How to Remove Ball Joint Without Pickle Fork (2 Different Ways)

Do you want to remove your ball joint? but you don’t have a pickle fork or don’t want to use one, we’ve got some alternatives

So, how to remove ball joint without pickle fork?

A simple brass hammer or normal hammer can do the job for you. It is one of the easiest ways to remove the ball joint. But, it won’t work with aluminum casting. For that, you may want to use another tool. That is a ball joint separator. This tool makes things even easier than a pickle fork.

Here you will find a complete step-by-step guide on how to use these things. 

So, don’t kill time anymore. Start reading for a hassle-free ball joint removal procedure- without a pickle fork.

Is It Possible to Remove Ball Joint Without Pickle Fork?

It is quite possible to remove the ball joint without a pickle fork. Some of them are even easier. However, pickle fork is widely used thus we may not know about the others.

The boll joint can easily be removed with a hammer only. Hitting the metal casting with a hammer will result in freeing the joint. 

If you are more comfortable using tools, there is another option as well. The tool’s called a ball joint separator. It’s specifically designed to free the ball joint faster. If you’re not into using the pickle fork, you can choose from these alternatives.

How to Remove Ball Joint Without Pickle Fork?

Tie rods are commonly equipped with ball joints that have a taper. Between the control arm and the steering knuckle, it acts as a connector. As soon as the ball joint’s taper comes loose, the ball joint is free. 

Among several methods of removing the ball joint, some are listed below. These methods do not use pickle forks or tuning forks as tools. Making the process easier for you.

Method 1: Hitting the Casting with a Hammer

If you’re reusing ball joints, you’ll want to try this method out. And no special tools are needed to make it happen. Here are the steps-

Step 1: Target the casting

Locate the casting behind the ball joint, that’s your target. Otherwise, your vehicle may be damaged. In fact, it has the ability to alter the shape of the socket where the ball joint sits. Then, it will be so difficult to remove the ball joint.

Step 2: Start Hitting

Start hammering the casting’s side with a hammer. The precise location is right onto the steering knuckle by the ball joint.

Some good quality hammers are listed below:

The shots from the vibration will provide enough shock. This will break the taper free. So, continuous precise hitting is needed. Not with force.

However, you have to remember one thing. This method doesn’t always work as there might be tension. This extra tension is pushed towards the steering knuckle. That prevents the ball drift breaking free.

On the other hand, this method should not be used with cast aluminum components. It can crack the casting. 

Method 2: Use a Ball Joint separator

A ball joint separator is a specialty tool that’s often used to remove ball joints. It is available in different sizes and varieties. You should choose one that allows you to reuse the ball joint with no damage.

To find out the best fit for you, we have recommended some ball joint separators. This should get your job done at ease.

Step 1: Loosen the Nut on the Tie Rod End

With a wrench, apply five or six turns. This is sufficient to lose the nut. After losing it, the nut will automatically fall off. Or you can just take it out and keep it away.

Step 2: Apply Lubricants

The separator is 100% steel-bodied. Applying lubricants will help to reduce friction.  Spray some lubricants on the back of the separator.

Here are some good quality lubricants that can ease the process-

Step 3: Place the Ball Joint Separator

Place the concave part of the separator between the boot and tie rod end of the ball joint. Some pressure may be required.

Confirm that it is positioned correctly.

Step 4: Tighten the Bolt

Whine the bolt up against the top of the nut Using a whining tool. Place the tool on the bolt’s end. Whine in a clockwise motion. Until you hear the huge clicking sound from the separation of the parts. 

Step 5: Completely Remove the Nut

At this point, you will see the nut is much loose. Give it a few more turns with the whining tool. Then you can remove the nut with your hands.

Step 6: Push the joint

Sometimes even after removing the nut, the ball joint may seem stuck. A downward force will be required to remove the joint completely.

Last but not least, you’ll notice the ball joint has been removed.

Remove the ball joint without a pickle fork by using one of these two methods. Apply these to have a much reduced and less complicated learning experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can a ball joint be removed without a press?

Answer: No, you must remove the entire control arm assembly and give it to a professional or hire a press to do it for you.

Question: What are the symptoms of a bad ball joint?

Answer: Noises that are clunky or squeak. Drifting off to the side of the road There is a  shaky steering or a loose steering wheel. Uneven wear of the tyres.

Question: Have you noticed that upper ball joints last longer than lower ones?

Answer: Upper ball joints are only found on strut-type front suspensions, while upper and lower ball joints are found on double-wishbone suspensions. When driven on rough roads, the suspension is put under more stress and can wear out sooner.

Question: The ball joint stud must be forced out of the steering knuckle using what tool?

Answer: The “Pitman Puller” is the name of the tool. One quick advice: Don’t hit the bolt too hard.

Bottom Line

We hope we could provide you everything you need to know on how to remove ball joint without pickle fork. Make sure to follow our instructions well. 

We hope you have found it helpful. Wish you all the best.

Rob Dahm

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