The pitman arm is part of the steering component in your vehicle. It is connected to the sector shaft and moves in a circular motion with the help of the ball joint. This motion causes the wheels to move left or right, depending on which way the steering wheel is moved.
It is important you have your pitman arm in good working condition because poor steering can be hazardous to you and those around you. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of a bad or failing pitman arm.
If you notice your steering has lots of play while you are driving, such as the wheel turns more than it should before the wheels engage, then chances are your pitman arm needs to be looked at.
Since this is part of your steering and is critical for proper operation of the steering system, the diagnostics and repair should be done by the professionals at YourMechanic.
Contact them as soon as you notice your vehicle is not steering like it used to and have your pitman arm replaced. Is your vehicle pulling to one side or the steering seems difficult? It is time to have your pitman arm looked at. A bad or failing pitman arm can cause your vehicle to not respond appropriately when you turn the wheel.
Not only can it have lots of play, it can be highly inaccurate or seem to have a mind of its own while you are driving down the road. This can be especially dangerous during hazardous weather conditions or on a busy highway. When the pitman arm completely fails, you will lose all steering in your vehicle.
The pitman arm should be replaced before the problem gets to this point. This is a dangerous situation, so if you notice any of the symptoms above, they should be looked at before the pitman arm completely fails. If you do lose the ability to steerdo not keep driving. Slow down to a stop and call for assistance. If you have poor steering, your vehicle seems to wander, or you have lost all ability to steer, chances are your pitman arm needs to be replaced.
In addition, if you drive off-road often, inspect your pitman arm for wear and replace it as needed to keep yourself and others safe. The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Steering Inspection. Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2, U. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair. Schedule Steering Inspection. Service Area. Average rating fromcustomers who received a Steering Inspection.
Poor steering If you notice your steering has lots of play while you are driving, such as the wheel turns more than it should before the wheels engage, then chances are your pitman arm needs to be looked at.Written By: Louis Orellana. Devil's in the details as they say, and it's no different when prepping to go on an off-road adventure. Make sure you have all the tools and recovery gear you'll need before venturing off the beaten path. Ensuring your nuts and bolts are torqued properly is key to making sure you don't damage your TJ upon reassembling parts.
We've compiled a list of important torque specs from Jeep's service manuals, so the next time you're wrenching on your rig you'll have all the number you'll need. Also called the Dana 30, the FBI is a front beam type axle. These torque specs come in handy if you are changing differential fluid, rebuilding the axle, or regearing.
These specs only apply for the front Dana 44 axle for TJ Wranglers. Dana 44 front axles came standard on Rubicon models, it was not available for any other models.
Note: Refer to pinion gear removal and installation procedures for proper pinion nut tightening instructions. Do not exceed N-m ft. The evaporative emissions Evap system is used to prevent hydrocarbons from escaping into the atmosphere. The 2. The successor to this engine was the 2. This engine is one of the most popular engines that Jeep has ever put into their vehicles.
The torque specs needed to rebuild this inline six if the need should arise. The oxygen sensors require a special socket to be removed due to the wires.
Also be sure to note that there are different specs for each set of bolts. There will be six bolts for the front bumper. Four on top and two underneath. Use caution when servicing any part of the fuel system.
Wear safety glasses to prevent eye exposure. If gasoline gets into your eyes immediately flush them with water for 15 minutes.
If irritation persists call a doctor.On a recent inspection on the front end I noticed that my idler arm had some slop in it. I also had some wandering on the road… and this is a typical symptom of a bad idler arm. Along with:. This article is for a Ford F 2WD. However it applies to and heritage trucks 2WD and 4WD as the process is similar. I replaced this arm in about 30 minutes.
Granted I am a professional, so expect no more than an hour. An alignment check is recommended when finished with the idler arm replacement.
Next, remove the cotter key pin from idler arm lower nut, and remove lower nut. Place pickle fork between idler arm joint and tie rod, strike to seperate. It's the area to the right on this photo. If you need to see a "before" picture, scroll down and see what it looks like after installtion:. Remove the two bolts holding the arm to the frame shown on the upper left area of the above photothen remove arm.
Be sure to put locktite or threadlocker on the bolts going in to frame when you put them back. Install arm basically reversing the steps for removal. Torque bolts to frame accordingly instructions with torque specs included - install arm joint into tie rod Here is a photo of the new one, installed:. This article and associated photos were written and contributed by thefordmaniac, and is used with permission.
This tech article was originally posted at FordF It is primarily intended for Ford trucks but most likely also applies to other Ford models.Idler Arms and Pitman Arms are part of your steering system that links your steering box to the center link, and then on to the hub assemblies. The Pitman Arm, also known as the "steering arm," is the main player while the idler arm supports the other side and allows the proper movement to take place when you turn the wheel.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Pitman Arm
If your steering has gotten sloppy they may need replacement. Signs of this are your steering wheel moving 2 inches or more from side to side without turning the wheels at all, front end shimmy that can't be attributed to out-of-balance wheels, or lurches to the left or right when you go over a bump. Sometimes only one is bad, but many people say that replacing both of them is easy, good insurance, and doesn't cost much more because the labor is essentially free since you already have to take everything apart to replace one or the other.
If you think it's time, read on and you'll be able to get them replaced in no time. And thanks to Chuck for the chance to show you how on his Hummer! Be sure you have all your tools for replacing the Pitman arm before you start. It's tough to go to the auto store with no steering!
We have to get it in the air, so jack the left side most cases, see your repair manual if you're not sure of the truck up under the A-arm and put a jack stand under the frame on the left side. Lower the truck down on the jack stand and remove the wheel. You have to remove the big nut that holds the Pitman arm to the steering box.
I was all ready for a battle, and it turned out that the nut was hardly tight at all. It came right off, which was not a good thing. Loose is never good when you're talking about steering. Take your Pitman arm puller and remove the arm from the steering shaft.
It will release from the shaft and drop down some, but the arm is still being held up by the centerlink. Next, remove the cotter pin and the large nut that holds the Pitman to the center link. Use a pickle fork or a puller to separate the Pitman from the centerlink. You should be able to remove the Pitman by pulling down on the centerlink and slipping it out.
If you're doing both the idler arm and the Pitman today, this is where you will appreciate the fact that you have not installed the idler arm yet. If you can't get the Pitman arm out, drop the idler arm down by removing the 2 bolts that attach it to the frame. Put some antisieze grease on the steering box's tapered bolt. Pack grease up into the steering box around the top of the tapered bolt. This will help keep out dirt and moisture. Prepare a new cotter pin by cutting down the length of one side to match the one you removed.
Take a rag and wipe the junk away from the steering shaft and the centerlink hole. Take a good glob of grease and pack it up all around where the steering shaft sticks out of the steering box. This will help seal the steering box from the elements. Look at the inside splines on the Pitman arm. You will notice that there are 4 flat spots that match up with the splines on the steering box.
Install the Pitman on the steering shaft making sure to line up the splines and at the same time insert the tapered bolt in the centerlink. Put the split lock washer and hand start the big nut on the steering shaft and tighten it to your vehicle's specs.Written By: Louis Orellana. Devil's in the details as they say, and it's no different when prepping to go on an off-road adventure. Make sure you have all the tools and recovery gear you'll need before venturing off the beaten path.
Ensuring your nuts and bolts are torqued properly is key to making sure you don't damage your TJ upon reassembling parts. We've compiled a list of important torque specs from Jeep's service manuals, so the next time you're wrenching on your rig you'll have all the number you'll need.
Also called the Dana 30, the FBI is a front beam type axle. These torque specs come in handy if you are changing differential fluid, rebuilding the axle, or regearing. These specs only apply for the front Dana 44 axle for TJ Wranglers. Dana 44 front axles came standard on Rubicon models, it was not available for any other models. Note: Refer to pinion gear removal and installation procedures for proper pinion nut tightening instructions. Do not exceed N-m ft. The evaporative emissions Evap system is used to prevent hydrocarbons from escaping into the atmosphere.
The 2. The successor to this engine was the 2. This engine is one of the most popular engines that Jeep has ever put into their vehicles. The torque specs needed to rebuild this inline six if the need should arise. The oxygen sensors require a special socket to be removed due to the wires. Also be sure to note that there are different specs for each set of bolts. There will be six bolts for the front bumper. Four on top and two underneath. Use caution when servicing any part of the fuel system.
Wear safety glasses to prevent eye exposure. If gasoline gets into your eyes immediately flush them with water for 15 minutes. If irritation persists call a doctor. If you do any work on your steering or suspension it is a good policy to re-torque your steering components.
With something like your steering linkage, you want to be sure everything is tight or else you could experience some vibrations. The power steering system in TJ wranglers changed after in Wranglers from use power steering fluid, use ATF 4.If you have the steering gear removed from the vehicle, consider holding the arm in a large bench vise with the gear assembly free while loosening or tightening the nut.
Once the initial tension relieves, the arm will come off readily. It is critical that the new pitman arm fits properly, an interference fit that demands clean mating surfaces. I remove paint here, too. Warning: If you mate a powder-coated part at the splines, you will get a false torque reading. If you have a powder-coated arm already installed, and if the arm has been in service, re-check the nut torque with the pitman arm in the straight ahead steering position.
Again, make sure the arm is near the straight ahead steering position to prevent damaging the steering gear. Do not second-guess the torque setting. Flanged, self-locking nuts are often one-time use only. Consult the factory workshop manual for recommendations on replacing fasteners or use of thread locking liquid. Always use OEM grade hardware and fasteners. Make sure none of the joints bind or run out of travel over the full range of steering turn positions and angles.
Again, this is all about safety. Moses, i know this one has been on here awhile, but after what happened to a friend on his ford the other day, i have one other bit of advice to add to this.
When you take the old pitman arm off, mark it in relation to the steering box, and make sure the new one goes on the exact same spot as the old one. I know this may seem like common sense, but the other day, my neighbor did the one on his F, and somehow the wheels got turned while the old pitman arm was off, and instead of realizing that, he just lined up the pitman arm so it would go back on the steering box, and into the hole in the center shaft, which in turn caused the steering wheel to be way out of position, and caused his air bag to go off while he was driving.
Another bit of advice, make sure the steering wheel is locked in the center position, and take the keys out of the ignition so the steering wheel cant turn. Very good comment, Biggman Some of this is accomplished with steering linkage adjustment, especially on IFS vehicles with an idler arm and steering center link. If the installer torques the pitman nut with full force against the column lock, damage to the lock mechanism can occur.
Then place the steering wheel onto the steering shaft, aligned for straight ahead There may be an index point for the steering wheel-to-steering shaft. If the steering gear is on the vehicle, I set the wheels straight ahead with the pitman and nut in place but not torqued completely. I bought a jeep cherokee about a year ago and have had the death wobble with it ever since. I still have the wobble is just not as bad. This is why I take it to Chrysler. I bought the jeep with a lift kit on it and they say my wobble could be caused because the one that's on there is factory and isn't made for the lift kit.
Which I honestly didn't even think of. Guess what I'm asking is well this affect the vehicle to the point that it has a death wobble? You seem to be the only response that I've found that explains why and how so I figured I'd asked You need to contact the lift kit manufacturer and see whether they include or recommend a dropped pitman arm as part of the lift kit you have.Idler Arm nqfhall.spacetion, Explorer, F-150 and more. ~Easy~
Most chassis lifts require a dropped pitman arm. Extreme lifts sometimes use cross-steering linkage kits, but if your lift is mild that would not be the case. Why could this contribute to death wobble?
Because the steering linkage must be on a plane equivalent to stock. If you have a chassis lift without a dropped pitman, the steering linkage slopes downward.
How To Replace An Idler Arm
The symptom is more often darting and shifting of the steering, especially if you cross over something like a railroad crossing. My experience around death wobble or front wheel shimmy is usually pointed to loose wheel bearings, loose ball joints or front axle caster angle not enough caster error. If the kit is a short arm type, I am suspect of anything over 2" lift for an XJ Cherokee.Activate Bonus Code 1.
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Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Pitman Arm
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