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I replaced my pitman arm a few days ago. Here are a few notes for anyone that may be interested.
The service manual doesn't list the required socket sizes. Or I couldn't find them listed anyway. The nut that holds the pitman arm onto the steering gear shaft is 1 & 5/16s. The nut that holds the pitman arm onto the center link is 15/16s. I initially tried using a run of the mill 4" gear puller to remove the pitman arm. I had difficulty making much progress. The puller kept coming off. I borrowed a pitman arm puller from AutoZone. (They have a free loan program.) It was incredibly easy with this tool. I highly recommend that you consider renting or borrowing a specialized tool because the pitman arm is put on real well. Here's a picture of the tool:
There are probably a lot of ways but I found the easiest way to raise and support the front of the vehicle was to use two cheap 3 ton jack stands, a bottle jack and a block of wood. The lower control arms are just big enough to allow you to place both the jack and jack stand under each one at the same time. I was pretty sure that my pitman arm was shot but it became really obvious at this point. I could pull the center link far away from pitman arm with ease. After replacing the pitman arm everything was very snug. BTW, I did not find it necessary to remove the underbody protection to replace the pitman arm.
- logan '97 td wagon
Note: There is another pitman removal tool pictured HERE.
A key to using a pitman arm puller without breaking it is to do the following....
Use wheel bearing grease on the bolt.
Tighten up the bolt to the shaft and then use a hammer on the bolt if the arm isn't coming off easily. Then try turning it again... repeat steps until the arm is off.... otherwise, there is a good chance that you could strip the bolt....... I have done this before....
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