I’m attempting to remove an upper ball joint that’s be in place since the car was built (1969). I’ve tried a hammering on a pickle fork, using a ball joint separator while hammering the hb carrier adjacent to the ball joint as well as a pickle fork on an air hammer. All to no avail. Is it permissible to heat the area around the ball joint with a propane torch? BTW, what is the hub carrier made from? Is it steel or cast iron? Just how much wailing on it with a hammer will it take?
I have never once failed to get a ball-joint, or tie-rod end, to separate using two hammers - a LARGE, heavy hammer held securely against one side of the female piece (the upright, in this case), and a smaller hammer (like a small ball-peen hammer) whacking on the opposite side. Leave the nut screwed on a couple of turns, to keep the whole thing from coming apart when the taper lets go. WHILE whacking with the small hammer, use a long pry bar (perhaps held by a second person), to pry DOWN on the upright with as much force as possible. Don’t just hit it in one place, move around. Most times, you don’t even need to hit it all that hard, you just have the find the exact, right place to hit it. When you find that spot, it will magically let go. in 50+ years of working on old cars, I’ve never used a ball-joint separator, and only tried (with no success) a pickle fork a few times. The primary application of a pickle fork appears to me to be as a very efficient means of destroying the boots. The two-hammer method, performed properly, ALWAYS works.
That HF separator is, without exaggeration, one of the most satisfying tools I’ve ever bought. I’m sure there are joints that won’t allow it to fit, but I haven’t come across one yet.
My dad taught me the two-hammer technique 30 years ago…there’s no doubt it works, but screw-type splitter is so easy…I’ve never had to resort to using anything more than a wrench on it, even while breaking down a Land Rover that had been ridden hard, and put away wet since the 70’s.
I didn’t want to use an impact wrench on the separator fearing. The separator is made from a cast material I wan’t too confident it would survive an impact wrench, of which I have several. In the end I used a bit of heat from a propane torch and a carefully applied smack from a heavy ball pein hammer. At that point the joint yielded.