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Old 03-01-2004, 08:34 PM
69elcaminoss's Avatar
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bad pitman arm?

I had put in all brand new ball joints, inner and out tie rods, idler arms, and polygraphite bushings in my 69 El Camino.

I took it to the alignment shop and he said he can't set the toe because the pitman arm is bad. There is slop in the wheel.

ok, great, so I start looking on Ebay for a Pitman arm and they appear to have no bushings or anything to wear out.

So my question is, do these things wear out and if so how? They look like solid metal with no rubber.

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Old 03-02-2004, 01:37 AM
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Wears out where it hooks to the cross link. You can buy them at the parts store.

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Old 03-02-2004, 09:39 AM
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Ok thanks.

Now what exactly wears out because there doesn't appear to be a rubber bushing to wear so is it the metal that just gets "grooved out"???

By the way, the local parts places don't have that part, it isn't even in their book they said.
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:39 AM
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I agree with you 69, I can see the idler arm (have replaced a lot of those on Chevys!), drag links, and tie rods going out 'cause they have ball joint ends. Drag links on the other hand have a tapered, splined hole on one end and a tapered hole on the other which don't move. Did your mechanic mean 'drag link' instead of 'pitman arm'?
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:47 AM
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He was "certain" it is the Pitman arm and showed me where the slop was coming from. It is what hooks directly to the steering box.

I emailed a parts guy that had a pitman arm for sale on ebay and he said the metal can just wear out on the pitman arm. I just don't see how it would???
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:17 AM
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If they're ever lose for what ever reason, they are very soft, and they wear from moving, where there should be a tight fit. Sometimes you can just tighten them up and they will be ok.

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Old 03-02-2004, 11:57 AM
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Get out your 3/4" breaker bar and socket, put them on the sector shaft nut and lean on them!!

I can attest to the softness of these items. I was using the stock Corvair steering shaft/gear clamp on my Willys to adapt my stock Willys steering shaft to the reversed 'vair gear. The clamp was a rectangular block of steel with a 5/8" through hole that was splined about a third of its circumference, and had a slit up the side and a couple of through bolts to clamp to the hole onto the two shafts. Worked OK for several years but on one trip home from the store, it let loose (splines stripped out) and rotations of the steering wheel didn't necessarily correspond to changes in direction of the car. Very dicey trip! Needless to say, I immediately called Borgeson and got a good coupling.
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:26 PM
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The alignment guy wrenched the hell out of it but it didn't help.

I'm just going to to have to buy a new one.

Do you think I will need to have it aligned again after I put on the pitman arm???
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:44 PM
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Shouldn't. All that link does is adjust the relationship of the steering wheel to the turns left in the box. If your guy is satisfied that he got a good alignment already, nothing will change with a new pitman arm.
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