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Old 03-11-2012
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Icon5 Ball joint tool recommendation

I have a 2003 Ranger XLT with the 4L engine and 4WD. This truck needs all new ball joints and i have ordered the correct MOOG parts. The truck is located on Roatan, and island off the north coast of Honduras, and the mechanic I use (and like) does not have a c clamp style tool set to remove and replace the lower joints. He removes the whole lower control arm and takes it to a shop to use their hydraulic press. That costs him a lot of time and money for a job that could be done without removing the LCA.

I can get a great deal on labor if I supply him with the tools he needs to do without removing the LCA, but need a recommendation from someone who has used either the Harbor Freight 4WD tool set (their item 4065) or the slightly higher priced Astro Pneumatic (AST7865) available at Sears.

The question is whether someone can confirm that one or both of these come with the right sizes of adapters to handle my 2003 lower ball joints. Harbor Freight has a set of add on adapters that would likely cover any make of car/truck, but the extra adapters cost as much as the basic 4WD set.
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Old 03-11-2012
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The basic HF kit will do the ball joints with the adaptors that come with it. I have both kits, but am looking to upgrade the C clamp portion of my HF kit actually. The adapter kit is great, not even HF can mess up simple steel adaptors.

OTC and Astro would be better than the HF clamp, also if you can find used Mac, Matco, or old OTC they will be US made. Newer OTC is Taiwan IIRC.
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Old 03-11-2012
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they haven't bent of shape on you, Carl? Only reason I haven't bought them yet is because i've heard they bend easily.
If you've had good luck with them ill have to pick up a set.
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Old 03-11-2012
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I actually rented the kit from my local auto store and used on one side. It was a PITA. on the other side i ended up replacing my ball joint with out the kit.
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Old 03-11-2012
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I can't comment on either of those sets. I own a Blue-Point
However, the Ball joints on rangers are VERY common size. I would be surprised if any kit that you bought didn't come in the kit.
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Old 03-11-2012
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When I did mine we used a standard C clamp and a large socket, Worked great and went in easy
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Old 03-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99offroadrngr View Post
they haven't bent of shape on you, Carl? Only reason I haven't bought them yet is because i've heard they bend easily.
If you've had good luck with them ill have to pick up a set.
No, not yet at least! I'm just looking for an older US made OTC/Mac/Matco as a preemptive strike for when it does bend!
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Old 03-12-2012
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the lower control arm type that press in from below?

take off the ring with a flat head. with a jack under the control arm, get a big fukin hammer and smack it out.

then take a large socket (BIG ONE) that fits over the snout on the new balljoint. line up the balljoint in the hole with the socet on the bottom, and use the jack to push up on the socket and balljoint. now start to jack it up, and as you do, hit the control arm down with a hammer. then snap the ring back on and your done!







now jack and hit the control arm:



works every time, i can change out a lower BJ in about 10 minutes.
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Old 03-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckgnarly View Post
No, not yet at least! I'm just looking for an older US made OTC/Mac/Matco as a preemptive strike for when it does bend!
cool. I'll have to grab a kit next time i go there. I always end up spending at least 100 on random stuff haha
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Old 03-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99offroadrngr View Post
cool. I'll have to grab a kit next time i go there. I always end up spending at least 100 on random stuff haha
I am not a big fan of HF, but I will admit it has held up to some rusted in balljoints and REALLY rusted in ujoints that I have done over the past 6 years or so. I'm more worried about the threads than bending actually, but it's not a bad tool.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06RangerXLT View Post
the lower control arm type that press in from below?

take off the ring with a flat head. with a jack under the control arm, get a big fukin hammer and smack it out.

then take a large socket (BIG ONE) that fits over the snout on the new balljoint. line up the balljoint in the hole with the socet on the bottom, and use the jack to push up on the socket and balljoint. now start to jack it up, and as you do, hit the control arm down with a hammer. then snap the ring back on and your done!

now jack and hit the control arm:

works every time, i can change out a lower BJ in about 10 minutes.
Thanks for posting this Nate! My lowers are in bad shape and was hoping to find a quick and easy method!
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Old 04-16-2012
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any time. lower balljoints both sides shouldnt take more then about 30 minutes.
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Old 04-17-2012
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I find a lot of "How To's " on YouTube, do a ball joint removal search and watch a few videos. I did mine on my 89 Mustang,beat them out after warming them up with a torch. Use the ball joint removal/install tool to press the new ones in. It took about 30 minutes.
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