What tells you it isn't in all the way? If the inner joint isn't fully seated in the transmission, wiggle it up and down. Look at that boot. If it's stretched out too far, the inner joint came apart when you pulled the shaft out. We normally don't pull the shaft out of the transmission to replace an outer boot, but having the installing tool helps.
If the inner joint is okay and the outer joint is through the wheel bearing, but you can't push the spindle in far enough to reassemble the ball joint stud, most likely the outer joint isn't fully seated onto the shaft. You should be able to just tap the joint on, but if the circlip slid off far enough to the side, you might have yo go in there and spread it while you're pushing the joint on all the way. There's no point in banging on the joint or using excessive pressure. If the inner part with the splines isn't lined up, no amount of force will convince it to go on. Same if the circlip isn't centered on the end of the shaft. Once both are lined up, it just takes a little pressure with one hand to pop the joint on.
If you have to go in after the circlip to expand it, you can use an expanding angled snap-ring pliers. There is also a tool made for this job that is also used on the rear wheel cylinder retaining clips GM foolishly used in the '70s and '80s. Both of these tools are more work than they're worth though. The joint usually pops on if you play with it enough.
Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 AT 2:19 AM