Thank You Previous Owner

In this post I take time to thank (not really) whichever previous owner thought this would be a good idea:

Heim link stuck on suspension wishbone

I’m not talking about the colour, even though I’m not sure what possesses someone to fit burgundy-anodized components on a vintage Ferrari, I’m talking about the fact that I have not been able to get the damn thing off! It is, in fact, one end of a heim joint (also called a rose joint or rod end bearing). It’s shown connected to the shaft that extends from the lower rear wishbone to link it to the anti-roll bar. In order to refit the OEM bar and its drop link, I need to remove this joint.

Ferrari 308 rear suspension

Here is the link as it was on the car. Note the large numbers of washers needed just to make the generic Saner anti roll bar fit the 308.

Ferrari 308 aftermarket Saner anti roll bar

Obviously it did not come off as easily as it should. Heat did nothing except smoke out the lubricant within the bearing. Next up, penetrating oil… nope… did nothing. I rented the smallest pickle fork available from Advance Auto Parts but it was still too big. The last resort… before trying to cut the stupid thing off with a hack saw… was a small-scale bearing splitter and puller set, purchased specifically for this job.

Miniature bearing puller set

First up I tried the two pulling arms. I thought if I could use them to grasp either side of the joint, I might be able to pull it straight off of the shaft. The following photo was taken seconds before the puller slipped off center and scattered its constituent parts all over one side of my workshop.

Ferrari 308 heim joint removal

Before rejecting this tool as well I had the idea of using the bearing splitter to support underneath the joint and then pulling on the the splitter. Sure enough there were some threaded holes in the splitter and some shafts to connect it to the beam. Time for puller – version two:

Bearing puller

This proved to be a far better approach. Immediately the joint started to move and revealed the reason for its stubbornness. There was rust between the shaft and the joint!

Rust on Ferrari 308 suspension

Another problem solved but somehow I don’t think this will be the first ‘Thank You Previous Owner’.

Rose joint removed

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