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Joined: Oct 20 2018
Posts: 19

Working my way through the muck and bullets on the CVC and found the OS lower ball joint dust boot in tatters.
It looks a fairly scary job but does anyone have a trick for removing the lower ball joint without taking the top one off too?
If not, do the cheap Chinese extractors work?
There is no play in either joint so reluctant to do more work than necessary.
Any views on the necessity for the alignment tool appreciated too.

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Joined: Jul 12 2016
Posts: 725

You can remove the lower ball joint without taking out the upper one but to do either you have to remove the swivel hub. Both ball joints points downwards and the hub presses upwards on to them. Undo the nuts, drop off the hub and the ball joints push out upwards.

As you have to remove the hub to do either of them most people tend to do both to avoid having to go back in and take the hub off again in the future.

I've seen horror stories of how difficult it is to replace the ball joints. I've also seen reports of garages not giving quotes ahead of time as they know it's a nightmare and could take them much longer than expected.

People seem to have trouble getting the ball joints out using cheap removal tools. Lots need to use a large amount of heat too.

I'm in the same boat as you - found the dust covers split but no play. Bought a full set of ball joints and just trying to work up the courage to go at it!

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Joined: Oct 20 2018
Posts: 19

Thanks RutlandRover,
as you say it's not a very appealing job but as it's an MOT fail we're going to have to give it a go.
Good luck with yours, I let you know how I get on.

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Joined: Jul 12 2016
Posts: 725

Interestingly, I sent mine to its MOT with the ball joints in the footwell. Told them I knew the boots were split and to fit them if they were needed for the MOT.

Wasn't even mentioned as an advisory!

The local garage is owned by an ex-LR tech that worked in them when they new. I figure he decided it wasn't a job he wanted to get in to and was satisfied that I was aware of the issue and planned to fix it.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 3077

I took one car in to have top and bottom done on one side. Was quoted £380 but by the time it was done the bill came to £1050. That was at an indie staffed by ex-LR mechanics. The top one usually gets play in it first and is a lot less noticeable than the bottom one so do them both. The only way you will see any play unless it is really bad is by jacking the car up on the axle so the wheel is off the ground, then putting a crowbar under the wheel and trying to lift it. It's pretty certain you will have play. Have a word with Chris (no10Chris), he's got the kit for changing them.

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Joined: Oct 20 2018
Posts: 19

Interesting RR, my MOT'r is sympathetic too s oit might get through but the fifty other fail points might not!

Thanks Gilbertd I will bite the bullet.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 3077

How many tatters is it in? Superglue works well on rubber.......

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Joined: Oct 20 2018
Posts: 19

It is tempting but its such a tight space and there is really nothing left to glue. I did think of just ordering a new boot and cutting it in half BUT IT JUST ISN'T RIGHT is it?

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 3077

My local motor factors sells assorted sized rubber boots so I'd be inclined to get one of the right size or even slightly larger, slit it, wrap it round and Superglue the ends together. Much the same as the universal CV joint boots that you can buy that even come with a tube of glue. Assuming there's no play in the actual joints, all you are doing is keeping the grease in and the wet out.

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Joined: Oct 20 2018
Posts: 19

It is tempting, they look very thoroughly rusted in. Will sleep on it.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 3077

Check for play, if none, replace the rubber, if there's play, bite the bullet and replace the joints. How is the rest of the restoration coming along?

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Joined: Sep 14 2016
Posts: 300

DavidAll

I used one of the big 21 piece "G-Clamp" style swivel / ball joint removal kits (like E-Bay 401674598831) to do my right hand side steering joints back in the early summer last year. Allegedly the 10 piece ones don't have all the sleeves you need. Did the deed but really struggled with the top joint. Wound it up uber tight with a 4 ft scaffold pole 3/4" drive breaker bar and basically left it for three days giving it the occasional heave and obligatory whack with a club hammer when I felt like it. It gave in on the morning of the third day and actually came out quite easily. Bottom one wasn't quite as much of a struggle but still took some serious heaving. Didn't like the way the screw rubbed against the top joint bore when wound up tight so I made a top hat shaped bush protector from alloy to keep it straight. Despite being seriously hefty that clamp body bends! The E-Bay pictures don't give a proper idea of how massive, and heavy, it is. Dunno if the straighter pull helped things move or not. Would expect it to.

That being quite enough excitement for a while I left the left hand ones until October. In the interim I made a knock off of the pukka Sykes-Pickavant 1877100 tool (https://www.chrometrader.co.uk/automotive-tools/steering-suspension/ball-joint-removal/sykes-pickavant-18771100-swivel-ball-joint-tool-d2-p38-c-w-press-frame-ram.html) using the 12 ton ram and slotted bar out of my big hydraulic puller set. Just had to make a base to support the sleeves. Used the long hold down rods from my milling machine clamp set to tie the ram carrier to the base. Sleeves and other bits from stock.

Pulled the joints out with no great effort. Certainly the way to go. Shoulda made a note of the sleeve and pusher sizes needed for other folk. Besides the aforementioned G-Clamp set I have a 32 piece bearing race / seal installation kit and a 36 piece universal pull & press kit about the place so, having plenty to choose from, I tend to forget how much harder it is for normal (sane) folk lacking the toolaholic packrat genes. Prolly about £50 to replicate my knock off, complete with E-Bay sourced ram, if I knew the size of sleeve to make.

I really don't think the extortionately priced Laser Tools ET6293 (https://www.shop4autoparts.net/tools/land-rover-tools/ET6293-BALL-JOINT-REMOVAL-TOOL-DISCOVERY-2-RANGE-ROVER-P38-6293/) is up to the job. After discovering that their front radius arm bush tool kit doesn't, and can't, fit I'm off Laser for life anyway.

Considering alternatives the BMW 3 series ball joint kit E-Bay 123519400770 looks seriously husky but obviously the sleeves will be the wrong size and suitable P38 size ones will have to be made or found. The twin side rods give a balanced pull so it ought to work better than the offset G-clamp type.

The major risk when doing steering knuckle ball joints is that the ABS sensor won't come out needing to be destroyed before the hub can be pulled out. Both mine had to be destroyed. Ended up machining the old tension bushes out on the Bridgeport. Even with my big playroom toybox that gave me some worries. Ordinary guy on the drive would be totally stuffed. Odds are the hub unit is well fretted in too. I was glad I'd kept the scrap disks when I replaced mine a couple or three years back as it gave me something I could safely hit without worrying about damage. Broke one!

Clive

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Joined: Oct 20 2018
Posts: 19

Clive,

that sounds like an epic amount of kit. V envious. I'll take all advice and run another check on whether there is any play on the joints. I've mostly been entertaining myself with getting all the little 6mm flanged bolts out of the dust guard and brake hose fittings. The list of parts is getting longer! Have now redone the EAS pump and valve block which seemed pretty straightforward. A small patch needed below the evap box but not too bad at the front. Rear of cills are frilly and inside OSR door arch is tired. The outer window rubber channels are all bubbling and haven't seen a source of these at a sensible price.

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Joined: Sep 13 2016
Posts: 417

i did mine recently, and it was a ballache but it went ok in the end. Theres probably a thread of mine from when i did it detailling the trials and tribulations.

The main issue i had was when winding up the "G Clamp" style press thing as mentioned above, the press was actually bending. I didnt get to the "4 foot scaffolding pole" stage, but wound it up as much as i dared then smashed at the housing with a big hammer and eventually it came free.

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Joined: Sep 14 2016
Posts: 300

Mine lived in a seaside town for good part of its life so probably a bit more extreme than most on the corrosion / fretting bound issues than most. The ABS sensor tension bushes had effectively chemically plated themselves to the knuckle, so machining was the only way. (But no real normal car type corrosion issues apart from needing a good scrub and re-paint on back axle and rear part of chassis. This years get out and under job.)

The Sykes-Pickavant knock off tool really is the answer when it comes to pulling those joints out. Why that's not the normal style I really don't know. Perhaps £10 more than the G-clamp style at Chinee prices. Plenty of power, it is a portable hydraulic press after all. Found out on another job that if it cocks sideways you can snap a 3/8" x 16 UNC milling clamp set tie rod without silly effort. Ooops!

Clive

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Joined: Oct 20 2018
Posts: 19

A brief update on the dust boot saga. All coming apart reasonably well. The reverse disc removal "tool" for getting the hub out of the carrier worked well. Getting the carrier off the ball joints was a struggle with a forked splitter and when the top ones finally let go they stripped the innards of the joint out and I then had to try a 3 leg puller to press the remains out of the carrier.

On a different subject does anyone have a good treatment for aluminium castings such as alternators to get them looking new(er)?

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Joined: Jul 12 2016
Posts: 725

Maybe go over them a small wire brush attachment in a Dremel?

What's the reverse disc tool?

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Joined: Nov 27 2017
Posts: 187

Using an old brake disc fitted backwards on the hub to drift it off.

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Joined: Oct 20 2018
Posts: 19

The reverse disc worked really well. A bit of room to swing a mallet!
Although it didn't show beforehand one of the lower joints was really shot.

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Joined: Oct 20 2018
Posts: 19

Tried a wire brush but it tends to polish the surface rather than leave it natural.