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Hello Everyone,

I need help from anyone that did their own clutch change. I am in the process of trying to remove the lower ball joint bolt from the hub. I've already remove the nut from the bolt, but it is not coming loose and I don't want to strip the bolt. I am using a torx T50 with a breaker bar but it is not moving. What is the process did anyone of you use to remove the bolt. These are the pics of the bolt.[?|]
 

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Token Engin-nerd
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The easier way to do it is to take the strut out and then remove the tie rod end from the knuckle using a small pickle fork (rent the "tie rod removal tool" from autozone) after taking the nut off via a box-end wrench and allen key. You can use a pliers on the allen key to get a better lever arm. Same thing for the swaybar endlink, take it out of the strut using a wrench and an allen key.

i have done this 5 times now on various cars and it works perfect every time


just dont let your stuff hang by the brake lines...


also drain the trans before you pull the axles.


also good luck popping the driver side axle it is a doosie the first time.
 

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1. Remove the nut from the knuckle-to-ball joint stud pinch bolt. Don’t move the bolt. This is important. Remove the nut before trying to do anything with the bolt.
2. Drive cold steel chisels above and below the bolt into the pinch-point on the knuckle to spread it. Be careful not to nick the pinch bolt. You may need to turn the steering wheel to the right to get a clear shot at the pinch point.
3. Liberally use Ion-Activated Thrust or equivalent penetrant. Try to loosen bolt by both loosening AND tightening it with a Torx bit. Try driving the thread end of the pinch bolt with the big brass drift and a drill hammer. After much agony it will let go.
 

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To get the axle out, as above, use a LONG drift ( I made mine from a pice of all thread I ground the sides down on, and tap the axle out from the other side ( there is just enough room to get past the center pin in the tranny).

The pinch bolt you are dealing with? Just use a large drift after letting it sit a little while with some penetrant. A BIG heavy hammer ( 2lbs.) is better than a small light one, you don't have to swing the heavy one as hard. Heat it if it really won't come out, but that won't be necessary. Just hit it hard, with a large flat drift and you won't damage the end.

To get the ball joint out, you can use a pickle fork, but I haven't in over 20 years ( they mess up the rubber boot most times). Just a VERY sharp rap on the arm with the same 2 lb. hammer ( I use a brass one here) will drop the arm loose from the ball joint, you may have to hit it 2-3 times, but a heavy hammer and a hard hit works every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I want to say thanks to everyone that replied. Your technical information and vast knowledge is greatly appreciated.
 

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Also having trouble with the ball joint pinch bolt

I also am having trouble with this bolt. It is rusted. I have been able to remove the nut. The T50 Torx stripped out on my first try to use it. IMO the Torx is only for the OEM guys to tighten the bolt; useless for removal.

-I have soaked it with WD40
-I have tried hammering the threaded end.
-I rented a ball joint press, tried to push the bolt through. I managed to flatten the end of the bolt slightly, but not move it.

-I am leery of using a torch; the ball joint is riveted to the Lower Control Arm and so far the ball joint is intact.

I am posting to try and get additional suggestions.

Is spreading the pinch point (with the cold chisels) the key to this?

If I can remove it, I will cheerfully replace it with a new fastener--hopefully a regular hex head!
 

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This is an old thread- timestamp 9-21-08, you should start your own thread on the subject.

That being said, penetrating lube is about all you can do. I've been horribly disappointed in torx bits across the board. I broke several T-40s on my wife's van removing a stubby bolt that held on the disc. You have no choice but to remove it or drill it out. Drilling it out is a last resort.

WD40 is crap for this job, it's good for rusty hinges, but not good as a penetrating lubricant. What you want is PB Blaster. That will work, but like with all penetrating oils- it takes time. When you finally get to the point where you're really throwing your hands up- it's time to move on to the propane torch. Apply heat to the spindle, and try not to apply heat to the bolt itself. You'll want to spray just a little more PB blaster on threads of the bolt before you start trying to remove it.

As far as finding a good torx bit- look for impact sets. Also tap lightly on the end of the bolt while trying to turn it, but don't mess up the threads. You will not remove that bolt if you screw up one thread.
 

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Token Engin-nerd
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Big vise-grips on the head of the bolt, twisting, hammering the other end, and heating up the knuckle worked for me.
 

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Heat the nuts out of the spindle with a torch and beat the nuts out of it.
 

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I ended up have to remove the whole knuckle and lower control arm to be able to put it in a vise and hit it, the ball joint was soaking the impacts of me hitting it with a hammer, so it had to go into a vise and use a torque T50 on the impact gun with hitting it with a hammer to get it out.
 
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