use the proper tool, its not a pickle fork, and you won't damage the boot.
If you don't have access to the proper ball joint remover, then just make
sure to use a little grease on the fork to allow the fork to slide on the
boot properly. There is still the possibility that you could split it.
Once the ball joint is off and the hub nut removed, the shaft should slide
out of the splines in the brake disc. If not, wail on it with a rubber
mallet for a bit.
Then, use a persuader bar to pop the snap ring in the trannie, and the shaft
should pop out.
If you haven't drained the trannie by now, the fluid will be all over you....
Message posted via CarKB.com
Remove the axle nuts first, then pop the ball joints. You may also need to
remove the Y shaped yoke at the bottom of the strut. In my experience, this
tool by Stahlwille
is the ideal tool for
dealing with ball joints. It will not damage the boots. However, you will
need to protect the ball joint stud since it has holes drilled through it
for the cotter keys and sometimes these may collapse when using this press
tool. The simple way to protect the stud is to thread a regular nut (not
the castle nut) onto the ball joint stud so that the nut is flush with the
end of the stud. The tool is a bit on the pricey side but you may be able
to rent one (or something similar) from a tool rental outlet. If you use a
pickle fork, the boots may split even if you grease the tool. Be prepared
to replace any boots that split open during the separation of the ball
joints. Damaged boots will lead to premature failure of the joints.
Lastly, do the owner a favor and use a good antiseize compound on all of the
suspension bolts you remove before reassembly.
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