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Thread: Idler Arm

  1. #1
    Jr. Mechanic dfhollums's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Elmore, Elmore Co., AL

    Default Idler Arm

    I am attempting to replace the idler arm on my wife's 1999, 1/2 ton, 2wd Chevy Suburban. According to a video I watched on 1A the steps on removing it were as follows: 1. Remove the nut connecting the arm to the steering linkage. 2. Using a joint separator (pickle fork) and a good hammer insert the separator at the joint above the linkage and use the hammer to knock it loose. 3. Remove the three bolts that attach the other part of the idler arm assembly to the truck's frame. 4 Go back to where the joint and steering linkage were knocked loose, then pull the linkage down to remove the treaded part end of the idler arm and work the whole assembly out and off of the truck. I have gotten to step 2 using the pickle fork and a 3 lb. sledge I have hammered at the joint off and on for over two hours (I had to take a breather every now and then), but the joint does not separate, it just sits there laughing at me. I even removed the nut that connects the inner tie rod end to the steering linkage hoping that would help loosen the idler arm joint up. Nah, still doesn't work! What other suggestions do y'all have?
    Last edited by dfhollums; 06-08-2013 at 04:16 PM.

  2. #2


    Two methods I had to use in the past that are normally successful:
    Air hammer with a pickle fork, the repeated hammering will normally break them loose.
    Or a gear puller to pull it off.

  3. Thanks dfhollums thanked for this post
  4. #3
    Jr. Mechanic dfhollums's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Elmore, Elmore Co., AL


    tbplus 10, I'll give that a try tomorrow and give ya a holler back and let you know the results. I reckon I need to fit the end of the fork into a snug fitting impact socket, correct?

    - - - Updated - - -

    tbplus 10, I had a brief misunderstanding I read "impact hammer" and kept thinking of my impact gun, but the light come on finally! Yeah, I have one of those, also! Been a long day!

  5. #4


    Fyi, I replaced ALL the linkages under the front of my K1500 Burban about 3 weeks ago. I punded on that same joint for about 2 hours and it finally broke. I went to a 10lb sledge, a piece of wood to hold the sepirator forks in place, and a veerrrrrryyyy accurate hit over about 30 minutes

    Exhausting and frustrating, but it does come apart. You might want to order the idler arm mount while you are at it. get the one from moog for $40 with the remote mount fittings for grease. Well worth it and only takes about 5 minutes to change out.

  6. #5


    Ditto on the air hammer with the pickle fork... With a hammer your just beating it. That should break it lose... I have had to heat (but not glowing red and watch for the joint) then a little and spray some dw on them. Of course it smokes..etc.. the hot metal expands then shrinks as it cools fast and will suck the oil down into the collar when it cools..
    Good luck... Michael

  7. #6


    on my 2003 z71 tahoe i ended up just torching the idler and pittman off. And put all new stuff under there. Nothing would budge even with a 15# hammer.
    2000 ECSB Silverado 2WD
    LQ4 with Isky 215 Turbo Cam
    4L80E KB Racing S475 Turbo Kit

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