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  #1  
Old 10-16-2011, 09:00 PM
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64tbirdJerry 64tbirdJerry is offline
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Default remove upper ball joints and lower a arm bushings

Need some advice. I've pulled both a arms out and cleaned up everything, prepping for paint. I can't get the upper ball joint out (banged on castle nut in a vice) but it seems it should just pop out. Also tried putting a socket over short end of lower a arm busing and hammering on that in a vice to no avail. Bought a bigger hammer, but am wondering if i should just take them to a repair shop to have them removed. Don't want to damage my parts. Advice anyone?
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2011, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64tbirdJerry View Post
Yeah! Pickle Fork worth twice the price. 25 whacks on the end with a hammer and it popped off. I previously spent 1.5 hours fighting with it. Can't wait to get to the other side. Thanks for all your help, my project is moving ahead full steam.
Jerry, I know you have a pickle fork. Why don't you use it? - Dave
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2011, 09:09 AM
redstangbob redstangbob is offline
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I must be missing something here, you have the upper and lower arms out? What did you use for a spring compressor? Or do you have the spindle hanging from the upper arm? The lower arm bushings should be pressed. You can do it with a pressure screw and sleeve if you have the stuff to put one together. Those front springs will HURT you if you don't know what you're doing. Are you replacing the ball joints? If they're OK new boots are available. Good luck, Bob C
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:34 PM
tbirds8 tbirds8 is offline
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Same here those things il kill ya without a compresser. Ford used to sell the upper ball joint and aframe as one piece. you might want to try and press them out. I did one years ago in the car and no amount of forks,flames or dynamite would move that SOB . I still have that ball joint to remind me. O I just put springs in my 66 they are some heavy duty big *** springs. Be careful
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:14 AM
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This job should not be dangerous if done properly. Squarebirds have REAL LONG lower arms. So long, that no spring compressor is needed. Follow the Shop Manual instructions. They are basically the same as they were back in 1954:


I assume you know the ball joints are riveted to the arms. To replace, the rivets must be drilled or ground out and hardened bolts with lock washers should hold the new BJ in place.

I have never had a ball joint that didn't come loose from the spindle and I never used heat. Having said that, also know that suspension work is **** hard bull work that requires big tools and especially big hammers. (The mini-sledge I use on my pickle fork is named, "Percy".)

Hoist the car high on jack stands. High enough to put a scissors jack under the lower ball joint. Loosten the BJ nut and separate with a pickle fork. Raise slightly with the scissors jack, remove the nut, and lower the arm all the way. The coil spring should fall out with no pressure.

I usually do the top BJ last because there is no pressure on it (but it can be separated first). Simply back off the nut, insert the pickle fork and give it a few heavy whacks. It will come loose.

If you use ball joints over, give them new rubbers. They are available. Normally, the bottom BJ will be the first to go because that is where all the spring pressure is. It all depends on maintenance history.


I would NEVER take the bushings out first under spring pressure. I have seen mechanics do it but that's way too dangerous and NOT recommended. - Dave
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Last edited by simplyconnected : 10-19-2011 at 04:39 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2011, 06:55 AM
redstangbob redstangbob is offline
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Right church, wrong pew Dave, he's working on a '64 (It's not even close)

Last edited by redstangbob : 10-19-2011 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:08 PM
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Here's an illustration for a '63 thru '66 front suspension:


I thought the question was regarding separation of the upper ball joint. Apparently he can't get the ball joint out off the upper 'A' arm, but I wouldn't know that from his question:
"I can't get the upper ball joint out (banged on castle nut in a vice) but it seems it should just pop out." (Sounds to me like the spindle is still attached.)

I would think it should just pop out too, since Rock Auto sells upper ball joints for the '64 Thunderbird at $10-12/each:


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Old 10-19-2011, 09:24 PM
tbirds8 tbirds8 is offline
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hey dave those ball joints in the 64-66 are a son of a gun just one nut no bolts they,ed work on a f600 truck. that's why i said press them out but that spring will rip your head off

Last edited by YellowRose : 10-19-2011 at 09:46 PM. Reason: Wording...
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2011, 03:45 AM
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Bill, everything proves to be exactly as you say. The ball joints are not shown with a part number (because they are sold ON the upper 'A' arm). What puzzles me is the part that Rockauto sells. I don't see the upper castle nut on it or any way to press it in.

The system works opposite squarebirds, with the spring pushing down on the upper arm instead of the lower arm.

I'm getting an education thanks to you guys. Pertaining to brakes (disk & drum), I noticed Ford used different spindles for '61-'62 and yet another part number for '63-'64. Then the ball joint issue came up.

So Bill, after you compressed the spring and unscrewed the top BJ nut, were you able to push the ball joint out? - Dave
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2011, 10:29 AM
redstangbob redstangbob is offline
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Jerry, I wonder if you have a shop manual? They show the recommended way to release the ball joints, you can make that tool pretty easy or use the pickle fork. So Jerry doesn't get too confused, the ball joints can be removed once the suspension is relaxed to it's maximum travel, the upper arm will meet it's stop. Then everything from the upper ball joint down can be serviced. The spring is not just strong because of the car's weight, it's long. To service the upper arm shaft the spring needs to be contained, so the proper compressor is a must. Good luck, Bob C
PS: the spring will look bowed after the shock is disconnected and the car raised all the way, this is the normal look.
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