Lower Ball Joint and Steering Knuckle


rangerpilot

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I am having hard time removing the steering knuckle from the lower ball joint. I have a pickle fork ... Maybe I should go get a puller? Upper ball joint already disconnected. Additionally, I believe I have to remove the snap ring on the spindle to release the knuckle from the axle? If so, I think it has been previously damaged. There is only one little hole where I would insert the needle nose (or snap ring) pliers. How would I grip it any other way.

I will try to comment with a few pictures.
 


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rangerpilot

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Snap Ring Damage

 

Shran

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I would remove that snap ring with snap ring pliers... and yes it does look like it's been damaged, and you will have to fight it. Hopefully you can get it worked free, I think it looks doable.

You can use a pickle fork for removing the knuckle, sometimes you can use a jack as well to put pressure on the knuckle from below while you tap the ball joint socket on the axle/control arm with a hammer to release the taper. That only works with ball joints and steering linkage where the stud and nut are facing downwards, though.
 

don4331

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rangerpilot:

You can get the snap ring out bass ackwards.

Instead of putting the snap ring pliers into the ring and pulling it out; put the pliers into the remains of the ring and then push the axle out of the knuckle.

My pliers weren't up to the task, so that is how I solved the issue. I also use a thin screwdriver and a couple dental picks if I remember correctly.
 

rangerpilot

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Thanks. I didn't get the one snap ring out in one piece since it was already damaged. Will have to replace it and apparently they are hard to come by and expensive for a little plastic ring. My snap pliers were too bulky to get deep enough into the cavity (tried two different pair). I wound up using a small flat head and grabbed it with some needle nose. There was also a little spring style spacer that was hard to remove. Not sure if it will be reusable or not.

As for the ball joint and the knuckle...I was able to get the drivers side released. It took quite a while but I must have hit it in just the right spot. The passenger side is still pending. I have hit every angle and and tried every option I could with the pickle fork to no avail. It simply will not budge.

Going out of town for a few days but have a friend with an electric hammer that I may try when I get home.

I will report when I can to let you know the results.
 

quietrangr

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Some things I did that might help somebody. Ball joint would not budge, so cut it off just below the grease rubber, used a small grinder with a thin cutting wheel. The knuckle came off then, and was able to get a stout piece of steel to hammer out the ball joint from the top without removing axle. Also, the cut off lower stud with the threads on it hammered out nicely. I have the 99, with the c-clip set up, so getting the axle out was not a good option. To get the new ball joint in, my son said, "can't we jack it in?" So he got a scissor jack from an f150, and used a big socket and some flat washers as spacers, put pressure up on it, and pounded down on the A frame. Came out in under two minutes. One more thing. The knuckle went out of the way enough when I just pulled those ABS wire clips out of the frame. No need to disconnect the wires. Just remember to put them back in. When we tried to get the knuckle back on with the axle in place, it would not clear the threaded stud of the new ball joint. We took the grease zerk out to give us another quarter inch or so, but still not enough. We ground about an eighth inch from the ball joint stud, and it went back together. Just remember to keep the nut threaded on the stud, so when the nut comes off, it can clean out the threads you are likely to deform with the grinding. And replace the grease zerk. Not very elegant, but beats pulling the axle, especially on the 98-2000 with the pulse hubs.
 
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