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Old 04-29-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
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Pitman Arm Bolt Size

Getting ready to replace my steering box, I measure it at 1.25 inches, that sound right?
Need to get the right socket to pull it off.
2000 TJ.

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Old 04-29-2011, 09:24 PM   #2
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Don't forget a puller for the pitman itself. I used a pipe wrench on mine.

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Old 04-29-2011, 09:38 PM   #3
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I swapped my box out this past Monday.

I use a pipe wrench also.

Here's a DIY in swapping the box for a Durango box. The disassembly is the same. It says to use a 1-5/16" socket.

Jeeps-Offroad.com: Durango -> TJ Power-Steering Box Swap Tech Article

BTW, the write up makes getting the box off seem a little easier than it is. My 98 is configured so that I had to unbolt the sway bar and lift it out of the way to get to the hose connections. If you were really careful & had help, you could lower the unbolted box a bit & remove the hoses then. Be ready for power steering fluid to flow out of the hoses and the box no matter how you do it.

The pitman arm puller was useless for removing the tie rod end from the pitman arm. There wasn't enough clearance to get it in place.

Also, I couldn't get to the steering shaft bolt from the top. I had to turn the steering wheel 1/2 turn & get it from underneath. Once the shaft is disconnected from the box DO NOT spin the steering wheel.

Don't forget to replace the seals on the end of the hoses. These should come with the new box.

I played hell getting the pitman arm off the old box. The puller went as tight as it would go but the arm was still stuck. With the puller tightened as much as it would, I used a BFH to persuade the arm to finally come loose.

I know I make it sound hard, but it's not really. If I can do it, you can too.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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MLaborde - thanks!!!!
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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One other thing, PB Blaster is your friend. Start early & use it often in the days & hours before the swap.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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Jerry Bransford gave me some very good info before I did mine:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Bleeding the power steering system is simple. Jack the front end up so the tires are off the ground. Fill the PS reservoir with fresh power steering fluid. Valvoline synthetic power steering fluid is an excellent choice. Without (!) starting the engine, repeatedly turn the steering wheel all the way from the left steering stop to the right steering stop. You'll need to do that 25-30 times, adding PS fluid as needed to keep the reservoir from getting too low. The fluid level rises and falls inside the reservoir so if you add a little too much fluid during the bleeding process, it might overflow the reservoir. The first time that happened to me I freaked out thinking I had a major leak when I heard it splashing on my garage floor.

Make sure not to start the engine until after the bleeding process. So once you've cycled the steering fully left/right 25-30 times and the reservoir has been topped off after you're done, it's time to put the lid onto the PS fluid reservoir and start the engine.

You may hear a little squealing from the PS steering pump when you first start the engine but it should stop within a few minutes if you got it bled properly. Make sure you get the hydraulic hoses reattached onto the steering box securely before starting the bleeding process.

I changed my steering box in under an hour laying on the dirt on Sledgehammer in Johnson Valley. Probably would not have taken that long but I had to wait a few minutes for the spare replacement steering box (we carry a lot of spare parts when wheeling in Johnson Valley!) to make it back to me from our camp site. Three bolts hold it in place and two hydraulic hoses have to be disconnected/reconnected, that's it.
I had to turn my wheels about 40 times total. I went back & forth 10 times, checked fluid, repeat. After 40 times it was good.

Note: emphasis in Jerry's quote added by me.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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Yep, PB already in progress, just need to round up the bits and pieces, then maybe Sunday if I have everything.
Have the new/rebuilt box waiting.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:23 PM   #8
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Fail.

Ran into a number of problems, most of which are already noted in this thread:
- got the bolt off of the pitman arm, no problem
- broke a pitman arm puller trying to get it off, tried the "blue hammer", another pitman arm puller, and a number of other persuasive tools with no effect
- could not get the tie rod end off of the pitman arm, not enough clearance above, maybe if the PS hoses were removed, I could sneak the puller in
- tried to remove the hoses from the top of the box with an open ended 18mm, removed the sway bar for more room, but still not enough room
- gave up and put it all back together

Questions:
- I see a plastic/rubber seal between the pitman arm and the box on the splines, do I need a new one of these as well, did not come with my new box.
- Any easy way to get the tie rod end off with the short clearance, there must be a way without removing th PS hoses; how is it done when replacing the steering components only? Different type of puller?
- how have others removed the PS hoses? Remove after dropping the box? Think Sears may have some angled wrenches that may get in there.
- think I'm just going to buy a new pitman arm and skip removing it, so that solves that problem.

Any comments, tips, experiences.

Who the hell invented the pitman arm anyway : 0
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:34 PM   #9
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Got it on tonight.
For the benefit of others replacing the steering box, here is what it fianlly took:
Used a pickle fork and a four pound sledge on the tie rod end at the pitman arm, two hits, and it was free
Used a progressive approch to the pitman arm, used the puller, then four pound sledge tapping, tightend more, repeat, repeat.
Finally used the blue hammer, just focus on one spot on the arm for maximum heat, maybe three minutes.
Tighened the puller agian, and it was free.
The correct tool to use on the PS hoses is an 18mm line wrench, it's slightly angled and makes all the differenece in the close quarters.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:27 AM   #10
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Thanks for the update; replacing my box soon so this will be bookmarked for future reference.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:11 PM   #11
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Just replaced my gear box yesterday on a 2003 TJ. The pitman arm nut was a 33MM for my 2003 and fit perfect. I believe 97-02 were 32MM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:28 PM   #12
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I used a pipe wrench to take it off, and a 1-5/16 socket to tighten it down - 2000 with PS
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLaborde View Post
I swapped my box out this past Monday.

I use a pipe wrench also.

Here's a DIY in swapping the box for a Durango box. The disassembly is the same. It says to use a 1-5/16" socket.

Jeeps-Offroad.com: Durango -> TJ Power-Steering Box Swap Tech Article

BTW, the write up makes getting the box off seem a little easier than it is. My 98 is configured so that I had to unbolt the sway bar and lift it out of the way to get to the hose connections. If you were really careful & had help, you could lower the unbolted box a bit & remove the hoses then. Be ready for power steering fluid to flow out of the hoses and the box no matter how you do it.

The pitman arm puller was useless for removing the tie rod end from the pitman arm. There wasn't enough clearance to get it in place.

Also, I couldn't get to the steering shaft bolt from the top. I had to turn the steering wheel 1/2 turn & get it from underneath. Once the shaft is disconnected from the box DO NOT spin the steering wheel.

Don't forget to replace the seals on the end of the hoses. These should come with the new box.

I played hell getting the pitman arm off the old box. The puller went as tight as it would go but the arm was still stuck. With the puller tightened as much as it would, I used a BFH to persuade the arm to finally come loose.

I know I make it sound hard, but it's not really. If I can do it, you can too.
disconnect the hoses from the pump and drop the box with the hoses attached...did you use a pitman arm puller...pulled many pitman arms never had that problem...don't buy cheep tools...my preference is Snap-On but they can be expensive...Sears is good, so is Mack...stay away from husky and the cheep crap made in China...

As for the tie rod...use a tie rod fork (pickle fork) and give it a solid bash with a hammer...forks come in various sizes...remember to loosen the nut till it's almost off and lift the grease boot so it rides on the fork...if not the fork can cut into it...
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:26 PM   #14
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Any one know if a Durango Gear Box will fit a 2003 TJ?
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:30 AM   #15
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Don't know off the top of my head, but I'm leaning towards no; I believe the '03 and up TJs use a different style box, so the Durango is a no go for you guys. You can find out for sure with a quick google search.

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