quick insight/ Trying to separate but keep my ball joints.. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 10-29-2014
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quick insight/ Trying to separate but keep my ball joints..

Hey guys, I have an 01 edge with the torsion bar suspension. I am currently swapping my 2wd knuckles out for the explorer 4wd knuckles to get the brake upgrade along the added functionality. I know that I need to get the rear torque arm mount welded up and that shouldn't be a problem.

I just ripped out the donor knuckles (brakes/rotors/blah blah) and what got me thinking of this was the condition of the donors ball joints by the time I finally got them out.

-I just did the ball joints about 5 months ago in my ranger so I was wondering if anyone had any tips on getting them separated without destroying them.. ?

-Also, does anyone know if I could use the front sway bar end links from my ranger with the explorers front sway bar?
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Old 10-29-2014
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Shouldn't be that hard really, how are you doing it that you destroyed the expo ones?
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Old 10-30-2014
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Hey, thanks for the reply. The ball joints in the donor were actually shot already and basically crumbled when I used the pickle fork to separate them. Since the joints in my ranger are relatively new, I didn't want to damage the boot.

What I mean by using the pickle fork is that I pounded the hell out of it to get it in there and then pounded it more against it's axis to separate even further. The old donor boots effectively fell off with each hit (they were that shot).

**Actually, I think I may have run into another problem as well. When I was pulling the passenger side CV out, the entire axle shaft came with it from inside the differential. Is this bad? And, how should I go about getting it back in?

I hope I didn't just mess up the internals..
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Old 10-30-2014
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The CV axles are not "clipped" inside the differential like straight axles, so will pull out and can be pushed back in, there is no "alignment".

Good read and pictures here: CV Axle Replacement How To (Pictures) - Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations"
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Old 10-30-2014
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Wow, took some sweat off my brow. Thanks for the info!
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Old 10-30-2014
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Well, don't use a pickle fork lol. You mention their pretty new, so they shouldn't be seized in. Just hit the control arms. Hold a block of wood on the control arms, and smack it.
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Old 11-03-2014
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Hey, you know what?? You were right about not needing a pickle fork. It was crazy how easy they were to get out. Just fell out of the upper ball joint and two wacks later, the lower ball joints let go too. I am seriously surprised it was that easy. Never had good luck like that with ball joints before. "Makes me just wanna do them all the time now".. not really, but you get the idea.

On a side not though I was putting on seals for the front diff (driver, passenger and flange) and had a little hickup.. to seat the seals, I was using a ramaken, like the little thing you get ketchup in at a restaurant. It worked for the driver side seal, but the passenger side was being a pain. I had it completely out of the truck and proped up on the ground while I was inserting the seals. I let my buddy "take a wack at it" and it shattered into a pieces all inside the passenger side axle extension tube..

I hope the front diff isn't trash now. I flushed it out with 80-90 that I had and got the majority of the littl epieces out and then ran a bor punch through it with a coat hanger and some paper towel that was soaked with 80-90 as well to get the rest of the pieces out. In a pinch it worked out but I am afraid now that what I didn't get out will mess up the insides somehow.

Guess I'll have to get a spare and see what happens. I am just hoping it gets me through the winter.
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