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How to remove a steering arm?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by cibholder03, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. cibholder03

    cibholder03 Newbie

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    Just bought a 6" lift ( all springs ) for my 91' 1/2 Ton Suburban and it came with a steering arm for the steering correction. Not to long ago I helped a buddy do a 4" lift for his 87' 1/2 Ton Truck and if I remember right he couldn't get his old steering arm off even after he removed all the bolts and tried everything to get it off. I'm doing mine at the beginning of March so I have some time to pick up a few tools to make the job easier, Does anyone have a really good way to break loose these pesky steering arm to replace it? Any ideas would be very helpful--
     
  2. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    In Az it takes 3 good whacks and its off .

    Your part of the world , if they still salt the roads , it may take some soaking in pb blaster or your favorite rust buster , before you whack it .
     
  3. Vetteman61

    Vetteman61 Registered Member

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    Steering Arm Hades

    Finally, I can offer some assistance to someone instead of the other way around. I just 3 weeks ago put a lift on my 87 K5. When it came time to take the steering arm off, well, to say it didn't want to move is an understatement. I was surprised how many people didn't even know what a steering arm was and kept telling me I was talking about a pitman arm. Anyway, this is what I learned from my experience.
    After trying everything and continuing to get bigger hammers, I finally got a sledge hammer and a torch. I would heat the steering arm and beat on it with everything I had. The steering arm will have 3 studs coming through it. After you remove the nuts from those studs, you are SUPPOSED to be able to hit the steering arm and three cone shaped washers will come loose. Mine didn't and I didn't fully understand how the washers worked until I got it out. My cone-shaped washers were completely stuck, so that they appeared to be just regular flat washers which were held in place by rust and age.
    After 2 days and close examination, I realized they were actually cone shaped washes which slid over the studs. They were extremely, extremely stuck. I took a ridiculous amount of lubricant and some screw drivers and hammers and finally chiseled them out. They have a very small slit in the top which you can put the driver or pick into and hammer. Get them to turn little by little and if yours are as stuck as mine, they'll eventually come out.
    After seeing this, I'm not sure they torch was even necessary. After prying the cones out, the arm itself came off easy as pie.
     
  4. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Just soak it overnight in PB blaster, put your purse down and hit it.
     
  5. WhiteBurb

    WhiteBurb 1/2 ton status

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    The key for me was taking off the draglink first. I tried it with the draglink attached, and hammered it for an hour or so. No luck. Then I decided to take the draglink off, hit it twice and it popped right off. I guess it wasn't able to vibrate with the draglink, or something.
     
  6. TexasBlazerBoy

    TexasBlazerBoy 1/2 ton status

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    BFH:D

    DO NOT HIT THE THREADS ON THE STUDS:mad:
     
  7. 84 K5 4x4

    84 K5 4x4 1/2 ton status

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    X2 On the BFH:D
     
  8. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    every day from now until you install the lift kit soak every bolt with P'blaster. I'm serious. every day spray a little lube on everything. It will make the job a lot easier. Then use the biggest hammer you can swing on the steering arm.
     
  9. bigblazer87

    bigblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    x2 Mine were ridiculously stuck until I used a chisel to get them to spin free and out.
     
  10. cibholder03

    cibholder03 Newbie

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    Thanks guys, I'm starting my daily ritual of PB blaster soaking today. I'm in the Army and I have to take leave to go to my Dad's shop in Indiana to do the lift, so I have a limited time to do it. Hopefully mine won't be as hard as his was, but then again he bought his truck as a project that had been sitting for a while and every bolt on that truck fought us. It was a nightmare to say the least. But when it was all said and done, we sat in the garage drank a few cold ones and admired how bada@% the truck looked when we were finished. It made all the trips to the hardware store for Grade 8 bolts to replace the ones we stripped due to rust and all the cuts and busted knuckles we suffered all worth while. I wouldn't have changed a thing. Thanks again!
     
  11. nemesis_pyros

    nemesis_pyros 1/2 ton status

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    Just to save yourself some possible trouble. Once you take the steering arm nuts off thread them back on a few threads. This way if your swing gets a little wild you won't bugger up those studs. I used an 8 pound sledge on the thing and she came off in a few hits.
     
  12. TexasBlazerBoy

    TexasBlazerBoy 1/2 ton status

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    I wish I had thougth of that:doah:
     
  13. Dogman12

    Dogman12 1/2 ton status

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    Before you hit it with the BFH put some presure under it with a floor jack and then put the purse down and hit it. PB it and put the nuts on like above.
    Good luck
     
  14. AZ79K5Project

    AZ79K5Project 1/2 ton status

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    This just doesn't sound good.:haha:
     
  15. Avery4jc

    Avery4jc 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    everyone swears up and down about soaking them day in and day out for god knows how long then hitting it w/ a BFH in just the right spot then more soaking...blah.
    Just take the nuts off and hit it w/ the air chisel. Be careful not to crush those cones...or do what I did and take the axle to a shop...they pulled both of my steering arms and swapped them (didn't even mess up the cones) for $80.
     
  16. Vetteman61

    Vetteman61 Registered Member

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    coney island

    if those cones are as seized in that arm as mine were, soaking for days and days and days won't make it a simple task, and you can lay down all the purses and apply all the vagasil you want... a bigger hammer and harder hitting just won't do it. I disconnected everything I could and borrowed a massive sledge hammer, and heated it. I eventually got so frustrated I didn't care what I broke or dented, I just wanted it off. In the end, NO ONE could get it off until we finally chisled those cones out. In case yours might not be stuck that bad, it would be a good idea to leave the nuts on the end of those studs, if for no other reason, to make sure the cones don't fly into orbit... or your eyeballs, if they were to break loose or snap out during a very hefty sledgehammer stroke (at this point no doubt accompanied by a mighty celtic yell that would make Braveheart proud)
     
  17. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    And now the most dangourous suggestion of all. One Dodge I did we could not get it off even after everything suggested, I have done several of these and this Dodge would not let go of its steering arm. Well the next truck I decided to loosen all the nuts put them back on just slightly(of course after wacking it a couple of times) and pull it into the driveway. Well the steering arm came loose almost instantly. If you try this DRIVE VERY SLOWLY AND FOR VERY VERY SHORT DISTANCES AND MAKE SURE YOUR TRUCK IS SEVERAL FEET CLEAR OF EVERYTHING AROUND YOU

    good luck
     
  18. bp71k5

    bp71k5 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I also had an impossible one to remove and finally got it to budge by chiseling the cone washers with a big flathead screwdriver and a hammer. It isn't really chiseling/cutting them, but it helps pull the cones up just a bit when you hit them.
     
  19. 70GMC

    70GMC Registered Member

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    FYI you can get new cones, studs, and nuts on ebay from an ebay store called Harsh Terrain. that's what i ended up having to do after i destroyed my cone washers.
     
  20. BigEasy

    BigEasy 1/2 ton status

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    You don't even want to know how much GM charges for those cone washers. :eek1: :doah:
     

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