Front LCA replacement - ball joint separation

Mozambique

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2010 LR4 - planning to do front LCA bushings using new LCA's. Just wondering whether separating the ball joint by whacking the steering knuckle with a hammer is a reliable method of separating the ball joint, or should I get a ball joint tool / pickle fork - if so, any thoughts on tool size required?
 

Waterndirt

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My ball joints released with about 5 firm strikes with a hammer. Reliable, I think so, proper, maybe not. ;) I suppose your local driving conditions may have something to do with ease of separation as well? Haven't heard too much about sticking ball joints though, mainly hear about seized bushing bolts on this forum when completing this repair.
 

Stuart Barnes

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Same. If in doubt just tap in a pickle fork to get some pre load on it and then on the knuckle. They both dropped relatively easily for me.

Just make sure you support the drive shafts as they pop out quite easily.
If you’re pressing the shafts out of the front hubs invest in an air hammer. It makes all the difference. And makes it a lot easier to install the lower arms.

If you’re doing the top ones as well then it’s possible with just the removal of the heat shielding and the inner fender liner if I remember correctly. A bit fiddle but not too hard. The faff comes in when torquing down.

Stu
 

gamh2001

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I had to replace my LCAs around 30K miles. 30K miles after and hanging strong despite lots of uneven surfaces and potholes in Houston.

On my RRS I have to change original LCAs around 90K miles. I bought RRS used so I don't know driving style of previous owner but I blame it more on Houston streets. But 90K miles to replace I would say they lasted a long time.

Unfortunately my indie mechanic recommends using original parts LCAs as they are "best" quality to cheaper options :)(), and don't change bushings as you will be back in 3 months to repair. Just drive carefully on uneven roads to extend LCAs life. Remember, these vehicles are really heavy.
 

Mozambique

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Guys, thanks for your thoughts.
Yes, got a pickle fork just in case!
Britpart does a good vid on LCA replacement. They just whacked the knuckle with a hammer to release the ball joint, but prefer to have a back up plan! gather on early range rovers you need to unseat front drive shafts from knuckle to get clearance. Not sure if that applies to a 2010 LR4. Doubtless I will find out.
Yes....... Sawzall at the ready along with new bolts :) went aftermarket for new LCA''s, since figured how much more crap can the bushings be than OEM.
 

ryanjl

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Late to the party, but if I was worried about maybe needing a tool, I'd buy it right before the job, keep the tags and stickers on it, and if I didn't use it, I'd return it.
 
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