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How big is the open hole behind the one your working on. Since you cand man handle it yes drill more. Once you get a small hole through them they will loosen up.

Trust me everybody goes through this stuff. I am cussing every time I do something. Mr. Murphy is right there with you. I though i was going to be a hour screwing with my vans starter the other day. I found out I had to clean all the connections I was hours doing that.

Do you have access to t course file. Clean that top off some there may be some ragged edges of the pop rivet still hanging over the edge. Your getting there.

Just take some frustration out on it. Just beat the silly ball joint with the hammer while you cuss at it. My favorite is "Oh your coming out of there Beotch" Anyway as lumpy mentioned before the sharp blows and vibrations will help break things loose.

If you saw me going after a brake drum that had never been off before with a 5 lb hammer. You would think this guy has lost it. Rust just flying.

Chin up you will get it.
 

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Lumpy said:
Big_kid said:
It's been a long time since I separated a ball joint on an Astro- is it necessary to chain the spring?
I always do.
You DO realize the spring can't go anywhere with a shock running thru it, don't you?
Plus... with the FULL weight of the vehicle on it, you couldn't pry is out if you wanted to. To get the spring out, you have to actually remove the shock, then keep lowering and finally pushing down on the lower arm.. until the spring "falls" out. I've done many.. it's quite basic.

On another note: We are up to 4 pages now.. and roughly two days (an entire weekend)... just how much is one ball-joint effort worth?
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
chevymaher said:
Just take some frustration out on it. Just beat the silly ball joint with the hammer while you cuss at it. My favorite is "Oh your coming out of there Beotch"
hahah, i've definitely started doing this. current research suggests that it helps.

thanks for the encouragement, y'all.

Mmusicman said:
On another note: We are up to 4 pages now.. and roughly two days (an entire weekend)... just how much is one ball-joint effort worth?
roughly $200 + the immeasurable weight of giving up.

i figure even if i spend 20 hrs on this, i'm still getting "paid" $10/hr which is pretty damn good in my estimation.
 

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I don't recall seeing any mention of the drill bits being used but they are not all created equal. Some bits sold at big box stores are junk, suitable for drilling wood and plastic only. They will get dull almost immediately drilling harder steel. If the package says "carbon alloy" or "carbon steel" or something similar then it's junk. You want something specifically labeled High Speed Steel or HSS for short. Something labeled cobalt is also good. That's HSS with cobalt added for extra toughness. Yes, they cost more but totally worth it.

The edges and corners on the tip of the bit should be completely crisp and sharp. It they are even slightly rounded they won't do the job. A good quality bit will be cutting out small chips or curls of metal continuously while drilling with moderate pressure. If you are not getting that then something is wrong. Some kind of lube oil helps a lot. Real cutting oil is nice but 3in1 or any oil is better than nothing.

Really top quality bits are expensive. I did my ball joints with Irwin bits like these. Reasonable price and widely available, Lowes etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
thanks for the info! i honestly don't know what sort of drill bits i'm using, cause my friend just dropped them off with the drill. but, i'll be buying some replacement ones for him, so it's good to know about quality.
 

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drilling all the way through will help, as does heat but you probably don't want to go buy a torch, but shouldn't need to anyway. WD-40 or PB Blaster to cool the drill bit and get things moving.

like Lumpy says. lots of moderate repeated strikes will work versus trying to get it in one shot.

Support the control arm with something like a block of wood so that all the hammer energy goes into the rivet.

keep the faith!
 

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Mmusicman said:
[chaining the coils]

You DO realize the spring can't go anywhere with a shock running thru it, don't you?
Plus... with the FULL weight of the vehicle on it, you couldn't pry is out if you wanted to. To get the spring out, you have to actually remove the shock, then keep lowering and finally pushing down on the lower arm.. until the spring "falls" out. I've done many.. it's quite basic.
Shock is disconnected. There's energy in mine. Mine certainly don't "fall out" as I've heard some describe. The coil spring tension suddenly released when I break the top BJ loose is immense. Throws the LCA downward very violently (moves the van up on it's jack stands). Much farther than the shock length would allow. Stressing the shock by bumping it past it's extension limit doesn't seem like something I'd want to do.

Even if they were completely relaxed, a 30 lb spring falling onto my shin underneath it, even without stored up spring energy, OUCH!

I also put the removed wheel and tire under the rocker panel of the side I'm working on. Then if all my banging and prying should bump the van off it's jacks, the wheel/tire under the rocker will keep it off ME.

Lots of prying and banging going on over there in the corner of the box. Ptolemy could move planets with all that leverage in mine.

Lump
 

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Mike here in N. Ky. - was wondering... do you still have the wheel on? If so, just wondering why?
Can you back away a little when you take your next photo so we can see your working area.

And do you have a male ( or female ) mechanic friend w/ some, shall we say... heft, that can use a drill and bits properly, swing a 5 lb sledge or use a HD Prybar/Cold Chisel?

Do We need to come down there or what?

Mike

PS: AGAIN ( LOL ) Her van - AWD - NO SPRINGS - Torsion Bars instead.
 

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I also put the removed wheel and tire under the rocker panel of the side I'm working on. Then if all my banging and prying should bump the van off it's jacks, the wheel/tire under the rocker will keep it off ME.
Ditto

I can't see any movement on these rivets. And I'm worried I'm breaking something else with all the force I'm applying
Sounds like it's time for the smoke wrench, get'er nice and hot then smack it. :eek:
 

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Wimpazz said:
VERY proud of you Dawn...
I sure am.

She's getting the job done with the tools at hand. I don't think it's job that could be done easier by "A Man". It's not a strength issue. And I don't think she's using a tool incorrectly. I've sacrificed a wood chisel to get something metal to move. I HAVE a dedicated sacrificial wood chisel that I use all the time on the "wrong" material. I use dedicated screwdrivers as pry/chisel tools all the time. My first drill was a right angle attachment on a 1/4" (no larger) drill with an AC power cord (no cordless). The theoretically proper way to drill hard steel IS on low speed. Although I often violate that for speed, losing the bit in the process.

Bottom line is we have a ball joint. Not that we "could have used a different tool".

Lump
 

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Lumpy said:
The coil spring tension suddenly released when I break the top BJ loose is immense. Throws the LCA downward very violently..
I guess we do them differently somehow.. (although your photo suggests we do them somewhat similar to start). You obviously must be removing the jack durring BJ separation... where as I keep it in place supporting the weight.

Even in your photo... there is absolutely NO WAY the spring could come out.
But I'd ALSO like to state for the record that it's never wrong to play it safe and have extra safety measures in place... especially if they way you do it causes violent release.

I ALWAYS support the lower control arm with a jack... with the frame sitting on jack-stands (there is a perfect place made for it underneath near the doors). When I break EITHER ball-joint loose, there is NO motion whatsoever, other than slight separation (I always leave the nut threaded toward the end as extra precaution. Once BJ separates, then I simply continue to lower the control arm gently (with floor jack) until the spring is completely unloaded and it stops on it's own. Even with the lower control arm fully lowered and spring unloaded, I still have to apply some minimal additional downward pressure to get spring to clear all the obstacles and fall out, particularly the cavity it sits in. A broken shock would STILL not allow it to come out.

Another note: when I am finally lowering the control arm to unload the spring... I'm doing it from the front of the vehicle. The spring can only come out from the side... away from the angled control arm.

Not sure why or how our experiences are so different.. but I have no surprises or unexpected issues. I guess next time I will have to make a video of my spring easily falling out unloaded the way I do them. As far as the upper control arm... there is NO pressure whatsoever, but again I always support the vehicle directly underneath the lower control arm when dealing with ball-joints, so it remains supported and loaded... compressed by the vehicle's weight.

This "side-discussion" is regarding coils on RWD vans... and yes the OP is driving an AWD with torsion bars. I would still treat it the same way.. be sure to have a jack or jack stand under the lower control arm while separating the ball joints. Do NOT allow it to hang freely which will MOST CERTAINLY "explode with motion" when it is freed and uncoupled from the rest of the suspension.

In this photo, it is shown the spring "can" be removed with the shock in place, but it must be disconnected from control arm to do so. Left hanging in place (even disconnect on one end), it is a slight obstacle. The biggest issue (with shock in place) is positioning the spring back in place against an angled surface and making sure it is seated properly at the top. This is where it could come out, trying to wedge it back in place. I use my camera phone for inspection (from inside the spring view) to see it is centered properly, but can't do so if the shock is in the way.
20170102_132725a.jpg

Here you can see the dedicated jack point (further back) that most of us are probably well aware of..
20170102_143435a.jpg
 

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Hope its going well and you are done. :)
Are you going to do the other side also? Reason I ask is maybe you could pick up a HF grinder and make short work out of getting a flat spot to drill. Would lower the time needed by a bunch. http://www.harborfreight.com/power-tool ... 69645.html
On sale for 9.99 frequently. Just a thought.

Another thing that helps me is lying to myself. After a break from a frustrating job, I don't dwell on the time I already spent, I tell myself I am just starting. Sometimes several times. :) Works for me.
 

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X2 on this, I have been working on cars professionally for many years, sometime they still get the best of me too. When that happens I work on something else for a bit, or if it's real bad I will go and take a walk to clear my head. Don't give up! You can do this and it must get done. own it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Not quite done. It was raining earlier and I don't have a garage.

I've started drilling. Sent my roommate to the store to see if she could find a file of some sort. Anyone know what type?

I'm just trying to drill through these rivets. Come hell or high water.
 
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