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So I bought new ball joints a while back - decided I pull the swing arms and press the old ones out.  Machine shops are hard to find in NWF so I bought a 12 ton Harbor Freight hydralic press.  It has several steel plates and I had a few more.  Well, I tried for a couple hours and only managed to launch the control arms from under the press across the barn.  Last time I had ball joints done I remember the shop heating the conrol arms red hot with a oxy/acedelyne torch.  I do have a propane torce for sweating copper pipe but can't see it getting them nearly hot enough.  Another alternative is this tool that Harbor Freight has on sale ($90 now $60).  Anyone have success using it?  At least I'd get a few more pressing arbors.

View Ball Joint Service Kit for 2WD and 4WD Vehicles

1957 CMC Classic Speedster (WIP)

    in Ft Walton Beach, FL

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Holy C#r!$+!  All I've ever used is a ball joint pickle fork and it never took more than a couple of solid hits to pop the BJ away from the trailing arm, all while in the car.  Most of the time I support the BJ stud with a jack and block, then give the trailing arm a whack with a mallet and they pop apart.  I have seen people use a two-arm bearing remover to press against the BJ stud to pop it out, but that was just using a 3/8" ratchet on the bearing puller and it popped right out.  Yours must have some sort of "Super Glue" on them.   

Can you find a cheap MAPP torch locally at HD or Lowes?  That'll give you MUCH more heat than a propane torch and should pop them loose, especially with a 12-ton press.  I have one of those HF 12 ton presses and they can really do the job so something is amiss with the BJs in the first place.  Heat the piss out of them with MAPP and they should press out with the HF press.

Alan Merklin posted:

Get your money back from HF. Do buy the arms with the ball joints already pressed in returning your old arms as a core charge is usually imposed. Check Greg @ VMC  I believe Jack Crosby just did this .

I did follow through with your advice, Alan--and thanks for it.  Right---I will return the old parts later to avoid a  core charge.  Greg was great to deal with.  This was a super easy route as I'd have lost  a couple of fingers trying to remove and press in new ball joints.  

Gordy, Wolfgang is not removing his spindles from their ball-jointed captivity; for some reason he is trying to remove his old ball joints from the VW trailing arms. This on a car that's seen maybe 1500 miles flat towing since he began assembly 30-odd years ago. 

As he has discovered, those suckers are very much pressed in. Removal is usually a heat-intensive process, best accomplished by a skilled professional. As is the insertion and in-pressing of the new items which, one presumes, actually fit these days and do not bind up once the thing cools down (as some batches of some replacement bjs were known to do in recent years). 

The stock ones also last about 600,000 miles in regular street use, so I am at a loss as to why he is bugging these things at all. 

Alan, as usual, has the best advice. 

edsnova posted:

Gordy, Wolfgang is not removing his spindles from their ball-jointed captivity; for some reason he is trying to remove his old ball joints from the VW trailing arms. This on a car that's seen maybe 1500 miles flat towing since he began assembly 30-odd years ago. 

As he has discovered, those suckers are very much pressed in. Removal is usually a heat-intensive process, best accomplished by a skilled professional. As is the insertion and in-pressing of the new items which, one presumes, actually fit these days and do not bind up once the thing cools down (as some batches of some replacement bjs were known to do in recent years). 

The stock ones also last about 600,000 miles in regular street use, so I am at a loss as to why he is bugging these things at all. 

Alan, as usual, has the best advice. 

Part of the problem (or maybe better said is the problem some of the time) is the alignment marks not in their proper places when pressed together. Then the ball joint's movement is severely restricted.

balljoint notch alignment- not correctballjoint notch alignment

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