2013 1.4L Turbo Front Lower Control Arm Removal Problem
This is a discussion on 2013 1.4L Turbo Front Lower Control Arm Removal Problem within the Dodge Dart General Discussion forums, part of the Dodge Dart Forum - Dodge Dart Discussion category; Originally Posted by alpinegreenneon
It may be the play they detect is the ball joint because that it is integral to the control arm. It ...
I wasted a couple hours on the pry method and got nowhere. Just gouged up the aluminum control arm. What worked for me: get yourself an old time pickle fork (ball joint separator) and hammer it in between the ball joint and the steering knuckle. Don't pry, just hammer it straight in. When you get the ball joint to move a quarter inch or so, then put in a big open end wrench between the pickle fork and the bottom of the steering knuckle, then hammer again to get the next quarter inch of movement. I finally needed about three wrenches' worth to get the joint apart, but it worked. The first one I did, since I tried prying first, I tore up the boot pretty good, and it can't be replaced. The second one, just hammering, the boot came through ok. Putting them back together, lube the new ball joint shaft generously with axle grease and it will go in once lined up. Make sure it's all the way in so you can get the bolt back in place. Good luck.
Originally Posted by alpinegreenneon
is is wishing he was driving...
Well, I replaced the control arm. I guess it's not the worst thing I've ever done, but man, that ball joint is a pain to get out. First, the pinch bolt was rather reluctant to be pulled out of the knuckle. I had to hammer it out, and even needed to use a punch to get it all the way out. Then I had to extract the ball joint. I tried the pry bar technique, but all that did was bend a solid steel 36" pry bar. There's just no way to get enough leverage in the right place for that technique to work. But thanks to @PDJennings I was able to use a pickle fork and a couple of wrenches to pound and pry it out. The only other challenging part was getting the horizontal mount of the new control arm into place. Because you have to put the rear mount in first, the front mount is not 100% aligned with its slot, so it wouldn't go in. I ended up using a scissor jack to basically press it in. It actually lifted the car off one of the jackstands a bit before popping into place. The new ball joint was surprisingly easy to install. It slid about halfway in on its own, and I used the scissor jack again on the control arm to press it in the rest of the way. The control arm I purchased (the "Mevotech" brand from Rock Auto) came with a new pinch bolt, and I reused the other fasteners.
Oh yeah, about those e-Torx bolts: I loathe whoever thought they were a good idea almost as much as I loathe the bolts. Torx is great for recessed screw heads, but as a bolt head it leaves much to be desired.
EDIT: I almost forgot, after getting it all back together, everything runs smoothly, but I definitely need an alignment. The steering wheel's "perfectly straight" point is now a bit to the left of centered.
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