GM Truck Club Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I struggled with this most of the day yesterday. By far the worst part was trying to remove the pitman arm. Which required a special tool rental. (the pitman puller I bought was too small.

Now if I could get the idler arm pressed and the pitman pressed back to the steering box, I could finish the rest in probably 30 minutes. The idler wants to spin in place when I try to torque the locking nut.

The pitman arm is half pressed. I think my impact is not getting enough juice from my compressor.

Ideas? I'm thinking of putting the steering box partway bolted back to the truck, and using the large wrench to drive the arm into place. The idler arm I went and bought a regular bolt. I'm hoping to use that with the impact the drive down the idler arm, then run the locking nut.

Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,623 Posts
A C clamp on the idler should hold the taprers together enough to keep it from spinning while you tighten the lock nut. I don't know what problem you're having with the pitman arm because the splines should just slide on & engage, & the steering box should not be turning when you're torqueing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Is it possible to pull the gear out of the steering box with the pitman arm puller? I just had a neighbor take a look, and there really aren't any more threads to drive down the pitman arm, yet there is still about half an inch of travel before the backside of the pitman arm hits the steering box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,623 Posts
No I don't think that could pull it out. Two possibilities I can think of on the pitman. Have you got the taper going the right way? There is a taper to it, albeit subtle, but if you're putting it on with the small diameter first, it will never go, & it would act exactly like this one is doing.
Is the pitman arm the same thickness as the one you took off? If it's thinner than the original then it won't take up all the splined space on the shaft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Here's pics. When I pulled the old one, I put the new one right back on in the same orientation, on the same notches. I think. I mean I feel pretty positive except right now things don't seem to be fitting right.

Here you can see the pitman top. My neighbor pointed out, that there really aren't any more threads to push the arm down.



And from the side. You can see the 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch gap where there is still room to go, the old one rested right up against the rubber seal (if I recall correctly. I could be going nuts).



---------- Post added at 05:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:37 PM ----------

Pic of the old and new pitman next to each other.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,623 Posts
OK I went out & measured mine just to be sure. The arm measures .90" thickness at the splined end.
I also have a gap of .3025" between the arm & the seal, & I can see a lot of the actual splines on the shaft above the arm too, so you may be alright. The splines that are visible above the arm measure .19"

One other thing you should check is the spline orenitation. There are double splines on the arm & the shaft that have to be aligned to orient them in the proper position. If you have these mismatched then it would be trying to mash the splines as you were tightening it down. This is easy to check & you can do it without pulling the arm back off. If you look in your second pic down you can see a double wide spline on the shaft. Look at the inside of the arm & make sure the matching double gap in the arm is aligned with it.

** In that one pic it does look like the new arm is thinner than the original. Is that just a shadow that makes it look that way?? Did you ever measure the thicknesses?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,291 Posts
The old one looks thicker to me. What brand is the new one? Is it made in China?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
It appears that the new Pitman Arm is the one that is on the gearbox, if so it looks correct, It will not go on all the way to the gearbox. as for being able to pulll the Pitman shaft out of the gear box, the only way that could happen would be to break the pitmarm into, or bust out the bottom of the box. The pitman shaft has a large gear on top that will not fit through the bottom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I had another friend look at it, and he said it looked fine. I must have been imagining things that the original was pressed up against the gear box. Parts are Moog, and thickness of the arms are the same. One is closer in the pic so it's hard to tell in the photo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Another strange question. I'm literally one bolt away from being complete. I first lined up the center link with the pitman and idler arms and snug the bolts per 70lbs I believe on the torque wrench. But when I went to attach the lower center link the bolt holes would not line up no matter how much pushing or pulling I tried. The picture below the lower bolt would not thread.





I remove the nuts from the idler and pitman and attached the lower center link first this time, and there is enough room to attach the upper portion. Just wondering if it is strange at all that there will be a tension/load on the idler and pitman when I re-attach the bolts to the idler and pitman.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,623 Posts
Providing the replacement pitman & idler are the same exact dimensions as the originals, then what you are feeling is the resistance in the joints. But this is a good thing because you want them to be tight, not sloppy & worn like the old ones.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cmcolfax

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,291 Posts
Just wondering, whos the lift kit manufacture??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,291 Posts
Thanks for your answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
I am having a bit of a similar problem getting my replacement pitman pitman arm on

Took a lot of heating and beating and tensioning and even a little cutting to get the 12-yo OE one off.

New one is 4-spline, same as the old .

Oriented in the correct direction.

Splines on shaft cleaned, wire brushed and lubed with a thin layer of wheel bearing grease.

Splines on the inside of the arm lightly wire brushed.

Arm slides on to shaft, can feel splines engage .

Then STOPS .

Barely enough thread showing to even fit the lock washer and nut on.

Idler arm bracket and arm are in place, steering box is tight to the frame .

I was thinking about trying to create a sort of "die" using a ball joint too sleeve and a bottle jack to press it back on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I know its way late in the conversation but if anyone is looking for help on the same subject, the rubber seal should actually pull down to meet the arm. quite often when replacing the arm it looks like the arm threads up all the way because the boot is all the way down.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top