Using a micrometer the steering arm ball is 0.03 of an inch out of round. What is the number that would be considered excessive?
I don't know how much is too much, but it doesn't matter if you have these: https://www.modeltford.com/item/2728APCO.aspx.
10-4 Steve, but I am interested in knowing about the use of the arm without the accessory. Thanks for the suggestion though.
I would find a better pitman arm if using it without the Apco accessory. The usual fix to tighten up a worn connection is to shim with a cupped copper (pre 1982) penny, but when the ball is 0.03" out of round there's a risk the penny will move around as you're steering - and in one position it'll still be sloppy, so it's replace or Apco for me.
I'm with Roger. Get a new one. They're not that expensive and safety first. You'll be surprised at the difference in your steering wheel play.
A new arm costs only $5 more than the APCO accessory.
And even cheaper at swap meets
If you adjust the cap for minimal clearance for the big dimension of the ball, then you'll have .030 clearance when the small dimension is in play. That's usually when you're going straight ahead. That's way too much. Get a new one, or a really good used one.
It's easier to get a good fit on a worn pitman arm if you have the drag link disconnected from the tie rod. I file the cap, and also the drag link until I get a good fit. When I do, I pack the joint with old style fiberous wheel bearing grease, and tighten everything up. Like above, if your pitman arm is worn too much, then look for another. I was able to find one that was only out of round .001.
Thanks to all, I will try Larry suggestion first then default to the replace suggestion.