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Old 12-13-2008, 02:07 PM   #1
Big-E
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Default Ball joint removal, need help

I'm in the process of removing the factory ball joints to install the Whiteline roll-center kit.

I was able to remove the control arm from the ball joint with no problem. I cannot however remove the ball joint from the hub assembly. I used PB Blaster before attempting the removal. I also used a chisel to slowly spread the compression joint in the hub. Still no luck.

While inspecting the compression joint there appears to be a crack in it. The crack however is not new. It looks like it's been there from the factory.

Per the manual (and Whiteline's instructions) apparently the removal of the ball joint should be simple. Remove castle nut, lower the control arm downward, remove the locking bolt, remove the ball joint. Not happening.

The factory ball joint is destroyed and cannot be reused. The ball joint rotates in the hub socket but again will not come out. The compression joint is open more than it was, of course, when I started.

So, what's the deal? Also, my gut instinct says to replace the hub assembly. How hard is that? I have automotive experience, but not with the Subaru.

Your feedback is appreciated.
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:48 PM   #2
jimsaco
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Hey I just did this today. I had to replace the axle berings. I got a spindle from a donor car at the u-pull-it and figured I would use my old ball joint.
Mine must have been just as rusted as yours because I couldn't get mine out without a lot of grinding and pounding. If you can get a junk yard spindle, it's not hard to change. Remove the axle nut while the brakes are still on(screwdriver in the rotor will stop the axle from spining), take off the brake stuff, disconect the tie-rod end(you already have the ball joint loose), mark the adjuster bolts on your strut with a punch and then take them off. It should come right off. The only problem you might have is with the front end alignment. My donor ball joint popped right out, so I put in a new one. Good luck
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:20 PM   #3
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There's a great thread on some tips on how to do this in the suspension tech area.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:16 PM   #4
Big-E
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+1 for TiC

You guys made my day, seriously. I really thought I was losing it.

Ok, so then my theory was right. Attempt total destruction of said factory ball joints. Think about it. Think about it more. Ok. Next. Remove knuckle from suspension. Once out of car, kill that ball joint.

Unfortunately, I spread the ball joint clamp that's built into the knuckle, where the locking bolt goes, and it's possible that I cracked it. There is a crack in the center of the forward facing clamp.

I have no problem at this point with respect to taking the car apart further, it's really easy. My problem is that where I live there are no more good machine shops around. Thus I would have to go to my local parts store where they have a press. My concern is f-ing up the inner surface of the knuckle when installing a new bearing. I sent Jamie @ SGP a parts request along with a "can you have the bearing pressed in for me and, of course, charge me for it" request. I hope so.

I'm going to get new lock bolts, new nuts for the strut to knuckle bolts, and new axle nuts; and you better believe me when I say I'm putting anti-seize on everything, that I am.

Thanks again for the feedback. Now I have to order a new knuckle for the passenger's side, and the rest of the hardware, before I can do the job. My poor baby will be sitting there for probably a few weeks before I can get it done and enjoy going out for a ride again.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:03 PM   #5
eastbay
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keep on smillin!...when i fisrt did it,( i work in a subaru dealer) it took me about 2 hours(only for removing that fu****ball joint from the hu) when it should take about 40 minutes doing all the job...not really professional....and a really mad customer that have to pay 3 time the price...i wanted to hit myself ...but second time i did it...trust me i really did know what not to do and it took about 30 minutes...experience!
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:55 PM   #6
Big-E
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The car now quietly sits in the backyard with a car cover over it while I wait for a new knuckle. I got smart and ordered a pair of bearings, snap rings, seals, bolts, nuts, and axle nuts. I will play with the new knuckle first, then move on to the other one to remove the ball joint, etc.

When I do get the parts I will have to repack the front bearings. I will need a grease that is either compatible with what's in there or a new grease all together. Since the car is a daily driver, occasional spirited driver and the occasional auto-cross driver, and that I live in New England, I need a grease that will both hold up and will keep water from mixing and killing the bearing, etc.

Any suggestions on a good grease?

Thanks.
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