Author Topic: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?  (Read 346 times)

Offline stokester

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HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« on: April 12, 2019, 07:55:29 PM »
I need to remove and install new ball joints on a long delayed VW project. These are known to be difficult to remove and are over 50 years in the control arms.

Is this kit worth the price for this use or am I to look for a better kit or need a shop press?

Anyone with experience with this setup?

https://www.harborfreight.com/ball-joint-service-kit-for-2wd-and-4wd-vehicles-63279.html
Nick
Yorktown, VA

Offline goodfellow

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2019, 08:09:01 PM »
I have the older HF set (not the Maddox labeled set) and used it many times without any problems. That said, there are times when even the "C" press can't get them out and you have to resort to alternative means. Older VW joints are not easy to get out, and for the price of the "C" press -- $90,  I'd add a few more bucks and buy their 20T press. Before I had the "C" press I had the 20T press and it never failed to remove a corroded ball joint.

Also make sure you have the proper adapters in the basic set. I had to buy the add-on Master adapter set for some of the truck and 4wd jobs I was doing.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 08:11:49 PM by goodfellow »

Offline ken w.

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2019, 09:54:07 PM »
Sometimes you need to smack the bottom of the screw with a hammer to get the ball joint to move. This kit should work for you as long as the 3 rings are the correct size. I bought this set when I was out of town and needed it. I now lend this out instead of my SO set.

Offline stokester

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 01:08:41 PM »
I was thinking about that 20T press and the cost/benefit compared to the C-press kit.

Considering getting one and taking advantage of the free tool loaner program at the auto parts stores to get the adapters.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2019, 03:00:14 PM by stokester »
Nick
Yorktown, VA

Offline goodfellow

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 01:12:50 PM »
If I had to choose, I'd get the 20T shop press first. I consider that an essential piece of shop equipment for the serious DIY mechanic. Mine had paid for itself many times over -- especially in transmission/drivetrain work.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2019, 01:14:21 PM by goodfellow »

Offline Matt_T

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2019, 03:20:03 PM »
The Astro kit is cheaper than HF and probably higher quality too.

https://www.amazon.com/Astro-7865-Service-Tool-Adapters/dp/B00061SGJ0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=astro+7865&qid=1555273009&s=gateway&sr=8-1

I've got their master kit version and haven't found anything it won't remove yet.

Offline stokester

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2019, 04:33:35 PM »
The Astro kit is cheaper than HF and probably higher quality too.

https://www.amazon.com/Astro-7865-Service-Tool-Adapters/dp/B00061SGJ0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=astro+7865&qid=1555273009&s=gateway&sr=8-1

I've got their master kit version and haven't found anything it won't remove yet.
Thanks, it does look like a good kit.

So as far as a press, does it need to be 20T or is 12T enough?
Nick
Yorktown, VA

Offline goodfellow

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2019, 05:21:15 PM »
The Astro kit is cheaper than HF and probably higher quality too.

https://www.amazon.com/Astro-7865-Service-Tool-Adapters/dp/B00061SGJ0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=astro+7865&qid=1555273009&s=gateway&sr=8-1

I've got their master kit version and haven't found anything it won't remove yet.
Thanks, it does look like a good kit.

So as far as a press, does it need to be 20T or is 12T enough?

I've seen some very good 10T and 12T presses in my day, but they were quality built US made units. HF on the other hand is questionable -- even at the 20T level. That said, for the price the 20T press is good enough for most DIY projects, but I would not feel the same way about that HF 12T press.

Offline stokester

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2019, 05:28:22 PM »

I've seen some very good 10T and 12T presses in my day, but they were quality built US made units. HF on the other hand is questionable -- even at the 20T level. That said, for the price the 20T press is good enough for most DIY projects, but I would not feel the same way about that HF 12T press.
[/quote]
Good to know, I've been searching local listings looking for a good used unit.

Nick
Yorktown, VA

Offline geneg

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2019, 06:17:40 AM »
Unless you plan on more ball joint projects,  both Advance Auto & Auto Zone have tool rental programs.  You pay the price of the tool & get a full refund when you return it.  Of course their intent is to get you to buy the parts & supplies from them.  You don't have to trip over something that you use infrequently & another plus is that you can spend the "savings" on more tools.

Offline fatfillup

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2019, 08:47:04 AM »
I personally wouldn't buy the HF ball joint tool.  Not that I have any personal experience using one but I have seen several at sales that look like they didn't hold up.

I would go astro, OTC or rental

Offline skfarmer

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2019, 09:55:35 AM »
okay, call me stupid but i don't have a ball joint  tool and can't say  i have ever needed one. i don't have a lift or do suspension work very often. i do think one would come in handy for u joints and some other applications. if you follow the link posted above there are some master kits with lots of extra parts  ar some crazy low prices.

is there really that much difference between any of the made in china versions? from what i have heard and seen the biggest issue with any of them seems to be the threads getting stripped or damaged. seems to me like being careful and using plenty of lube on them would prevent much of that. i think all of the assorted adapters and the like would see more use  with my shop press than with a ball joint tool
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Offline goodfellow

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2019, 10:18:43 AM »
You're correct Harlan, most of the budget priced "C" presses are made in China -- regardless of who sells them in the US. The debate usually centers on whether the same manufacturer(s) makes all of them, and whether or not they are made to the same specifications. I don't know one way or the other, but have handled the Astro set, the old HF set, and the Powerbuilt set. Superficially, I can't tell the difference -- they look/feel the same. I always lubed the press screw on my HF set with anti-seize and never had an issue with stripped threads.

The Master Kit add-on from HF was a good buy because many folks purchased the higher end tool truck and OTC press sets, but found that the receiver cups and pressing discs in the HF set were good enough for most jobs --- versus purchasing the very expensive expansion kits from the tool truck.

As you stated, the Master Expansion kit alone is also a great choice for making a standard hydraulic shop press much more versatile. In fact I use the cups and discs much more with my hydraulic press than the "C" press.

Offline hofferwood

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Re: HF Ball Joint Kit worth it or not?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2019, 10:42:07 AM »
40 bux & free shipping-------14Pcs Master Ball Joint Remover Installer Adaptors

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XJP7TRK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 10:55:59 AM by hofferwood »
If it aint broke----fix it till it is-----there's nothing more permanent than a temporary fix.