Help removing 61 Lesabre Upper Ball Joint

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by cluxford, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    I've got a set of extended Upper Control Arms to address my camber issue.

    To get extended an inch gets welded in and braced, but kept to look original. The guy who did it in Cali was awesome. But he doesn't remove ball joints or cross shafts so they now need to be replaced.

    New ones on the way as we speak.

    So cross shafts, no problems, all of 10 mins and they are out.

    Upper Ball Joints.

    Wow. No go.

    I've replaced the lower ones in the past and had to source a 2nd hand socket (easily biggest socket I've ever bought) as they are screw in. Those came out really easy.

    The uppers, as you can see in the page from the chassis manual below, require a snap on socket or a 1 7/8" socket. I was able to get a 1 7/8" one locally. Unfortunately it is not a perfect fit, it does have an ever so slight movement in it.

    So tried it on both, just slips off and has started to "round" the edges.

    Let em soak overnight with penetrating oil thinking they may be seized on, still absolutely no movement.

    So that said does anyone have any guidance on how I get these out. I don't have the new ones yet so I'm not 100% sure how they go together and can't find any pictures online. I'm assuming it's like a lock nut though. I should be able to undo it and the ball joint should then slide out the bottom.

    I've tried heat on it as well, I don't have an oxy/ace torch, but it is an oxy/MAPP. It's not quite as hot as oxy/acc but close. Tried that, got one pretty hot (glowing), still no movement.

    I hate to say it but I am thinking cold chisel

    Thanks in advance for the guidance / advice / tricks.




  2. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard
    They say its for the A body, but it sure looks the same. If so, it looks like a screw in ball joint like the lower. Did you heat the ball joint or the arm? I would think heat the arm around it. Do you have a good way to hold the arm? A tight socket and an impact wrench should do it, but if not I would try a large adjustable wrench and a cheater bar. Tighten the wrench so there it no play and crank on it. Keep the wrench tight, don't let it slip off. Tap the arm of the wrench with a hammer a few times. Hit it harder as long as it does not slip.
  3. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member


    I heated the ball joint, good idea to try heating the arm. I will give that a go. All other methods you mentioned I have tried, can't get anything to stay snug on it without slipping. I've already started to round off the nut unfortunately
  4. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    Dremel tool and several cut off wheels. Cut through the nut on both sides and tap it off.
  5. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    Was thinking the same Briz, was going to get the grinder out, but the dremel might be a bit less damaging. Will give that a shot today
  6. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    so for those interested...still no joy.

    Nothing worked. Nothing. So out came the cold chisel, then recip saw then grinder.

    Net's still NOT out. Damn this one is sent to test me.

    Got the center of the ball joint out, but the part that is threaded has NOT moved. I have taken to it with all I know. Somehow I have to cut it out without destroying the treads, and I still have a second one to do.



  7. WQ59B

    WQ59B Well-Known Member

    Interesting that '59 is riveted and 2 years later they're threaded.

    How about cutting new parallel flats thru the top, where you can get more height in the adjustable wrench, Kroil it down, heat it up & crank on it?

    Screen Shot 2020-02-27 at 8.34.20 AM.png
  8. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    Mark, agree good idea, but still probably can't get enough purchase on it, it's only 3-4mm deep there. I don't have a welder but can get it to a guy that does. I'm thinking of getting a nice big fat long nut (or bolt with nut)that will go inside the hole, weld that in there that will give me a tighter fitting socket with way way deeper coverage over the nut then get on it with a big long breaker bar (I have one that is over 6 feet long that I've used in the past) but it needs a super super tight fitting socket to work.
    woody1640 likes this.
  9. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

    A good impact usually works better than the breaker bar. And heat it with an Oxy torch too, much hotter. Or you might find the heat from the welding is enough...
  10. JoeBlog

    JoeBlog Platinum Level Contributor

    I’m not sure this will help, but here goes. While installing stainless steel fittings (a nipple and a B nut) on an aircraft engine pylon, it locked up (noob mistake; should’ve used VVP-236 on it, I know). Not being able to get to the back of it inside the pylon, I decided to use an air powered sawzall and made cuts from the inside to just where the threads met the fitting. Did 4 in a “+’ pattern. That made it easier to take a chisel and knock it apart by collapsing it onto itself. Saved the threads, but still a major league PIA though.
  11. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    Yeah I thought about that also, you can see where I've started the first cut inside
  12. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

    Go very slowly! And check constantly. Another idea: weld a large bar to the remaining piece. The heat from the weld will help and the bar will give you something to turn. You can slip a piece of pipe over it for more leverage. Hit it with a hammer too!
    woody1640 likes this.
  13. WQ59B

    WQ59B Well-Known Member

    I’m suggesting cutting all the way thru to the surface of the A-arm; what you have there has to be more than 3-4mm total height.
  14. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    I wish there was Mark, but no it's 3-4mm only
  15. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    OK so latest...not a happy ending so far.

    Mark, I checked it, 4.8mm is all there is.

    Then I cut deeper with the recip saw and tried taking to it with a hammer (4 pounder and hitting pretty hard)....trying to separate it. All I managed to accomplish was to shatter my bench vice. Chinese crap. I'm seriously thinking I need to find someone with a oxy.


  16. WQ59B

    WQ59B Well-Known Member

    With the side view pic, I see it now. Looked taller from above. Remember the First Law of working on anything mechanical : If it went together, it'll come apart. ;)

    Cutting it vertically along the inside hole (like you started to) is not going to work IMO because the BJ casing appears too thick to easily collapse.

    What is this rounded piece (yellow arrow)? It's not on the link that 12lives posted- shouldn't you be able to see the edge of the threaded hole on the bottom side? From the pics it looks like the BJ is wider than the A-Arm hole on BOTH sides....?
    Screen Shot 2020-02-28 at 8.51.22 PM.png
  17. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    That’s an insightful question. I have thought the same thing that it looks bigger on both sides. That is the cup that the round “ball” sits in. On close inspection it looks flush to the edge but I really can’t be 100% sure

    I’m going to bite the bullet and take it to a fab shop and get some serious heat in it
  18. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    Maybe weld a 4 ft piece of rebar on there as a wrench.
  19. JoeBlog

    JoeBlog Platinum Level Contributor

    What do you think about taking a grinder to the faces? Both sides down to the surface, then knock out what’s left with a cold chisel. There wouldn’t be much in the way of resistance at that point.
  20. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    Woo Hoo....success.

    Got my hands on an Oxy.

    3 hours and it was a 2 man job.

    Had to get some serious serious heat in it. Like constant cherry read. 6 foot breaker bar on the large socket. Getting it to "crack" was the hardest part, as sid needed to keep it cherry cherry red all the way around the entire circumference. But got em both.

    Interestingly the threads don't really have a lot of depth, there are sort of rolling hills, rather than steep pitched peaks.

    None the less job done.

    Not looking forward to doing that again in the next 20+ years.


    WQ59B likes this.

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