paul_s0 New Reader
1/30/18 6:57 a.m.

This is probably a long shot, but... has anyone any experience of changing the balljoints in a Dana 30 axle (in this case front of a Jeep WJ), without the use of the normal balljoint press? 

Down here in Peru I can't seem to get hold of one, and to import one will be $$$$.  I'm wondering if anyone has experience of heat and brute force to get them out, and then heat on the axle, new balljoints in the freezer, and a lot of delicate swearing to get the new ones in?  Adapters I can cobble together using sockets, old pistons from Daewoo Ticos etc (their pistons are great for pressing Landy balljoints and bushes!), bits of pipe etc.



ultraclyde PowerDork
1/30/18 7:12 a.m.

I've read accounts on some of the Jeep forums of it being done with a big hammer and good aim. I just did the factory original balljoints in my 160k mile ZJ, but I used a rental press. I actually had to crank the press down tight AND whack the end of the press to get them loose. I was working on jack stands without a lift but there's no way I could have gotten the angle to drive them out with just a hammer.

If you can get the clearance to swing the hammer, you might be able to do it, particularly if they have been done before, but it's not going to be easy.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/30/18 7:17 a.m.

Can you find a largish C-Clamp?  A C-Clamp with sockets is how we did these ball joints years ago before the presses became more affordable.

Donebrokeit SuperDork
1/30/18 7:25 a.m.

I put a few in without a press.


Built a jig to sit the ball joint in , using a thick plate of steel with a hole cut in the center then place two jack stands on both sides then lower the weight of the jeep on to the jig and ball joint. using a small sledgehammer you beat the axel on to the ball joint.


I am sure putting the ball joint in a freezer for a few days would make the job easier or using a torch to heat the housing.

Paul B

paul_s0 New Reader
1/30/18 8:13 a.m.

Thanks very much gents, that's what I was hoping to hear.  I was thinking to go with a large C clamp too to help things along. It is possible that the taxi workshop which I make use of may have one (they've got a 60 ton press, lathe, mill, pillar drill etc), but I want to have some options up my sleeve.


Got to love GRM yes

paul_s0 New Reader
3/16/18 9:10 a.m.

Just in case any one else is daft enough to wonder this, I can confirm that yes it is possible, but I wouldn't recommend it! It took 6 hours yesterday and a whole of effort.   Hammers, heat, and the biggest G clamp I could find, with a variety of old outer bearing races as drifts and receivers.  My arms are like limp noodles today.  I'm hoping I can put up with the other side until August, as I've folk coming to visit in August and I'll ask them to slip the correct tool into their suitcase.  Even if I have to pay for an extra suitcase for 'em it'll still be worth it!

ultraclyde PowerDork
3/16/18 10:40 a.m.

Congrats! I surely wouldn't have wanted to do that. It's amazing what you can put up with when yuou know what a PITA it is to fix...

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