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Ball joints/dust boots


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I just wrapped up installing the Whiteline W53353 bushings in my front control arms. Bolts were TIGHT...

 

To get the arms out of the car, of course, I had to get them off the balljoints at the bottom of the knuckles. The castle nut came off with little trouble and my pickle fork made quick work of separating them, but I mangled the dust boots in the process.

 

I've heard that it's easy to break the pinch bolt to get those balljoints out, so I'd like to replace just the boots. The joints move freely/smoothly and the grease I can see is nice and clean - and the boots were perfect before.

 

Can anyone give me a part number for the boots, or recommend an aftermarket replacement? Failing that, a part number for the balljoints (and the pinch bolts) will have to do.

 

I'd like to take care of this in the next few weeks. Any help appreciated!

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Any auto parts store will have ball joints, may be in stock. They are cheap.

 

They should be tight and tough to move. Moving freely shows age.

 

Tip for removing ball joints from the LCA is to hit the arm with a 5lbs hammer a few times. In most cases that will pop the ball joint free with having to use the pickle fork and damaging the boot, sorry you didn't know that trick.

 

Put the nut back on the ball joint threads before you try hitting that area with a hammer.

Edited by Max Capacity

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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Where do you hit it? Like, in what direction?

 

 

I'm a reasonably accomplished shadetree mechanic but I have never run across this. I tried my ball joint separators but they didn't fit properly, hence the fork.

 

 

Also, does hitting the ball joint area work for things like steering tie rods etc? I have worked on cars that have aluminum knuckles, I think hitting those would be a no-no...

 

 

*not trying to refute you, I'm honestly just looking for more info. This is a new one on me.

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On the side near the end where the ball joint is, works on Honda civic's too. A Honda Service tech taught me that.

 

Hit it a couple time and try to see if it popped free. If not a couple more wacks normally does it.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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I typically hit the receiving end of said part that I'm removing if it's not being replaced. Forks work great when you're replacing the components. Heat will be your best friend for those pinch bolts, just be careful of other rubber boots in the area. I wont hesitate to hit an aluminum knuckle with a hammer to remove a tie-rod. They can take quite a beating with very little marring.
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As a professional tech, I've learned you can fix most anything with a hammer lol

I still have yet to need to buy axle poppers or any kind of front end press tool, and I use multiple hammers and screwdrivers building bumpers. It really saves the hands. Sometimes you just gotta hit it with your purse.

I do use the company 23 ball joint tool. I just can't be bothered to want to work harder than that.

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I spoiled myself and bought a ball joint remover, makes ball joints soooo easy. I bought it when I was still in the dealership, its a snap-on tool. There might be other alternatives out there now, but if you want the part number for it let me know.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Discouraged. Got my new balljoints, got stuff apart, got the pinch bolt out, but cannot get the balljoints to drop out of the knuckle. I tried wedging the pinch apart, as well as putting the castle nut back on below and prying downward. I also pulled the sway bar endlink for more play in the control arm. Only tried the driver's side; ran out of time and put it back together for now.

 

 

Any advice?

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I don't know how soon you need to get your car up and running, but this seems cool..

https://www.amazon.com/Astro-Pneumatic-Tool-78620-Subaru/dp/B01JBJFK3C

 

Amazon seems way backed up, wouldn't arrive until next Wednesday for me with 1 day shipping, maybe another place can get it faster.

 

matco also sells the same thing, but more expensive of course.

https://www.matcotools.com/catalog/product/SBJE1/subaru-ball-joint-extractor/

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Discouraged. Got my new balljoints, got stuff apart, got the pinch bolt out, but cannot get the balljoints to drop out of the knuckle. I tried wedging the pinch apart, as well as putting the castle nut back on below and prying downward. I also pulled the sway bar endlink for more play in the control arm. Only tried the driver's side; ran out of time and put it back together for now.

 

 

Any advice?

 

Should be just rust holding it in. May be this stuff might work,

 

https://www.truevalue.com/aerosol-multi-purpose-cleaner-penetrating-oil-300ml?cid=gooshop_google_ss&ctcampaign=4680&ctkwd=&ctcreative=375466626602&ctplacement=&ctadpos=&ctmatch=&ctlocid=9003193&cttrgtid=pla-797470701279&ctfeedid=&ctnwk=u&ctdevice=c&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9Zevqar16AIVjovICh2SKgh7EAQYAyABEgKhS_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

 

Aero-Kroil is also great stuff, but a little more money.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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Not enough clearance for the slide hammer. I'm in my driveway on jackstands... Also not sure about Kroil or whatever, I already drowned the area in PB Blaster so I think mechanical means are really what I need at this point.

 

I ran across the Astro Pneumatic tool and am considering it (only $30 after all!) but the fastest I can get it here is a week I think. I don't desperately need the car right now with the current conditions but I was hoping to get it going faster than that.

 

Thanks for all input, looks like I gotta make a decision hehe.

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