Sign in to follow this  
first64riv

Need help with lower front ball joint - 64 Riviera

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

I am in the process of replacing a few front end items.  I am stuck on the lower ball joints.  I have the upper loosened with the castle nut slightly holding it on.  I have the sway bar end link removed.  I have the castle nut completely off the lower ball joint.  I cannot get a separator onto the ball joint because of the bar that holds the drum is in the way.  Do I need to remove the reaction rod?  My end goal is to have the ball joint dust boots replaced, tie rods replaced, springs replaced, and shocks replaced.

 

I'm off to study the service manual.

 

Thank you in advance!

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Put the nut back on!  That nut is the only thing holding the control arm against the force of the spring.  Remove the shock and reaction rod, then give the spindle a couple of good whacks with a BFH right at the ball joint.  If you're lucky, it will pop loose.  Before you pull the spring, loop a chain through it to keep it from flying away, then remove the nut from the lower ball joint (after it's loose) and lower the control arm slowly with a jack until it's hanging down and the spring is no longer compressed.  And don't forget to loosen the nut on the LCA bushing before you lower the arm.  Although if you're doing all this, you might go ahead and replace those bushings.  They're cheap, the old ones have likely deteriorated, and it's relatively easy with everything else disassembled.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, I took the lower castle nut off and left the upper one on.  I used my baby sledge and rapped on the lower.  It worked from what I can tell.  I'll have to pull the reaction rod to get that lower arm down.  Thank you for the tips!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jesus, dude, do you want to die? Put both nuts back on!  You can get seriously hurt if you have a spring under compression pushing against an unrestrained lower control arm.  You pull the reaction rod with the bottom nut off, that lower arm will go down a hell of a lot faster than you expect.

 

You need to back off and think about this, because it sounds like you're on the verge of doing something really stupid.  If you don't understand how these parts act together, the forces involved, and the danger this work entails, shop it out to someone who does.  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kongaman,

 

I restrained the spring.  I also put the jack under the LCA.  I understood what you were saying from the get go.  I appreciate you responding again.   I'll  put the castle nut back on the lower again before I pull the reaction rod.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UPDATE:

Just got done with my passenger tie rod.  It's been a slow go but so far I've replaced upper and lower control arm ball joint boots, shocks and springs.  It sits three inches lower now.  I also installed poly sway bar bushings and end links.

 

I haven't driven on the new tie rod yet but it was vibrating when I took it out last week.  I'll test drive it tomorrow.  I'll replace the driver side tie rod eventually...it's sitting in a box in the garage.

 

I never did the lower control arm bushings like Kongaman suggested but I'll get to that one day too.

 

Thanks for looking!

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/7/2020 at 11:56 PM, first64riv said:

UPDATE:

Just got done with my passenger tie rod.  It's been a slow go but so far I've replaced upper and lower control arm ball joint boots, shocks and springs.  It sits three inches lower now.  I also installed poly sway bar bushings and end links.

 

I haven't driven on the new tie rod yet but it was vibrating when I took it out last week.  I'll test drive it tomorrow.  I'll replace the driver side tie rod eventually...it's sitting in a box in the garage.

 

I never did the lower control arm bushings like Kongaman suggested but I'll get to that one day too.

 

Thanks for looking!

Chris

Chris, I’m not a mechanic, but I try to do what I can. Me and a for real mechanic replaced lower ball joints in my 63 Riviera. If you knew exactly what you were doing it is just heavy work. If you don’t know what you are doing it can be close to impossible. Two of us  did the job -one 73 and the other 70 year old men. We are not old, but we are getting close. I’m saying all this to say get someone who knows what they are doing to help you. There is a special tool you need to press the ball joint in place. Yeah, it can be dangerous and if you are by yourself and you don’t know what you are doing you increase the chance of accident. You won’t get old by casting safety to the wind.

Turbinator

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Turbinator said:

Chris, I’m not a mechanic, but I try to do what I can. Me and a for real mechanic replaced lower ball joints in my 63 Riviera. If you knew exactly what you were doing it is just heavy work. If you don’t know what you are doing it can be close to impossible. Two of us  did the job -one 73 and the other 70 year old men. We are not old, but we are getting close. I’m saying all this to say get someone who knows what they are doing to help you. There is a special tool you need to press the ball joint in place. Yeah, it can be dangerous and if you are by yourself and you don’t know what you are doing you increase the chance of accident. You won’t get old by casting safety to the wind.

Turbinator

Thanks Turbinator!  I appreciate the comments.  You are definitely right, it's heavy work.  The mistake I made in the beginning was my reluctance to remove the brake drum.  I don't know why.   Once I realized that it was a piece of cake to pull off, the job was easy.  I did take all the precautions.  The job is 90 percent complete just one more tie rod to do.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, first64riv said:

Thanks Turbinator!  I appreciate the comments.  You are definitely right, it's heavy work.  The mistake I made in the beginning was my reluctance to remove the brake drum.  I don't know why.   Once I realized that it was a piece of cake to pull off, the job was easy.  I did take all the precautions.  The job is 90 percent complete just one more tie rod to do.

 

Chris

Chris, keep up the good work. Happy to learn it was easier for you then me. My middle name is Hardway. If it is ez I don’t like it.

Glad you figured it out.

Turbinator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Turbinator said:

Chris, keep up the good work. Happy to learn it was easier for you then me. My middle name is Hardway. If it is ez I don’t like it.

Glad you figured it out.

Turbinator

I will add this word of note for future reference.   If the ball joint is spinning and no longer loosening,  use the jack to raise the arm to put force/tension on the ball joint.  This will "lock" the tapered section in place and allow for further loosening.  I also used a pitman puller for the lower ball joint...that was when my middle name turned to Hardway.  That was a pain in the butt.

 

Thank you for the encouragement.  Often times I feel I'm a glutton for punishment but I keep going in for more.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, first64riv said:

Chris, you are on the team! First string.

Turbinator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this