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Replacing my steering box...couple questions for the gurus.

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Burbinator, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. Burbinator

    Burbinator 1/2 ton status

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    For those of you that have conquered this task:

    Since I have never done this before, what is the procedure for removing and installing a new box (specifically pitman arm reinstallation) and any pitfalls or items to pay special attention to. I am also installing the ORD kit to keep my frame in its current crack-free condition, but that I've done before on a scrapped frame with no box to practice my novice welding.

    Any and all information is much appreciated...thanks!
     
  2. Blue Meanie

    Blue Meanie Registered Member

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    the steering box is no biggie to change. 2 lines in the top (which will most certianly break, so have another vehicle or both lines to replace them) the doughnut spacer with 2 bolts and the coupler to steering box shaft which is a 12pt bolt (i can never find the damn socket to fit it), the steering arm, which always falls off after i remove the bolt (sucks to spend an hour with every puller known to man trying to get that bolt to go over the key way) and the 4 bolts that hold it to the frame (which are almost always rusted) as far as the frame brace, i just installed one and it seems that the holes didn't want to line up too well and it didn't want to mount flush to the frame. i used 2 "C" clamps to hold in the center, or end that i was working on. make sure that you follow the welding directions. and it doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to hold. after that is done, mount the box again and make sure that you crank the hell out of the 4 bolts that hold it on. don't go superman on them or anything, but make sure that they are pretty darn tight. then mount the coupler and doughnut, lines and the steering arm. jack the front of the truck and with the engine off, full up the resivoir and cycle the steering lock to lock about 20 times and check the fluid levil after the first 10. that should do it. the box is heavy and it is pretty tricky to get the bolts to lign up after you put the brace on, so make sure you take the time to lign up the holes good. i used the bolts to center the holes before welding. hope everything turns out good and that i wasn't too vauge. have fun
     
  3. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    The job really isn't that hard if you have the right tools. Do yourself a favor and buy the pitman arm puller. You will save yourself much grief. Also, when you go to put the pitman arm on the new steering box, make sure you do that first before you put the new box back in (the pitman arm only goes on one way). I didn't and it was a major pain in the arse to get the pitman arm back on with the new sterring box installed. It's almost impossible to get the right angle of swing needed to drive the thing back onto the shaft. After you get everything all bolted back up, make sure that you fill the PS pump and have a bottle ready because it'll suck in real fast and takes about a quart and a half if I remember correctly. If you follow the manual you'll be ok. Just remember to put the pitman arm on the new box first.
     
  4. Burbinator

    Burbinator 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the input...

    I hope everything lines up with the brace. Fortunately, my welding expert neighbor offered to assist with that aspect so I don't get into a furball...
     
  5. Burbinator

    Burbinator 1/2 ton status

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    I bought a pitman arm puller and 12pt socket for the coupler yesterday...

    Forgive my ignorance, but how does the arm go back on? Is it just a couple of taps with a hammer or will the puller double as an installer? Does the coupler need to be pulled or does it just come off once the 12pt is loose? I really haven't taken a close look at it yet...

    Thanks for the input!
     
  6. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    You'll have to use forceful taps with a hammer to put it back on the other shaft. Make sure the teeth are line up correctly so that the bolt groove that is machined into the shaft and the bolt hole through the pitman arm are lined up. It is possible to get it off a little bit, so line it up carefully.

    Nope, the puller won't double as an installer. That's what a hammer is for! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif Oh yeah, make sure to take out the 12pt. bolt before you pull the arm off.
     
  7. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    Burb,
    Sounds like you've got another fun-filled weekend planned! DId you find a good (read not too dang expensive) source for the box?
    I may well be following in your shadow. Did the rear disc thing last weekend myself, and really pretty pleased with how easy it went. Have a brake gremlin somewhere however as the pedal hasn't come back up as high as it was before. I'm thinking a m/c is in my future!

    Jim
     

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