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Maybe these you tubes might help.
and this one
Oh trust me, I've watched them again and again to try to figure out what I could be doing wrong. Now the tool is broken...so it will help me to know what tool worked best for others. The one he uses in this video is the one that broke for me. Thank you for posting them, that will help this thread for others in the future I'm certain!
 

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I have read where the bolt stretches and some have had to replace the bolt with higher grade bolt. Sorry to hear you're having such a time getting parts replaced but then again it's a Lotus!
 

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What part of the tool broke? The only other way I know of removing and installing these in wishbones is with a hydraulic press.

@kfennell I think the issue is the body of the ball joint, not the tapered end in the upright.
 

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Can you post a pic of what you're trying? There are two tools Elise Shop has listed as ball joint tools, the splitter style one should work though plenty of people just us a hammer.
 

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I use this kind with great success. Sometimes you have to tighten it more then you would expect, but it always works.

View attachment 1255087
Yes, this type is what I was using. One of the tangs broke. I need to either order a new one (possibly different tool) or get this thing back together so that I can drive it to the shop on base where they have multiple options for tools. My problem is that I just moved to Germany and it isn't as easy as one might think getting something like this.

Funny thing about the tool is that when I mentioned the failure to the vendor for their QA they said it was cast...rather than forged as the original packaging states. By no means am I a metallurgist (and probably barely a mechanic/parts swapper at this point...even though I have a tattered old certificate that says I can repair helicopters)...but I thought cast and forged were different things. My old shop teacher swore by drop forged tools and cautioned against others.
 

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What part of the tool broke? The only other way I know of removing and installing these in wishbones is with a hydraulic press.

@kfennell I think the issue is the body of the ball joint, not the tapered end in the upright.
As crazy as it might sound...no I'm just trying to do what most people say is easy...separating the wishbone from the hub (steering arm). Track rod end came off just fine. I am certain there is something I'm missing. A trick that experience has taught everyone else...and I'm just learning. I know I'm in the older crowd here...but hey I'm just getting the hang of retirement from the Army...been focused on other stuff for a few years.

What it seems to me is that the scissors type tool that I had will only insert from about a 10 o'clock angle (when looking at the car, facing the working area). This may be why the SELOC instructions mention the fork-type tool as it isn't dependent on being inserted so that it can line up on the bolt.
 

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Ball joint separation is rarely "easy" :cool:, IMO.

Edit: I realize I wrote about the wrong joint (you are talking wishbone to plinth (which is what I think Lotus calls that thing that clamps the shims to the steering arm). The principle is the same but I use a bigger separator in this case a Kukko 129-0-25. You likely have to remove the plinth bolts to get the hub and upright out of the way.

I found those cast iron tools to be too crude and scary (I'm not surprised it broke) so I got a couple of German ones (you are in the right place). They are pricey but worth it. Pictured is a Stahlwille 12616 which is good for this small rod-end ball joint. Greasing the threads on the tool is recommended.

Lifting the suspension with a jack will open up the space a bit. Leave the nut on the bolt just far enough that the jaws of the separator can bear on the bolt the nut will prevent the whole arm shooting up at speed and smashing everything in its path. Once it is all neatly in place, tighten up (it will require quite a lot of load, enough to be nerve-wracking). Tapping (hitting) the side of the arm (not along the axis of the bolt or on the joint or tool at all) can provide a enough shock to break the bond. When I do the big joints in the cast iron upright, I hit it with a burst from the air hammer, and pop.

Good luck! I find it satisfying when they pop. 👍

PS: Is yours an Aluminium aftermarket steering arm (like the one pictured) or an OEM steel one? It will bear less abuse and may actually be tighter.

1255146
1255147
 

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While applying pressure with one of the ball joint tools shown above, apply heat to the arm with a propane torch.

If the arm is iron (I would not do this to aluminum), use the hammer trick mentioned above. When I use hammers, I use two, on opposite sides and hit the arm at the same time. You want to hit at 90 degrees to the tapered shaft.
 
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