The very next day after this, I went and got myself a “proper” ball joint separator. It was the right thing – did the job in a matter of minutes. Didn’t even have the time to make tea.

The other end of the rod had a torn boot, so I took that off, too. Again, without tea.

Here’s how it looks.

Ball joint separator and tie rod with torn boot

The separator is made of pretty good steel, and the pushing screw has a ball joint of its own, to reduce friction while turning. If you intend to make one, take these factors into consideration.