Ball Joint Seperator - Chris TD
Replacing the bushes on the Astra for MOT, I've managed to split the ball joint boot on the suspension arm/shock absorber joint with the forked seperator I've got. Am I being ham fisted or is there a method to use this tool without ripping the rubber boot?

Is the screw type seperator any better?

I've had a search in the archives but didn't find a post that could help specifically, but I might try getting the replacement boots mentioned in there.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Chris TD
Ball Joint Seperator - Cliff Pope
It's pretty inevitable that you split the rubber with a wedge seperater, IMHO. You just have to reckon it as part of the job.
The claw type with a bolt sometimes works well, but it needs to be man enough for the job.
Ball Joint Seperator - Victorbox
The one man band garage mechanic who does my Cavalier servicing has over 30 years experience and is excellent, but he does like using the fork type splitter and my rubber boots on the track rod ends were cut when the shocks were changed and remained split until the joints were replaced over 100,000 miles later. He does grease the joints well though afterwards! The Haynes manual shows the screw type splitter and I suppose they don't split the boot as you aren't driving the fork into the boot.
Ball Joint Seperator - Dynamic Dave
Everytime I\'ve used on of the fork type ball joint splitter I have ended up tearing the rubber boot of the ball joint and track rod end. Since then I purchased one of the ball joint splitters similar to the one pictured here www.hdtools.co.uk/stores/pages/js/p18f.htm However, I had to slightly modify it by grinding it a bit thinner at the end to fit between the ball joint bolt and CV Joint.

Oh, by the way, unless things have changed, I was unable to buy just the replacement rubber boots. I ended up wiping dry and sealing up the split with superglue, and then for good measure coating with silicone rubber to keep the elements out.
Ball Joint Seperator - jc
Wind the nut up to the top of the thread and use a hammer.
Ball Joint Seperator - Dynamic Dave
Wind the nut up to the top of the thread and
use a hammer.


One problem, the CV Joint is in the way, thus only leaving about 10mm clearance.
Ball Joint Seperator - jc
If you have that much clearance use a small bar or punch between the hammer and the TRE.
Ball Joint Seperator - Galaxy
It should be possible to purchase the rubber boots separately. I managed to obtain some a while back for my Ford Capri, which I actually ordered as Ford spare parts from my local Ford Main Dealer. There was also a suggestion on here a while back as to a motor factor who also sold them, originally advertised or mentioned in "Car Mechanics" magazine, I believe. Try doing a search.
Ball Joint Seperator - Chris TD
Thanks for all the replies so far - seems like the splitting is inevitable. A check on the MOT Website doesn't seem to indicate a split ball joint boot as reason for failure, just excessive play, though obviously exposure to the elements will increase wear if not greased properly.

A wind-up ball joint splitter will have to go on the list of "tools to buy when funds available", though the press to pop out/replace the rear bushes is a bit out of reach at all times (use of hacksaw, punch and sledgehammer took rather a long time, but at least the old bush made it easier to drive it back in).

Cheers,

Chris TD
Ball Joint Seperator - Cliff Pope
'Wind the nut up to the top of the thread and use a hammer.'

Sorry JC, but I think this is probably the worst method of all!
When I have been tempted to try it I have ended up with a mashed up thread, the nut bashed to pieces and jammed onto the thread, and the bolt still firmly stuck in the taper. If it does come free you then have a tight nut on the end, with nothing to stop the ball turning.
It is, I think, one of those occasions when getting the right tool does pay off.
BTW, it is always worth saving any rubber boots you do manage to remove undamaged, against the rainy day when one will come in handy.

Another thought - sometimes the rubber will stretch enough for the whole boot to be levered back onto the drop arm etc, out of harm's way of the wedge
Ball Joint Seperator - John S
Cliff

I agree! When I read this at first I thought JC was referring to the method of winding some load onto the claw type ball joint separator bolt and then tapping the end of the bolt with a hammer, rather than just trying to separate the joint by winding on the bolt. Pouring boiling water over the joint when the puller is wound on tight is another good wheeze. I've used a Sykes-Pickavant claw type puller for a good few years and found its been excellent. I reckon this is better than the wedge type which rely rather on the brute force method.

Regards

John S
Ball Joint Seperator - none
The time honoured way of separating tapered joints is to hit the female part of the joint, not the protruding male part. A couple of good hard clouts with a decent hammer will break the most stubborn taper - without damage. Pressed steel parts don't usually give in to this sort of approach though, they bend rather than transmit the force of the blow to the taper. As has been said, Sykes Pickavant make a good range of claw type separators suited to this type of joint. I wouldn't even consider a hammer in type of tool unless the joint was to be replaced anyway.
Ball Joint Seperator - Cyd
I use the screw type you mention. The way to use these is to put tension on the screw and then hit the joint hard. the combination of the tension and the blow should split it. Doing it this way I've never split a rubber (though , of course my experience is not as extensive as some). If you simply try to wind the screw in until the joint splits, chances are it won't and you wreck the tool and maybe the joint.
Ball Joint Seperator - David Lacey
I tend to just clout the female section of the taper with a large hammer at it always 'gives'

 

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