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Adjusting pitman arm?


Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

It appears the pitman arm on my steering box is not centered... the wheels turn further to one side than the other, so much that my left tire grinds on the inside of the fenderwell even before full lock. Is there any surefire way to make sure the pitman arm is aligned on the steering box output shaft correctly (assuming the PO did not mark it)?

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Guest Anonymous

Make sure that the scribe mark on the bottom of the Pittman Arm is lined up with the scribe mark on bottom of the Steering Box main shaft.

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Guest Anonymous

Centering the wheel lock to lock is important, but first you need to ensure that both the left & right tie rod assemblies are adjusted evenly (matched lengths, LH & RH),

If your toe setting is correct, but you have more total threads showing on one side's tie rod, make the same amount of adjustment on each side to cancel out any toe change. This centers the steering linkage, which is required before you can determine if the gear is centered (the travel limits are not within the gear when it's installed).

After you have centered the linkage & gear/pitman arm, then center the strg whl position on the splined shaft. Finally, if the result is that the strg whl is a bit crooked, make the small adjustments to center it by turning the tie rods an equal amount to correct that.

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Guest Anonymous

Thanks for the tips, John. I recently replaced all my steering linkage stuff, and measured and matched the tie rod lengths as accurately as I could, but I'll go back and verify them once more.

Two questions:

1. what do you mean by "the travel limits are not within the gear when it's installed"

and

2. Can I do this with the car on jackstands, or should I put it on ramps so it's under load?

Thanks,

Dave.

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Guest Anonymous

1. what do you mean by "the travel limits are not within the gear when it's installed"

Sorry I did not make that clear. In your post, you referred to the tires contacting the inner wheel well.

When these items touch, that's the travel limit !

I think on some idler arms, I have seen a physical stop, but I can't picture what it stops against right now.

John N's good advice about centering the pitman arm shaft (on the gear) works well before the arm is connected, as you can turn the gear fully each way and find the center (if it's not marked with a scribe mark). In that case, the travel limits are not restricted by the same elements as when the gear (& linkages) are in the vehicle.

and

2. Can I do this with the car on jackstands, or should I put it on ramps so it's under load?

It won't matter when you are finding the center position for mounting the pitman arm on the gear,

It will matter when you need to roll (or drive) the car to determine if the wheel is off-center when driving straight ahead.

Don't be surprized if the sheet metal/tire interference is not symetrical, and at the full limit of steering angle one side turns sharper than the other. These cars are not 100% consistent in structure, there is quite a bit of variation from car to car (of course the individual suspension & steering settings are responsible for a lot of that as well).

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Guest Anonymous

There are small camel humps on the pitman arm and idler arm that should hit the very back of the subframe this acts as a stop, if your turning to far to the left make sure you are hitting the idler arm stop, they don't hit by much and maybe with warn idler bushings its slipping below the subframe. Worth a look anyway....Marty....

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Guest Anonymous

Excellent... I think I have a handle on it. Now all I need is a dry day so I can get on my back in the driveway!

Thanks again for all your suggestions.

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