A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Ford Update #2 - Complete

Well, Autozone only had one pitman arm puller available so I picked that up. (Free because of my cash back on the other parts.) As I expected I didn't have enough clearance to get the clamp in place and also the pulling stud. Lower frame cross member is in the way. After studying the problem for a few minutes, I decided to loosen the steering box bolts to see if that would allow me enough room to get the stud into the clamp. As oddly good luck would have it, it did.

So I torqued up the puller with my impact wrench. Nothing. I ended up using a two foot bar and bracing my feet on the cross member while pulling on the bar with both hands and the pitman arm finally popped loose. I hadn't realized it was a tapered spline as well.

Cleaned the spline up, lubed it and popped the new one in place.

Then I attached the center steering member to the pitman arm. Installed the new idler arm and attached it to the center member.

I then measured the old tie rod members and started disassembling them as well. I even counted the turns to remove the old ones so my new assemblies would be close.


After I got everything in it was pretty obvious that I was facing a severe toe-out condition. So, I centered the steering wheel and cranked them until the wheels looked close from the front and rear.

I will give Ford a little credit for using opposite threads on the tie rod ends so the toe is easy to adjust.

After about ten test drives and a bunch of tweaks, I finally have it set with the steering wheel centered and no pull in either direction excepting for the crown of the road. On top of that the steering is a bit lighter since that seized up idler arm ball joint is out of the system.

I did end up having to install some washers on one of the rod ends. The left inner rod end castle nut had to tighten up so much it was past the hole for the cotter pin. Rooted around in the junk drawer and found three washers to space it out and we're back in business.

I'll probably have it professionally aligned at some point, but it's certainly close enough for jazz.


Blogger Perry Rose said...

When I screw with steering pieces I leave the tires on the floor throughout the process and don't move anything else. That way wheel alignment comes back real close.

2:56 PM  
Blogger 2Evil4U said...

Didn't have that luxury because of clearance required to pull all the stuff out. Way batter than it was in any case.

2:59 PM  

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