Ball Joint nut, can't put on or take off - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Ball Joint nut, can't put on or take off

I put a new lower control arm on my son's car and cannot get the nut to tighten down. The control arm came with a nut and that is the one I'm using.

Only have about 2 threads showing at the top and the nut is just way too tight. It is well over 100 ft lbs, probably more like 150+ ft lbs. So when I go to tighten it the ball joint breaks and starts to turn. Now I can't even get it off for the same reason.

What should I do? I'm thinking I might have to cut the ball joint off.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 12:00 PM
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What I ended up doing was using a large C-clamp to squeeze the spindle and ball joint together, then I used a torch to heat up the spindle. Once the spindle cooled I removed the C-clamp, then used my impact gun on the nut.

The Moog LCAs are much easier than the TRW/Motorcraft LCAs to get the nut onto.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 12:57 PM
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Did you cross thread the nut? It should NOT be that tight if it's not even seated.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 05:13 PM
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Both mine (new TRW) were that tight, no cross threading or dirt or otherwise. They are the kind of lock nut that is crushed slightly on one end. Mine got tight enough to the point where it was spinning the ball joint right as the top of the nut became flush with the top of the ball joint bolt.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
I put a new lower control arm on my son's car and cannot get the nut to tighten down. The control arm came with a nut and that is the one I'm using.

Only have about 2 threads showing at the top and the nut is just way too tight. It is well over 100 ft lbs, probably more like 150+ ft lbs. So when I go to tighten it the ball joint breaks and starts to turn. Now I can't even get it off for the same reason.

What should I do? I'm thinking I might have to cut the ball joint off.
Doesn't sound right. I have never had one give that much trouble.

Did it get to that point rather easily?
Has the nut bottomed out on the ball joint shaft?

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 10:44 PM
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I just did that same job on my car 2 weekends ago. I had the same issue on a moog LCA...my buddy did the passenger side and he crossthreaded the nut. It wouldn't go down any further or come off without turning the balljoint. I cut the shaft off the ball joint with a recip saw and installed another moog balljoint. Went on with no problems

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
Both mine (new TRW) were that tight, no cross threading or dirt or otherwise. They are the kind of lock nut that is crushed slightly on one end. Mine got tight enough to the point where it was spinning the ball joint right as the top of the nut became flush with the top of the ball joint bolt.
Mine is the same way. Threads are just starting to show through and I can't get it to move either way from this point. I may have to cut it off and try again.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Cut it off and took it back to AA. They even gave me my money back.

Ordered another one from Rockauto. I sure hope the nut fits this time.

Wondering if I should use the old nut if it fits, any suggestions?
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 04:22 PM
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Use an impact to tighten it up, and you won't have any issues.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 05:05 PM
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The terminator is right! You need to put some pressure on that ball shaft or it will spin since the nut is a locking type nut. I also use impacts to remove and tighten, which does help to some degree. There was no need to get a replacement part.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
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The terminator is right! You need to put some pressure on that ball shaft or it will spin since the nut is a locking type nut. I also use impacts to remove and tighten, which does help to some degree. There was no need to get a replacement part.
I use a jack to load the control arm and get them off with a breaker bar or impact, for installation, I've never used an impact to put the nut back on. Loading the suspension forces the interference taper to keep the ball joint from spinning.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 06:23 PM
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I put a floor jack under the ball joint and jack it up to put pressure on the ball joint, then an impact wrench to get it mostly tight - a torque wrench to finish it.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 06:29 PM
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Just out of curiosity - not disputing the results - but I'm curious to know how you load the control arm using a jack. If you jack up on the control arm, only the weight of the spindle would be pushing down on the ball joint.

-Brandon
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2011, 07:43 PM
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I put the jack right under the ball joint on the control arm. I don't lift it off the jack stand, but a few pumps, that seems to be enough using an impact wrench.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 06:19 PM
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You will get however much pressure the spring can push back against the lower control arm until the car lifts off the jack stand. I have this same problem re-installing end links on cars. I will use big channel locks to squeeze the endlink against the knuckle and they usually pull right up.

-Rob
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 08:54 PM
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Exactly, the spring is what's pushing down on the control arm, not the spindle on the ball joint. I don't understand how someone can get pressure onto the ball joint from the spindle by jacking up the control arm in this way.

-Brandon
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 11:34 PM
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What I've done in the past is use the old nut, or another random store bought nut that goes on easy and tighten it down fairly tight. This seats the ball joint taper into the spindle pretty tight. Then take it back off and use the supplied nut.

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 05:21 PM
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That's exactly the technique I used- A regular nut and some washers to pull the balljoint into the spindle. I then remove the nut and washers, put the locknut on and torque to spec.

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-06-2011, 05:39 PM
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Brandon, maybe the resistance from the upper control arm to body bushings will give enough resistance! For much more pressure, I guess someone could put a jack under the lower and pry down on the upper to force the spindle down onto the ball joint. I see what you are saying though and I feel stupid for not picking up on it first.

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Got the new LCA and had it on, tool put away, and car off the jack stands before my son's Coke even had time to get warm.

Thanks for all the help.
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
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Did you cross thread the nut? It should NOT be that tight if it's not even seated.
My thoughts exactly.

Anyway, glad to hear you got it fixed.

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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 11:08 AM
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LOL. I just did the lowers on my LSC... New arms from RockAuto, one arm had the castle nut setup, and the other had the crimp nut setup (and one greasable and one not greasable...).

I agree that the crimp nut is a PITA. I used a standard nut to seat the taper and then a breaker bar with the crimp nut. I much prefer the castle nut with cotter pin.

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