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-   -   Steering Gearbox/Pitman Arm Removal (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/steering-gearbox-pitman-arm-removal-238065.html)

Catnip 0_o 04-27-2013 08:57 AM

Steering Gearbox/Pitman Arm Removal
 
02 TJ 4.0L Sport Well I've just about reached my last nerve with the Jeep lately, it's just been one thing after another. I've pretty much replaced everything in the front end by now so hopefully this is the last repair for awhile cause funds are short. In any case, the steering gearbox has been showing signs of wear for awhile and pretty much gave out yesterday. So I started to remove it, I took the front bumper/winch completely off, including the sway bar. Removed the lines into the box, removed the steering shaft bolt, loosened the 3 mounting bolts as well. All that remains is the pitman arm... I have never removed one of these before, I let it soak in PB All last night and today as well and won't get to it until tonight. Becides renting and using a puller from Autozone, what is the best way to get the arm out? I've seen a few different opinions and thought I'd ask you guys personally, do I just torque on the puller until it pulls it out or do I use a hammer? Where do I hit and so forth? Also when I do finally get it off, when I go to put in the new box should everything line up as long as I don't touch the steering wheel? Will there need to be any adjusting or should it slip in place and be fine? Will I need an alignment afterwards? Thank you

Water Dog 04-27-2013 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Catnip 0_o (Post 3688946)
02 TJ 4.0L Sport Well I've just about reached my last nerve with the Jeep lately, it's just been one thing after another. I've pretty much replaced everything in the front end by now so hopefully this is the last repair for awhile cause funds are short. In any case, the steering gearbox has been showing signs of wear for awhile and pretty much gave out yesterday. So I started to remove it, I took the front bumper/winch completely off, including the sway bar. Removed the lines into the box, removed the steering shaft bolt, loosened the 3 mounting bolts as well. All that remains is the pitman arm... I have never removed one of these before, I let it soak in PB All last night and today as well and won't get to it until tonight. Becides renting and using a puller from Autozone, what is the best way to get the arm out? I've seen a few different opinions and thought I'd ask you guys personally, do I just torque on the puller until it pulls it out or do I use a hammer? Where do I hit and so forth? Also when I do finally get it off, when I go to put in the new box should everything line up as long as I don't touch the steering wheel? Will there need to be any adjusting or should it slip in place and be fine? Will I need an alignment afterwards? Thank you

IMO, the first thing you should do is retighten the frame bolts...you'll probably need to have the gear box solid to work on removing the pitman arm. Soaking it in PB was a good idea. Put some serious torque on the puller, then wack the hex nut on the puller with a hammer, take another turn with the puller, then repeat. Sometimes it also helps to tap around the pitman arm itself near where the shaft goes through.

Catnip 0_o 04-27-2013 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Water Dog (Post 3689042)

IMO, the first thing you should do is retighten the frame bolts...you'll probably need to have the gear box solid to work on removing the pitman arm. Soaking it in PB was a good idea. Put some serious torque on the puller, then wack the hex nut on the puller with a hammer, take another turn with the puller, then repeat. Sometimes it also helps to tap around the pitman arm itself near where the shaft goes through.

Alright, I will tighten down the frame bolts and take your advice, hopefully all goes well. It's been through 2 Michigan winters but before that was a Cali jeep

clull05rubi 04-27-2013 09:49 AM

I had to use a torch and heat mine up cuz the puller was severely bending and one i put the heat on it 4 a min it poped right off

Catnip 0_o 04-27-2013 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clull05rubi (Post 3689074)
I had to use a torch and heat mine up cuz the puller was severely bending and one i put the heat on it 4 a min it poped right off

I will keep that in mind, I have it soaked in PB, will that be safe to torch?

Shark_13 04-27-2013 10:45 AM

Same here, soaked mine overnight, used AutoZone puller, used propane torch to heat the arm , tap with hammer and it came off.

Catnip 0_o 04-27-2013 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shark_13 (Post 3689173)
Same here, soaked mine overnight, used AutoZone puller, used propane torch to heat the arm , tap with hammer and it came off.

Hopefully mine will be as easy, been through 2 Michigan winters but before that was a Cali jeep

Shark_13 04-27-2013 11:00 AM

Honestly, heat is the key.
Also, depending on the puller, sometimes just letting pressure off it, rotating it slightly, then cranking on it again can help. The AutoZone one i had only had 2 arms, so it wanted to angle itself slightly.

c_goodnow 04-27-2013 11:31 AM

Take two hammers and hit simultaneaously on either side. Whack a few times, tighten the puller, repeat. The puller needs to be good and tight but obviously you don't want it to bend or break.

Using two hammers at once will help much more than one hammer.

All Terrain JK 04-27-2013 11:35 AM

As said heat and hammer but leave the pitman arm nut on the end of the threads. The arm can release with great force and the nut may save a hell of a headache.

Catnip 0_o 04-29-2013 12:40 AM

Update:

Well I tackled the gearbox today and suprisingly everything went very smoothly including the pitman arm removal. With just a bit of elbow grease the nut on the pitman arm came loose and it didnt take very long for the puller to work and pop it off. Looks like soaking it in PB for almost 2 days really did help. Not to mention I did the hammer trick (smacking it from all angles).

She seems to be doing much better now, thank you all for your help!


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