Pittman arm removal

Tiny
HKFROMNY.
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET 1500
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 150,000 MILES
Hey there guys. Got a super stubborn Pittman arm. Got a heavy duty puller from Rock Auto, and put the impact to it, the puller broke, arm didn't budge. Now on one of my car repair shows (can't remember) the showed a pneumatic puller, but I can't seem to find one, this was a set for tie rod ends, Pittman arms, ball joints all that stuff. Can you see what your recommendations are?
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Sunday, July 19th, 2020 AT 7:21 AM

14 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good morning,

I use the Snap On tool for this. They make 2 sizes. One for the big ones and one for the small ones.

https://shop.snapon.com/product/Pitman-Arm-Pullers/Pitman-Arm-Puller-(Domestic-Cars-Light-Trucks)/CJ119B

I have had this for about 8 years and never had one I could not get off.

Roy
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Sunday, July 19th, 2020 AT 8:17 AM
Tiny
HKFROMNY.
  • MEMBER
Yeah, looked at the same one through Rockauto, but this one has thinner pulling plates than the (L) type on the other puller that snapped right off, warrantied thank god. This one would fit over the 3" wide end that goes to the gear box?
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Sunday, July 19th, 2020 AT 11:35 AM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
That is correct. There are 2, one for the smaller and one for the larger.

Roy
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Sunday, July 19th, 2020 AT 11:53 AM
Tiny
HKFROMNY.
  • MEMBER
Thanks a bunch guys, after all that, we've decided it is easier to take the lines off the gearbox, three bolts for that, and the whole steering will fall right out. Just ordered all new from Rockauto. We'll keep you updated.
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Sunday, July 19th, 2020 AT 12:02 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Okay, the one from Snap On is much thicker and can take the stress better than the one from Rockauto.

Roy
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Sunday, July 19th, 2020 AT 12:19 PM
Tiny
HKFROMNY.
  • MEMBER
We'll be looking into it because we'll be needing one at some point later. I have come to you guys several times in the past, always positive review from us here. Thanks again. Until later.
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Sunday, July 19th, 2020 AT 1:27 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
You are welcome.

Always glad to help.

Roy
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Sunday, July 19th, 2020 AT 1:28 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
This video shows the job being done:

https://youtu.be/KKeFqHLuRQ0

Please let us know if you need anything else to get the problem fixed.
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Friday, July 24th, 2020 AT 10:47 AM
Tiny
HKFROMNY.
  • MEMBER
We decided to just take the steering gear box and all linkage out together since it was effortless to pop off tie rod ends with pickle fork, all new going in. Piece of cake now, lol.
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Friday, July 24th, 2020 AT 11:28 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Nice work, we are here to help, please use 2CarPros anytime.
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Friday, July 24th, 2020 AT 11:44 AM
Tiny
HKFROMNY.
  • MEMBER
Some of these bolts you can gather have not been touched since 1998. Lots of spray, heat, grinder and 3' breaker bar does the job.
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Friday, July 24th, 2020 AT 12:23 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi guys. A simple solution for stubborn pitman arms that are worn and being replaced is to cut 90 percent of the way through it with a cutoff wheel on an air tool. By the time you get that far, the arm will usually crack and fall off.

When you use the pullers, I've seen people have better luck running them down tight with a regular wrench, then smacking the bolt head with a hammer to shock the arm loose.

Be aware that a lot of steering gear boxes use a bushing now to support the pitman shaft in the gearbox instead of a ball bearing. In the mid to late 1990's, I ran into about a dozen gear boxes where that bushing got hammered out, then the pitman shaft would walk sideways, bottom out, then start to rotate with the steering wheel. At first that led to excessive steering wander, then as it got worse, the shaft would move away from the rubber lip seal and leak power steering fluid. For that reason, I would worry about using an air impact wrench on the pitman arm puller. Chances are that won't cause a problem, but why take the chance.
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Friday, July 24th, 2020 AT 7:04 PM
Tiny
HKFROMNY.
  • MEMBER
Yeah, thanks, but as I mentioned earlier, we decided to pull the gear box off with the steering links as a whole, that way all we had to do is remove the clamp on steering wheel shaft. But all your advice has come in handy for future issues. We really appreciate you all being there. Will be back i'm sure.
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Friday, July 24th, 2020 AT 7:40 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
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You are welcome.

We are always glad to help.

Roy
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Saturday, July 25th, 2020 AT 3:11 AM

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