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  #1  
Old 02-15-2009, 10:09 PM
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Chuck Brown Chuck Brown is offline
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pitman arm removal procedure

Hey Guys,

I just came back from the shop trying to get my head around how Im going to get my pitman arm extracted from my steering box and draglink. I've gone through the related threads on the pitman removal and need to come to you fellas for one last moment of direction.

I'll probably end up having to purchase the pitman removal tool since theres no Autozones or much in the way of tool rental places in these parts, and guaging from what Ive read a cheaper pitman puller might not survive, so I wanna get this right on the first round.

I spent the day hitting both ends with penetrating oil and some good hard taps with the BFH, now heres what Im hoping to figure out:

-Do I try to pull the draglink side of the pitman arm first and then go to work on the steering box side?

-Is it safe to use the picklefork on the steering box end of the pitman arm, as I'm sorta concerned about stripping out the threads from excessive force?

Thanks in advance fellas, Ive been handing the BJ's 6" lift on my own in my spare time, usually getting in maybe 2 hours a night, and after 2 weeks of this business Im starting to get pretty worn down and just want it all over with now.

Chuck Brown
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2009, 10:25 PM
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Marc Marc is offline
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Hey Chuck,

I've got one off in the past with a pair of pickling forks. I recall a pair because the sector shaft was too big for the forks I had and banged one in on opposite sides. Don't know if it would damage stuff though? I had no problems with my sterring box after I did that. But I was running some decent sized swampers without a sway bar so it was a bit squirrely anyway heading down the road. Good luck getting your project wrapped up.



Marc
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2009, 10:27 PM
Scoot Scoot is offline
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Don't hammer on the sector shaft on the steering box. Use a pickle fork on the drag link tie rod end and just replace it, (you probably need to anyway). Then use your puller to remove the pitman arm. When you use the pickle fork on a tie rod end they are usually toast. Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 02-15-2009, 10:31 PM
FSJ Guy FSJ Guy is offline
 
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I used the parts store's rental pitman arm remover. Worked great with an impact. It keeps going until it just "pops" off. Nothing like the right tool for the job.

Whatever you do, don't pound the whee out of it!
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:36 PM
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malodin malodin is offline
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I have sucessfully removed a pitman arm using nothing but a 5lb axe blunt side, all you have to do is get the nut loose and leave it on the threads, then just hit the pitman arm(not the shaft) one or 2 good solid wacks (dont use just the little 12" sledge hammer style, you need a long whack) the taper on the shaft creates a slide so to speak.

i have used this technique for removing everything from a pitman arm to a tierod without any adverse effects.
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  #6  
Old 02-16-2009, 04:24 AM
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My pitman arm was stuck to the point that even an impact wrench on the puller wouldn't work. Out came the torch and heated up the pitman arm for only a couple of seconds. Popped off like butter.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:44 AM
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When the puller didn't work for me, I resorted to heat as well.

For the tie-rods, all I did was give it a wack on either side of the pitman arm to oval it, on the micro scale, and the drag link just fell out. Easy as pie for that one. You can bet I gave a sigh of releif.
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2009, 08:03 AM
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2009, 08:07 AM
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What size is the nut that holds the pitman arm on? My largest is 1 1/4 and its too small also am I going to be able to break it free with only a 1/2" drive breaker bar or is this something were I'll need a 3/4" or a really strong impact?
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2009, 09:01 AM
FSJ Guy FSJ Guy is offline
 
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I used a huge *ss pipe wrench. I bought it at auction just because it was cool looking and cheap. Never thought I'd actually USE it! LOL!
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  #11  
Old 02-16-2009, 09:31 AM
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847JeffL 847JeffL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSJ Guy
I used a huge *ss pipe wrench. I bought it at auction just because it was cool looking and cheap. Never thought I'd actually USE it! LOL!

That's what I was afraid of, I think I'll get the lift finished then take a short drive to my mechanic and let them play with the pitman. I don't want to keep spending money on tools I'll only use once or twice.
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  #12  
Old 02-16-2009, 11:21 AM
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Chuck Brown Chuck Brown is offline
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Thanks for the direction so far guys. I found a shop that will rent me a puller for $16/day and had a buddy drop off his collection of pickle forks this morning. Heres the thing that I need to get clear, and maybe Im just doing a bum job of describing it, but here goes:

The pitman arm is still connected to both the steering box and the drag link.

Which side should I attempt to pull first?

Because looking at it, the tension is such that they are both pulling in opposite directions, so if I really crank on the puller on the steering box end, will I still be able to clear the splined shaft (keep in mind, its still attached at the drag link side)?

OR

Do I go after the drag link/tie rod side with the pickle fork and beater FIRST, and just mentally accept that the tie rod and boot are gonna be destroyed in the process?

Thanks as always boys, I always feel better going after a problem if I know somebody else has been down the road ahead of me.

Chuck Brown
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2009, 11:41 AM
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zmjeeps zmjeeps is offline
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Disconnect the drag link from the pitman arm first. Use the collection of pickle forks, should go easily. Then take the pitman arm off at the steering box. When I have one that is stuck, I use two 5# mini sledges, one in each hand and smack both sides at one time (bring the hammers together and hit the ARM (not the shaft) at one time. Its a tapered shaft and the distortion from the two hammers is enough to pope it loose.

Zack
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