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Front end tools

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by lalojamesliz, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Aug 24, 2018 at 9:02 PM
    #1
    lalojamesliz

    lalojamesliz [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking at purchasing some tools to change ball joints and whatever else I'd need to on my cars. Since I'm doing the LBJ in my tacoma soon and I'm tired of renting tools I was looking at this. What do you guys think?
    OTC 6295 Front End Service Set https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002SRH7O/ref=cm_sw_r_em_apa_sinGBbEA6DH27

    I have a 08 sequoia, 14 Avalon, 02 taco, 91 celica and a 69 mustang that I've been working on. I guess I can try calling otc but I like to bug you guys :p
     
  2. Aug 24, 2018 at 9:57 PM
    #2
    lalojamesliz

    lalojamesliz [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That what I keep thinking. Just rent the tools... so I should buy a small 5lb sledge. I'll look for a ball joint press
     
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  3. Aug 25, 2018 at 7:47 AM
    #3
    JJ04TACO

    JJ04TACO Well-Known Member

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    I have owned a pickle fork for 20 years and used it once. Hammertime. Also, a ball joint press would fit into the same category as a used not very often tool (for me). I haven't needed one in a LOOONG time (I have Uniball UCA's. If I were you just buy some other tools that will help.

    That said, I did buy this tool, and OH MY GOD it saved me so much time. I didn't have to pull the UCA's off the truck to swap uniballs, and it worked PERFECTLY. It will likely be a tool I use once in a while but man, money well spent will save you time which of course equals money.

    https://allgermanmotorsports.com/uniball-tool
     
  4. Aug 25, 2018 at 11:39 AM
    #4
    skeezix

    skeezix Well-Known Member

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    I looked at that set when I changed my front axle but I cheaped out and bought two single ones that didn't fit and one of those clamp spreaders with the bolt on one end and the spreader on the other. $19 at Harbor Freight.

    When it slipped off it boogered the threads on the tie rod end.

    I did get my money back but also had to pay $45 for a new tie rod end. If I had it to do over again I would spend the $99 for the real McCoy.... :(
     
  5. Aug 25, 2018 at 1:10 PM
    #5
    slander

    slander Well-Known Member

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    The only tool I bought was the pitman puller, I think I paid like $12 for it AutoZone. I know there isn't a pitman arm on the truck, but it works on the tierods. Really useful tool for other stuff as well, definitely got my $12 bucks worth out of it
     
  6. Aug 25, 2018 at 2:13 PM
    #6
    Looiz

    Looiz Well-Known Member

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    ...blank canvas...
    lalojamesliz [OP] likes this.
  7. Aug 25, 2018 at 6:51 PM
    #7
    skeezix

    skeezix Well-Known Member

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    @Jamesboy2233

    1. I removed the nut on the tie rod end.

    2. I put the tool on the tie rod end with the bolt centered on the threaded end.

    3. I tightened the bolt and watched the other end open.

    4. The bolt became exceedingly hard to turn.

    5. It finally snapped. It did separate the tie rod end but actually broke the threaded end such that a small piece came off. The threads were boogered, but a couple of days later I was able to file them and put the nut back on without problems.

    I returned the tool to HF. Here is what I used:

    Harbor Freight Ball Joint Separator 200x200.jpg
     
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  8. Aug 25, 2018 at 8:09 PM
    #8
    lalojamesliz

    lalojamesliz [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Did you need a specific size or does it only a one size?
    I'll more than likely just rent or buy one of these. I did purchase a 5lb sledge btw :)
    Thanks everyone
     
  9. Aug 26, 2018 at 12:33 AM
    #9
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    I have all the tools if I need one I go buy it.

    My hours are seldom aligned with getting loaner tools Holidays seem to play into that as well .

    Might not work for every one

    i have had good luck with the OTC line
     
    lalojamesliz [OP] likes this.
  10. Aug 26, 2018 at 4:58 PM
    #10
    lalojamesliz

    lalojamesliz [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Your not helping me to just rent lol
    I like otc as well. I bought the hub grappler for my other car to replace the wheel bearings from Amazon for cheap because it was missing a couple special washers.
    I called otc to buy them and they sent me them for free and registered it for the lifetime warranty.
     
  11. Aug 30, 2018 at 3:47 PM
    #11
    lalojamesliz

    lalojamesliz [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I just rented this one. Thanks
     
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  12. Aug 30, 2018 at 4:23 PM
    #12
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    I can't speak for all the other vehicles, but for the Taco, all you really need are a pitman arm puller (this will take both the outer tie rod and the balljoint/lower control arm apart), and a balljoint press (the one that looks like a C clamp).

    https://www.eastwood.com/fairmount-...MI0ubC-PKV3QIVw0GGCh2fCA0WEAQYASABEgIyFPD_BwE

    The pitman arm pullers are like $15, I just bought one. The BJ press I've so far just rented since they're a little more pricey, and since I went to uniball UCA's I probably won't need one again.

    I struggled for a long time first time I did my upper BJs with this method using a 3 arm puller and a flatbar, etc... Took like 2 days and LOTS of swearing. 2nd time I did them I was actually replacing the upper BJs with a uniball UCA, but you still need to press the old ones out, and press in the plug adapter for the UCA/uniball. The proper tool here made ALL the difference. Even the clapped out rental tool made it go easier. I also set the adapter plugs in the freezer overnight and they almost fell into place.
     
  13. Aug 30, 2018 at 4:28 PM
    #13
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    I don't even like the expensive version of that tool, harbor freight or not. The pitman arm pullers seem to have a better purchase on the tie rod and the lower control arm so are less likely to jump around as it pops free.

    With any of these tools you just need to make sure you leave the castle nut most of the way on (but not tight, obviously). When the BJ or tre pops loose, it won't pop off and go flying into the next county.
     
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  14. Aug 31, 2018 at 9:12 AM
    #14
    skeezix

    skeezix Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I left the castle nut on when I did the job (don't know why though), judging by the way the OTR threads were damaged when the tool slid off. Here's what it looked like:
    20171122 Tie Rod Bolt 03 96 px.jpg

    In hindsight, I should have left the nut on and used a piece of 1/8 steel between the top of the nut and the tool. Oh well... :oops:
     
  15. Aug 31, 2018 at 9:45 PM
    #15
    Looiz

    Looiz Well-Known Member

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    When I rented that pitman arm tool from Vato Zone, the threads on the bolts were toast. I went by the hardware store (2 doors down) and picked up some longer and fully threaded bolts and wing nuts, less than $5 total.

    Good luck with the install.
     
  16. Sep 1, 2018 at 6:28 AM
    #16
    lalojamesliz

    lalojamesliz [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It went great, thanks . Usually when I rent tools like this, they are new..... like I'm the only one who's used it new. The only tools I've rented that were beat up is spring compressors.
    I guess people where I live dont like to work on cars.....
     
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