The procedure for pitman arm removal may differ a little depending on the model of the of a particular vehicle. The pitman and the idler arms are the links to the centerlink which rotates the hubs on the control arms. This mechanism allows the vehicle to turn. It is time to change the pitman arm if steering is sloppy. A good sign of faulty devices is whereby the steering wheel moves 2 inches or more from side to side without having an effect on the wheels.
Tools and Materials
The easiest and quickest way to remove the pitman is by having the correct tools for the job. It makes it safer too. A drive wrench and sockets is necessary for loosening bolts and nuts. Pitman arm puller, socket and breaker bar are necessary to remove the bolts and nuts as well. Make sure the wrench and socket are a good fit for the bolts and nuts.
Other devices include a diagonal wire cutter, flat head screwdriver, and grease. Make sure that the car is supported properly by jack stands and a floor jack.
How to Jack the Car
To remove the pitman, start by jacking the left side of the vehicle. Make sure the car is parked on a flat surface, position the jack stand under the frame at the control arm.
Removing the Bolt and Nut
The size of the bolts and nuts varies with different car models. Nuts should be torqued to a certain force to make them loosen easily. Make sure to use a drive socket and breaker bar to fit them properly. Push the socket with some force, this should easily loosen the steering sector nut and bolt.
Using Pitman Arm Puller
This is used to remove the arm from the steering shaft. Position it between the pitman arm and the steering sector; this releases it from the shaft. With the pitman still being held in the centerlink, remove the cotter pin and the nut. Use a wrench to tighten the puller bolt which loosens the pitman arm. Hit the arm with a hammer or a mallet to loosen it if does not come out easily.
In case the pitman puller doesn’t work, try using a pickle fork or air chisel.
Remove Pitman Arm
Make sure it is loose before attempting to remove it from the centerlink. This makes it easy to pull it down on the centerlink. Slip it out from position and place it in a safe position.
Pitman Arm won’t Come Out
If it does not come out easily even after using the steps mentioned above, check whether the idler arm is installed in its position. Remove the idler arm by loosening the two bolts that holds it to the frame. This simplifies the procedure and the pitman can come out easily now.