Calls for a big hammer and lots of releasing fluid. If the ball joint is stiill attached to the lower suspension arm - try this. Squirt plenty of releasing agent round the area concerned - be careful not to spray the brake components. I assume you have the car jacked up and the wheel removed. Place a prop or large lump of timber under the hub of the brake disc - let the car down gently till it touching - then using another block of wood or a punch drive the lower suspension arm downwards. Ensure the car is adequately supported otherwise you may knock it off the jack and other supports. You may have to hammer the arm up and down a few times to get it released. Keep spraying release agent as eventually it will assist removal. When fitting the new one (don't even think about using a second hand one) make sure the fitting areas are really clean. It is also recommended a new pinchbolt be fitted - after all that all thats keeping it together and you from falling of the road. Good Luck!
Sorry hutchy - I thought you had the pinch-bolt removed - it can be very difficult to remove at times - but again I suggest soaking it with plenty of releasing agent - preferably overnight. Have you tried turning it from the bolt end. Screw the nut back on until its flush with the threads of the bolt and using a punch or bar tap it back and forth - don't overdo the hamering or you may damage it to the extent it wont come out at all and you will then need to dismantle the whole suspension system. To gain access I usually remove the brake caliper - so you can see what's happening. Don't be tempted to use heat as it can cause damage to the driveshaft boot and the wheel bearing. Once the pinch-bolt is removed you can proceed as I described earlier. I hope this helps. Let me know how you get on!
Well I finally got the balljoint and pinchbolt out!!!! I ended up taking the whole hub assembly off and putting it into a bench vice and hammering the pinchbolt out. No wonder it was tough to get out as it looked like a banana. I think it had been over tightened originally! The torque for the pinch bolt seems a bit light though only 80NM.?
Hi Paul Hutchy - yeh they can be an absolute pain at times (those pesky pinchbolts) - they are made from a fairly soft but tough steel - this is to reduce the risk of cracking and metal fatigue as you can appreciate it is subjected to a lot of shock and vibration. Yeh the torque seems to be quite low as overtightening will only stretch it - which in itself will create further stresses. Thats why it is always recommended this bolt be replaced each time it is used - similar to cylinder head bolts which are a use-once only type. I have looked through my Haynes manual for the Clio and I notice the recommended torque setting is 55Nm or 41 lb/ft. So your settings seem to be quite similar and remember the settings are for a new bolt. From what you say it seems like someone before you has done a butcher job on it and probably bent it trying to get the bolt in - obviously bending it cos it wasn't aligned - that's why it is important to have everything nice and clean during assembly. Good Luck