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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    Default R12 Front End

    Guys,
    It's been a while since I owned my last R12 and even longer since I did any work on the front end but what's the trick for separating the top ball joint? As you probably know you can't get a ball joint separator in there because the drive shaft is in the way and you can't lever against the top wishbone because the metal just bends.

    I'm sure last time I did one it was simply a case of undoing the nut (which in itself could be a problem if the ball joint rotates with the nut) and giving it joint a few robust taps.
    This one I tried today wouldn't give up. I tried penetrating oil, jacking up the top wishbone, various sized hammers (with a drift), etc. Even resorted to harsh language but no go.

    It's the original ball joint from the factory and may not have been touched in the last 43 years so it could be forgiven for being stubbon. But it's still a PIA.

    Ideas?

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    Cheers ren
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    Use a ball joint fork. It will stuff the boot, but I assume you are replacing it anyway.

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    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    I have always just swung two hammers at the same time hitting both sides of the taper shocking it to release.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore View Post
    I have always just swung two hammers at the same time hitting both sides of the taper shocking it to release.
    You can usually just belt the side of the stub axle and they release, but I do recall a Fuego ball joint that was so properly fused in there I had to grind off the rivets to get the stub axle off and and press it out...

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore View Post
    I have always just swung two hammers at the same time hitting both sides of the taper shocking it to release.
    This is the method that I have used in the past.

    They either come apart after a few hits or they are stubborn like the one Ren Tin Tin is try to get apart.

    Just keep trying you will get it eventually.
    Regards Col

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  6. #6
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    A long crow bar, slender enough to slide under the top wishbone as close to the
    balljoint as possible, miss the driveshaft boot, and rest on the chassis rail.
    Lift the free end enough to just start lifting the car off the axle stand, and brace it on top of
    another axle stand adjusted to the appropriate height.
    ( at this point, wish I had a picture to save me the thousand words...)
    With all fingers and hands clear and a great respect for safety, as Alan Moore has
    suggested, using two hammers, simultaneously smack hard both sides of the carrier
    within which the balljoint taper fits.
    The taper should release, and the hub assembly drop down.
    You may need to lift the crow bar further to clear the balljoint taper out of its hole.
    A heavy object in the front seat may help to keep the car down.
    The reverse procedure may require a second person to lift the crow bar while the other aligns the taper back into the hole.
    Hope this has totally confused ...er... helped.

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    There is a special Renault tool for this, or you can buy a copy off the 'net.

    It looks kinda like this (without the hydraulic cylinder - it relies on tightening the two side bolts and the crossbar pushes the joint out of the hub carrier):

    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/rYYFrBYSL9s/hqdefault.jpg

    Either way, if you want to replace the joint, just grind the rivets and take it out.
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  8. #8
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    I have the special Renault tool which fits the balljoint exactly without damaging the boot.
    But after many years of use ( and abuse by borrowers) the threads are getting quite worn.
    I use it on Alpines which do not have an appropriate chassis levering point.
    So no, I will not lend it out.
    But trust me - the long crowbar and the double whack works the best.

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies guys, guess I'll keep banging away at it.
    I soaked it overnight in penetrating oil so it might have loosened a bit.
    The old rule a[[lies, If you can't move it, get a bigger hammer.

    I should explain, I'm dropping the stubaxle to get the driveshaft out (the outer boot is stuffed and depositing grease over the inner guard and everything else around there).

    The top ball joint still looks okay despite being 40 odd years old.
    The rubber isn't split and there's no play if you wobble the joint from side to side so I'd like to save it.
    I think I have a new spare balljoint so I might thave to change it if I have to get to that.

    It looks like one needs a tool like a small jack to fit between the top and bottom wishbones to pry them apart.
    I have a small bottle jack but of course it's about half an inch too long to fit between the wishbones.

    The crowbar idea sound familiar, I may have used that in the past.

    Isn't wonderful when you start out on a two hour job and it ends up taking two days.

    Cheers
    Ren
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  10. #10
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure I have seen a similar tool (read knock-off) in some run of the mill auto shop (Supercheap and the like, not sure which one). Might be worth to try your luck if you want to save the balljoint?

    Wouldn't advise using the jack. You won't be able to put it exactly on the balljoint and you'll bend the arms.

    If all you want is to refurbish the driveshaft, do as told you and take the lower inner hinge pin out and do it that way.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    I am pretty sure I have seen a similar tool (read knock-off) in some run of the mill auto shop (Supercheap and the like, not sure which one). Might be worth to try your luck if you want to save the balljoint?

    Wouldn't advise using the jack. You won't be able to put it exactly on the balljoint and you'll bend the arms.

    If all you want is to refurbish the driveshaft, do as told you and take the lower inner hinge pin out and do it that way.
    The jack doesn't go on the balljoint, it goes on the top wishbone to lift it up so that the weight of the stubaxle is pulling on the ball joint.
    The jack is on one side and there is an axlestand on the other side and a crowbar in between.
    While it's in this position one hits the joint to loosen it and hopefully the weight of the stubalxe will pull it apart.
    I use a jack from a commodore because it's got around 1 metre of travel whereas the hydraulic or scizzor jacks have maybe 100mm - 300mm.

    Well I took my own advice and used a bigger hammer and eventually the joints separated.
    I was using a couple of lengths of 3mm galv steel pipe and some 12mm flat steel as drifts and managed to destroy the drifts (Mushroomed) so they were pretty well stuck.
    I don't mind admitting that after swinging a 32oz club hammer for 7 or 8 hours I was pretty knackered and hope I don't have to go through this exercise again in a hurry.
    I reassembled with copper grease so they should come apart next time.

    Cheers Ren
    "I cannot help but notice that there is no problem between us that cannot be solved by your departure. Mark Twain"

  12. #12
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    Icon7 Tool pic and description

    Hi there - I used to use one like the one pictured below.
    I dismantle it, tap the arm in, then assemble, plus replacing the operating bolt with a shorter, smaller diameter one with the nut between the arms. I then used this bolt's nut to push UP on the arm.
    Sounds a bit fiddley, but it worked for me for on many a stuck R12 lower joint. R12 Front End-ball-joint-tool-eg.jpg
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  13. #13
    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    To loosen ball joints, I undo the ball joint nut, one turn is enough and drive the car over some rough roads.

    "Bob's your uncle", or should that be "Pierre is your uncle"

    DO NOT REMOVE THE NUT

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    Isn't it possible to grind the heads off the rivets that holds the ball joint on to the wish bone if you are keeping it. Then replace them later with high tensile bolts and lock nuts.

  15. #15
    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunroof View Post
    Isn't it possible to grind the heads off the rivets that holds the ball joint on to the wish bone if you are keeping it. Then replace them later with high tensile bolts and lock nuts.
    Yep that is another option.
    Regards Col

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