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Which ball joint press kit y'all using?


someotherguy
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Discovered my Intimidator has a really bad upper ball joint; the boot tore and the joint went to hell.  Lots of slack in it.

Looking for a ball joint press kit that is known to fit the type used on the SS, and that I can score reasonably in a hurry so I can knock this out.

I hate buying cheap tools that might break, but I also don't do regular suspension work so I may use this kit once every few years, ya know?  Was considering OTC since a lot of their kits are US-made, but not the crazy big sets that are like $300, $700, etc.  They've got one that's just over $100 part # 7249 just dunno if the adapters included are the right size.  From the specs: "kit contains 3 receiver tubes (2-3/4 inch I.D. x 3 inch O.D., 2-1/4 inch I.D. x 2-1/2 inch O.D., and 1-3/4 inch I.D. x 2 inch O.D.) and 1 installing cup, 1 receiving cup, and 1 installing adapter"

Thanks,

Richard

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honestly, i would just rent the kit from auto zone or your local autostore if they offer it. You get 100% of your money back upon return in most cases. Being you won't use this kit a lot i don't see a reason to buy it, you would end up lending it friends more then you actually using it. Just my .02 :)

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Yeah if the loan-a-tool set the parts house has will fit, and actually works, that's definitely an option.  I just usually avoid that stuff because it's the same Chinese trash they sell in the store, that barely gets the job done if at all.  I don't mind investing in tools but the set I really want is outrageously expensive for someone not in the daily business of wrenching.

BTW the Moog K6540 that is $84 in the store at Advance, $87 at O'Reilly...is $39 through Amazon.  So after tax, what woulda cost me over $90 for ONE of them locally, I ordered the exact same part, $84 for the pair of them.  Even though only one failed, I'd rather replace both.  Overall the suspension looks pretty decent so I'm not looking to do a bunch of work on it just yet.

Richard

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OK, so the Enchanted Garden brand or whatever Chinese thing the O'Reilly's had was just enough to get it done.  Problem is nobody cared enough to ever grease the thing before using it so the ball bearing inside the screw insert was egg-shaped and pitted and the thing barely spun although I greased the crap out of it and the screw.  I fought that tool for all it was worth to get these joints done.

Since the only joint showing any issue was the passenger upper because the boot tore wide open, I wasn't planning on doing any other parts.  Testing showed the driver side joints had zero slack.  I ended up replacing the driver side upper anyway though because its boot was torn enough that it was oozing grease all around, and I had the parts and tool in hand, so they both got done.

Didn't want to do full disassembly since other parts were fine, so I used my floor jack to support the LCA, left a gap, and tapped the spindle around the upper ball joint area letting the force of the torsion bar pop it loose.  (Left the nut threaded on a bit so it couldn't go crazy.)  Strap holding the spindle/caliper in place so it couldn't fall slack and put stress on the brake hose.

06SS_102s.jpg

Using the ratchet I just barely got it to crack the joint a little amount.  Gave me room to squirt some PB Blaster in there and let it soak a bit, then I switched to a breaker bar instead.

06SS_103s.jpg

Moog Problem Solver K6540 going in, lubed the splines and hole in the UCA to help, be sure to align the dot facing the wheel.

06SS_106s.jpg

Installed, reassembled, greased... 

06SS_107s.jpg

Driver side was a real pain in the ass, mostly I blame the tool for not allowing the cap to spin on its bearing. Had to make a cheater pipe out of a floor jack handle, but got it done.  Another tip, using a ratchet strap under the LCA, hooked to the UCA to pull it down, kept it from moving while reefing on the press tool.  Made it go better for sure.

06SS_110s.jpg

Richard

Edited by someotherguy
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the good tips and pictures Richard. 

The way I view buying quality tools that will get minimal use is that it's the labor you would pay a shop to do the job.  You still have to find storage space for tools that don't get used regularly.

I've made my living with my hands my whole life.  Hate buying cheap a$$ junk tools.

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