'88 Legend Coupe lower ball joint removal

Hello all,
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 good parts.
I know this can't be that impossible, so obviously I'm just missing the secret trick. Any suggestions?
Thanks, Ryan
Add pictures here
âś–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are many Secret Tricks, some better than others. http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/disconnect.html
I have the OTC tool, myself.
--
TeGGeR®

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
âś–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.