Front ball joint - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-08-2011, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Front ball joint

I need to replace my front right ball joint. How difficult is this to do? I know the bolt holding it on tends to be stuck and snap. Do I actually need to rent a ball joint removal tool? Any advice?

Mike
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-08-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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Since you are in the moist north east, I would soak the crap out of both the bolt that goes through the control arm, and the 14mm that holds the joint to the steering knuckle with PB blaster. Let it sit for at least 1/2 an hour.

I've used inexpensive pitman arm tool (from NAPA) and pickle forks to remove the ball joint from the control arm. Since you are replacing it, damaging it doesn't matter.

Remember, after you get the 14mm out of the knuckle, to use a wedge (also known as a broken screwdriver) and a hammer to open up the slit on the inside of the knuckle. A big pry bar will be needed to pop the knuckle off the ball joint.

Cullen

Last edited by wagonracer; 07-08-2011 at 07:40 PM.
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post #3 of 28 Old 07-08-2011, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Basically all I have for tools is wrenches. Am I going to end up spending more on tools than I would paying a shop to do this?

Mike
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post #4 of 28 Old 07-08-2011, 07:45 PM
 
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I can do it for you next month, as I'm moving out there around the middle of August

No is the answer, assuming that you already have a jack, stands, a hammer and a broken screwdriver. You'll just need a nice long (24-30") pry bar and a pickle fork or pitman puller. Probably pick those up for less than $50. You might also need a cheater pipe for breaking the two nuts loose.

Cullen
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-08-2011, 08:43 PM
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Moving closer to your children cullen? I need you in my neighbor hood. LOL

Kirt
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-08-2011, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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My mechanic said it's in really bad shape and needs to be changed soon. It's knocks really loud. I might actually take you up on that offer if you think I can survive a month. I have a jack, stands, hammer, and broken screwdriver for sure.

I need to see what my mechanic is going to charge, when he gets back from vacation next week. I'm so tight on money right now that I need to do whatever is cheapest.

Mike
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post #7 of 28 Old 07-08-2011, 09:12 PM
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Sooooo did this car end up being cheaper after all the crap you've gone through with it?

-Chris
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post #8 of 28 Old 07-08-2011, 09:26 PM
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A bit cynical aren't we? He did lose his job and had to step it down to a bugeye.

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post #9 of 28 Old 07-08-2011, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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HAHA no hard feelings. After everything, I did still pay less than blue book value. Other than the ball joint the car runs amazing now.

Mike
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post #10 of 28 Old 07-09-2011, 01:53 AM
 
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Moving closer to your children cullen? I need you in my neighbor hood. LOL
Yes, my only kid is going to school out there (Winchendon Ma) She needs her dad, and I can't stand being so far away. I'm not sure where I'm going to land yet, but it'll probably be somewhere between her school and Bedford where she'll likely play on a second hockey team. I hear there are a lot of Subarus that'll need fixing out there !

Cullen
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post #11 of 28 Old 07-09-2011, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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I need an inspection sticker. Should I fix the ball joint first? Can I fail for a bad ball joint?

Mike
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post #12 of 28 Old 07-10-2011, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I've concluded that I can't afford a mechanic doing this job. And I need it done now, because I'm long over due for an inspection sticker.

Will I need anything more than wrenches, pb blaster, pickle fork, and hammer?

Mike
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-10-2011, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonracer View Post
Yes, my only kid is going to school out there (Winchendon Ma) She needs her dad, and I can't stand being so far away. I'm not sure where I'm going to land yet, but it'll probably be somewhere between her school and Bedford where she'll likely play on a second hockey team. I hear there are a lot of Subarus that'll need fixing out there !
Bedford MA? or PA?

Kirt
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-11-2011, 12:09 AM
 
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Mass.

Cullen
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post #15 of 28 Old 07-11-2011, 05:50 PM
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i just finished replacing a ball joint this weekend, and having wrenches, and cheater/breaker bar definitely helps when removing the ball joint. a good sized hammer will most likely be needed. if you're replacing the ball joint, one of the things i found to help was using a punch chisel

if the joint is really rusted into the housing, using the chisel and hammering it from all sides will eventually get it to slide out. when i replace the joint, i put a small amount of anti seize on the end that slides into the knuckle.

another thing to note is that when you take the bolt out of the knuckle which squeezes around the ball joint, the bolt be too rusted to pull out. in my case, I had to drill out the bolt that snapped off, then use a large bolt with a nut on the other side to tighten the knuckle around the ball joint.
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