[Vwdiesel] Ball Joint Conquered
val at swamps.roc.ny.us
Fri May 9 22:00:34 EDT 2003
Last week, I posted a plea for help on a ball joint. Ideas flowed, and
today I got a chance to go after the balljoint. By way of explaination,
I'm doing the strut cartridges, and the brakes, before I tackle a
-sway bar didn't appear to be problem with control arm movement. Actually,
the swaybar bushing might be a little worn. Disconnected it. No luck.
-PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench, and other penetrants have been applied for
the last week. Put some more on. Hammered.
-beat on the knuckle clamp gap with a cold chisel, using it as a wedge to
open things up.
-With shields up, I applied heat to the balljoint and knuckle clamp fitting.
Stuck the torch tip right into the knuckle clamp and heated. Several times, no
-used more penetrating potions. Remember, the joint has soaked in penetrant
for one week.
-tried lifting the car up, by a tire iron, using leverage to pull the
knuckle clamp off the ball joint. Allot of messing around, some hammering.
-torched things again. Did more prying. No luck.
-stuck cold chisel on air hammer into knuckle clamp. Buzzed for a while,
then tried prying things apart. No luck.
-more penetrant. Ate lunch.
-stuck tire iron into steering knuckle clamp. Tried prying to open things
up more. No luck.
-got "drag link" socket, mounted into 18" breaker bar. Wedged into clamp
and applied force (FWIW, I'm 76" tall and weight about 265#). Drag link
socket got munged (well, really bent to pieces). Put jack tension on
the old tire iron again, and beat with a 3# hammer. Knuckle starts
slowly sliding off the ball joint. Since it's moving, I decided to not
apply harder hits. I really don't want to hurt the ball joint.
A hundred or two hits later, the knuckle is off.
So, the people who suggested wedging a screwdriver or some wedge into the
clamp on the knuckle, were the ones who appear to have won the prize!
Except a simple wedge, like a cold chisel, was inadequate. I haven't
used the drag link sockets often, but when I do, I usually damage them.
This was the case today.
So, I got everything far enough apart, so that I could replace the
strut cartridge. Needed the torch several more times. Most notable,
I found that the strut cartridge had collapsed internally, and the
walls of the cartridge looked like they had been pinched in a giant
pliers. Later, I tested the strut for range of motion, and found it
to be generally good through its whole travel. Perplexing.
Thanks again to all who mailed in their helpful hints.
More information about the Vwdiesel