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Knuckle Magically Stuck to Truck

MrEvilPirate

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I looked around the forum and watched a bunch of youtube videos, but the videos always cut and resume after the knuckle is removed.

I'm trying to do ball joints on a 2002 Ranger 4x4 w/torsion suspension.

Upper control arm is disconnected from the knuckle. Caliper is off. Axle nut is off and axle is moving in and out, so far so good. Castle nut on lower ball joint removed then screwed back on to catch the knuckle when it releases (yeah right).

So it looks like the knuckle is just floating there. I put some 2x4s on the top of the knuckle and beat on it with a mini sledge. Eventually I got tired of splitting wood. Hit it with PB Blaster and a map torch no luck. The side I'm working on is sitting on a jack stand under the lower control arm right next to the lower ball joint but not blocking anything.

What am I missing? I looked at it one last time before throwing in the towel. looks like removing the dust shield opens up some space to try to use one of those ball joint forks to separate the knuckle from the lower ball joint. None of the videos or procedures say you need to do this, it is always "then remove the knuckle" help please!! :icon_confused:
 


pjtoledo

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you're in the rust belt, good luck.

yes, pickle forks work.

I've always used a hammer, 2 methods are possible.

screw castle nut on until its flush with ball joint stud threads, swing hammer up to hit stud/nut. due to limited space its not easy to do.

other method, nut a few threads loose, swing hammer sideways and hit exactly where the stud goes thru it.

applying pressure with some sort of bar/pickle fork while hitting it helps

I've had good results with the freeze-off stuff. freeze the stud, not the knuckle.

a substitute for the freeze stuff is canned air, the kind you clean keyboards with.
hold it up-side-down and the liquid that comes out will freeze anything. especially skin!!


the wood acts like a shock absorber, a lot of the hammers energy is absorbed by the splintering wood. go with metal to metal for best results
 
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MrEvilPirate

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PJ- Thanks for the reply. I will swing by Harbour Freight after work and pick up a pickle fork. I did take a couple swings on the knuckle with just my hammer, but was afraid I would crack the casting.

I'll wedge the fork in there and give it a couple whacks and see what happens. Good tip about the canned air.

It's amazing what the brine they put on the roads around here does to our vehicles. Thanks again for the reply.
 

adsm08

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Hit the back of the knuckle right at the ball joint. It isn't magic, it's physics. The cone of the ball joint spreads the knuckle slightly and gets stuck. Down force alone will rarely unseat the cone, but a few good shots sideways to put the vibrations right through the cone usually do the trick.
 

MrEvilPirate

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Geeze way to take the wonder out of it adsm! lol thanks for the tip I'm excited to get this thing off and tackle the ball joints.
 

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I know, I am terrible. I get kicked out of so many children's magic shows.
 

MrEvilPirate

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Got the knuckle off

So I beat on the castle nut, vertically from below, nothing.

I beat on the knuckle, metal on metal, nothing.

I beat on the stud hanging down from the ball joint. A couple whacks back and forth and the knuckle dropped. Maybe not a good solution if you planned on keeping the ball joint but I am replacing so no big deal.

Thanks for the help! :beer:
 

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Good, glad you got it.

The worst one I ever ran across was on a Taurus. We quoted the guy for two front struts because the shocks were leaking and the springs were broken, and you have the pull the knuckle on those to do the struts. I had to torch off the ball joint's lock nuts, and then I had to get the pitman arm puller on the ball joints to unseat them (Ford's proceedure), which destroyed the studs and didn't unseat the ball joints, I ended up having to torch them out. Oh that was a joy, having to go tell my adviser about the $150 or unavoidable damage I had caused in the same week one of the other guys had a fairly expensive screw up.
 

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