ball joint stud / knuckle re-assembly problem

Hello, I just replaced the passenger-side half shaft in my '93 Park Avenue Ultra. That really wasn't too terrible of a job. The problem is getting everything put back together. Try as I might (and I have spent
a good deal of time trying), I have not been able to get the knuckle hole lined up with the stud of the ball joint so that I can get them joined up. It is close, but I can't seem to get the knuckle pushed towards the car that last 1/2" or so to get them lined up at the proper angle (stud needs to be angled in towards the car somewhat). Are there any tricks out there for getting this thing back together? Although I don't fix cars for a living, I usually am able to get these things figured out sooner or later, but I am getting pretty frustrated on this one. Thanks for any help! Regards, Phil
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Fight with it, swear a bit, turn the wheel in both directions, swear a bit more, fight some more, go into the house and post a bit of frustration on the internet and sure enough, you'll sit back down at it and the damned thing will just sort of go together.
--

-Mike-
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Gawd, do I know the truth in *THAT*! :)
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Don Bruder - snipped-for-privacy@sonic.net - If your "From:" address isn't on my whitelist,
or the subject of the message doesn't contain the exact text "PopperAndShadow"
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snipped-for-privacy@winfordeng.com wrote:

Try pushing the balljoint stud away from the car(towards the knuckle) and if that doesnt help try tightening the axle nut in order to pull the axle in more which should give you a little more play. Hope it works out for you,axle jobs are usually pretty straight forward.
JIM
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i had to use a long 2x4 turned sideways(pry up) to pull up the ball joint on a old nissan....it was a bear to do. most times i just slowly lower the car with the floor jack ,and have a bottle jack or jack stand under the ball joint area to provide the opposing upward force. having someone (at the same time) slightly moving the steering wheel can also help coax it in. just be safe about it.
wrote:

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Thanks for the information, everyone. I think I've got a couple things to try, at least. If nothing else, it sounds like I'm not the only one who has wasted a lot of time wrestling with a ball joint / knuckle. If it's a piece of cake 90% of the time, then I would think maybe my replacement halfshaft is simply a little too long, thus preventing me front pushing the knuckle in towards the car far enough. However, based on your feedback, I'm thinking it's a lot more likely that it's yet another case of operator error, and I just need to keep working at it. Thanks again! Regards, Phil
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Hey Phil - not so much operator error as it is a matter of getting a few things to line up just-so, in order that they will all go together just-right, without a lot of room for just-a-little-more. It can be a pain to get the ball joint to start up into the knuckle, and I wish I could give you a quick and dirty "just do this", but I can't. It's really just a matter of screwing with it, turning the knuckle (as if turning the front wheels), etc. Believe it or not, you'll suddenly find some magic spot where presto - it almost (remember... almost) just glides together. Once you get the stud started through you can put the nut on and pull it the rest of the way. We all fight with these to some extent, even if we've done a hundred of them.
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On 19 Feb 2006 13:24:06 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@winfordeng.com wrote:

Have one of your heavier friends sit on the fender as you try to get the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle. This should help.
--

Dave in Columbus

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