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steering arms-pitman arms-shackle flips-brake hoses-shocks 101

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by R72K5, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    why do some ppl use raised steering arm and other go for a dropped pitman arm ? is one better than the other or soemthing, or ?
    lets say that you had a stock K20 and you wanted to put 6" packs all around it. what would be best then, a dropped pitman or raised steering and why ?


    thanks
     
  2. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    Sometimes you need both. Your draglink should be straight as possible. I went for dead on straight after doing a 4" suspension lift. I have seen other drag links at an extreme angle and asked about it. The drivers have not seen a problem. The raised steering arm is cheaper than a drop pitman. Its also easier to install. If you are doing a 4 or 6 inch lift I sugest to replace the steering arm. You need a special puller to do the pitman arm but autozone will loan you one. I dont know if there is any other benefits to installing one over the other besides the steering arm being cheaper and easier to install.
     
  3. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    i already have 24 hours access to garage full of badass tools incouding the pitman arm puller tool(in which ive had to use a billion times on past trucks and such)and big heavy four-arm twin-post hydraulic chain lift

    so.. drag link should be pretty level when is correctly positioned ?

    thats cool, i always wondered if was supposed to be or not, seems like all the stock trucks ive ever seen always pretty close to level /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif


    do they only make one drop pitman arm, or do they make a couple different drops of arms ?

    what about steering arms ?

    all this info is going into memory bank for later reference after i find new work and can go get 6" packs and longer hoses adn shocks and dropped pitman and 35 or 38 tires and such
    oh and when you lift a truck X number of inches, is that how much longer shocks you must get too ? if you lift it six inches does that mean you will need six inches longer shocks ?
    what about brake hoses ? how much longer do they make ? what length hoses does everyone usually get for 6" lift ? 6" longer with those also, or ?


    oh and why do some ppl shackle flip and such ? whats does this do for you ? who should do a such thing - ppl with extremely modified rigs, or can or should you do this with mostly stock rig ? anyoen got pics of a shackle flip ? im not to sure what this really is, except maybe shackles turned upside down, or ?




    thanks
     
  4. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    For 6" of lift, I would use both the drop pitman arm AND the 4" raised steering arm for best performance.

    Or you could get just the 6" raised steering arm from Skyjacker.

    Skyjacker is the only manufacturer that makes the 6" steering arm and the drop pitman arm. But be aware the pitman arm is only a true 1 1/2" drop rather than the advertised 2". Not that it matters, but using the pitman arm and 4" steering arm is my preferred method for 6" of lift.

    I did have 8" Skyjacker springs once and had both the pitman arm (1 1/2") and the 6" steering arm and the draglink sat pretty level but with a slight (1/2") rake to the rear. Steered awesome with this combo. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    [ QUOTE ]
    For 6" of lift, I would use both the drop pitman arm AND the 4" raised steering arm for best performance.

    Or you could get just the 6" raised steering arm from Skyjacker.

    Skyjacker is the only manufacturer that makes the 6" steering arm and the drop pitman arm. But be aware the pitman arm is only a true 1 1/2" drop rather than the advertised 2". Not that it matters, but using the pitman arm and 4" steering arm is my preferred method for 6" of lift.

    I did have 8" Skyjacker springs once and had both the pitman arm (1 1/2") and the 6" steering arm and the draglink sat pretty level but with a slight (1/2") rake to the rear. Steered awesome with this combo. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    pitman arm only drops 1.5" ?

    dang, thats all ? hmm... crazy.

    so 8" packs plus raised steering plus dropped pitman was pretyt much perfect ? was the truck stock before you put 8" on it ?
    what about shocks and hoses ? what did you do for those ? how much longer of each did you get ?


    thanks
     
  6. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    [ QUOTE ]
    pitman arm only drops 1.5" ?

    dang, thats all ? hmm... crazy.

    so 8" packs plus raised steering plus dropped pitman was pretyt much perfect ? was the truck stock before you put 8" on it ?
    what about shocks and hoses ? what did you do for those ? how much longer of each did you get ?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yep, 1 1/2" actual drop. I guess its easier to advertise as 2" so they can "hype" guys like us into buying them. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    8" suspension lift with the drop pitman arm and 6" steering arm was good. I would not have ran a 4" raised steering arm knowing it would still have an angle in the draglink.

    Yep, it was an '86 K20, bone stock, and I started with the 8" Skyjacker front and rear springs. Got everything from Skyjacker. All the steering corrections, brakelines, sway bar brackets, shocks, etc. etc. I got the recommended hoses and shocks they listed in their catalog, but you can find this info online at www.skyjacker.com to get your numbers. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Thing is, when I first installed that lift on that truck, I ran 40" Ground Hawgs. No body lift or anymore lift above the 8". The tires still hit the corners of the fenders and I didn't like the bias ply tires. So I sold those and got 38" Radial Swampers. Fit like a glove for that amount of lift. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. fad2blk99

    fad2blk99 1/2 ton status

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    The best thing to do is check out your current components and replace the worn ones with new ones if possible.
    For instance, if your stock drag link is in bad shape go for the four inch drop drag link and supplement that with either the 2" pitman arm or 4" steering arm to meet your needs. If the tapered hole in your steering or pitman are worn you should replace each of those accordingly with the respective components for the proper steering correction...

    As for the shocks and brake lines, when you order these things from whom ever you chose to deal with, they will help spec these parts out to fit your desired amount of lift.
     
  8. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    [ QUOTE ]
    go for the four inch drop drag link

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I disagree with this choice. Simply because the aftermarket drop draglinks are nothing but pure junk. The TRE's wear out too damn fast and you cannot get them as new replacements from any parts stores. You have to get the new ends from the manufacturer that made the link. Superlift is the biggest maker of these drop draglinks and after experiencing a 4" link from them and replacing the ends twice, never again.
    The thing is, the stock parts, in some cases such as draglinks, are the best possible replacements as the parts are always readily available at any parts stores.
    So therefore, I would stick with the stock straight draglink, and like you said, replace it for a new one if its worn, and still go with the pitman arm and raised steering arm. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Take it from me and literally many others here and on other sites that the aftermarket drop draglinks are nothing but pure junk. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  9. fad2blk99

    fad2blk99 1/2 ton status

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    I wasn't aware of any problems with the dropped links... but what you are saying sounds likely... /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
    I'll be sure and post if/when I have any problems.
     
  10. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    Not to mention that steering forces tend to try to travel in a straight line, despite a dropped drag link, basically attempting to bend it more. A bent drag link 18" long is a really horrible idea in my opinion.
     
  11. fad2blk99

    fad2blk99 1/2 ton status

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    With a 4" steering arm and a "4 drop drag link, my steering has never been better -- even as compared to stock. The drag link I received dwarfs the old link. The only real problem I can foresee is getting replacement ends as That K30 Guy mentioned. But don't worry; if anyone can tear one up it'll be me /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif, and I'll let you guys know if/when it does.
    You should also take a look at what your steering linkage goes through when turning the wheel without rolling. That stereing arm flexes quite a bit. I think I'd worry about snapping the cast iron steering arm before breaking my steel drag link.
     
  12. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    Another reason to avoid the drop draglinks: You paid what for it to begin with...$125? Once the ends wear out, you have to buy the ends from Superlift for $50 apiece. Yep, apiece. No wonder Superlift makes a killing off these draglinks. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
     
  13. fad2blk99

    fad2blk99 1/2 ton status

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    Like I suggested earlier, the drag link was worn and needed to be replaced anyway, both the rod ends and the sleeve. $80+ for Moog's HD drag link assembly AND $80+ for the drop Pitman arm, bringing the total to $160, I'd say $120 for the drag link was an easy choice.
    And good quailty rod ends, like Moog's HD ends, run in the neighborhood of $30 to $40 bucks apeice. And that's staying with the whimpy sleeve.
     
  14. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    fark...


    now im even gonna be afraid of any custom lifted truck from now on, damn..

    thats crazy stuff..
     
  15. 88jimmy4x4

    88jimmy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    [ QUOTE ]


    I disagree with this choice. Simply because the aftermarket drop draglinks are nothing but pure junk. The TRE's wear out too damn fast and you cannot get them as new replacements from any parts stores. You have to get the new ends from the manufacturer that made the link.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    How many miles are they good for before they wear out?

    Pro-comp and skyjacker also sell the draglinks, do they wear out fast too or is this a superlift thing?
     
  16. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    Its been too long since I ran that draglink. I know it didn't last 5K miles. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif I also believe the others are manufactured along the same lines, so, overall I would totally eliminate usage of those draglinks and just stick with the raised steering arm and drop pitman arm while using a new straight replacement draglink. Its proven over and over again that this is probably the best setup. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  17. driney

    driney 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: raised steerign arm vs. dropped pitman arm, when to do which ?

    Just curious, does the dropped drag link contribute to bump steer?
     

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