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Discussion Starter #1
Well, the snow is coming again, which is the very reason I'm having the troubles I am, or more to the point, ~~~SALT~~~

The long story starts with, I'm replacing my clutch. The short story starts with, the ball joint separator ended up trashing the threads on the stub end of the ball joint, first when it camed off, and secondly and worse when the shear force actually bent the end. Once the joint was completely trashed I used a pickle fork and popped it out no problem. I didn't even tear the boot.

So now I've got a trashed ball joint I can't get out of the knuckle to save my life. I tried a ratchet strap between the lower "transverse links" (control arms from this point forward) and hammering, but it's a small strap and I have only a finish nail through the cotter pin hole on that side. No joy.

Having failed with that method, I've tried removing the boot, heating with propane (again,) and grabbing the part of the joint near the knuckle with GOOD (Knipex) slip-joint pliers. They are eating the metal nicely. :rock:

I should also mention that I've gently opened the split with an air hammer too. I'm getting to the point where I'm fearing a steering knuckle replacement anyway and am considering not being so gentle with the application of a flat taper chisel in that split. In fact, I'm going to PB Blaster the daylights out of it again and slip that chisel into the split again while I await replies.

I really do NOT want to replace the knuckle/bearing/hub! Reply right away and share in my glory when I finally get this welded-by-rust nightmare ball joint out successfully! 馃し

Update: I was able to get right underneath the knuckle with the air hammer and I spread that gap about as far as you'd want to for fear for breaking the whole ear off of it. Soaked it with PB Blaster again and tried to get it to turn. Still nothing. Hammered on the upper part of the joint with a 3# hammer and huge chisel too hoping to work the oil into it. I'm taking the family out to eat and just hang out and enjoy one another for awhile. Between this clutch from hell and another household problem this has been a rough week for all of us.
 

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I once saw a ball joint stuck this badly because it had galled out the knuckle and wedged itself in sideways. You may want to consider grabbing a used one from the junk yard. Many different years share with your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I once saw a ball joint stuck this badly because it had galled out the knuckle and wedged itself in sideways. You may want to consider grabbing a used one from the junk yard. Many different years share with your car.
I'm really trying to avoid this if I can.
1.) Around here the yards only have SF Foresters, and you have to understand, they think the parts are made of gold.

2.) You have to pull your own parts using only the tools you carry in, or pay them a very hefty sum to pull the part for you.

3.) I live right in line with the east end of Lake Erie. We get huge amounts of snow and as a result, huge amounts of salt are laid down on our roads every winter. Pulling parts is a BEAR.

4.) Add to that you are buying a wheel bearing having no idea if it is good or not.

For these reasons I am really determined to get this ball joint out. I'm going out this morning to try some MAP gas and cold water to try and crack this thing free. flstffxe suggests the PERFECT tool, if only the threads on the stub end weren't completely gone.

Forester= :catfight: = Johnny
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Got it. I used a flat chisel in the air hammer on the ring that butts up against the underside of the knuckle. First I went straight in to break it loose, then downward to drive the ball joint out. Not the prettyest method, but it worked well.
 

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In case you do have to swap it out I checked on opposed forces and the following use the same part number - 2000-2004 Legacy 2002-2006 Impreza 2000-2006 Forester

I know that older and newer parts are also compatible but with a different part number.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Agreed. However, when the threaded portion of the shaft has been bent to about a 20掳 angle and all of the threads are completely useless, well, then it's every man for himself! lol Thanks for the direct link to the tool on TiC's site. I gotta get me one of those!

PS. How hard is it to change out the motor mounts once the transmission is back in? I imagine it'd be kinda tough to balance the engine by one mount, so I figure the tranny's gotta be back in first. Tranny mount is trashed (Broken stud) and things seemed a bit bouncy and loose so I figure I might just as well give it a fresh pair of mounts too. There's noting in the FSM about it aside from "Step 1, Remove Engine."
 

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Got it. I used a flat chisel in the air hammer on the ring that butts up against the underside of the knuckle. First I went straight in to break it loose, then downward to drive the ball joint out. Not the prettyest method, but it worked well.
This is the easiest way I got mine out in my 98 LGT that way and didnt take long at all. The worst part is the rusted bolt that has to come out first. I snapped one and the other came out with lots of heat.
 

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The eBay tool failed at removing the first ball joint from my Forester. The blue pipe simply crushed. I can't recommend it to anyone who thinks theirs will be overly seized. Instead I will be replacing it with the Snap-On version. Lifetime warranty and much more hearty looking.

I had hopes for the eBay one since it is so much like Sniper's, but it failed me.
 

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I made this

That's more like it. Quite robust looking. The problem with the eBay tool is the thin walled pipe they used for a spacer. I thought about finding a thicker walled pipe to fix it, but I decided to buy something purpose built instead. It's Snap-On, so the job will be done.

Here's the result of my eBay ball joint puller's attempt. :icon_confused:



 

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Just get your money back, no point in spending $150 or whatever the Snap-on tool cost, just replace the tubing with 1 1/2" black iron pipe. I was able to get mine with the same ebay kit which was severely corroded after several MI winters, however I did leave it soaking overnight in penetrating oil and opened "slightly" the knuckle pinch slit.
 

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I opened the split and soaked it in penetrating oil. The seller must be monitoring the boards pretty closely since he contacted me and said I will be receiving a beefier "version 2" of the pipe. I appreciate the good service and look forward to trying it out. I like community sourced solutions, so I want to give it a shot.
 

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The Snap-On BJR1 came in today. Damn, is it beefy. I have no doubt this beast could rip an anchored stud out of concrete.

I'll hold off on using it until the pipe replacement from Subbie Protools comes in (tomorrow). If it doesn't do the job, I'll get out the BJR1. If it works to my satisfaction, I'll either return the Snap-On or sell the eBay one, but either way I'll have a tool.
 

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The version 2 of the pipe Subbie Protools sent me works pretty well. I'd like to thank them for prompt and courteous service in rectifying the issue. I definitely recommend their puller and, at the price they sill it, it is certainly a good bargain. There are only a couple things that frustrate me a bit using it. The first is threading the bolt into the yellow nut once the nut is on the ball joint stud and the pipe is in place. If the bolt were longer (so the big washer wasn't so in the way) it'd be nice. A quick run to a hardware store will fix that. The second thing is that the nut can't be turned by a ratchet or breaker bar for situations where greater torque is required. It works for sure, but takes some extra effort.

I did use my Snap-On on the driver side ball joint and here are my thoughts. If you want a tool that is easier to use and will last forever, the extra money might be worth it. For someone with only one Subaru and they may not keep it forever and a day, the Subie Protools or Sniper's tool would be fine. I have three Subies I plan to keep for a very long time, and that could mean a fair amount of ball joint removals. It's only two pieces and they work like a champ. You thread the rod onto the stud, and then you slip the cup over the rod and screw it on. The rod/cup are left hand thread, so you crank in a clockwise direction (keeps the rod engaged to the ball joint) to make it pull. I really put it through some abuse getting the driver's side ball joint out and it shows no worse for the wear (always lubricate the threads on these type of puller devices!). You can use a 19mm socket on it, which means a breaker bar will make life easier. Also, if the cup tries to spin, it has flats with which to hold it stead as you crank (though, they take a really good size adjustable or open end wrench).

So, there are my thoughts. If you want something for a few uses, then the Subbie Protools option is a good one. I'm sure it'll last, but it's not as user friendly as the Snap-On tool. Then again, the Snap-On tool is about four times the cost, so it's up to you if it is worth it. I'll be keeping both, so I'll always have a backup.

Enjoy! Happy wrenching!
 
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