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Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

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olpossum
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Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by olpossum » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:59 pm

This is a 2003 V70 with 130k miles or so. Inspection time in MO,front end having looseness & noises,bought many parts, getting it all back together,but the 2nd balljoint won't go into its knuckle - it keeps tilting over in the direction of the bolt holes when I try to tighten it down,and I'm afraid to use too much force trying to straighten it,don't think the ears on the joint will bend,but something may strip.The first one went so easily I don't remember how I did it. Tried the freezer,not cold enough. Anybody got any ideas? Yes, I have searched.

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oragex
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Re: Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by oragex » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:50 pm

If the bj is Lemforder, it should go quite nicely in there. Other brands, beside not being necessarily durable, have not be machined to the exact specs which are very tight for this fitting.

The freezer would take a 24h. Is the hole into the knuckle pristine clean? I've put a steel sponge wire on my electric drill and cleaned the hole big time, then put inside a smear of CV joint high pressure grease. Then I guess you are using a piece of pipe or a large socket to tap the bj inside, careful not to kink the rubber boot. @19:00


olpossum
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Re: Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by olpossum » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:52 pm

Yeah, it is. I've washed it out&cleaned the joint well, too. I'll try the 24-hour freezer,prob. put the knuckle in the oven.Pilot light makes it nice & warm in there. Thanks for the helpful input.

jonesg
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Re: Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by jonesg » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:05 pm

oragex wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:50 pm
If the bj is Lemforder, it should go quite nicely in there. Other brands, beside not being necessarily durable, have not be machined to the exact specs which are very tight for this fitting.

The freezer would take a 24h. Is the hole into the knuckle pristine clean? I've put a steel sponge wire on my electric drill and cleaned the hole big time, then put inside a smear of CV joint high pressure grease. Then I guess you are using a piece of pipe or a large socket to tap the bj inside, careful not to kink the rubber boot. @19:00

Your videos are very good.!

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Re: Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by jonesg » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:08 pm

olpossum wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:52 pm
Yeah, it is. I've washed it out&cleaned the joint well, too. I'll try the 24-hour freezer,prob. put the knuckle in the oven.Pilot light makes it nice & warm in there. Thanks for the helpful input.
I gave up and took a grinder to mine.
Took most of the knurling off and still had to force it in. No problem 1 yr later.

Pretty sure I've read there are 2 sizes.
Better too big than too small.

velorider
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Re: Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by velorider » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:48 pm

Freezer and a home made 2" PVC driver. Get some extra long bolts for a guide. Use the extra long bolts to hand tighten the ball joint to the knuckle. Then hammer away. Leave the protective plastic boot.
20171231_173306.jpg

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mrbrian200
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Re: Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by mrbrian200 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:19 pm

The ears on the Lemforder can still bend a little in my experience, maybe a millimeter so that the joint doesn't seat fully into the knuckle. Once you get it most of the way in by tightening the bolts I found it pretty easy to seat it the rest of the way in with a socket extension positioned at various points around the outside and a small hammer being careful not to pinch the boot. Then finish tightening/torque the bolts.

If you're having problems getting it to start in straight then there's an issue with fitment: wrong P/N joint, poorly made aftermarket joint, or oxidized aluminum effectively making the hole smaller (use fine grit sandpaper).

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Re: Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by oragex » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:38 pm

jonesg wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:08 pm
olpossum wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:52 pm
Yeah, it is. I've washed it out&cleaned the joint well, too. I'll try the 24-hour freezer,prob. put the knuckle in the oven.Pilot light makes it nice & warm in there. Thanks for the helpful input.
I gave up and took a grinder to mine.
Took most of the knurling off and still had to force it in. No problem 1 yr later.

Pretty sure I've read there are 2 sizes.
Better too big than too small.

There are two types of control arms, yours - alloy one - and the later which was fully steel. Not impossible they made two sizes of ball joint indeed.

firstv70volvo
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Re: Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by firstv70volvo » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:20 pm

I recently replaced the ball joints and had the same problem, couldn't keep either side straight while driving them in. The other problem is a ridge developed inside the aluminum knuckle from the ball joint not going in straight and this made things much worse. I used Mevotech ball joints and they were very tight. This is the 3rd set of ball joints replaced and the first two times I didn't have this problem.
What I ended up doing was smoothing down the ridge inside knuckle opening using a small Dremel sanding wheel drum and then use an air hammer with a dulled chisel tip and very low air setting to adjust the ball joint as I drove in it with hammer and 2 inch pipe and cap. The air hammer allowed me to adjust (drive down the high side) the the ball joint if wasn't going in straight and this really helped out. After evening things out I'd continue to drive the ball joint in with the hammer and pipe. This type of adjustment could also be done with a punch and hammer. It was also helpful to pull up the boot to prevent it from being damaged and also to provide better striking points for adjustments. If there's a next time I'll stick with the Lemforder brand ball joint.

dcm0123
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Re: Ball joint install difficult,can't keep it straight

Post by dcm0123 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:18 am

I had problems installing a Volvo OEM ball joint on the side which had a lot of corrosion. Not on the other side which did not. Suggest you use the use the Dremel sander or a rotary wire brush, lot of grease and air hammer on the pipe cap as noted above. A similar approach worked for me.

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