How to get pitman arm off

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: How to get pitman arm off
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ned Protexter on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 11:29 am:

I cannot get the pitman arm off of the steering column. Any tips/sugestions?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Todd on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 11:35 am:

Tie rod end puller.
Tie rod end puller


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 11:49 am:

Ned

Be careful using a puller, not to bend or distort the threads...you can apply much more force than you may think, with this tool (and still not be successful if it's really stuck).

Once it's on and tightened down, application of heat to the pitman arm, alternated with several heavy blows to the SIDE of the pitman arm with a bronze hammer (backing up pitman arm with similar anvil) may be needed. Since this is a taper, the blows here are key to success.

And to be sure, you'll be successful...just be thoughtful about how much pressure you're applying to the end of the steering shaft and be mindful of the threads as well as potentially actually bending the threaded end slightly.

Good luck and report back.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 12:41 pm:

I just went through this myself:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/336277.html

As Scott mentions, tapping with a hammer helps.

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 05:57 pm:

Ned -- Apply some Acetone/ATF mixture to the joint and let it soak overnight. Then do as Scott said and use about a 3# hammer to hit it on the side, with at least a 10# mass on the opposite side for a backup. It'll pop right off with the first or second whack.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Clipner-Los Angeles on Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 04:00 am:

The puller that will work is the one that Ken Todd posted, Gear pullers just don't fit. Bought one and off it came.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Tools-Garage-and-Equipment/Tie-Rod- End-Puller/_/N-2654


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garnet on Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 09:00 am:

Lay the head of a big hammer up against the pitman joint, and then whack the other side with another hammer. It should drop off, or fall off with a couple of light taps. Does for me.

Regards,
Garnet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 09:45 am:

A good soaking wouldn't hurt either. Especially if heat isn't available. Even a propane torch is better than nothing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 06:24 pm:

Part 1.)
Unscrew the nut that holds your steering wheel on and remove the steering wheel (and don't lose the woodruff key). Loosen the set-screw that locks the top of the steering gear case. Unscrew the steering gear case top (and don't lose the set-screw). If possible, remove all the little gears in the steering gear case. If you cannot remove all the little gears, place a blanket over your seat and floor to catch them when they come flying out of the case after the next part.

Part 2.)
Disconnect the swinging end of the pitman arm from the drag link (and don't lose any parts). Take the cotter pin out of the castle nut that holds the pitman arm to the steering shaft. Unscrew the castle nut. Take a wooden drift (like an 18-inch length of clothes closet dowel) and hold one end of it against the lower end of the steering shaft. Whack away at the other end of the wooden drift with a hammer. After a few blows, the pitman arm and its key should either fall off or be easily removable by hand. Set them aside (and don't lose the key). Again, place one end of the wooden drift against the bottom end of the steering shaft and whack away at the other end of the wooden drift with a hammer. Your steering shaft should come out fairly easily unless you have an enclosed car, in which case, the car's ceiling may get in the way.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brendan Hoban on Friday, July 12, 2013 - 04:22 am:

A three leg puller works well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger on Friday, July 12, 2013 - 06:39 am:

Advice for folks who have successfully removed pitman arms using wood or light taps: Your pitman arm was too loosely installed in the first place and it's a good thing you were servicing it.

My experience has been that at least 1/2 of all "Ts" that I've worked on had this part only gently secured with the nut and relied on the key to provide the resistance to turning. This is wrong and dangerous. The taper on the shaft and in the pitman arm is not a self releasing taper, and should be fiercely tight on the shaft when the nut is tightened down. If it's not, then something's wrong and should be remedied at reassembly. At the very least, this union is the source for a great many vehicles which experience vague steering, or wandering and is one of the first things I look for on a car that I'm servicing. I'm frequently rewarded for my search and can usually tighten the nut up one or two "flats".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eubanks, Powell, TN on Friday, July 12, 2013 - 06:57 am:

Garnet has it right, that is the easiest way to remove it or any tie rod end or pitman. Do leave the nut on loose so as not to mess the threads up if you miss.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ned Protexter on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 11:09 am:

Well, I finally got it off last night. with the limited tools I have right now, I had to improvise a little bit by putting a hammer on top of the frame and then the pitman arm / end of shaft on said hammer, and then hit the top of it with another hammer. It came off in 4 solid hits. I really appreciate the advise.

THe engine is all ready to come out now. Hopefully will pick it out of the car and have it on the stand tonight and start taking parts off of it.

Anyone have a good idea on where to sling this engine from? it has a Frontenac head and a deep sump pan so the spark plug hole ring is not going to be an option. I have three medium strength ratchet straps and I was thinking of running one from the front mount of the pan, one from the back lip of the pan and one down the middle between the deep sump and the flywheel part of the pan.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tim moore on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 12:21 pm:

I would pull the head to reduce weight and if the motor gets away from you it won't fall and break manifolds or damage the head. Next I would screw in some bolts with chain into the block or screw in eyes and lift from there. I would hate to hear the motor fell or rolled and damaged a very valuable head.

Tim Moore


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 12:38 pm:

The center of gravity is between #3 and #4 cylinders.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ned Protexter on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 10:09 am:

Well I got the engine out. Slung it with the straps like I said above. Lifted it about an inch to start and pushed the whole thing around to see how stable it was going to be. Worked great and didn't move around at all. Made sure that the straps went between the spark plugs (3 and 4) and then the back exhaust port with the studs sticking out so it wouldn't slip. Now tonight, I'll get to working on the engine.


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