Replacing the pitman arm.....

Discussion in 'Stock Suspension + Bolt On Kits' started by Wilecoyote, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. Wilecoyote

    Wilecoyote OBS Enthusiast

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    I've got a 98/9 k1500 4x4 and discovered the pitman has a lot of slop, while I replaced the idler and bracket about a month ago. Seems the previous owners let jiffy boobs grease the steering and the only fittings that were greased were the ball joints and the tie rods. I'm sure I'm the first person to ever remove the front shield while replacing the idler/pivot. It made a big difference in the steering but I did not have time to do the pitman and now I've got time to do it.
    I saw a youtube video a month or so ago where a guy just unbolted the steering gearbox from the frame , pulled it forward as the steering shaft let it slide and got access to remove the arm from the center link and pull the arm off w a puller and an air gun. He may have removed the sway bar too.

    Has anybody done this before or does anybody have a link to the video? I can't find the vid anymore. Any advice or tips are appreciated, Randy.
     
  2. Wilecoyote

    Wilecoyote OBS Enthusiast

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    I found the video...

     
  3. 885speed

    885speed Newbie

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    Just replaced most all of my steering components a few months ago minus the steering box and rag joint. I never unbolted the steering box from the frame, but I also have a 2wd truck. I doubt that your front diff/axles are in the way, but I would get a good look at it before getting in there if I were you.

    Mine was as simple as this..
    remove center link
    remove pitman arm nut
    pull pitman arm off with puller
    then obviously reverse for install.

    No clearance issues for me getting the tool in there or anything. But like I said, double check for clearance on yours before you dig in.

    Only other thing I could say that would be good practice, is once the old pitman arm is off I would recommend to clean and lubricate the threads on the steering box so that gives some cheap insurance that it all goes back together more smoothly.
     
  4. Wilecoyote

    Wilecoyote OBS Enthusiast

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    The 2wd suspention is not like the 4wd. There is a wide, welded to the frame cross member under the steering box and the pitman is very close to the crossmember. You could probably get a wrench on the nut on the steering shaft, but trying to pull the arm off would be about impossible because of the lack of clearance between the end of the shaft and the top of the crossmember.
     
  5. delta_p

    delta_p OBS Chevrolet, When Silverado Was A Trim

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    2WD is easy access for all steering components. The box comes out easy if needed to change seals or rebuild, and reinstall.
     
  6. tinfoil_hat

    tinfoil_hat I'm Awesome

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    I can see how it would be possible to pull the arm without completely removing the gearbox but I am not sure how you would properly torque the nut without having the box supported somehow. The torque value is something like 180 ft/lbs. When I did mine I removed the fan and shroud, as well as the wheel well cover but then again I was doing the box as well.
     
  7. motorfortoy

    motorfortoy Newbie

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    Yes I changed my pitman arm and Idler arm this summer 2019 on 1998 Chev 1/ ton Z71. Take off nuts on Idler Arm and Tie rod end break tapper on both. Remove 4 bolts holding steering box - move steering box back to give enough room for puller take off nut and pull pitman arm. My idler arm was still ok but I changed it well I was in there. Put back together - not a hard job. The hardest part I had was lining up Steering box bolts by myself I got the wife out and helped put in the bolts.
     
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  8. Wilecoyote

    Wilecoyote OBS Enthusiast

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    Ya, I got the steering gear moved behind the x member and was trying to pull the arm off w a puller rented from advance. The arms of the puller were to thick to fit between the gear and the arm. I pulled one side of the dust cover out trying to pry them in postion and some fluid came out. I figure the lower seal is leaking.I dont want to put a new arm on the gear only to switch it to a new one so I put it all back together. I had my brother help w getting the bolts back in. I'm gonna wash the area to find all the leaks. It seems the oil cooler lines are leaking and possibly the power steering too. The gear is pretty good and maybe i'll just change the seals and change the arm w the box out of the truck.
     
  9. Wilecoyote

    Wilecoyote OBS Enthusiast

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    I'll use a 1/2 impact to install it. It took one to get the nut off because w the box unbolted there is no way to hold it still and try to break the bolt loose w a wrench or breaker bar. I think the steering u joint would be damaged if you tried.

    By the way anyone replacing the pitman, the nut on the steering gear is a 33mm and you'll want a 6 point. There is no SAE equivelant. I bought a HD, deep one @ an industrial tool /materials company.They were out of the short one.

    The arm gets tight when its tightened down on the splines that end about 1/4" from the bottom of the gear housing and there is a thick,split washer under the 33m. nut.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  10. Wilecoyote

    Wilecoyote OBS Enthusiast

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    What box did you get? I see alot of reviews and frustration w lots of remaned boxes being junk.
     
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