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View Poll Results: Drop Pitman arm with a 4" lift
Yup gotta do it 5 16.13%
Nope throw it at the guy in the Hummer 18 58.06%
Bacon and beer 8 25.81%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-10-2009, 12:49 AM   #1
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Drop Pitman Arm

This out of all things about lifts seems to be the most controversial opinion. Drop Pitman or not to drop Pitman

I am going up to a 4" lift from a 2" BB. TeraFlex belly up, SYE, 4.5" RE springs adj track bar, TeraFlex Adj CA.s top and bottom front and rear, Rear Track Bar relocator and rear shock relocators.

I have seen folks say No DPA and I have seen folk swear by them. So what say you. I have searched and the opinions are all over the board.

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Old 02-10-2009, 01:32 AM   #2
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I voted bacon and beer. I have no clue what a pitman arm does. Newbie to the jeep scene willing to learn

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Old 02-10-2009, 06:18 AM   #3
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Really don't need it unless going with taller lift. The pitman arms helps re-align the steering geometry to make sure you have the the correct angles as doing a lift such as 5.5 or bigger.

If you do the pitman arm, you usually need the drop down trackbar bracket/mount as well.

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Old 02-10-2009, 06:33 AM   #4
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It looks like you are going with about 6" of lift. If you don't use one, I would bet the bump steer would be substantial. Ideally, the steering linkages should be parallel to each other. The ideal is not always practical or even possible but you should try to get as close as is reasonably possible.
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:34 AM   #5
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With the front adj track bar you don't need one.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:13 AM   #6
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i would say do it. i might be a lift kit add on that they can hit you up on for another $60, bu t i think it is worth it in the end.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:51 AM   #7
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:36 AM   #8
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Whether or not you need a dropped Pitman arm is nothing more than a geometry issue. I.E. only if you changed the geometry of the steering is a dropped Pitman arm needed to correct for that geometry change.

For the typical lift heights installed on a TJ, like up to about 5 or 5.5" inches or so, you should not install a dropped Pitman arm unless you also installed a dropped upper mount for the trackbar.

Aftermarket dropped upper trackbar mount installed = a dropped Pitman arm is needed.
Using a factory upper trackbar mount = the OE factory Pitman arm is needed.

Very few other times would a dropped Pitman arm be needed and those don't occur until you get to around the 6" suspension lift height. Installing a dropped Pitman arm any other time is just going to cause Bump Steer.

So while a dropped Pitman arm is generally always needed after installing a suspension lift onto a CJ or a YJ, rarely is one needed for a TJ due to the TJ's improved steering geometry design.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Aftermarket dropped upper trackbar mount installed = a dropped Pitman arm is needed.
Using a factory upper trackbar mount = the OE factory Pitman arm is needed.

summarizes it perfectly. I was writing up that explanation but when I was finished I saw that you said it in fewer words.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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why would lift kits come with a dpa.. should'nt they know it would cause more bumpsteer.. some folks say it helps them.. I would really like to just try it and see since I have a dpa on hand.. but its is tough as hell to get the stock dpa off.. I gave up after I broke a puller..
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bpowa View Post
why would lift kits come with a dpa.. should'nt they know it would cause more bumpsteer.. some folks say it helps them.. I would really like to just try it and see since I...
Not all lift kits come with them, and those that include then when not needed do so, I suspect, because it USED to be that all suspension lifts needed them. Not many suspension lift designers/manufacturers put much actual engineering into their designs since it's not rocket science. But MOST non-TJ suspension lifts require them, it's just that the TJ's steering geometry is so much improved that it rarely needs one.

The bottom line is that if your track bar and drag link are parallel to each other, installing a dropped Pitman arm will make them no longer parallel which is what causes bump steer. And you can't look at the bars themselves to see if they are parallel. They can be bent purposely to achieve a design goal which may make them appear parallel or not parallel. What must be parallel are the mounting points they are bolted to. If the two pairs of mounting points of the track bar and drag link are parallel to each other, then the track bar and drag link are parallel... no matter if their main tubes look parallel or not.

Think of tying a string between the track bar's two mounting points, and another string to the drag link's two mounting points. If the two strings are parallel, that's ideal and you'll have steering without any bump steer. That's how it comes from the factory but if you install a dropped Pitman arm unnecessarily, that will lower the top of the drag link down so the drag link is no longer parallel with the trackbar which is a recipe for bump steer.
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:43 PM   #12
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thanks jerry mines is a bit off .. i barely get any bumpsteer this is why I would like to try it out just to find out 100 percent.. but ti does not bother me that much.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:03 PM   #13
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Bpowa, exactly what symptom(s) are you experiencing where you think a DPA might help?
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #14
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Thanks for the input Jerry (was hoping you'd chime in)
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Bpowa, exactly what symptom(s) are you experiencing where you think a DPA might help?
when I hit a bump it kinds wanders slightly but I think it comes with owning a lifted jeep. I just wanna test it out since its there.. but Am not too concerned with it.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:49 PM   #16
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Wanders as in the steering wheel jerks left/right as the front suspension moves up/down over a bump? That's bump steer. Wandering is something else unless it moves left/right perfectly in synch with the axle moving up/down.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:12 PM   #17
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ya I know what you mean.. I know what bump steer is.. bumo with your steering wheel straight. then your on not heading straight anymore even your wheel is in the same direction. i get that but it is livable.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:00 PM   #18
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dont waste your time, had one on, sterring sucked, lots of bumpsterr. put the stock one on, sterrs like new
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:21 AM   #19
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What is the offset on a stock Pittman arm? I want to see if mine is stock or swapped when it was lifted.
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:32 AM   #20
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stock has about 2.5" drop, dropped has about 3.5-4" drop

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