- Pickle Fork and Hammer: A pickle fork tool is specifically designed for separating ball joints. Insert it between the joint and the steering knuckle, then give it a few solid whacks with a hammer. This method might damage the boot, so it's not recommended if you plan to reuse the joint.
- Ball Joint Separators: These tools apply direct pressure to the joint, easing it out without damaging surrounding components.
- Heat Application: Applying heat to the knuckle (not directly to the ball joint) can expand the metal slightly, making it easier to separate. Be cautious with this method to avoid overheating.
- Impact and Vibration: Sometimes, using an air hammer or a combination of pressure and sharp impacts can help break the joint free.
- Penetrating Oil: Apply a generous amount of penetrating oil where the ball joint meets the knuckle, let it soak in, and then try separating them again.
- Leverage and Pressure: You can also try applying pressure on the joint (using a floor jack under the ball joint stud) while simultaneously striking the knuckle.
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