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Discussion Starter #1
I have to replace both lower ball joints on 88 Spider. I am having a very hard time getting them to pop loose. I have the car on jack stands, and then a jack under the spring mount to put upward pressure on the ball joint. I have tried the bfh and using a pneumatic chisel with blunt round end on the bottom of the ball joint bolt. Any other suggestions that don't require the removal fork as all stores are closed today and i don't have one?

Thanks.

Wade
 

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Is the spring out of there or are you taking the risk of eating it should it fly out at you?
(if its there, at absolute minimum you should throw a chain through it to prevent it going into orbit should things decide to let go)

As the joint is tapered like tie rod ends, you can get a solid object up against one side of the outer receiver housing and baff the other with a heavy~ish soft faced hammer (brass would be good if you have it)

There's pix around somewhere, but the basic premis is that whacking it like that momentarily distorts the mount taper which in turn pops out the joint taper like popping a zit.

It works quite well actually. Better than an actual splitter in most cases.


Oh, and better to have the suspension at full droop actually, as the joint goes in from the top.
Raising it from the bottom just means that you also have to overcome the weight of the hub, upper arm, and if still in place, all the brake components along with whatever fight the joint taper is going to put up on its own as opposed to just working the joint and letting gravity deal with the lower arms.
But have the spring out of there when you do or it'll come out and potentially beat your teeth out or drive the lower arms into you leg if you're sitting like that when the joint pops and things unload.
 

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If you're going to smack it to pop it loose, make sure to have the NUT on a few threads so that things can't fly apart unexpectedly.
 

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I struggled with mine not too long ago... I was about at the point where I thought it might just be impossible. I used PB Blaster for 3 days and then (after wiping off the exterior with acetone to clear off the excess oil) heated the tierod with a small torch for a little and then used Tifosi's small hammer trick.

To my amazement - it came popping out... just like a teenage zit, to steal a phrase :)

So be patient, be persistent and they'll eventually come out. Remember the rule of 'escalate gradually' as desperation breaks things.
 

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If you are talking about the ball joints that are parts of the suspension (and not the tie rod ends that are parts of the steering) the springs must be removed - and removed correctly & safely - before removing the ball joints. The Spider's front springs are compressed by the spring pan - even when the car is jacked up and the suspension is at full droop. You cannot remove them (well, not safely...) with a jack under the spring pan (as one might do on an MG/Sprite).
 

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Search " the threaded rod" method. It works very well for removing the front springs
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK, ball joints are out and new ones are in. I did them with the springs in and the jack under the lower spring pan. Just needed a little more work with the bfh.

Thanks for all your assistance.

Wade
 
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