Hello I just recently removed upper and lower ball joints as I was replacing my wheel hub bearing assembly, i try to find out if and how to do it was able to find some info so as I did it i made a few pictures and want to share it with anyone in need of doing it.
I found a good article here from one of the users "THANK YOU" about the ball joints removal just did not have any pictures so mine will not be as detail but i put a picture or 2 http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php/topic,73298.msg1124753.html
refer to the above for great instruction on how to remove it I will just post a few pictures, with some description
Removing ball joints I would rate as DIFFICULT and you will need to rent a press (Ball joint removal kit)
On most of my photos you will see that the spindle is out.. that is because I was removing wheel hub assembly and it was so rusted/welded into spindle that i could not get it out of if without removing if totally.
As you will see on pictures my AV is pretty rusted in that area..
It's a 2003 Z71 4X4 1500
When I was removing mine I did not need to play with tension bar because I had access to it from other side, however i needed to remove what might be a lot more then just a tension bar; whole spindle
and the brake assembly and all... Before going at the first UPPER ball joint I put additional LIFT JACK under my LOWER control arm so that when UPPER BALL JOINT comes out of spindle the whole thing will not come tumbling down with great force! :
, I JACKED UP the lower control arm just 1/2 inch very little so that there is still some down force when i used fork to get the UPPER separated from spindle it helped a lot!
LOWER BALL JOINT I did not need to use the fork as it came apart much easier then the UPPER ONE
OK here is UPPER one in the press... NOTE if you have the CV Shaft still IN it might be harder when it comes to available room for you to work with, but you can follow other posters instruction for removing those.
UPPER gets pushed UP to come out of control arm; socket on top is receiving socket so ball joints slides into it and socket sits on the control arm surface around the top part of ball joint!
You can see a small crack just above the control arm.. it already started to come out when i took the picture, you are likely to use cheater pipe it will be much easier for you to turn the ratchet
and here she is out
Pieces I used for it the joint is out
NOW THE LOWER ONE:
LOWER one gets PUSH DOWN to come out; receiving socket touches the surface of the lower control arm on the bottom; around the ball joint's body so the ball joint slides into this socket! Remove the grease nipple, just brake it off!
Use a chisel to remove 4 pressed in securing crimps from the ball joint body. Do it BEFORE you start pressing out I just forgot to make the picture while I was doing it
Here is a press installed Note how I use the other jack to hold the control arm from dropping
Starting to come out
Now I removed the other round piece to push it in deeper so it comes out
here are the parts I used
And now they are both out
installing them you will use the different sockets from same tool-set just push them into position rather then pushing them out of position, once you get access to ball joints it's very easy, the hard part is getting to them, as I said earlier I was replacing my HUB ASSEMBLY BEARING so i figure I do them to, just make sure you use the press tools properly, but if you can do a brake job you should be able to figure out how to use all the sockets included in the press tool set.
on installing note i used some of the sockets from the set to put on the rubber gaskets on the ball joint they were harder to put on then installing and removing the joints themselves
Anyhow I just wanted to post these few pictures hopefully you will find them useful reference to playing with your ball joints and NO you don't need to buy a whole control arm
You will use a lot of force to push them out and in, but not to worry as long as you install the sockets from the tool correctly you will not hurt control arms, it will seem at first as they don't want to come out and there is nothing you can do, but don't loose your faith they will come out just keep on ratcheting