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replaced pitman arm. steering wheel way off-center now.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by vortec, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    i replaced my pitman arm on my '94 C1500, the other day. fine. well, now my steering wheel is off by 90 freakin' degrees :mad:. since there are 4 splines that are larger than the rest, the arm can only fit on one way and still point to the center link. plust, i marked the sector shaft before i removed the old arm. i'm thinking the autozone pitman arm may have the splines cut wrong or something. even a few degrees would make a difference, considering how narrow the sector shaft's range of motion is (90 degrees maybe?). i wish i'd compared the splines on the two shafts before i stuck the new one one.

    ideas? did autozone give me a messed up part? i've done a few pitman arms for friends and family and never had this issue before. i don't feel like ripping the thing back out and taking it back, but i will if i have to.

    thanks.
     
  2. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    The box was probably not centered when you installed the pitman arm.
     
  3. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    He said it can only go on one way.

    I'd say either the wrong pitman arm (verify the part number yourself) or just slight manufacturing variances in the part. If it's the right part, just adjust the tie rod ends equally to straighten the wheel. No big deal.
     
  4. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    before i removed the old one, i set the wheels as straight as i could eyeball them, which left the pitman arm pointing straight back, parallel to the frame, perpendicular to the center link, then marked the sector shaft. the arm has many (didn't count) normal splines, and 4 much thicker splines, with corresponding large voids on the shaft. trying to put the arm on without aligning the large splines would not allow it to mesh at all.

    i was trying to avoid that, since it's pretty easy to mess up the toe, but since i'm about to get new tires within the next few thousand miles, it will need an alignment anyway. and, of course, i was hoping someone had a lazier answer. ha.

    difference in machining is about what i figured. thanks.
     
  5. Hoot

    Hoot Registered Member

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    there is an adjustment to the tie-rod that goes to the pitman, extend it out to straighten your wheel. DO NOT TAKE WHEEL OFF THE STEERING COLUMN!
     
  6. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    are you referring to something besides the normal threaded adjustment sleeves? i can't say i'm aware of another way to adjust a tie-rod.
     
  7. Hoot

    Hoot Registered Member

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    you should have a tie rod extender sleeve, its optional when you purchase a lift... did u get one?
     
  8. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Re-read the first post.

    "i replaced my pitman arm on my '94 C1500..."

    Late model 2WD truck. More than likely not lifted. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Hoot

    Hoot Registered Member

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    and your steering column is off 90 degrees.... yes, i read your post. i had to replace my tie rod extender sleeve and adjust it to make it longer to re-center my wheel. no need to get all pissed off bro, just trying to help.
     
  10. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Nobody's getting pissed off and if you were paying attention, you'd see it's not my post or my steering cloumn. Just trying to clarify things for you.

    It's a 2wd truck and he said nothing about the truck being lifted. The pitman arm connects directly to a center link.
    There is no adjustment anywhere near the pitman. The only adjustment is at the wheels.

    vortec: as long as you adjust both tie rods equally, it shouldn't throw off the toe too badly.
     
  11. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    goldwing2000 may actually have been making fun of me, for the truck not being a 4x4. that's fine. my 82 blazer is 4x4 and i give the t-case and front drivetrain a workout whenever i can. the 94 is my 2wd dd and it is stock height. i asked about it on here for two reasons. the column is similar to or the same as the 90s k5s, and there is a lot more overall vehicle knowledge on this board than on most of the forums for later models. all they care about is euro taillights, chrome rims, and trying to figure out what the "710 cap" is for. :haha:


    years ago, i adjusted the tie-rods on my friend's 92 and it should be identical to mine, afaik. and if i mess up a little, it doesn't matter too much, since i'll have a proper alignment done to accompany the coming new tires.

    thanks, guys.
     
  12. Hoot

    Hoot Registered Member

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    ok, my bad... i mis-read. thought u was gettin pissed at me ;-)
     
  13. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    No, sir. Just trying to help you correct your problem.

    The emphasis on 2wd was only for the benefit of anybody who may not have noticed the "C1500" in the original post.
     

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