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Old 03-12-2006, 12:45 PM
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Pitman Arm Question

Im about to replace the pitman arm on my 73 chevy nova, my first time so any tips or need to know info would be great :0) My hanes manual was kind of lacking in this depo.

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Last edited by trenchdog73; 03-12-2006 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 03-12-2006, 02:08 PM
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Only hard part is getting the tapered studs to let loose on the old arm. Even that isn't too bad w/ the right tools. take out the cotter key and remove the castle nut. USe a 5# sledge to back up and a large ball peen to hammer with and beat the side of the boss holding the tapered stud w/ a few good blows. 5# on one side and ball peen on the other. This should start the loosening and may even pop the stud free with no more work. If it is still stuck you need to get a 'pickle fork' which is a tapered fork with heavy duty steel handle that you drive between the ball joint and the boss, wedging the stud free. Harbor Freight sells them for a few $$. That's all there is to it. Just bolt the new one in place & don't forget the cotter key.
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Old 03-12-2006, 02:30 PM
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ty for the info
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Old 03-12-2006, 04:35 PM
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Also..........most of the chain auto parts stores " LEND " a pickle fork out.....with a small deposit....if you do not want to buy one....

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Old 03-12-2006, 05:28 PM
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Deuce, you are totally wrong on that one. Don't you realize that every time you do a DIY you tell the Misses that you need a new tool? That goes double when it is a honey-do project. Can't POSSIBLY do the job with out two more new tools.
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:03 PM
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Does anyone know what size the nut on the steering box not the centerlink is. my 1 1/4 isnt big enough so Ill have stop and pick up a wrench or socket to fit. the 1 1/4 is just a bit too small so i was just ganna go next size up, but knowing might save me a extra trip :0)
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:40 PM
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pitman arm nut

They are almost all 1 5/16 ,they have been that size for the last 25 or 30 years.
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Old 03-12-2006, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willys36@aol.com
Deuce, you are totally wrong on that one. Don't you realize that every time you do a DIY you tell the Misses that you need a new tool? That goes double when it is a honey-do project. Can't POSSIBLY do the job with out two more new tools.

I hear you but he's 21......possibly does not have a wife and could use the money he would spend on the tools to persuade some girl to be a " 1 night wife "
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce
I hear you but he's 21......possibly does not have a wife and could use the money he would spend on the tools to persuade some girl to be a " 1 night wife "
lol I appreciate the consideration, its a balancing act with the funds between betty(my car), School, ladies and going out with my buds. Too bad im not dutch :0/
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:41 PM
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now that i have the right socket I went to it today. everything was smooth till i tried to take off the old pitman arm. Damn thing wont budge attempted the way listed above for starters then whipped out my pitman arm puller and still nothing after about 20 minutes of banging. Is heat a viable way to go here?
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Old 03-13-2006, 08:05 PM
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Time to drag out the two hammers. 5# back up on one side of the boss holding the tapered shaft and big ball peen on the other. Whack it HARD and it will likely let loose by itself. You can't hurt it. Then try the pickle fork. I never had much luck w/ the screw type pullers.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:43 PM
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Are you talking about the jointed end or the gear end? Don't use heat on the gear end, or you might damage the seal. I had one that wouldn't budge until I put the puller on it and put it under tension, then hit both sides of the arm at the same time with a couple of hammers. Popped off with a big bang.
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:18 AM
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I was not thinking of using heat near the gear box but on the other end. Im going to attempt the two hammer method again today. We had a bit of a cold snap here in chi and sense my garage isnt heated I let it sit for the last couple days. I do have the pickle fork puller, I feel stupid asking but this doesnt get used on the geared end right? I cant seem to wedge it between the center link and the pitman arm.
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:57 AM
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Correct, no pickle fork on the gear end, just on the link end.

Keep the pitman puller for that end, and no heat if you plan to reuse the gearbox/seal. Just keep trying the above methods of keeping tension on the puller, and smacking the arm with 2 hammers, 1 as a backup/anvil, or smacking simultaneously. Using 2 hammers opposite like this helps both to strike a harder blow, and also to not damage the gearbox.

Keep out of the way, or put the nut back on a few threads if you can. When they get stuck like that and the puller is cinched down tight, they can fly off with tremendous force once they pop.
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:01 PM
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just got back on this today lol took a little longer to get back to it then I thought. Got it off put the new one on. torqued the shaft bolt to 140lb as it says in my manual. My question is how much of a gap is usually left between the pitman arm and the steering box.
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