Are you shopping for a new vehicle and having trouble finding one, or have you been waiting a long time for a factory order? A reporter would like to speak with you; please reach out to [email protected] by Tues. 5/11 for more details.

Tough ball joint tactics?

Richard123vmtRichard123vmt Member Posts: 6
edited September 2019 in Geo
I have the passenger side ball joint, the clamp bolt out and the shaft is out almost to the point where the groove is, about 1/2 to 3/4 the way out, but there it sits. It will not come out and will not go back up, even with the weight of the car on it. Pounding, prying with bar, did no good. I have taken apart the very same joint a number of times in the past without trouble.
My ideas for tomorrow are: Try to get a vice grip on the exposed shaft and rotate the shaft or try to. The other idea I got online was to use oa pipe clamp, a come along or some means to force the knuckle inward. It is the angle which is wrong.
Anyway, I have used liquid wrench. I can't use heat because the axle boot is right above it. And i don't think heat would do it. I have a screw type ball joint remover but it doesn't fit this design.
Looking for ideas.


  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,426
    The groove for the ball joint retaining bolt sometimes gets caught in the knuckle if the ball joint stud it isn't going straight up and down while trying to separate them. Most of the time what is happening is the knuckle is being pushed outward by the axle shaft and that causes it to get cocked and catches. Having a second person to push inward on the hub while trying to get this apart now should help.
  • Richard123vmtRichard123vmt Member Posts: 6
    edited September 2019
    Thank you. This is the day after. None of my measures were effective so I decided to let that alone. The larger picture is removing the tranny to replace the torque converter. Some where in the course of this I went back to the BJ and it came out easily. No explanation, for me. Anyway I am glad I did not damage to the boots. I got the tranny off the engine and was able to remove the TC. This was a lot of work, as you probably know, on the chance that the TC was my problem, barely moving the car in gear. A bad TCM could produce similar if not identical symptoms, stuck in 3rd gear. I say could because I don't know first hand.
    So, the jack adapter doesn't come down very close to the ground, but room enough to get the TC out. Now the moment of truth. I had just yesterday learned that the sprag clutch within the TC should move in one direction only. Behold, it moves in both directions, hence no torque multiplication. I have gone to the Heart of Darkness and I have found the worm.
    What greatly hampered me was the fact that I observed some loose wires from the then perfectly running car ( I had just come from buying new front tires, all smogged and spiffy). But it ran normally. These were the shift solenoid wires.
    Then on the way home I felt a sudden change in the driveline but continued to drive home without any indications. But in the morning, zero drive. I was confident of course it was the wires, so I fixed them, expecting to get in and drive . But not so. I went through the solenoids, checked the wiring, replaced the fluid several times over) replaced the TCM. In the end (short run) I POed the car and bought a Saturn. The Saturn is reliable transportation But I \don't feel like I could fix it. The Metro broke constantly but I was able to cope with it by fixing it. It was a bad coping mechanism. Only a year later, did I get the renewed Cahones to forge ahead. As you all here best know, it is not the same repairing your daily transportation and doing a little restoration work.
    I have a known good (last driven) TC. Sprag rotates one direction only. But how much work this job is, with crappy jack setup, even doing it the second time was so much work that I am questioning the use of a used converter. The first time I replaced the tranny, (broken starter mounting case of tranny) a reputable transmission mechanic advised me to replace the TC or it might go in a month. It did go in exactly a month. So now I am contemplating using the other TC on the basis the sprag clutch works.
    What I want to know is, should I stop the job and order a new TC? Is a torque converter as reliable as most used parts or is it a pitfall? I probably should buy new, even though the car has been a money pit. I wonder what your experience is with used TCs.? I can tell you for sure it is not worth redoing the job for the cost of a new one. On the other hand, I have the used one. But if it is insanity to use it, I won't. That's where I need more opinions. I don't think I've got the consumer reports on torque converter replacement.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,426
    How exactly did you try to test the sprag in the torque convertor?
  • Richard123vmtRichard123vmt Member Posts: 6
    edited September 2019
    With my finger. This may not be definitive. But I have been told since that, having had the bad TC run in it, the entire tranny is contaminated. So the best idea would be replace entire transmission. Or convert car to stick. But there are no automatic transmissions locally (and no way to test them) so I am back to installing the one I have and see what happens.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,426
    The stator and one way clutch are held in place by the splines on the pump shaft. The assembly will turn both directions if you try to turn it by hand.
  • Richard123vmtRichard123vmt Member Posts: 6
    This post has drifted from the BJ problem, but my newest idea to deal with the transmission debris will be to power flush the old fluid but then finish up by flushing an entire gallon slowly through the system, changing shifter position to get all channels. This will ensure the removal of much of the debris. At present I have the tranny in but not fully installed. I was kind of blind-sided by the power blackouts.
Sign In or Register to comment.