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Old 04-22-2003, 10:14 AM
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Post Pittman Arm help

I'm changing my 80 GMC Diablo to manual steering, I've gotten everything done, but didn't realize that the power steering pittman arm had a larger diameter hole in it compared to the manual version. GM has discontinued this item. Is there anyone who can help me find a Non Power Steering Pittman Arm for an 80 Elcamino/Diablo/Malibu/Chevelle & the list goes on, but I need one for a manual steering box.

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Old 04-22-2003, 11:31 AM
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This is probably a dumb question but have you tried you local junk yard? I can't imagine you won't find one there.
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Old 04-22-2003, 12:25 PM
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I've been looking hard, there is one yard that I still have to hit. The manual boxes have a smaller splined shaft than the power boxes & the manual cars are hard to find apparently. I've gone to far to turn around. The part will be found.
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:10 PM
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Bummer! Most junk yards have a radio network they can call other yards for a parts search. Have you tried that? Most of the time they are too lazy to do it and you need to gently coax them.

Also, I have had great luck in finding hard-to-find parts by contacting those huge junk yards in Arizona that advertise in Hemmings. Try them.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:34 PM
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jamnut, do you have some dimensions?
i've got a flaming river pitman arm that might work.
it's got a slight drop to it and i think center to center it was 5 1/2".
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Old 04-22-2003, 04:40 PM
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http://www.hemmings.com/hemmings/searchesnew/parts/searchindex.cfm?fa=searchpage2&tablename=vPartsSea rch&&make=chevrolet&model=el%20camino&type=&year1= 1980&year2=1980&keyword=parts

[ April 22, 2003: Message edited by: willys36@aol.com ]</p>
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:39 AM
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The guy that rebuilt the steering box, says that he has a arm that will work. It seems like manual steering rear drive GM cars got really rare in the 70's & 80's. I could have gotten a million pittman arms off of 1/2 Ton Pickup Trucks with the right spline size from the Junk Yard, but the arm size was wrong & had the wrong type of other end on them. Year One is showing one for a 68 & 69 camaro that might work, but I'm going to wait until my neighbor with all of the First Gens gets home so I can make sure. Thanks for the help guys & it won't be the last.
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Old 04-23-2003, 09:47 PM
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If you can get one from the pickup that has the right spline you might still be in luck. You can safely reshape it by heathing it red hot and bending it to the right shape. Then let it cool VERY slowly and naturally - DON'T quench it in water. Then if it has a ball end, just take it to a machine shop and have the ball cut off, a hole drilled and the hole taper reamed to recieve the rod end. I am putting Toyota Land Cruiser power steering in my '53 Chevy pickup and I had to do all those procedures to the pittman arm and now it works great. I bought a taper reamer from Speedway Motors for $70 but I will be using it a bunch of times on other jobs so could justify the expense.
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Old 04-24-2003, 05:30 AM
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Thanks for the info willys36@aol.com. The ball end was the problem. Re-doing it would have been a pain. And not to mention that it has to be drilled at a taper. The sad thing is that the Manual Steering mod was just a sideline thing while I do a complete drive train swap. Now the drive train is going great, but the steering is killing me. <img src="graemlins/boxing.gif" border="0" alt="[boxing]" /> It's gonna take me a week to get the steering all worked out. And the end result is gonna be a car that's harder to turn. On the other hand, this car is going to see more track time than cruising time & with Skinnies on the front it won't be that hard to turn.
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