How to Use a Ball Joint Press

The suspension system of a car, which must be kept in top condition, is comprised of two parts: shock absorbers and ball joints. Shock absorbers absorb the bumps in the road. When they wear out, the car bounces excessively. The ball joints keep the car driving in a straight line. If they are worn out, the car will begin to wander while driving and could cause you to lose control. In addition, worn ball joints can cause excessive wear on the tires [source: Midas]. It is when replacing ball joints that the use of a ball joint press comes in very handy. Here's how to use a ball joint press.

  1. Lift up the front end of the vehicle using a car jack.
  2. Remove the front wheels.
  3. Detach the brake caliper.
  4. Slide off the rotor. You will need to detach the tie-rod end and the lower strut bolts. This will allow enough movement to move the steering knuckle.
  5. Remove the upper control arm by removing the cotter pin that keeps it in place. You are now ready to remove the ball joint using the ball joint press.
  6. Place the ball joint press over the ball joint on the control arm. The long threaded shaft of the press should be facing upward.
  7. Place the deep cup of the ball joint press, which is designed to contain the ball joint, over the top of the ball joint.
  8. Tighten the threaded shaft on the ball joint press with a ratchet and socket. This will pop the ball joint out of the control arm. You're now ready to put in the new ball joint.
  9. Mount the deep cup of the ball joint press on the new ball joint.
  10. Tighten the threaded shaft and put the new ball joint into place.
  11. Check that the joints are going in straight after every few turns of the press [source: Bandy].