New steering box off a tooth?

Discussion in 'Stock Suspension + Bolt On Kits' started by Chris253, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. tinfoil_hat

    tinfoil_hat I'm Awesome

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    I think the shaft on the box has keyed splines every 90° which means you can't really put the pitman on wrong without being a full 1/4 turn off. But don't listen to anything I have to say because I put one in last week and broke my clock spring and the box might be bad anyway.

    Since we are talking about swapping boxes multiple times, what is the right tool for yanking the pitman at the center link without ruining the boot?
     
  2. east302

    east302 I'm Awesome

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    Without ruining the gasket/donut thing, in theory they make the jaw puller that will fit over it. Clearance is probably an issue. I used a pickle fork and managed to not completely destroy the little ring. It tore in one place, but went back together well enough.

    The splines are as you say, it will only go on one of four ways and it would be noticeable if it was on wrong when you tried to put the box back in.


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  3. tinfoil_hat

    tinfoil_hat I'm Awesome

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    I have seen refrence to a puller that drives the shaft up through the centerlink but I can't find the tool. There are tie rod end pullers but I don't know if that would work.

    It's a heck of a coincidence seeing this thread since I was just going to post something similar. In my case, it feels like I have no power assist when making slow turns right. I had full turning radius on the jackstands and I didn't notice any problems the first three days of driving. I ruled out the pitman being in the wrong position for those reasons. I was wondering if I had a bad box or if maybe it could be an air bubble I didn't get. Don't have time to tear into it until Friday at the earliest.

    I bought an ACDelco box off Rock Auto. Love Rock Auto. Buy everything from them if possible. Even with the cost of shipping they still beat O'Reilly and Amazon by $60.
    But.... If the box is bad, I am going to just request a refund and then head down to O'Reilly. If I need to try 2-4 boxes before getting a good one, I would rather get it near by than wait for round trip shipping.

    Like others have said, took me 3 hours to get the first one out but I can probably do it in 30 mins next time.
     
  4. east302

    east302 I'm Awesome

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    I have a puller that “should” work but I think something interferes with it. I messed with it for a few minutes and then said to hell with it and knocked it apart with a pickle fork. I was replacing the pitman arm anyways.

    The little gasket thing is just a foam ring. Worst case, you could buy a cheapo pitman arm just for the gasket and zerk fitting in case you lose it. There were some pretty cheap versions available on RockAuto.

    I did try the Delco box (Amazon) and it was loose as hell. Could’ve been a bum part, who knows. Hopefully yours is good right from the start. I have a BlueTop box in it now and it’s noticeably tighter. Red Head would be another option. All are competitively priced with the Delco reman...and they’re all just reman Saginaw boxes regardless of who builds them.


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  5. tinfoil_hat

    tinfoil_hat I'm Awesome

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    The Redhead is easily $160 more than the Delco I bought off Rock. Have not heard of Bluetop but I will check them out.
     
  6. east302

    east302 I'm Awesome

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    Lol, oops I didn’t remember there being that much of a price difference.


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  7. mistaake

    mistaake Real Name: Michael

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    I've had ACDelco from RA, another one from RA, one from Napa, and two from O'Reilly be sloppy. They're all Cardone garbage. The one in my Suburban now is from O'Reilly and it's not great but it's tolerable. That said, they should all be centered out of the box, and like the instructions say, don't mess with it. Next time around I'll go Redhead or BlueTop.
     
  8. Chris253

    Chris253 Newbie

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    I didn't even consider the pitman arm being off a tooth. I'll probably just buy a new box and an oem pitman arm instead of the pepboys junk. I also lose some power assist when making full turns. I'm going to change the steering sensor and the rag joint, and probably the pump since that's about the only thing that is currently original. Hopefully that will fix it.
     
  9. tinfoil_hat

    tinfoil_hat I'm Awesome

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    The point being you can't be off by one tooth. You would have to be off by 90°.
    New box would be sweet but you are looking at like $600.
     
  10. tinfoil_hat

    tinfoil_hat I'm Awesome

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    I think this is the tool I was looking for. The jaws clamp on the centerlink, not the pitmam itself. the screw presses against the threaded shaft on the small end of the pitman. This lets you yank the pitman without damaging the boot. Unfortunately these things are $40-$90.

    outer tie rod puller.jpg
     

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