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Old 20-01-2007   #1
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ball joints

Hi, I mentioned elsewhere in a thread something abbout getting the tracking done on mi panda, but I'm glad I didnt yet because I've realised theres play in the lower n/s ball joint.
I'd like to be able to change this myself before alignment not least cos I already bought one (CSF spares if you're anywhere near north london, fast friendly service, 8 quid compared to 30+ quoted by my local bovine herders).

However I get confused when it comes to the various types of ball joint pushers /separators et al and I've lost my haynes

What do I need to get to carry this replacement procedure out? I dont want to be stuck miles from an alignment centre with a wheel flopping about...
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Old 20-01-2007   #2
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Re: ball joints

If it's the one on the piller you will need a press to get the old out & new in. You can do it on a proper vice with large sockets as well but not recommended.
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Old 20-01-2007   #3
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Re: ball joints

If you're talking about tracking you probably mean the steering ball joint?

If so these are easy to remove with the right tools. Loosen the nut that butts up to the joint on the rack first as it'll be much easier to remove afterwards. Then undo the nut that holds the tapered shaft onto the suspension leg. At this point you'll need a ball joint splitter (a few quid from most motor factors) to remove the joint from the leg. Insert the two prongs of the splitter under the rubber part of the joint and give it a few sharp taps with a hammer. It should just pop out. Now you need to unscrew the joint from the rack (wrap a piece of tape around where the screw threads go into the joint so you can screw the new one back into the same position). If it's very stiff to unscrew you'll need a pair of mole grips to hold the bar that the joint is screwed onto.

As the Haynes manual is so fond of stating:

Refitting is simply the reverse of removal (except you won't be using the ball joint splitter!)

Hope this helps. Just ask if you need clarification or pics.
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Old 20-01-2007   #4
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Re: ball joints

Would that not be an upper ball joint Rick?
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Old 20-01-2007   #5
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Re: ball joints

Cool, sounds easier than fitting a new clutch so I guess I can do it [-biggest job done so far was replacing alternator, door and gearbox mounting].

I've only got the default panda jack so can only up 1 side of panda at a time (heard somewhere that some suspension jobs are easier if both wheels off the ground).

B4 I run down to halfords to get a BJ splitter and pusher would I be able to save trouble if I buy the BJ already attached to a casing/(pillar?), this was offered at 34 quid all in.
b.t.w. its the lower one. I guess I can refer to the replacement instructions for the upper one next time I whack a kerb a full lock

ady.
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Old 20-01-2007   #6
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Re: ball joints

Whoops! OK, didn't read the post properly. Sorry peeps.

The lower joint is much easier to replace if you replace the whole hub carrier/ball joint assembly. Got mine (for the 'Rat) from a motor factor for 18. Yes, just 18, that's not a typo. Save yourself a lot of hassle and take the ball joint back and exchange it for the assembly.

See pic below:
The part you need is circled in red.



The two holes in the top of the carrier are where the suspension leg bolts on. Remove the brake caliper before doing anything else and hang it out of the way with some wire or strong string. You'll need to undo the driveshaft nut (A-8) so that once you've undone the suspension leg and bottom ball joint the whole hub assembly slides off the drive shaft. Then all you need to do is unbolt A-7 (this will also have the brake disk, caliper bracket and dust shield attached to it) and bolt it back onto your new hub carrier then refit the whole unit in one. It really is quite easy. You'll never get the ball joint out of the carrier with the sort of tools you'll have lying around at home, believe me, and even if you did getting the new one in requires tonnes (literally) of pressure and extreme accuracy to press back in.
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Old 20-01-2007   #7
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Re: ball joints

Quote Originally Posted by bert9k View Post
I've only got the default panda jack so can only up 1 side of panda at a time (heard somewhere that some suspension jobs are easier if both wheels off the ground).
NO!

Please buy a set of axle stands, I wouldn't like something awful to happen. Take it from someone who has seen & has experience of jacks failing. If you start hitting the ball joint with force the car can drop to the ground.
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Old 20-01-2007   #8
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Re: ball joints

Agreed, trolley jack and axle stand for this job. Dont even think about doing this job with only a side jack.
Rgds.
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Old 03-02-2007   #9
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Re: ball joints

thanks for all the concern and info. I gave it a good try but hit a wall because I didnt have a deep socket set. and needed motor on road asap.
[fitted with tracking at local garage for 70 quid].

the horse has bolted but I'm making an effort to lock the stable door so got the necessary socket set on ebay, along with an air impact wrench. I picked up a second hand ball joint press for a quid in a local market, and have an angle grinder and 4" vice. [jacks next]
I'm absolutely determined not to go to a garage again for this type of job again...

Ady.
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Old 03-02-2007   #10
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Re: ball joints

Thanks for getting back to us, pleased that it worked out in the end.

I do not recall needing a deep socket for this job but the last one I did was many years ago and I was able to use a fly press at work to remove the old joint and seat the new one into the pillar.

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Old 04-02-2007   #11
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Re: ball joints

Only thing I think you could mean would be the two long bolts that holds the upper strut. I normally use a ring spanner at that end and a socket at the other.
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Old 14-02-2007   #12
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Re: ball joints

crumbs, just had a proper look at the old ball joint on the pillar that i asked back from the garage - totally slack and devoid of any grease, that explained the clunk sound that I had when parking and hitting speed bumps.

I've a few more jobs lined up when the weather gets a bit better so I'll post this here as a reminder to myself , install new carpet, replace rear n/s brake drum (locks in the wet on every rotation - like a bent wheel on a bike?) install new dash clock and check vac unit (very occasionally after cold starting there's citroen 2cv level of power and much splutter for 5 mins, then instantly coughes itself back into normality). I always associate splutter with the vac but another cause is likely since the whole distro was changed on 100k and its only done 9k since then.

as far as the extended set goes, it was for getting to the lower bolt of the brake caliper!

ady.
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Old 14-02-2007   #13
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Re: ball joints

Quote Originally Posted by bert9k View Post
as far as the extended set goes, it was for getting to the lower bolt of the brake caliper!

ady.
This one? I just used a Ring spanner
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Old 14-02-2007   #14
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Re: ball joints

I bought some cheapo crap spanners time ago (that i'm sure were made of lead) and was put off them in favour of socket sets (cos they grip the whole nut squarely). Any tips on a SOLID make of spanner , drop forged / chrome vandium etc ?
Ady.
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Old 14-02-2007   #15
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Re: ball joints

Not really, If I see a decent tool or spanner I don't have I buy one, but there is quite a few tool suppliers at good prices round here. If you can get hold of a CPC catalogue it's like a trasure trove. 2000+ pages full of usefull equipment.
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