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Old 05-03-2010, 08:05 PM   #1
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Steering Wheel Play Solved! but questions. (video)

Hey guys,
as most of your from my other thread, I have been having some steering wheel play, and I thought it would be the alignment, but it wasn't... It was the pitman arm.

The place I had the alignment done said it was the pitman arm and that I had some playin the steering wheel, so they fixed it and made it all nice and tight, but about a week later, it started to happen again. I took it back and he said the problem this time were the drag link 'C' clips that mount the threaded sleeve on. So he tightened those nice and tight..

Today I figured, what the hell, why not try something, so I went out tightened what he told me to, but I still had play... I mean I'm a man and everything but that pitman arm bolt is a you know what...

Here is a video of the problem... I got my dad to move the steering wheel, you can move it about 1-2 inches until you actually start moving the tires...



What can I do to get this fix on my own?? What tool? I tried to use a big cresent wrench but it wouldn't budge...

Thanks!

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Old 05-03-2010, 08:09 PM   #2
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First, replace that dropped Pitman arm with the factory OE Pitman arm. Your dropped Pitman arm is not only loose on the steering shaft as you can see, that it is a dropped style also means it is causing bump steer too. From the video, I can see your trackbar behind the drag link is at stock (non dropped) height which means you should not be running a dropped Pitman arm.

When you get the factory Pitman arm installed, the installer will use an impact wrench to tighten the nut which will push the new Pitman arm up further on the steering shaft which will remove the play you are seeing.

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Old 05-03-2010, 08:13 PM   #3
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Ok, so even if I have a 4" suspension lift, it won't matter if I have the stock pitman arm?
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:14 PM   #4
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Also, will I need another alignment?
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignuke View Post
Ok, so even if I have a 4" suspension lift, it won't matter if I have the stock pitman arm?
Nope, that height does not yet need a dropped Pitman arm. It's not so much height that dictates when a dropped Pitman arm is needed, it's whether the track bar mount is dropped or not. My previous 5.5" lift did not need a DPA, my next previous 4.5" did need a DPA after I installed a dropped track bar mount, and my present 4" Currie lift does not need a DPA because it does not use a dropped track bar mount.

The only thing you'll need to do after reinstalling the correct (non-dropped) Pitman arm is to straighten the steering wheel which is very simple and takes just a few minutes. No alignment shop is needed for that, just a simple wrench & a big pair of pliers. Here's how... (it's down a little ways past the toe-in adjustment procedure)... Basic Jeep Front End Alignment
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:21 PM   #6
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Ok, thanks a lot!

Anywhere I can find an OE pitman arm? I looked on 4wd and they only have the 'Drop Pitman Arm'
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:25 PM   #7
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Nearly any local 4x4 shop should have at least several non-dropped Pitman arms in their junk box they removed from previous jobs they have done. Parts stores rarely carry them. I would call all your local 4x4 shops and tell them you need the stock Pitman arm for a TJ, someone should have them.

And caution that some of them are CLUELESS and will try to talk you out of going back to the non-dropped Pitman arm. The Wrangler TJ's steering geometry is different from most other 4x4 trucks and even the older Wrangler YJs that did usually require dropped Pitman arms after a suspension lift was installed.

There ARE times a Wrangler TJ requires a dropped Pitman arm but your TJ's configuration is not one of those... yours should definitely not have one.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:27 PM   #8
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Thanks again!

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