OK So I tried to replace my ball joints last weekend(99 sonoma 4x4). The upper went fine, but with the lowers, i just couldnt get them to pop. I tried everything except heat(didnt have access to it at the time). So I took it to the mechanic on base, and he said that it was going to be a 4 or 5 hour job, because the axle has to come out. Is he right, I had the upper bj disconnected and the axle nut off, and it seemed to me like if the lower ball joint would have come loose I could have taken the steering knuckle out then replaced the lower bj? So why would the axle have to come out?