Ball Joints and Tie Rod ends function well at making a strong connection while also allowing a lot of movement in the joint, but sometimes these connections can prove to be very difficult to separate for service or replacement. Commonly a pickle fork is used to separate the joint but there is always the risk of damaging the grease boot on the joint.
Using a ball joint separation tool to disconnect ball joints and tie rods ends makes short work of the task as Mark Simpson demonstrates in the video, but he stresses if the joint has not been apart for awhile it is best to remove the castle nut, flip it over and tighten it back on until the nut is flush with the end of the threads. This will prevent damaging the threads if a lot of force is needed to break the joint apart. This is a great tool to have in your shop and will help you get your classic back on the road.
Note the tool used in this demonstration was a GearWrench Ball Joint Separator #3916, but there are others available on the market as well as some designed specifically for Tie-Rod Ends. Check them out, as we think you’ll find them to be a good investment.