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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 01-19-2008, 05:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Pitman Arm Removal

I am removing the pitman arm on my 93 Pickup. Are there any tricks to getting this thing off?

I have the puller. But the damn thing will not budge. Thoughts, suggetsions?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Go to Autozone or some other parts place that loans tools and get a pitman arm puller. A regular puller won't work since there is not enough room to get hold of the arm with these. You can heat the arm a little bit to help it let go, but be careful not to get it so hot that you damage the seals in the steering box.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tikamonstr View Post
I am removing the pitman arm on my 93 Pickup. Are there any tricks to getting this thing off?

I have the puller. But the damn thing will not budge. Thoughts, suggetsions?

Thanks in advance.
You need a pitman arm puller that is sized properly. One too big will slide off and not work. I have 2 pitman arms and one is a little bit bigger for full size trucks.

Coat the pitman arm where it is on the sector shaft with PB Blaster as your pitman arm has probably been on there from the factory. THis will help loosen up the contact rust that holds it on there.

Put the puller on and get it snug. THEN put a c-clamp across the pitman arm jaws so they don't spread out as you crank down the bolt and pop off the pitman arm.

Step: Crank down the bolt on the pitman arm puller as much as you can and then hit the bolt with a hammer, and if you can still reach it, pop the pitman arm by the sector shaft with a brass drift/hammer. Spray with PB Blaster. Repeat this "step" until it comes off.

An impact gun might help with cranking the bolt but it might also break your puller as they are cheap metal.

Took me about 30 minutes to get the pitman arm off my 85 ext cab as it was on there from the factory I imagine and REALLY on there.

Patience.


Last edited by waskillywabbit; 01-19-2008 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I have the autozone puller. the c clamp is a good idea as I noticed the arms of the puller starting to spread apart. I just sprayed it with PB blaster again.

I will let you know how I make out. thnaks
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Old 01-19-2008, 07:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Mine was on so tight...

I cut the side with a cut off wheel.
Down MOST of the way but NOT CLOSE TO THE SPLINES.

Then added the pitman puller.

It finally came off....
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i broke a puller getting mine off too, finally bought a higher quality one and it hasn't broke yet. make sure you've got the c clamp on there good and tight or it might take liberty when you hit it with a hammer. i found about "1/8 - 1/4 turn, a couple good wacks and repeat" was a good method. i've heard of guys leaving the puller on there over night, but i don't know how successful they were with that. like wab said, use pb blaster...and lots of it. when mine finally came off there wasn't a drop of penetrating lube on the splines but i'm sure it helped with the rust right at top and bottom of the arm. good luck my friend.
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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oh yeah, and dont stand in front of the arm when you hit it...mine jumped a good 2 feet with the puller when it decided to let go.
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok.. it popped. I ended up slotting the side of the arm with a dremmell and then using the puller. The slotting must have provided some relief. There was no penetrating fluid inside the ptman arm on the splines.

I got the autozone pitman arm. It has no alignment marks on it. Do the other aftermarket arms have alignment marks on them? If not, how do u align the pitman arm? thanks again
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am stumped... as I said above I was able to get the pitman arm off. I went out and bought a different arm that had alignment marks. My problem is the that the steering wheel is way off. So I assumed I was off a tooth and made an adjustment. After moving the arm one tooth at a time, I still cant get the steering aligned. What could be the problem. Thanks again.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So what did you use to cut the pitman arm? I have a rotozip with a metal cut wheel, would that work? I already broke one autozone puller. I was thinking about trying to cut a notch or two with the rotozip, use the puller, a BFH, and some heat.
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips on this. I tried and failed on my first attempt. Broke the puller with the impact. I'll try again. BTW, do you need to remove the other end of the arm before pulling it off the gear? I was hoping to keep that all intact.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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All I did was put the puller on and crank it down to a pretty good tension, then take a hammer and start tapping on the side of the pitman arm. It popped right off. No heat, no penetrating oil.

As a matter of fact, I did all of my ball joints and tie rod ends the same way. No need to break a puller, just pull it tight and tapp with a hammer and they all come loose...
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikamonstr View Post
I am stumped... as I said above I was able to get the pitman arm off. I went out and bought a different arm that had alignment marks. My problem is the that the steering wheel is way off. So I assumed I was off a tooth and made an adjustment. After moving the arm one tooth at a time, I still cant get the steering aligned. What could be the problem. Thanks again.

I just finished replacing my gearbox, so I feel your pain. I broke one Autozone puller and that was with a clamp. I think using the impact wrench helped loosen the pitman arm enough and let some pb blaster run down the splines so that the 2nd pitman puller got the job done.
Like you, I replaced my pitman arm with one from Autozone, but the one they gave me had marks on it, and they were in the same location as the factory pitman arm.
I counted turns on the gearbox and istalled it a the centerpoint, with the wheels straight. I also did the same with the steering wheel(centered it) before connecting. However, with all of the fanagling and jerking, my "scientific method" of keeping everything straight left my steering wheel upside down.

My solution: I went ot Firestone and told them what repairs I did and paid for a lifetime alignment. They aligned it and left the steering wheel as is. The wheel turns the same number of turns from center to right or left(its about 2 1/4 turns each way) so I am just going to drive in a parking lot and let my wheels straighten themselves, take of the steering wheel, and reinstall it in the correct position. I know others don't like this method, but I don't have a problem with it.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I just bought that loan-a-tool kit from Advance Auto. The kit is called something like front-end kit. It contains 3 or 4 different pullers and one of them is a fixed shape, sort of a short horseshoe looking deal. Anyway, it works perfect on the large end of the pitman arm. I did soak the shaft with WD-40 and struck it with a hammer a few times before putting the puller on it. On a side note, the replacement arm from Advance had the threads ruined on it so that the castle nut would not thread onto it. Of course we did not notice until we had installed it and were trying to put the nut on. Upon closer inspection we could see that they were apparently beaten with a hammer and smashed on the end. Frustrating...
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey also.. what size wrench or socket for the pitman nut?

UPDATE
Got it , its a 32 mm socket.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I broke 4 pullers total. 2 I bought and 2 I rented. Everything is new on my front end minus the pitman arm, but it is still in good shape so I am complacent with it.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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K well i called around and a shop will do it for 1 hour labor.. so i returned the puller and socket.. which was almost the same price.. let someone else have the head ache..
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:39 PM
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