Friday, August 24, 2012

The Wheel Of Frustration

Let me start off by saying that the chips and salsa I had tonight were definitely the highlight of my evening!

After work I started by removing the caliper, followed by the wheel bearing dust cap, rotor and shield.

Caliper, brake line and brake line clips are off.

Wheel bearing dust cap is off.

Rotor is off.

There were three bolts securing the shield.

The shield is off.

After I finished the driver side wheel, I followed suit with the passenger side. I used a floor jack underneath the A-arm in preparation for separating the driver side ball joint. In theory the floor jack will help ease the A-arm down.

The next step was to separate the ball joint. This involved removing the cotter pin and nut.

The cotter pin was a little challenging to get out. It was very rusty, but it did come out. The nut on the other hand was a different story. Sara and I worked on this an hour and a half, trying everything from WD-40, heat, scraping the dirt and rust away, standing on my head, etc. It would not budge with any of the hand tools I had.

I finally broke down and called Troy to see if he had any ideas. He said to use an impact driver. I do not have one, so I borrowed his. Thanks Troy! The driver side nut came free with no hassle using the impact driver.

Sara removed the cotter pin from the passenger side in several pieces.

For some reason the impact driver would not fit securely on the nut on the passenger side. It just seemed like the angles were different. I did manage to get the nut off though, using my half-inch socket wrench and a tube over the handle for leverage.

Now that the nut is finally off, it is time to separate the ball joint. 

I tried using the pickle fork with no success. I think I could have hit it hard enough to knock the car off the jack stands and it would not have made a difference.

Next I tried to use the Pitman arm puller with no success, as it will not fit around the ball joint. I have seen this done on the internet, but it did not work for me.

Sara said it was getting too late to make so much noise in the garage, so I am inside now researching how to separate a ball joint.

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