Lower TCA ball joint removal tool info needed - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Lower TCA ball joint removal tool info needed

I need to change my lower TCA ball joints. I've heard that there is a tool available in the US to press them out, without taking the arms off the car. Does anyone have one that they could send me some pictures/dimensions of?

I work for a company in the UK (www.doughty-engineering.co.uk) that make all kinds of clamps, mainly for theatre lighting etc, but we have a fully fitted machine shop, welding bays, foundry, and I could get practicaly any type of clamp made, as long as I have enough info to draw it up.

We also have an office in the US and regularly export stuff, so if it all works ok I could supply them to TCCOA guys too.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 11:37 AM
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i just went on google, and theres a bunch of pics

http://images.google.com/images?hl=e...-8&sa=N&tab=wi

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-11-2009, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I did see some images on Google before, but I wasn't sure which of the tools would be best suited to the T-birds joints. I was thinking that if someone has an actual tool that they know works on the T-birds LCA's, and could measure it for me, that would be better than trying to work it out from scratch.

I could def get something like the ones in the google link's images made at work.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Maybe no-ones got a press tool, as everyone in the TCCOA just fits a whole new arm (which I am also considering)??

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95tbirdv8 View Post
i just went on google, and theres a bunch of pics

http://images.google.com/images?hl=e...-8&sa=N&tab=wi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy625UK
Yes I did see some images on Google before, but I wasn't sure which of the tools would be best suited to the T-birds joints. I was thinking that if someone has an actual tool that they know works on the T-birds LCA's, and could measure it for me, that would be better than trying to work it out from scratch.
I bought and replaced my '95 Tbird lower ball joints (not the entire arm) with this exact tool:
http://boostnbenz.1baddsm.com/DIY/Fr...joint/tool.jpg
It was actually more of a PITA pressing the new ones in then pressing the old ones out!

I also changed the upper ball joints complete with arms because I couldn't find just the ball joints, it was MUCH easier.

Good luck with yours and Happy Holidays!
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by NetKeym View Post
I bought and replaced my '95 Tbird lower ball joints (not the entire arm) with this exact tool:
http://boostnbenz.1baddsm.com/DIY/Fr...joint/tool.jpg
It was actually more of a PITA pressing the new ones in then pressing the old ones out!

I also changed the upper ball joints complete with arms because I couldn't find just the ball joints, it was MUCH easier.

Good luck with yours and Happy Holidays!

did you have enuf clearance to use the tool between the ball joint and the pavement? The car was on jackstands, right?

My trick is to leave the ball joint in the freezer overnight in a bag in the ice cubes (make sure no women see this!).
Then I use a heat gun on the hole for like 30 seconds to warm it up a bit (nothing extreme).

Makes it much easier to press in because its a bit smaller due to the temp.
________

Last edited by tbirdguy; 04-07-2012 at 11:45 AM.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 11:30 AM
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i know youre not supposed to do this but i actually sanded where the ball joint goes in a little before pushing the new one in. it was like some kind of weird stuff in there. been fine for 3 years now.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetKeym View Post
I bought and replaced my '95 Tbird lower ball joints (not the entire arm) with this exact tool:
http://boostnbenz.1baddsm.com/DIY/Fr...joint/tool.jpg
It was actually more of a PITA pressing the new ones in then pressing the old ones out!

I also changed the upper ball joints complete with arms because I couldn't find just the ball joints, it was MUCH easier.

Good luck with yours and Happy Holidays!
i used the same tool he used, its universal. i got it loaned at an auto parts store(autozone), so i didnt have to pay anything

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 01:49 PM
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I just swapped the entire arm out since it was just a couple of bucks more then the ball joint alone. Plus you get new bushings at the other mounts.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tbirdguy View Post
did you have enuf clearance to use the tool between the ball joint and the pavement? The car was on jackstands, right?

My trick is to leave the ball joint in the freezer overnight in a bag in the ice cubes (make sure no women see this!).
Then I use a heat gun on the hole for like 30 seconds to warm it up a bit (nothing extreme).

Makes it much easier to press in because its a bit smaller due to the temp.
Sounds like a good idea. My car was on a lift, I work at a shop that has three car lifts. Actually I changed one side, my buddy changed the other. Also...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95tbirdv8
i know youre not supposed to do this but i actually sanded where the ball joint goes in a little before pushing the new one in. it was like some kind of weird stuff in there. been fine for 3 years now.
...truth is, I ground mine out a little too to make it easier to get them in. Someone told me at the Ford stealership they will eventually fall out if you do that, but they've been in my 'Bird 2 1/2 years and everything is fine. If I had to do it over again, I think I'd change the whole arm too, speed95!...lol!!!

Happy Holidays y'all!
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm I'm not sure what to do now. I have two ball joints that I bought when in the US on vacation. My original plan was to just fit one of them. But reading all your posts saying about trouble getting the old ones out, and then getting the new ones in again, makes me think I'd either be better off getting a shop to change them (in which case I've been told that they'll probably take the whole arm out to press the joints anyway), or bite the bullet and just buy a new arm.

The cars a keeper, so maybe I'll scrap plans of making a tool and just change the arm.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yes I nearly forgot: Happy Holidays to y'all too! I wish I was spending Christmas in the US.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 09:44 AM
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Yeah, the arm is definately the way to go. The local store sells a ball joint for $42 and the SC arm for under $56, so there is a no brainer there.


Make sure to put anti-sieze on the shock bolt and and the strut rod bushings (any metal to metal contact) when the new arm goes in.

Do they salt the roads in the UK?

Last edited by tbirdguy; 04-07-2012 at 11:45 AM.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 11:23 AM
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Yeah, the arm is definately the way to go. The local store sells a ball joint for $42 and the SC arm for under $56, so there is a no brainer there.

Make sure to put anti-sieze on the shock bolt and and the strut rod bushings (any metal to metal contact) when the new arm goes in.

Do they salt the roads in the UK?
I paid $19 apiece for my ball joints and they wanted $60 for the arms, that's why I got just the ball joints, tbirdguy.

Daniela (gf), is from Manheim, Germany and she says they said they used to salt roads there, but she hasn't been there in 15 years. Andy625UK, they still use salt on the roads?
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Yes they salt the roads in the UK. As soon as it gets anywhere near freezing the salting starts, and it carries on for a good few months. So far the 'Bird has stood up well to the 5 winters its been through with me.

I bought my LCA joints from Autozone about 4yrs ago. At the time I also bought two complete UCA's of which I've now fitted both. I cant remember what make the first one was (possibly Duralast), but the second was definitely MOOG. I was suprised to find recently that the first UCA I fitted has now got a split gaiter already (after only a year or so on the car). The MOOG arm did seem like better quality. Would they be a good make to go for for the LCA's?

Also, if I fit an arm, am I going to have any trouble with the strut rod bolting in to the arms, or is that pretty straightforward? I read one thread on here where someone had to cut a metal sleeve down to get rid of play in the joint.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 04:26 PM
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Moog would be the preferred choice over Duralast.

You shouldn't have any problems with the strut rod to LCA connection. Nut is large and requires a bit of torque, but it should come out OK. There are bushings at that connection and it may be a good idea to replace them while swapping out the LCAs. These bushings are not expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy625UK View Post
Yes they salt the roads in the UK. As soon as it gets anywhere near freezing the salting starts, and it carries on for a good few months. So far the 'Bird has stood up well to the 5 winters its been through with me.

I bought my LCA joints from Autozone about 4yrs ago. At the time I also bought two complete UCA's of which I've now fitted both. I cant remember what make the first one was (possibly Duralast), but the second was definitely MOOG. I was suprised to find recently that the first UCA I fitted has now got a split gaiter already (after only a year or so on the car). The MOOG arm did seem like better quality. Would they be a good make to go for for the LCA's?

Also, if I fit an arm, am I going to have any trouble with the strut rod bolting in to the arms, or is that pretty straightforward? I read one thread on here where someone had to cut a metal sleeve down to get rid of play in the joint.

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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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So the strut rod to LCA bushings aren't supplied with the LCA? I had those replaced on my car about 3yrs ago (40k miles) so I guess it would be a good idea to change them as it will all be apart.

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-13-2009, 07:40 PM
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So the strut rod to LCA bushings aren't supplied with the LCA? I had those replaced on my car about 3yrs ago (40k miles) so I guess it would be a good idea to change them as it will all be apart.
If you can get the SC arms from advance auto I believe they come in the package. I don't know if they ship though.

The roadsalt makes these cars very difficult to take apart. That is why I put anti sieze on all metal to metal interfaces.

Last edited by tbirdguy; 04-07-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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If you can get the SC arms from advance auto I believe they come in the package. I don't know if they ship though.

The roadsalt makes these cars very difficult to take apart. That is why I put anti sieze on all metal to metal interfaces.
Yes, I do the same. It makes a world of difference.

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 10:10 AM
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Sorry to get off topic but,

Whats it like getting parts in the UK ??

Can u find stuff at your local parts store?

Do you have to get most of your parts from the US?

What kind of shipping do you gotta pay from US??

Sorry if I'm being nosy or whatever but I'm just curious as hell?
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry to get off topic but,

Whats it like getting parts in the UK ??

Can u find stuff at your local parts store?

Do you have to get most of your parts from the US?

What kind of shipping do you gotta pay from US??

Sorry if I'm being nosy or whatever but I'm just curious as hell?
No prob. sorry its taken a while to reply.

There are a few specialist companies in the UK that stock spares for US cars. In general you can't get them at a regular parts store. The prices the specialists charge tend to be significantly higher than the price charged for the same part in the US, in dollars, as they have had to ship them over (normally in bulk). They then add their profit margin on top and also tax and postage.

I normally order parts that I don't need in a desperate hurry from the old TCCOA Ford parts HQ guy (Jason Preslar), or Ebay in the US. The shipping tends to vary quite a lot depending on the weight of the package, but if I order say 6 oil filters including the shipping, it will work out at around £3-4 ($4.50-$6). Whereas the specialists over here would charge around £7 plus shipping and tax, bringing the total to nearer £10 ($15) each. So I've found that it pays to find a reliable source in the US, and buy in reasonable quantites.

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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 01:56 PM
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The ball joint removal sets are universal, and fit most normal applications. I have a set that is identical to NetKeym's set that I bought at Harbor Freight. As for LCA's, TRW was the oem for these and they are still available.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 02:18 PM
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Just rereading your posts. If you have access to a machine shop, why not just remove the arms and have the ball joints pressed out? Your only issue would be getting the LCA back in the same position.
But you could mark them and just reinstall on the marks.
That should keep you from needing an alignment.
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 10:04 PM
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Just rereading your posts. If you have access to a machine shop, why not just remove the arms and have the ball joints pressed out? Your only issue would be getting the LCA back in the same position.
But you could mark them and just reinstall on the marks.
That should keep you from needing an alignment.

-the quality ball joint and the machine shop fee will likely exceed the cost of the arm.
-the new arm gives new bushings for the shock and frame end
-sometimes the its easier to cut the shock bushing out than take the bolt out. This is the path I would take now if I had to do another bird with original shocks. That job sucks if the bolt is seized.

Last edited by tbirdguy; 04-07-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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I have access to a machine shop, but if I go to the trouble of taking the arm out, I would just fit a new complete arm.

I've actually found a specialist shop locally that has a tool that will press the joint out with the arm still in the car. That would be the cheaper option as if I fit a new arm, I would have to get a new arm shipped in from the US. I just need to decide now whether to have them do that, or buy a new arm and fit it myself.

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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 07:06 PM
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Oh yes I nearly forgot: Happy Holidays to y'all too! I wish I was spending Christmas in the US.
Why don't you bring the girlfriend and come on over and visit with us, Andy?
The temperature outside is now 15 degrees Fahrenheit and we have about 10 inches of snow on the ground right now and are expecting about 20 more inches tonight with winds of over 50 mph. You would come in handy when i have to start the rusty, old generator when the power fails, as it usually does.

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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm yes, now when I said about Christmas in the US, Florida is kinda more the area I had in mind:-)

Hope your generator keeps going and you all keep warm up there!

"...put me on a highway, show me a sign, and take it to the limit one more time"

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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, and just in case you were wondering if we were basking in sunshine over here, the temperature this morning was 22 degrees Fahrenheit and its supposed to snow this afternoon. Not that much warmer than where you are :-)

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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 11:36 AM
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Andy,
I've used the same tool everyone is showing you pictures of to put in a ball joint. Its not that hard. I agree that it was harder to get the new one in than take the old one out. Thats because you're trying to not damage the new one. But it really isn't that hard to do. You just have to take your time and make sure that your pressing the ball joint in on the edge and not the center. Does that make sense?

That said most people just replace the entire arm because if the ball joints are bad then the bushings on the arm probably aren't in great shape either. Either way that ball joint press is available for $30-50 dollars over here, and they are easy to find.

1995 Cougar XR7 4.6
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1985 Capri RS 5.0, 5spd
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1984 Capri RS 5.0,5spd
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2010, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by supergordo View Post
Andy,
I've used the same tool everyone is showing you pictures of to put in a ball joint. Its not that hard.

...that ball joint press is available for $30-50 dollars over here, and they are easy to find.
I think that that must be the sort that the shop I've found uses. I didn't realise that they were so easy to get in the US. I think I'll forget about getting something made now that I've found the specialist shop.

Although I'd prefer new arms, I think because there will be a big cost difference (as I will have to pay shipping on the arm) I will probably get them to just change the joint. I can then stock up on a couple of arms next time I'm in the US on vacation and fit them in the future.

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