What is a Pickle Fork Used For?

Posted: January 21, 2020 By: MattM

If you’re a DIY repair type of person you probably are looking to fill your tool box with tools that are most commonly used when repairing your own vehicle. A lot of tools are specialized and necessary and a lot are “snake oil” tools that you can do the job without and save money. One of the tools that a lot of professional mechanics have in their tool box is a set of Pickle Forks. This isn’t just a funny sounding tool it’s actually a necessity if you’re doing suspension work on your vehicle.

A pickle fork isn’t just a long skinny fork you use to take pickles or olives out of a glass jar, it’s also a long narrow tapered tool you can use to separate ball joints and tie rod joints. We’ll save you the time and hassle; don’t just try hammering on a ball joint with a hammer to separate it. Ball joint shafts are tapered and as they are tightened into their location they press fit into the hole and even with the hardware off might not come off with hammering. You need to essentially press them out of their hole and that is where a ball joint separator or “Pickle Fork” comes into play. They have a sharp taper to them that allows you to tap the narrow end in between the base of the ball joint and their attachment on the spindle, control arm, etc. As you hammer the fork in it puts an extreme pressure at the taper and slowly presses the joint out. This can be done with standard manual pickle forks or by adding a ball joint separator to attachment to your air chisel. Either way this will save damaging your spindle or control arms and will save you time and money doing the work yourself.

Get yourself a set of Pickle Forks or all of our other DIY Suspension Tools HERE.

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