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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Sun, Apr-16-2017, 08:18:19 PM   #1
NolliM3
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Default Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

Is there a certain size fork tool for our cars? I am shopping for the tool and have seen the single fork with 12inch, 13inch, 16inch length handles as well as set of three forks with one 8inch handle. I don't want three if one will do.
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Old Sun, Apr-16-2017, 11:05:52 PM   #2
fiveightandten
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Default Re: Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

I'd go with the shorter handle. Clearance in the wheel well can be a challenge, as you can't always get enough angle to position the pickle fork out of the wheel well. They work best by smacking them in place with a hammer and letting the angle of the fork break the joint. Having extra handle leverage to pry at the joint isn't very useful from my experience.

There are different sized forks out there for larger and smaller ball joints. That's the more critical attribute of the tool.

I've also had good luck with something like this:


I've had joints I couldn't separate with a pickle fork, but I haven't had one yet that this tool couldn't pop apart. It's completely destroyed ball joints on me, but they come out. That being said, it's no good for the inner ball joints that mount to the subframe.
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Old Sun, Apr-16-2017, 11:12:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

Just bang the knuckle with a hammer and it will pop out.


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Old Sun, Apr-16-2017, 11:46:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

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Originally Posted by mitch500 View Post
Just bang the knuckle with a hammer and it will pop out.


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This. You'll need a small sledge hammer.
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Old Mon, Apr-17-2017, 12:38:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

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Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
This. You'll need a small sledge hammer.
You west coast and southern guys have it so easy.
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Old Mon, Apr-17-2017, 02:06:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

Thanks guys; however, I am changing not only the tie rod but also the control arm as well.
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Old Mon, Apr-17-2017, 03:37:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

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Originally Posted by NolliM3 View Post
Thanks guys; however, I am changing not only the tie rod but also the control arm as well.


Use a hammer and hit the knuckle to remove tie rod and ball joint from spindle. Then hit the control arm by the balljoint where it mounts through the subframe and it should pop out.


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Old Mon, Apr-17-2017, 12:39:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiveightandten View Post
I'd go with the shorter handle. Clearance in the wheel well can be a challenge, as you can't always get enough angle to position the pickle fork out of the wheel well. They work best by smacking them in place with a hammer and letting the angle of the fork break the joint. Having extra handle leverage to pry at the joint isn't very useful from my experience.

There are different sized forks out there for larger and smaller ball joints. That's the more critical attribute of the tool.

I've also had good luck with something like this:


I've had joints I couldn't separate with a pickle fork, but I haven't had one yet that this tool couldn't pop apart. It's completely destroyed ball joints on me, but they come out. That being said, it's no good for the inner ball joints that mount to the subframe.
^my tool of choice for the job, as well.
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Old Mon, Apr-17-2017, 02:05:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiveightandten View Post
I'd go with the shorter handle. Clearance in the wheel well can be a challenge, as you can't always get enough angle to position the pickle fork out of the wheel well. They work best by smacking them in place with a hammer and letting the angle of the fork break the joint. Having extra handle leverage to pry at the joint isn't very useful from my experience.

There are different sized forks out there for larger and smaller ball joints. That's the more critical attribute of the tool.

I've also had good luck with something like this:


I've had joints I couldn't separate with a pickle fork, but I haven't had one yet that this tool couldn't pop apart. It's completely destroyed ball joints on me, but they come out. That being said, it's no good for the inner ball joints that mount to the subframe.
I'll add my vote to this. I just went through this and I bought the smaller of 2 pickle forks O'Reilly carries. Did the entire front end. No issues.
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Old Mon, Apr-17-2017, 02:20:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
This. You'll need a small sledge hammer.
Not everyone lives in Cali.
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Discussing Ball Joint Tie Rod Separator Tool in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)