Stuck half way with bottom ball joints.... Help!

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Nick
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Stuck half way with bottom ball joints.... Help!

Post by Nick » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:04 pm

Hi there,
MOT man said the bottom ball joint has gone on the N/S front. Off I go to the spares shop and get a new ball joint, 35mm socket and the correct removal tool. I'm also replacing the CV joint and drive shaft.
I have now broken one ball joint splitter smashed my finger and have forked out over £30 in tools. Job still not done.
The problem I'm experiencing is that I cannot "lock" the front strut to anything to enable me to get any leverage on the ball joint. I am totally at a loss as to how I can get out of this situation.
Help would be gratefully received.
Nick.
BX-less, looking for a good TZD estate.

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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:31 pm

You could try hitting with hammer the two little lugs on the wishbone very hard to try to shock the joint loose (always works for me)

As for the removal of the joint itself, I dont have the correct tool for this, just a very large blunt cheisel and a lump hammer.

First you'll need to knock down the two little locking tabs around the back of the ball joint that have been tapped up into the hub. You will not remove it unless you "clear" these first. I use a very sharp small cheisel.

If all else fails, you could change the complete hub.

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Post by Stewart (oily!) » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:35 pm

I usually end up removing the hub and holding it in a vice, then it gets an angle grinder on the bent over locking tabs followed by the hammer and chisel treatment, separating the joint taper, if the joint is knackered I use a wedge type splitter, these will destroy the rubbers on a good joint but can apply a lot of force, it might be worth jacking up the other side of the car too, to stop you from fighting the anti roll bar.
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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:44 pm

One further thing. I always attempt to loosen the ball joint from the hub with the suspension set at full height, this helps hold everything tight. Once it's started to move, lower the suspension and they normally come off quite easily.

As Stewart says have the car on axle stands with both wheels off the gound.

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Post by Nick » Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:02 pm

Just to try and help explain my dilemma a little further, I've managed to split and remove the ball joint. I've bolted the ball joint removal tool to the joint (the 4 lugs line up with the tool and it is a tight and secure fit, won't slip off) the suspension strut is now hanging so that when I try and loosen the ball joint I have no way of stopping the strut from moving.
I will investigate the lugs you mention as there is such a build up of crud, I might be pleasently surprised to find them!
I have removed the tin protection shield though.

Nick
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Post by Stewart (oily!) » Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:27 pm

Its probably the peened over lugs that are stopping you in part then, I have not used the tool you describe but I can imagine the strut will turn instead of the joint, have you disconnected the track rod ? Could you bolt a length of steel bar to the hub using the wheelstuds? to counterhold the strut.
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Nick
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Post by Nick » Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:38 pm

Hi Stewart, Ken,
Yes, bolting the bar to the hub seems to be a great idea. No metal available to do so with, and limited resourses might make this a lengthy task.
Been searching the web and it looks like I've found the correct tool.
see ebay item no. 7953342043. Problem 1 it's in Germany, Problem 2 time, Problem 3 money.
I'll check the lugs first, then see what I can improvise with.

Nick.
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Post by DavidRutherford » Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:37 pm

The bottom joint on a BX is disturbingly similar to that on a 405 (same part actually), and I can guarantee that if you haven't bent the locktabs out of the way, then it's a big fat waste of time!

It's possible to undo the joint on the car, by putting the taper pin back into the bottom wishbone to keep everything held together (but not done up tight) and then beat the joint round with a big hammer and blunt chisel, as per Ken above.

But, as you've discovered, to use the special tool properly, the hub has to be off the car, and held in a large vice.
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Post by sleepy0905 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:33 pm

I have the correct tool but the way i did mine was to leave the track control rod connected then use a steel bar locked with the wheel bolts you then need an assistant to hold the bar while you unscrew the ball joint never fails me but remember to remove the locking tabs first or it just wont move.
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Post by Vanny » Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:15 pm

from the position your in, it sounds like you only need to undo one clamp bolt (to the strut) and two bolts onto the brake caliper and then (if fitted disconnect the ABS lead). This will let you remove the hub from the strut and is an absolute doddle!


I did one a couple of years ago and took a good 20 minutes with a butane burner and some kerosene to get the ball to actually turn, i basically melted out all the remaining greese and rubber. On this corner of the car everything was so corroded it lost a driveshaft and alsorts of other bits in cuting them off!

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Post by Jaba » Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:04 am

I always struggle to replace these ball joints. They get rusted in and are impossible to move using the official tool. Its for tightening them up only.

I have to remove the hub and in a vice using a fine chisel, hacksaw or whatever go round the flange where the joint meets the hub. Separate the two as best you can to break the rust seal. Then using a good big chisel and wielding a large hammer drive the joint out of the hub by going round it one or two times using the four cutouts for the tool. It can take half an hour to free it. You think it will never move but they all do eventually.

When out you will see that the first thread or two is very rusty. A garage will use a pneumatic chisel and take a few minutes to free it. We DIYers just have to struggle.
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Post by Nick » Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:14 pm

Thank you all for your help and advice.
I have removed the hub and chiselled out the locking tabs (yes I did find them under a layer of crud) then in a vice I used the tool and a 3-foot bar. In the end the ball joint submitted on my second attempt, I was quite shocked. I expected it to put up more of a fight. Guess I was lucky with this one.
Thanks again for your help.
Nick.
BX-less, looking for a good TZD estate.