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Stripped ball joint nut - Removal suggestions?

I was trying to remove the castellated (castle) lower balljoint nut and stripped it in the process. In my zeal I sheared off half of the “prongs” of the nut. The base of the nut is not very tall, and is not completely vertical - it sort of slopes up toward the prongs. I have two questions:

1) If I reinsert the cotter pin, and leave the balljoint nut as is, will it be safe to drive the car like this? Should I be concerned that the nut may loosen and be a safety hazard?

2) What can I do to remove the remainder of the balljoint nut? I think it will be difficult to do it with a nut splitter, because of how small the remainder is. Will a Dremel tool cut it?

Thank you for your help!!!

If you were removing the ball joint nut to replace the worn ball joint, then the ball joint requires replacement. If it was being removed to service another part of the suspension then a cotter pin can be installed and it should be good to go.

You can use a cut-off tool to remove the nut or cut thru the ball joint stud.


I have, with some success in the past, taken the next smallest socket for the nut and pounded it on with a hammer. This may provide enough bite to remove the nut. Obviously, an impact is a great thing the have to make this all worlds easier. If you don’t have one, you can try what I call the “poor man’s” impact. Get the socket on and give the ratchet a bunch of sharp whacks with a hammer.

Put a hack saw on the nut alongside the stud and cut it. It sounds as though there won’t be much to cut.

I’ve seen a “nut splitter” device at parts stores, but have never used one. It slips over the end of the stud and a chisel piece is screwed down to cut through the nut. Hopefully, it wouldn’t slip off the coned nut, or maybe you could figure a way to hold it in place.

If this is a metric nut, get the next smaller english measure socket and tap it onto the nut with heavy hammer. Same thing in reverse if this is an english nut. This is an old school method that works where very good sockets are used and kind of ruined in the process. But a very good socket costs about $7.

If this does not work, you need to get the part removed and repaired professionally. There is no way a Dremel tool will ever make a little dent. It’ll require an acetalene torch.

A good, strong cutoff wheel will cut right through it in fairly short order. In a professional environment, someone who’s good with a cutting torch can get it off even quicker. I only advise using a cutting torch to slice it off if you have plenty of experience with the tool and are confident you won’t damage anything else in the process.

I agree. Cutoff wheel mounted on a grinder or a dremmel will make quick work of this.