What can you do if your pitman arm wont come off and your steering wheel is not working properly? I explain three ways how you can take it out.
Modern vehicles are equipped with various components, like a pitman arm for turning the front wheel.
It joins the power steering gearbox and steering linkages to your car’s driving wheel.
It receives the power from the steering gear and transfers it to the tie rod so that the wheels can be moved appropriately and turned while driving on the road.
But the pitman arm can become damaged with time, and you need to replace it with a new one instantly to maintain stability while driving.
If you tried various ways to remove the device, including a pitman puller but it doesn’t come off, then this is the right place to be.
Well, there are various ways to remove the pitman gear puller. One of the best ways of removing the device is by using an angle grinder and pitman remover.
What Is The Function Of Pitman Arm?
The Pitman arm is a vital steering system component that plays an essential role in turning your vehicle wheels. But it is present mainly in heavy vehicles like trucks.
You will find a shaft that runs from the steering wheel to the power steering gearbox. The Pitman arm is attached to the power steering gear.
Whenever you turn the steering wheel, the rotary motion is transmitted by the steering shaft to the power steering box, and consequently, the Pitman arm starts to rotate by the ball joint.
It causes the center link to move side by side and helps change the vehicle’s wheel direction.
The Pitman arm’s primary function is to attach firmly to the center link and help the wheel to turn and move forward and backward.
What Are The Symptoms of Faulty Pitman Arm?
The pitman arm can become faulty with time. For instance, it can get stuck in the center link joint or become loose with time.
The ball socket joint can corrode or turn suddenly because of loose nuts and bolts.
These problems can badly affect the function of the Pitman arm. Below are a few symptoms that warn you about a faulty pitman arm.
#1. The vehicle pulls Either To The Left Or Right
If your vehicle constantly pulls to the left or right, it can be because of a bad pitman arm. It is very dangerous while driving on busy highways or in bad weather conditions.
#2. Loose Steering
If the ball joint of the Pitman arm is loose or worn out, then the steering wheel will become loose or not respond appropriately.
#3. Noise While Turning Wheel
If you hear a noise like a popping sound while taking turns, it can be because of a bad pitman arm. It can be because of lost joints or lack of lubrication in the Pitman arm.
How To Remove A Pitman Arm When It Does Not Come Off?
The Pitman arm is connected to the steering gear by a nut and lock washer. You can easily remove it with the help of an appropriate socket size.
If you don’t get a proper size socket, then an axle nut socket will also remove both the nut and washer.
You don’t have to make much effort while removing the nut that connects the pitman arm to the center link.
The pitman arm sometimes does not come off. It is mainly when you have not removed the pitman arm from the gearbox for several years.
Most of the service manuals recommend you remove the pitman arm with the help of a pitman puller.
The usual method for removing the Pitman arm is as follows.
- Spray some WD-40 or any other penetrating spray on the joints
- Take a pitman puller and spray some lubricant on the pressure screw.
- Now try to connect it to the pitman arm puller. You can do it by positioning the end of the pressure screw into the middle of the sector shaft of the Pitman arm.
- Take a 17mm open-end spanner and apply it to the pressure screw.
- Take a hammer and hit on the end of the pressure screw, and you will observe the pitman arm puller will automatically come off.
A pitman puller can break the device if the Pitman arm is tight against the gearbox. So if the Pitman arm does not come off, then you can use the following methods to remove it.
#1. Use Acetylene Torch
You can use an acetylene torch to heat the device’s arm and then use a pitman arm puller to remove it.
It will no doubt disconnect the device from the steering gear, but it can damage the shaft bearings.
#2. Use Pickle Fork Separator
Strike the ball joint pickle fork separator in between the Pitman arm and steering gearbox with an air hammer to remove the Pitman arm.
But it can damage the shaft bearings and you will have to end replacing them later.
#3. Use Angle Grinder
You can use an angle grinder to remove the component easily. You have to cut a notch on the Pitman arm without damaging the sector shaft to resolve the problem.
Let’s discuss how to remove the pitman arm with the electric grinder.
- Use eyeglasses for safety during the procedure because working with an electric grinder involves a lot of dust and dirt, which can get inside your eye.
- You want tools like a die grinder with a cut-off wheel, air chisel, and pitman arm puller to remove the pitman arm from the steering gear sector shaft.
- Use an angle grinder to cut a notch on the sector shaft, which passes the Pitman arm.
- Use an air chisel to crack the Pitman arm.
- Connect the pitman arm puller to the Pitman arm and rotate the pressure screw.
- You will observe that the pitman arm will automatically fall off.
- Creating a notch on the Pitman arm make your work easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1. How do you remove a stubborn pitman arm?
You can remove the stubborn pit arm using 4.5 inches angle die grinder. You must make a notch near the sector shaft using an angle die grinder with a good cutting wheel.
You can then use an air chisel to make the crack deeper. Connect the pitman arm puller to the device and rotate the pressure screw using your hands.
It will easily remove the pitman arm from your vehicle. The benefit of using this method is that it will not damage the shaft.
#2. How do you release a Pitman arm?
You can release a pitman arm by using a pitman arm puller. Connect the pitman arm puller by positioning the end of the pressure screw in the middle of the sector shaft.
You can then take a 17 mm spanner and apply it to the pressure screw.
If the Pitman arm does not get removed, then strike with the help of a hammer on the end of the pressure screw.
#3. What tool removes a Pitman arm from the steering gear sector shaft?
There are a few tools that you can use to remove the pitman arm from the steering gear shaft. We are listing them below
Pitman arm puller
4.5 inches angle die grinder with a cut-off wheel
Ball joint pickle fork separator.
The Pitman arm is a vital component of your vehicle. You will hear noise while turning your vehicle if it is poorly damaged.
Additionally, your vehicle starts to pull either left or right entirely while driving on the road, which is dangerous.
You need to inspect the Pitman arm, try to remove it by the above methods, and try to replace it with a new one.
But if you don’t have much technical knowledge, then it’s better to take the vehicle to the mechanic so that he will easily remove the Pitman arm and replace a new one.
Thank you for reading!