Tricks to remove centerlink?

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Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by wbaker01 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:05 am

Been making good progress on my front suspension teardown until I decided to tackle removing my centerlink tonight. Used a variety of pickle forks, chisels and the BFH and the thing seems to almost be frozen in place (I would be the same after 43 years!). Thought about using a pitman arm puller to push the studs/bolts down but not sure if that is a viable option or not? Would I also gain anything by removing/loosening the idler arm bolts? Not sure if the centerlink has that much tension on it or what the deal is. I am replacing all steering components so I'm not concerned about damaging anything, just want the darn thing off of the car..

Thanks in advance..

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Re: Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by ant7377 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:43 am

When I did mine I knocked out the tie rod ends unbolted the idler arm and knocked out the pitman arm and took it all out together.
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Re: Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by Joe73 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:10 am

ant7377 wrote:When I did mine I knocked out the tie rod ends unbolted the idler arm and knocked out the pitman arm and took it all out together.


That's.exactly how I do it.  No need to take it all apart.  Take it out as a unit.


Last edited by Joe73 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by wbaker01 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:17 am

Great suggestions guys and that's probably the way to go..I'm pulling my steering box as well so I can just do it all as one unit..

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Re: Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by Damon23 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:42 pm

Going to work on this tonight. I've looked up several methods anticipating it being a bear. I heard of people breaking pullers on it. I should probably spray something on it and let it soak in the next couple days instead of fooling with it tonight.

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Re: Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by Joe73 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:48 pm

In all my years I've never had a problem on any car. For something like a lower ball joint, I support the car under the frame behind the tire, put jack under lower control arm, loosen ball joint nut so I can see about 1/8" gap under the nut, lower the jack so there is a gap between it and the lower arm, then (if you dont have a pickle fork) hit the steering knuckle with a 3 or 5 pound hammer a bunch of times. The joint will pop and the nut will be flush to the knuckle again. Then proceed with the repair.
As for steering components, I loosen the nut to have a gap under it, use a 3 foot piece of something to apply force to pull the joint apart, then hit the joint with the same hammer. Sometimes it takes alot of blows but it works every time.
Steering joints are a cone shaped friction fit. I think it would be pretty hard for any penetrating lube to get in there.
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Re: Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by pila on Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:39 pm

Using a bucking bar one one side of it, and a big hammer on the other side, usually knocks the taper loose & it just falls out
Bucking bar can be anything heavy, like even a bigger hammer etc

Joints that have the threaded end down, can be made loose with an air hammer, using a flat ended set. I use a rivet gun, which works good also

. I recently used my rivet gun and a flat ended set on exhaust manifold studs that were bad rusted. A few seconds of that on the end of the stud, loosens the rust in the threads, and the stud can be removed by just turning it out by hand.

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Re: Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by Damon23 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:00 pm

Alright. Just changed out the centerlink and tie rods. Like said above a pickle fork got it where I could see a slight gap then used a 5lbs sledge and it popped right out. LOL it even broke loose the tie rod end on that side to the center link. Everything is in and greased up. Just needs that home alignment and I can test drive it.

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Re: Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by wbaker01 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:02 pm

Air hammer and a bit more force got it off..Guess i was being too gentle with it last night..Funny thing is my dad was a car guy and would always run into obstacles like this. His thought process would be to work on the issue until you've exhausted your options and then call it a day. Come back the next day with a new perspective on things and that would typically yield a solution. Guess that's called taking a step back and approaching the issue with a new perspective..

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Re: Tricks to remove centerlink?

Post by Joe73 on Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:04 pm

Just for clarification for those who may try this. When using the big hammer you hit the SIDE of the part that the threaded part GOES INTO. Like stated above for the ball joint. Your hitting the steering knuckle.
Never hit the threads or the nut end, it will just peen it over and then it wont come out easy even when loose.
Hit the side and keep pressure on it while hitting.
Just FYI
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