I've had my '88 2dr 5spd for 7 years now and have done almost all my
own work on it. I don't have much experience with suspension work,
however, and now it's time to dive in. I need to replace the front
axles, and I figure I might do the shocks since I'm in there already.
(They don't seem too bad, but they are original.)
Anyhow, I'm having trouble separating the ball joints from the lower
arm. These were replaced a couple of years ago, so I'm trying not to
trash them. The shop manual talks about a gear puller on lugs on the
arm, but they always seem to slip off. I also tried a puller with the
arms seated on the top of the arm, outside the boot. But it's very
difficult to keep the puller straight, and it still seems to pull off
at the slightest provokation. I got frightened I was going to tear
some parts up in a serious way trying this method.
Seems like maybe a lever type ball joint remover might do the trick,
but the biggest jaws on these seem to be about 22mm. Using a caliper,
I found that the smallest jaw that would fit easily without forcing it
under the boot is about 30mm. I'm a bit afraid to try to ram anything
under that boot! Also I hear about various ways to separate the works
with creative use of a hammer, but this seems dubious when separating
I know this can't be that impossible, so obviously I'm just missing
the secret trick. Any suggestions?