How to Separate Ball Joints | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to Separate Ball Joints


February 6, 2008
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Hello Explorers; I need to find out how to separate the ball joint from the hub. 2004 EB has the "pinch bolt" style of ball joints on the rear IRS. I can lossen and remove the pinch bolt, but how do you separate the upper control arm and the toe link from the hub? A tuning fork tool?? I don't want to tear or wreck the rubber boot. thanks for your help.

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They make something called a 'ball joint separator' big looking c-clamp and a bunch of ‘socket’ looking attachments that fit over the ball joint and you press it out.

Ball joint Tool

thanks for the replys. I looks like the end of the ball joint is inside the hub. I cannot get at it to apply the c-clamp press. The front end could use this tool, but the rear end cannot. Maybe they changed the design at some point; my X was made in Jan 2004. There is a pinch bolt that squeezes the hub around the ball joint. Thanks for your help.

I just removed the Knuckles off my 03 mountaineer and it has the same ball joints you speak of.

What I had to do was use a piece of wood like a chisel inbetween the control arm and knuckle.This was after copious amounts of PB Blaster.Once I got the Ball joint started I just used a Long Crowbar placed underneath the control arm just shy of the Rubber bootand pried against the knuckle.Had to work at it,Was very slow going.

Now its onto that stupid CV joint seal :mad:

ball Joint

Skotty, I'll try your pry bar idea. I can't imagine a Ford Stealership using a pry bar though. How did you install control arm ball joint; with a hammer?

Can you post a pic??? I'll check the FSM tonight.

Let me crawl under her and I'll take a picture. Talk to you in a few hours.

I didn't remove it.I thought you were asking how to seperate it from the knuckle.Mine are still in pretty good shape.Was terrified of tearing the boot though.

They won't let me post pictures, so I'll do my best to explain. I need to pull my right rear half shaft to replace the leaky seal, yes...anouther leaky seal post. Most of the help has said to disconnect the upper control arm and the steering/alignment rod from the hub, then swing it down and to the side to allow the half shaft to "pop" straight out the side of the diff. JRFord, I could use your help; how to disconnect the pinch style ball joints? thanks for your help.

are you talking about the ball joint that is connected to the toe link? if you are there is a bolt that holds it in remove that. its a 15mm I believe then use a air hammer or chisel and 3 lbs hammer the spread it metal but leave the chizel in to install the ball joint back in.

I just replaced my bent toe link so its good timing. I removed the old one just by spreading the metal that's clamped down and tap the toe link it will slid out. its hard to explain so ask if you don't understand. it took me about 10 minutes with a air chisel

okay I'll try spreading the hub with a chisel. thanks for your help. BTW the axle hub nut is 35mm, and the toe link pinch nut is 18mm. My left and right side differential axle seals look different The ford dealer ( I'm the second owner) changed the leaky seal two years ago and it is leaking again. They want to charge me full price again for doing shoddy work! Thats the reason I'm trying this job myself!!! Probably a familiar story....

sorry, i had to go off site for a day or so . . . .but macknos has it right.
I think there has been several revisions to the seal. . one piece now.
My rear dosn't leak yet. . . .knock on wood.