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Old 02-25-2011, 08:24 PM   #1
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Pitman arm removal question.

I just ordered my adjustable front track bar and drop pitman arm for my jeep. My question is; without a pitman arm puller, how do I remove my stock pitman arm? Or is it absolutely necessary to buy a pitman arm puller?

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Old 02-25-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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If you have an adj front track bar on a TJ you do not need a drop pitman arm.

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Old 02-25-2011, 08:32 PM   #3
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you can get a free loan pitman arm removal tool from many auto parts, but because of advice on this forum, I recently took off my drop pitman arm after having it on for years and it is a big improvement going back to stock. We took the drop off my sons TJ a few weeks later and his has improved also. I would send it back and be happy with the stock as the drop will probably only add problems. You can search this forum for several pitman arm stories.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:35 PM   #4
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The more important question that needs to be answered first is if you should even install that dropped Pitman arm. Just because you have an adjustable length track bar does not necessarily mean a dropped Pitman arm should be installed. You should ONLY install that dropped Pitman arm if that new adjustable length track bar also has a separately installed dropped upper driver's side mount... and only a few do. If that track bar bolts up to the factory driver's side track bar mount, you absolutely should not install that dropped Pitman arm or your Jeep will develop bump steer which is a steering problem you don't want.

So is your driver's side upper track bar mount stock? If so, do not install that dropped Pitman arm. If you have a separate upper track bar mount to also install that drops the upper end of the trackbar, THEN and only then should the dropped Pitman arm be installed. And yes to remove the factory Pitman arm, which is on TIGHT(!!!), you definitely do need a Pitman arm puller.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:45 PM   #5
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
The more important question that needs to be answered first is if you should even install that dropped Pitman arm. Just because you have an adjustable length track bar does not necessarily mean a dropped Pitman arm should be installed. You should ONLY install that dropped Pitman arm if that new adjustable length track bar also has a separately installed dropped upper driver's side mount... and only a few do. If that track bar bolts up to the factory driver's side track bar mount, you absolutely should not install that dropped Pitman arm or your Jeep will develop bump steer which is a steering problem you don't want.

So is your driver's side upper track bar mount stock? If so, do not install that dropped Pitman arm. If you have a separate upper track bar mount to also install that drops the upper end of the trackbar, THEN and only then should the dropped Pitman arm be installed. And yes to remove the factory Pitman arm, which is on TIGHT(!!!), you definitely do need a Pitman arm puller.
Everything looks stock on the driver side mount so, I'm thinking just the track bar should do. I have horrid bump steer right now. Nearly bounced me off the highway into a ditch this morning going into work. Definitely need that new adjustable track bar asap!

Thanks for the help Jerry! and everyone elses input!
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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Side note: Will the adj. track bar get rid of the bump steer? I only ask because everything I'm reading is saying that the drop pitman arm is what gets rid of bump steer. Not sure if that is just the companies trying to sell product or if its the truth. I just want everything to be working and safe on my jeep after my 3" lift. Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:48 AM   #8
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I have horrid bump steer right now. Nearly bounced me off the highway into a ditch this morning going into work.
Can you exactly describe what you are terming Bump Steer? Exactly when does it occur and what precedes/triggers it? I just want to verify if what you are experiencing is actually true Bump Steer or is actually something else.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:09 PM   #9
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A few good pictures of the front suspension would possibly help too.

While you are under there - look for something loose too.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Can you exactly describe what you are terming Bump Steer? Exactly when does it occur and what precedes/triggers it? I just want to verify if what you are experiencing is actually true Bump Steer or is actually something else.
Well on the highway this morning coming to work I hit a moderate sized pot hole at around 60-65mph and my jeep jumped right after and continued to violently bounce and buck side to side until I came to a complete stop. Felt like one of my wheels was coming off. First time it has ever happened and it was right after a pot hole.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:30 PM   #11
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Violently bouncing back & forth until you came to a complete stop sounds exactly like you had a case of Death Wobble. Check out and thoroughly read the 'Sticky' at the top of the main page that is all about Death Wobble. What you described is definitely completely different and not related to bump steer at all.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:34 PM   #12
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Ahhhhh. Correct me if I am wrong, but it looks as if the adjustable track bar SHOULD indeed fix the death wobble I experienced this morning.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:37 PM   #13
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Also, I'm assuming that "bump steer" Is more the wheel following the imperfections in the road? And that's what makes the wheel jiggle. But again, I'm a newbie, so correct me if I'm wrong.

This forum has helped immensely.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:47 PM   #14
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Ahhhhh. Correct me if I am wrong, but it looks as if the adjustable track bar SHOULD indeed fix the death wobble I experienced this morning.
Possible but no guarantee if it wasn't the track bar that was the actual cause of the DW.

A common combination that causes DW is a loose trackbar passenger-side mount coupled with either an out of balance tire or a bump in the road to serve as the triggering event. But nearly anything that is loose can allow DW to develop, not just a loose track bar passenger side mount that is, however, one of the more common causes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatriotTJ View Post
Also, I'm assuming that "bump steer" Is more the wheel following the imperfections in the road? And that's what makes the wheel jiggle. But again, I'm a newbie, so correct me if I'm wrong.

This forum has helped immensely.
Bump steer is caused by bad geometry in the steering system, when the drag link and track bar are not parallel to each other... as is commonly caused by the installation of a dropped Pitman arm when one should not have been.

The symptom of bump steer is the steering wheel is turned left/right as the front suspension moves up/down. Hence the term "bump steer" because a bump (or dip) in the road causes the steering wheel to be jerked left or right. Often right out of your hands if it is severe enough.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:59 PM   #15
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Then it definitely sounds like I have DW and Bump Steer. Haha. Hopefully when my adj. track bar comes in evrything should get re-aligned. But to clarify, my new adj. track bar and drag link should be parallel?
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:04 PM   #16
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But to clarify, my new adj. track bar and drag link should be parallel?
Yes, I think I said exactly that above.

But they can be parallel but not look parallel because of the screwy way the track bar is bent by the factory. What needs to be parallel are their effective properties as below. If you tied a string between their connect points, those strings should be parallel like in the below illustration (pay no attention to the curved lines for this particular point).

And if a dropped Pitman arm isn't installed and the factory track bar is still installed, you absolutely don't have bump steer.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:23 PM   #17
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Thank you! I have learned a lot today! I'm going to install my adj. trackbar asap and get an alignment right after. I will pass on installing my drop pitman arm thanks to the advice from this forum.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:19 PM   #18
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Very nice photo example, Jerry... I was always trying to figure out how to check for the proper geometry, and that makes it VERY easy to understand.
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:45 PM   #19
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Jerry, those pics made everything make sense! Track bar and drag link should be parallel; if so, no need for the Pitman Arm.

I suppose this is true as long as the adjustability of the track bar is within the range/limits of the lift on the vehicle?

By the way, can I ask what particular make of track bar is illustrated in the pic? And the lift set-up of that vehicle.

Thanks to all.

Patriot, let us know the outcome sans Pitman Arm!! I'm due for this same upgrade ASAP.
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Patriot, let us know the outcome sans Pitman Arm!! I'm due for this same upgrade ASAP.
I will. Im crossing my fingers and hoping that my new adj. track bar comes in soon, and that it will aleiviate all of my current issues.
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:18 PM   #21
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Patriot,

could you also share which trackbar ur going with? I was looking at JKS (get what you pay for???) til started reading some of the threads related to differential cover contact etc. Not knocking the products as I don't know if this was a former problem and has since been resolved. Then u got heim joints, johnny joints, rubber/ poly busings, etc.

anybody w/ input?

thanks Patriot
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:37 PM   #22
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I went with Rough Country. Not my first choice, but I'm on a budget so hopefully it ends up working fine for my application.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:23 PM   #23
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Okay, Rusty's Offroad 3" advanced kit comes with a drop pitman arm and an adjustable track arm. Just because it comes with it doesnt mean I need to install both??? Also on my jeep now when I turn right going down the highway the steering has a "gap" while turning. Hard to explain but I have to turn the wheel a few inches real fast to the right then the steering goes right back to normal. If I dont turn it quick at that point then I'll keep going straight, into oncoming traffic. My Jeep had a 3" daystar spacer lift when I bought it and has the factory track bar just relocated. Im currently searching for a 3-4" lift. Any suggestions on the steering problem or a suspension lift that will fix the problem. My budget for the lift is $1000.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:46 PM   #24
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Check your tie rod ends. If they are weak you may be feeling the slop before your tie rod can actually move. Do you have OEM tie rod and drag link? Check by having someone turn the steering while you lay under the front and look for problems.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:28 AM   #25
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Okay, Rusty's Offroad 3" advanced kit comes with a drop pitman arm and an adjustable track arm. Just because it comes with it doesnt mean I need to install both??? Also on my jeep now when I turn right going down the highway the steering has a "gap" while turning. Hard to explain but I have to turn the wheel a few inches real fast to the right then the steering goes right back to normal. If I dont turn it quick at that point then I'll keep going straight, into oncoming traffic. My Jeep had a 3" daystar spacer lift when I bought it and has the factory track bar just relocated. Im currently searching for a 3-4" lift. Any suggestions on the steering problem or a suspension lift that will fix the problem. My budget for the lift is $1000.
As was so carefully explained above, it is correct that just because you have a dropped Pitman arm in a kit, that you do not necessarily (nor usually do you) need to install it. Unless that kit also has a dropped upper mounting bracket for the track bar, which I strongly doubt it has, you should not (!) install that dropped Pitman arm.

To see what's causing your steering issue, have a helper repeatedly turn your steering wheel back and forth while you look for unwanted movement in your steering system. The tires should be on the ground for this test as that will more readily show any problems/worn parts. Look for the Pitman arm on the steering box not moving in 100% synch with the steering wheel or any side-to-side slop in the Pitman arm, track bar, drag link, or tie rod mounting points.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:57 PM   #26
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can you have bump steer but not feel it on the steering wheel? my wheel doesn't jerk at all but when i go over bumps/little hills in the road it feels like it throws my jeep the opposite way. my sway bar and sway bar link bushings are worn but would that be the cause of it?
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:08 AM   #27
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Bump steer is not always felt at the wheel except when you react to the new direction your jeep is taking. It is a common problem but is usually caused by the axles not being centered. Fix is usually adjustable track bar front and even the rear one is critical if you go 3" or more.
Sway bar bushings will help with rock and roll but not bump steer.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:02 AM   #28
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well i measured from my frame to the tire on both sides and it is within 1/8". guess ill try ordering some bushings and see what that does.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:08 AM   #29
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Lets get back to the basics.
If you removed the drop pitman arm and replaced it with the stocker, you need to do an alignment because you will have a "toe in" condition. This can cause your death wobble, and chances are that is the cause of the DW. If you had loose parts, etc, etc then you would have had the DW before you replaced the pitman arm.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:34 AM   #30
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i never had death wobble. i had super loose steering and i replaced all my tre's and put a new track bar on. the shop didn't change my pitman arm because the hoses from my transmission cooler would be in the way. it just feels like when i go over small rolling bumps/undulations in the road it throws me one way or the other but i dont feel anything in the wheel.

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