definately the way to go. The local store sells a ball joint for $42 and the SC arm for under $56, so there is a no brainer there.

Make sure to put anti-sieze on the shock bolt and and the strut rod bushings (any metal to metal contact) when the new arm goes in.

Do they salt the roads in the UK?
I paid $19 apiece for my ball joints and they wanted $60 for the arms, that's why I got just the ball joints, tbirdguy.

Daniela (gf), is from Manheim, Germany and she says they said they used to salt roads there, but she hasn't been there in 15 years. Andy625UK, they still use salt on the roads?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes they salt the roads in the UK. As soon as it gets anywhere near freezing the salting starts, and it carries on for a good few months. So far the 'Bird has stood up well to the 5 winters its been through with me.

I bought my LCA joints from Autozone about 4yrs ago. At the time I also bought two complete UCA's of which I've now fitted both. I cant remember what make the first one was (possibly Duralast), but the second was definitely MOOG. I was suprised to find recently that the first UCA I fitted has now got a split gaiter already (after only a year or so on the car). The MOOG arm did seem like better quality. Would they be a good make to go for for the LCA's?

Also, if I fit an arm, am I going to have any trouble with the strut rod bolting in to the arms, or is that pretty straightforward? I read one thread on here where someone had to cut a metal sleeve down to get rid of play in the joint.
 

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Moog would be the preferred choice over Duralast.

You shouldn't have any problems with the strut rod to LCA connection. Nut is large and requires a bit of torque, but it should come out OK. There are bushings at that connection and it may be a good idea to replace them while swapping out the LCAs. These bushings are not expensive.

Yes they salt the roads in the UK. As soon as it gets anywhere near freezing the salting starts, and it carries on for a good few months. So far the 'Bird has stood up well to the 5 winters its been through with me.

I bought my LCA joints from Autozone about 4yrs ago. At the time I also bought two complete UCA's of which I've now fitted both. I cant remember what make the first one was (possibly Duralast), but the second was definitely MOOG. I was suprised to find recently that the first UCA I fitted has now got a split gaiter already (after only a year or so on the car). The MOOG arm did seem like better quality. Would they be a good make to go for for the LCA's?

Also, if I fit an arm, am I going to have any trouble with the strut rod bolting in to the arms, or is that pretty straightforward? I read one thread on here where someone had to cut a metal sleeve down to get rid of play in the joint.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So the strut rod to LCA bushings aren't supplied with the LCA? I had those replaced on my car about 3yrs ago (40k miles) so I guess it would be a good idea to change them as it will all be apart.
 

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So the strut rod to LCA bushings aren't supplied with the LCA? I had those replaced on my car about 3yrs ago (40k miles) so I guess it would be a good idea to change them as it will all be apart.
If you can get the SC arms from advance auto I believe they come in the package. I don't know if they ship though.

The roadsalt makes these cars very difficult to take apart. That is why I put anti sieze on all metal to metal interfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If you can get the SC arms from advance auto I believe they come in the package. I don't know if they ship though.

The roadsalt makes these cars very difficult to take apart. That is why I put anti sieze on all metal to metal interfaces.
Yes, I do the same. It makes a world of difference.
 

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Sorry to get off topic but,

Whats it like getting parts in the UK ??

Can u find stuff at your local parts store?

Do you have to get most of your parts from the US?

What kind of shipping do you gotta pay from US??

Sorry if I'm being nosy or whatever but I'm just curious as hell?
 
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