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Some tips for pitman replacement on GM's
on October 16, 2014
I am happy with the fit and finish of the Moog part, but time will tell. I am mostly an OEM parts type of guy and I'm really picky about repair parts in general.
Anyway, I thought I would give a couple of pointers to those installing this Pitman Arm on GM vehicles. I remove the skid plate and sway bar (good time to check/replace the bushings while you are there). This gives you plenty of room to work. The challenge replacing the pitman arm is that there is a cross member on GM trucks and SUV's that prevent you from using a standard pitman arm puller. Even if you can get a puller on there many times they are stuck so tight that the puller will break. Some sites are advising people to remove the entire steering box to get a puller on there, big time waster. Or use heat, a torch, etc. and your steering box seals will be destroyed. I don't do any of that.
I use a cutoff wheel on an air grinder and CAREFULLY make a cut on the side of the pitman arm opposite the actual arm at a 45 degree angle almost through the pitman arm. You could also use an electric 4" grinder with a cutoff wheel if you don't have a pneumatic like this:
I make the cut at a 45 degree angle so that the wheel has more clearance and less chance of hitting the steering box. Do this very slowly, you are trying to make a cut that comes within about 1/8" inch from the internal splines on the steering box without touching them. Take your time, really take you time, you don't want to buy a new steering box. Did I say take your time?:) When the cut is made take a large chisel and put it in the cut. Then smack it really hard with a mini-sledge. That will crack the rest of the pitman arm steel along the cut line. Then just hold the chisel at a downward angle and tap the pitman off. Even taking your time this is easily done in 15 min. There are plenty of stories of people spending hours trying to do this job. Then put just a light coat of water proof grease on the steering box splines for reassembly and you're done. I hope this helps.