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How the hell do you remove a rust belt steering arm

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MarcS, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. MarcS

    MarcS 1/2 ton status

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    Just what the subject says. The arm that is on the knuckle not the one on the steering gear.(GM10 bolt) I have hit this thing from every angle, used a can of PB Blaster, and a plumbing torch. Maybe oxy/acetalene torch ??? /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif/forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif
     
  2. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I've removed 2...both have been a pain.

    I used a combination of:
    3 lb. mallet and full-on, pissed-off blows
    Penetrating fluid (PB blaster)
    Heat from propane torch
    Air hammer/chisel

    Of all those, I found the best thing was the 3lb mallet and air chisel. Get a blunt tip on the chisel and go around all the cone washers, then put a cutting tip/blade and hammer into where it mounts on the axle. After doing that for a while, whip out the mallet and start wailing. It WILL pop free eventually - trust me. I've been in the same position as you thinking it wouldn't come off, but it does.

    GIVE 'ER HELL!

    Oh yeah...and once you get it off (this part is mandatory)...hold it over your head, and spike it into the ground while belting out a victorious war-cry.
     
  3. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Big hammer as stated above. Avoid using heat, ball joint boots don't like getting hot. I found that by placing something solid under rotor/backing plate like a concrete block (positioned so that it doesn't crumble) will help so that all of you energy from the hammer goes into the arm and not into moving the axle housing. I use a big sledge hammer, about 10 lbs.
     
  4. GMCLegacy

    GMCLegacy 1/2 ton status

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    id recomend a 8 lb sledge, also have heard of people driving around the block with the nuts loost to free the cone washers up (never have tried it)
     
  5. clarkjw24

    clarkjw24 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Happy B day heavy4x4. Now for the steering arm. I definately stay away from heat unless you don't mind changing the ball joints. Also you might want to go ahead and get a new stud and nut kit for them. I've backed the nuts up flush with the top of the stud and welded them on. Then backed the whole stud out with an impact. The heat on the stud from welding helps loosen it and you doesn't mess up the ball joints.
     
  6. sickquad

    sickquad 1/2 ton status

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    Driving around the block with the nut loose sounds like an interesting way to get it off.
     
  7. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Driving around the block with the nut loose sounds like an interesting way to get it off.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sadly I've tried it and it usually doesn't help any.
     
  8. Nike

    Nike Registered Member

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    A friend of mine used the big hammer method. I tried that until I had used all the cuss words I know, then calmly put the nut on about half way, welded it on, put a big breaker bar on it and easily twisted the whole thing out. Also did that on the others, an they were also easy. It does cost about 40 bucks for a new set though. Thanks Nike
     
  9. 86chevybanshee

    86chevybanshee 1/2 ton status

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    i tried everything to get mine off, just after i put my new axle in, and i couldnt get it off, so my friend that owed me money gave me another axle with all new bearing seals, ball joints, gears, shafts and u joints, and a raised arm, it worked for me
     
  10. 1-ton

    1-ton 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I wonder if removing the grease zerk fitting, and using a jet air nozzle to shoot compressed air into the steering knuckle cavity would do it?
     
  11. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    used a can of PB Blaster

    [/ QUOTE ]
    That's a good start. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
    Hmmm I seem to repeat this a bit.
    OTC tools does make a nifty set of pliers that are made to specificaly remove centering cones. They do cost a whoppin $10 but they sure do seem to pluck em right out.
    I don't give a sh!t what the condition of the part.
    Smack the arm up and down a few times with a 9 lb hammer, you will notice that the cone closest to the arm is starting to work loose.
    I have had to smack an arm more than twice to get it to unseat.
    Grab yer nifty cone pliers, you will notice that one jaw is machined to fit on the cone and the other is wedge shaped, insert the wedge into the split in the cone and pull the handles together and notice that the cone is spreading away from the stud.
    Depending on the amount of corrosion it may take a bit of Blaster and twisting the cone back and forth and pulling upwards.
    Once that one is free go to the opposite end and repeat.
    Since the arm is not availible to whack on a large chisle works. Hold the chisle with vise grips, gettin smacked in the wrist with a 9 lb hammer sux.
    By the time that one is removed the center one is well loosened and can be plucked out.
    Lift off steering arm and do what ya need to do.
    You think steering arms are bad???
    Older rigs I work on have these cones on the axle flanges.
    10 of em, and ya have to swing a 20lb sledge and beat the piss outa it to try and get em to move. /forums/images/graemlins/woot.gif
    On a side note do not weld a nut on the stud or double nut it to try and remeve them.
    Well I suppose ya could but if breaks off then ya just have to drill it out.
    And now that it has been heated and welded on it is harder than the hubs of Hell and ya burn up a bunch of bits getting it out. /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
     
  12. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    I used the blue wrench /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    My ball joints survived BTW. I used the smallest cutting tip and burned out the cone washers. If you know what you are doing it is possible to burn out the washers without hurting the threads on the studs. Mine came out fine so I'm still using the original studs from '79.
     
  13. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    Hmm you must have one steady hand.
    Without damaging the studs. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
    Wow ya have me beat.
    Damn I feel pretty good when I blow off a huck bolt and not damage the frame.
    I must be doin something wrong???
    Everytime I try to torch something out of a cavity it is generaly a loss. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  14. bigburban383

    bigburban383 1/2 ton status

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    Mine was definatly a rust belted to the axle. We used heat, twister, and an AIR HAMMER...DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA!

    It eventually gave up.
     
  15. Poohbair

    Poohbair 1/2 ton status

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    I have taken several off w/o any trouble. The trick is to hit it DOWN!!! Like you are trying to drive it ON!!! After a few good smacks w/ about a 5lb hammer, the cones will start to come up and you can turn them out w/ pliers, then take the arm off...no problems! /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  16. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    I had the l lady time me on the last one.
    3 minutes and change,
    And it was a nasty one.
    Use vise grips.
     
  17. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I had the l lady time me on the last one.
    3 minutes and change,
    And it was a nasty one.
    Use vise grips.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Unless that axle came out of the ocean you are comparing apples to oranges /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
     
  18. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    At the junkyard,where the proper tools,air hammers,etc.arent readily availabe,they remove the nuts to the steering arm,and put a jack under it and lift the entire truck up about 3 inches,so all the weight is on the steering arm(put a jack stand or large wood block under the axle so truck wont crush you if it falls!)hit it a few time with a heavy sledge and it will loosen the cones on the frontmost studs,then remove the jack and hit it downward like the other post said,then the cones usually come up about a half inch and vise grips take them off fairly easy. This method is what I've seen work the fastest on rotted new england trucks.But nothing beats the right tools like an air chisel--a pickle fork can be inserted under the steering arm after it breaks loose to help persuade it also.Sometimes the blue wrench is the only solution. /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif
     
  19. MarcS

    MarcS 1/2 ton status

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    Looks like I have some pounding to do. If that don't work, I'll try the welding the nut on. Don't know about the special pliers, one of the cones rusted off even with the arm. Thanks for the tips. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif
     
  20. rcurrier44

    rcurrier44 1/2 ton status

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    I have yet to see anyone say hit it from the side....it works every time for me. 2-3 good swings with a hand sledge near the base on eather side of the arm brakes atleast one loose. After each one has broken free take a skinny screwdriver and tap it the split of the washer...this spreads it away from the threads on the stud. You can then just slide the cone right off.
    After one cone is off repeat, the 2nd will come loose even easier.

    I did 2 last night while swaping nuckles on 10 bolts. Took a couple of min each.

    Infact this is the same technique I use for any tapered joint wether it be a ball joint, tie rod end or tapered washer. I haven't used my pickle fork in years.
     

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