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Old 02-23-2014, 11:09 PM
dhbfaster dhbfaster is offline
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Front Suspension- ALMOST as easy as it looks...EXCEPT

Got a lot done this weekend...BUT ran into another one of those things not incredibly obvious in the manual ("special tool with no helpful illustration..")...what's the trick to separating the spindle housing (this may not be the correct name) at the lower ball joint, and how to separate it from the the steering linkage?? (one pic each attached)


Help is most appreciated!
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File Type: jpg DSC_2523.jpg (112.7 KB, 30 views)
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Last edited by dhbfaster; 02-23-2014 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:25 PM
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The special tool used is called a "pickle fork". Basically two side by side wedges that are driven into the joint with a hammer. The joints "stick" together because the shank of the ball-joint is tapered. I have a pair of them you would be welcome to use. I am located in S. Everett, but could meet you somewhere. Actually, I have an errand to run sometime this week in the Totem Lake area.
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Last edited by SmithKid; 02-24-2014 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:39 PM
falcon cobra falcon cobra is offline
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Orielly auto parts will loan you tools for free....jh
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:30 PM
dhbfaster dhbfaster is offline
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I thought that might be the tool...and it sounds like using it is pretty simple and fortunately looks to be almost a cheap to buy it at sears or harbor freight at as to drive up to borrow it. Do you know what sizes I would need for the tie rod and lower ball?

By the way...thanks for bringing my parts back from Steve's...I really appreciate it.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:50 PM
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You could also try plan B. I usually smack the area surrounding the ball joint with a BFH. There is a flat spot on most of the spindles that is actually made to do this. Of course the pickle fork works well too I'm just too lazy to go get one.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:55 PM
dhbfaster dhbfaster is offline
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BFH was my first tool of choice! Of course- maybe I didn't use it right, but I didn't want to beat it up any more or break it...
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:25 PM
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Luva65wagon Luva65wagon is offline
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Usually the BFH works well when there is an opposing force (like a spring or gravity) to let the thing "let go" when the shock is applied.

Using a pickle fork is what most use if you don't plan on saving anything that is replaceable, since it will probably damage grease boots and often the joints themselves if you are not careful. In other words, you will likely be replacing all of these parts. The BFH method will often allow reuse of things (ball joints, tie-rod ends) if needed and in good shape.

Can't tell from the pictures. You have the coil spring out already?
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:28 PM
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All of above is true. I was planning to replace all my ball joints (my front-end was terrible) and didn't even consider that you may not be in the same mode. Sorry. I agree though, that the pickle fork should be the last resort as it will tear up the seal almost assuredly.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:02 PM
dhbfaster dhbfaster is offline
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I was planning to reuse everything unless it looked bad-plan was to clean, powdercoat or paint, and replace anything that needs to be replaced. (These do seem ok-so I was hoping to keep them.)
I do have the spring off already (working/learning one side at a time...the other side is still on.) I wondered if the fork would damage the boot...so is there a certain place I should brace it and then focus the hammer on?
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:06 PM
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Put a smaller hammer on one side of the joint and smack the other side with the big one.. The joint being the part the tapered tie rod goes into. I got away with holding mine up in the air and let the weight if the part hang smacked it a few times and viola it came apart.
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:10 PM
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But of course keep the nut on the shaft to not mangle the threads.
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:47 PM
dhbfaster dhbfaster is offline
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Ok, that's pretty much what I was trying to do, but I didn't really have good support under it. I'll give it another try. Thanks- all advice really appreciated.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:47 AM
dhbfaster dhbfaster is offline
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Ball joint, bushing, spring mount, control arm replacement?

Back to the car tomorrow- but it's dawned on me that maybe I SHOULD replace some of this front suspension stuff? I don't want to spend more- but don't want to do it again. Of course, everything is already off the ground-so I can't do the test of the ball joints per the manual. It seems like the upper ball joints would take most the wear, and after the spring was off, they seemed very stiff -almost stuck-until they sort of broke loose after I worked them a bit. The shock mount is also VERY stiff even after I pumped new grease in there. (I have no idea how stiff they are supposed to be.) Amazingly- at summit, the ball joints cost the same as the replacement control arm WITH the ball joint already on it (And the bushing!?)? About $47 for the upper (with ball) and $47 for the lower, or $47 for just the upper ball joint! I wont like the painted control arms as much as powdercoated ones, but...You guys have clearly had lots of experience with this stuff- REALLY appreciate your comments.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:09 PM
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Save youself some clean-up and get new control arms for upper and lower. With the Mustang stuff being repopped by the thousands as opposed to the teens for Falcons, it makes the cost so much lower. Not sure Summit would be the cheapest place, but any of the 6 cyl Mustang parts (64-66) will swap right in - less the drag-link which is a bit longer. For this you gotta use the Falcon part.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:50 PM
dhbfaster dhbfaster is offline
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Just as a follow up- I ended up buying the tool in the picture- this thing works great. I used it to separate all the ball joints and the tie rod end. Put some oil on it- tighten up the bolt and "POP" they're apart. The first one scared the you know what out of me when it popped and I'm glad I had on safety glasses, but like I said it works great. Nothing like the feeling of success!

New upper and lower control arms ordered too.
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