harbor freight ball joint separating tool

just quick report: got a HF ball joint separator thinking it would work to separate a drill chuck from a damaged arbor - drilled a hole through the arbor, put a pin
through it and clamped it down with the chuck body just above the vice jaws- put the separator (looks like a tapered fork) against the chuck - smacked it a few times with a hammer, and the tool split in half - so the tool is worthless. Tried a good quality (name brand) tool and it worked quickly and easily.
Next step, return tool to HF and get refund.
--
bill
to email me, to to my web page, www.wbnoble.com and find my email
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jaws-

it

You mis-use a tool by applying it to a task it was never intended to do, and it breaks.
You then deem the tool to be "junk."
I'm not a big fan of the Horrible Fright stuff, but in this case, I believe they would be well within their rights to refuse to refund your money.
Of course, I'm not expecting you to have the integrity to admit to them exactly how you broke the tool.
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Don't be ridiculous. You apparently haven't a clue what a ball joint separator is -- if it broke in the use he put it to, it would have broken in its intended use, too, only faster.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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thanks Doug - I was inclined to say something unkind to the poster who accused me of a lack of integrity, you have taken care of it for me so I won't waste my energy - too many folks are quick to accuse without any understanding.

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Hey, no problem -- I've had quite a bit more experience using ball joint separators than I'd really care to have had, so I know what kind of punishment they're supposed to be able to take, and it seemed to me that such an ignorant comment just *had* to come from somebody who likely had no idea what a ball joint separator is, and *certainly* had never used one. FWIW, I've used mine for purposes very similar to what you described in your post, and (as I'm sure you know) one doesn't apply anywhere near as much force in that application as when actually removing a ball joint.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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I made my own joint separator so I could pull the lower wheel off a band saw. Is it possible I abused it because I didn't know what make of saw it was? <G>
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wrote:

drill

pin

smacked

quickly

believe

separator

In 40+ years of automotive service and repair - along with race car and street rod building, I have acquired several ball joint separators - including the "tuning fork" style that is quite common.
If you look closely, most drill press chucks are tapered on the top - perhaps to allow the correct double-wedge separators to be used?.
A ball joint separator is designed to wedge the tapered joint apart.
It is much thicker in the wedge than the sides.
If you place it over a side-to-side taper - such as a drill press chuck - the taper spreads the tips apart - possibly.........TADA!......breaking the tool.
He probably would have broken a Snap-On separator mis-using it in such a fashion.
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"*" wrote: (clip) If you place it over a side-to-side taper - such as a drill press chuck -

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The OP went out and bought a "name brand" separator and used it without difficulty. Reread the original post. The radial taper will apply spreading force to the fork ONLY it it is wider than the gap. Do you suppose that HF makes a separator with a narrower gap than the name brand? More likely, true to its reputation, HF imports a Chinese separator made of inferior material. Probably with lead in the paint. Don't let the baby gnaw on any HF tools.
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I will add to this that the "name brand" tool was forged. Close inspection of the HF tool showed it to be welded from two separate pieces of steel of uncertain pedigree. The fracture was very jagged, not the clean fracture you get from decent metal properly heat treated. And, as Leo pointed out, the name brand tool seprated the parts very easily with no damage at all to the tool.

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wider

gap

The reason I own several different "tuning fork" type separators is that they DO come in different widths.....for various sized tie rods and ball joints.
Drive a tie-rod "tuning fork" onto a ball joint, and you, quite possibly. will have ruined the ball joint by nicking the taper with the too-narrow fork.
Oftentimes, you need a wider fork for the ball joints than tie rods.......and, if you use a wider ball joint tool on tie rods, you can sometimes separate the ball from the socket.......
......hence the need for several different-sized separators.

I will never argue the point of Chinese "quality." It really DOES suck!
But, tool mis-use IS tool mis-use.
Perhaps a Snap-On separator would have withstood the aforementioned miss-use......but, it would have been tool mis-use nonetheless.
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let's see here - to use a ball joint separator, you find one whose fork is about the right width, put it in place and hit it with a hammer. I took a ball joint separator, put it in a similar situation, though not a ball joint and hit it with a hammer - how is that abuse?

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is

a

joint

So, are you saying that it would not be tool abuse if you tried to remove a pressed-on axle bearing as long as you simply hit the tool with a hammer?
When you pick your teeth with the tool, you are abusing it.
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no, what I am saying is that the tool does not have a microprocessor driven ball joint detector embedded in it - to use it to separate a ball joint in the intended manner produces EXACTLY the same forces as using it to separate anything else in the same manner. This is no different than using a 1/2 inch open end wrench that came in an automotive mechnaics tool kit on a bolt that is on a swimming pool pump -
Perhaps you don't really understand how a ball joint separator is used. Others have explained it. I am now no longer going to reply to this, I quite frankly don't give a damn about your opinion, but it bothers me that you might be misleading others who read this and have less knowlege.
--
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