Removing VW Beetle ball joints is extremely difficult. The ball joints are pressed into the upper and lower control arms and need to be removed with a special tool. When removing the joints, you will almost always destroy them in the process, so make sure that you have replacement joints available when you put your suspension system back together. Once you're removed the control arms, you'll need to know how to properly press out the joint.
Things You'll Need
- ball joint press tool
Remove the retaining clip around the top of the ball joint with a pair of pliers. The retaining clip surrounds the top of the ball joints on some versions of the Beetle. Normally, this is used on the lower ball joint assembly rather than the upper ball joint assembly. Using the pliers, spread the clip apart and pull it off the top of the joint.
Place the ball joint press tool over both ends of the ball joint. The tool looks like a large c-clamp. The screw end of the clamp should sit flush with the top of the ball joint. The "cup," or bottom end of the clamp tool, should rest against the bottom of the control arm.
Turn the handle to tighten the ball joint removal tool ends over the ends of the ball joint. Make sure you are turning the handle clockwise to tighten the tool. The ball joint removal tool should be just tight enough so that it stays in place without you holding onto the clamp, but do not begin forcing the joint out of the control arm yet.
Check to make sure that the clamp is centered and do a final press by tightening the handle on the clamp. This will press the ball joint out of the control arm. You may need to apply a significant amount of strength to remove the ball joint from the control arm, but the joint should eventually press out.
- VW Beetle, Karmann Ghia Repair Manual 1966-1969; Bentley Publishers ; 1986
- Volkswagen New Beetle: Service Manual: 1998-2008, Including Convertible; Bentley Publishers; 2008
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