The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"
Ball Joint Removal Tool
By Bill Taylor - pictures by Jeff Udelson
I have tried just about every ball joint tool that is sold. None are satisfactory. If you don't care about the ball joints, a pickle fork/ big and hammer is the cheapest and the best. But I don't like to use hammers.
The tool consists of two pieces of tubing, three washers, a bolt, and a nut. It will easily separate Pantera front ball joints with the spindle either on or off the car. No hammer required. The parts of this tool were all items I had available. The dimension are not critical as long as you can install the tool correctly.
Here's how the tool is used.
Remove the cotter pin from the object ball joint. Remove the ball joint nut. Flip the nut over and thread it back on the ball joint stud until it is flush with the end of the stud. Place the small piece of tubing over the stud/nut so it bears against the flat part of the spindle. This tubing will keep the tool from slipping off the stud/nut. Insert the 7/16 inch washer so it rest against the stud/nut. This washer keeps the stud/nut from getting buggered up. With the nut remaining on the ball joint stud, the ball joint will be retained in the spindle when it separates.
Screw the 1/2 inch nut all the way onto the 1/2 inch bolt. Install the 1/2 inch washer on the bolt. Install the larger washer on the bolt. The 1/2 washer is to fit the head of the bolt, the larger washer is to fit the OD of the tubing. Slide the long piece of tubing over the ball joint stud/not you are not removing. Fit the threaded end of the 1/2 inch bolt/nut/washers into the long tube and position it inline with the short tube. Unscrew the nut while holding the 1/2 inch bolt. The bolt will just move into the end of the short tube and bear against the ball joint stud/nut you want to remove. Using a visegrip to hold the bolt and a wrench to unscrew the nut, apply pressure until the ball joint separates.
The ball joint separation will be accompanied by a substantial bang. But the ball joint will not fly out, the tool will not fly out, the ball joint and it's rubber bootie will be unharmed, and you will not need to smash anything with a hammer.
When you have loosened the first ball joint, leave the first ball joint in place on the spindle, screw the nut all the way back onto the bolt, flip the tool end for end, and remove the second ball joint.
This simple tool removed the front ball joints which have been in place on my '74 for 35 years with no sweat, no swearing, and no injuries.