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Ames63

Lower ball joint

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I was just reading a post by BillNC dated 2 December 2005, he had replaced a lower ball joint and mentioned that it was very hard to tap out the rivets that hold the joint in place on the control arm. Seeing as how he ended up using an air chisel. I am wondering if I should attempt to do this myself or take it to the shop and let the pros replace it in a couple of hours. Does anyone have an opinion of this repair?

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Could use a drill, replacement should bolt in.

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Drill bits need to be hard and sharp to make drilling out the rivets easy. Dull HSS bits will make this task harder than it should be.

Can also grind off the heads of the rivets with a grinder or Dremel tool and then punch out the shafts.

If you have good drill bits that's the way I would go, if not I'd grind.

Replacements just bolt in as Padgett says.

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For a DIY job pull the lower arm and do it on the workbench. Drill the center of the rivet heads until the hole is as deep as the head. Shear head with air chisel.

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Sheering or cutting the head off will be your best bet. Even hardened bits take a chance on breaking for rivets. Drilling bolts is hard enough. Learned this well from rusty exhaust bolts. My rear header on the 89 one of the studs that hold it to the exhaust is rusted in the manifold and the manifold wasnt designed to come out with them in so im debating how i'll fix that atm. Dont really wana cut it off and drill for that reason

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I partially drill them out because it makes it easier to cut off. The hole gives a place for the remaining rivet head to go.

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I saw some ball joint on ebay for Reatta that go in press fit,this means you d ont have to cut the rivets,wich i think is MUCH BETTER if can really be done this way.(I know the shop manual says to do it drilling the rivets) but why drill such really solid and good rivets and replace them for bolts and nuts that can loosen up.A tool is specially made to pull and press it back in.

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a) If you do not remove the rivets, how do you get the old ball joint out ?

B) I would be concerned about a press fit coming loose. The ball joint is in compression and tension at different times. The ball joint stud is a wedge but you still have a retainer bolt on it. And a cotter pin.

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I saw some ball joint on ebay for Reatta that go in press fit,this means you d ont have to cut the rivets,wich i think is MUCH BETTER if can really be done this way.(I know the shop manual says to do it drilling the rivets) but why drill such really solid and good rivets and replace them for bolts and nuts that can loosen up.A tool is specially made to pull and press it back in.
Please post a link to one of the press fit Reatta ball joints. I believe the listing will be in error. I have seen press fit ball joints on large trucks and a few older cars. The control arm has to be designed for the press fit ball joint. The Reatta is not designed that way.

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hope this works,Moog Front Lower Ball Joint Buick Reatta | eBayif this is good it would be an easyer job,if you have the tools,hope this will help.Like i said,i have never tried it.MOOG-K6145T Front Lower Ball Joint Made By MOOG
Looks like they are selling just one of the parts that normally comes in a kit (see photo below) to save some money. To use the eBay part I think you would need to remove the rivited in mounting bracket (shown in the photo with the ball joint installed) or the control arm in order get it to equipment to press the part in and out... unless you are a sledge hammer mechanic and don't worry about damaging other stuff in the process of fixing something. It's probably possible to beat the old one out and beat the new one in. :eek:

I don't see anything that would make the job easier by using that part. I would stay with the mainstream way of doing things. Buy the right part to start with, remove the three rivets, reinstall with bolts and be done with it. Just my opinion.

20973452_moo_k5303_alt1_larg.jpg

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You can buy a tool to pull and press it back in.Anyway,when one ball joint will need to be replaced on my 1990 reatta i will try to press a new one back in and i will post a video if its successfull or not.

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