Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

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devauxmidwest
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Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by devauxmidwest »

Trying to disconnect side rods and center rod from Pitman arm and idler arm in preparation of pulling steering box and idler assembly. I've pulled all of the cotter pins and have removed the castle nuts but I can't get any of the joints to release. I don't want to bend anything by hammering on any of the rods.
How do I get the joints to disconnect?

Thanks very much!
Habitat.pat
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by Habitat.pat »

It all depends if you want to reuse the tie rods as to how to get them loose.

If you want to save them, look at the steering box & idler arm where the tie rods connect, you will see some cast bosses on the sides of the castings. Put the castle nuts back on loosely, hold a heavy hammer against one of the bosses & hit the boss opposite with a lighter hammer. It may take several tries but the tie rod end will pop loose.

Don’t care about saving them? Apply penetrating oil for a few hours, then hit it with heat, followed by the above hammers or a ball joint pickle fork.

The center tie rod can be removed with a screw type separator but you can’t get to the side joints that way.

Peace,
Pat
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devauxmidwest
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by devauxmidwest »

Thanks Pat. My intent is to keep all of the current parts.
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devauxmidwest
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by devauxmidwest »

Should I pull the pitman arm and idler arm while the boxes are still bolted to the frame or pull the arms after the boxes are removed?
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by Habitat.pat »

It’s been a year since I pulled mine but I seem to recall that I had to pull the pitman arm to get the box out. I think the idler came out with arm attached.

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theunz
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by theunz »

The steering box will come out with the arm attached, but (and it’s a huge but) there are 5000 ways to maneuver the box and only one way will work. It can be very frustrating. If you take the arm off (which can be difficult as well) be sure to mark its orientation beforehand.
Mike M

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Gregs672000
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by Gregs672000 »

I did mine about two years ago. Don't recall removing the parts as excessively difficult, or having to fight the box or idler to get them out (early car). Used Pat's method to separate things. I used a puller to remove the arms off the shafts which were rebuilt with Dean's kit. A machine shop will need to hone the bushings as I recall, but it's in the directions.
Greg Burrows
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by greydog »

Harbor Freight has a heavy duty tie rod puller that works well. A pickle fork or a crowbar will work too. The idea is to put pressure on the joint between the tie rod and arm , then hit the joint with a hammer. They usually pop loose.
Dan
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Habitat.pat
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by Habitat.pat »

I borrowed a pitman arm puller from Advanced Auto parts. I wasn’t able to get it off with heat/oil.

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Pat
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devauxmidwest
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by devauxmidwest »

I borrowed Advance Autos kit and have everything removed. I ordered new grease boots for all of the tie rod ends but I have an issue with the center link/rod ends. They were the most difficult to remove using the pulling tools. Now the castle nuts are difficult to thread on the studs. The same nuts thread fine on the side tie rods. Is it possible to chase the threads of a tie rod end with a die to clean them up? If not, what are the part numbers for the center rod tie rod ends? Both current ends are stamped 48650.
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Re: Need Help with Steering Box/Idler Assembly Removal

Post by greydog »

Yup, thread chaser will help. Be careful starting it but you should be fine. Next time, turn a nut over an partially thread it on to protect the threads.
Dan
SPL311 aka Skooter. Back in the shop.
1990 Nissan 300ZX
2018 VW Tiguan