Toyota Box Pitman Arm Source - For Sure This Time!
I've been doing research for my steering setup and wanted to throw a bone out there for any other current or future Toyota steering gear swappers - especially with an oddball setup like my Dana 44 live front axle. There are aftermarket pitman arms available from several of the truck parts vendors for this swap and they have the ball welded into them for use with a stock Ford drag link. They're fine for most of our applications, but not very useful if you want to build an adjustable length drag link with regular tapered stud tie rod ends. This is what I need to do for my F-2 in the course of the 4x4 conversion. I needed a pitman arm that would fit the Toyota steering gear but with a tapered hole for a tie rod end instead of the ball. I thought about making one, but I didn't really want to be welding up something critical like a pitman arm - plus it would have been a hassle. That's when I found this -
They are designed for a different variety of Toyota 4x4 steering box in an IFS cross steer application, but the spline is correct for the Toyota box that we use, the length is about right, and it can be had tapered for a couple different common tie rod ends. Cheap, too! Perhaps this will be useful for somebody else as well.
CPP also carries a similar arm for use on the '57-'60 trucks that originally had a tapered stud type drag link, but I don't know how much it is or what kind of tie rod ends it will accept.
I mounted my toyo box a bit unconventionally. I mounted mine up in front of the axle. I was going to make my own pitman arm by cutting off the spline section and fitting it into a chunk of 5/8"x2" flatbar and then welding it in place. In the end I ended up having to cut my pitman arm in two and reversing the ball end before welding it all back together......yes, I did have a certified welder do the work who has had lots of experience with this sort of thing.
If you want a tapered whole for a tie rod you can buy tapered reamers to do it yourself.
Having the steering box up in the front is not optimal and probably introduces a bit more bumpsteer than the original location due to the steering box being in front of the axle and on the end of the leaf spring with the shackle.. I'll move it eventually when I go to install my 63 Riviera steering column
Yeah, there's definitely more than one way to skin this cat. I was planning on having the splined portion of my Toyota pitman cut to a round slug in a lathe. Once I had that, I was going to cut an arm out of bar stock like you mentioned and have a hole bored in it that the slug could be pressed into and welded in place. Then I was going to buy a reamer and put the tapered hole in it myself. Certainly doable, but the stinking reamer alone is $50-$100 depending on the source and that doesn't even touch the machine work and my labor. It's nice to be able to find a forged, purpose-built piece that will fit right out of the box for $69. I'm lazy like that! The arms are originally made with a tapered hole for a Toyota Landcruiser tie rod end, but that seller will ream them to fit either a common Chevy/Dodge/Ford tie rod end taper or the larger Chevy drag link taper for no extra charge. I want to run a Chevy steering arm on the 3/4 ton Dodge knuckle bolted to my '77 F-150 Dana 44. (Think about that real hard! Who says nothing interchanges between makes?!?) If I get one of these pitman arms with the Chevy drag link taper, I can run the entire stock adjustable length drag length assembly from a '85 Blazer and have a tough, adjustable setup that I can buy replacement parts for anywhere. While I have no problem with making mods, I prefer to use all Ford parts. It makes me a little squeamish running parts from 4 different makes in my steering system, but if it'll all bolt together, I'm willing to overlook it.
I wouldn't worry too much about the mixing of parts in your steering. At one time most of the makes of steering, differentials, and braking components have showed up on most of the big auto makers. All of that stuff gets farmed out - Dana, Spicer, Bendix, Saginaw, etc.
Way back when as a teen ager I combined a 75 F-150 4x4 with a 1960 F-100. I remember having to retaper a hole in the pitman arm but for the life of me I can't remember how I did it. I might have ended up taking it to a machine shop.
I definately bookmarked the link to the pitman arm (thanks). When I go to change my steering I'll probably need it.
Have you checked what spline pattern is on that arm? Even on the Toyota boxes we use there are two different spline patterns, one for the Power steering box and a different on for the manual box. The later model steering gearbox that doesn't work with our trucks uses a different spline yet, but they all can be described as coming from a Toyota IFS truck.
Well, I may have spoken too quickly on this particular pitman arm. I had already called the vendor before I posted and they said that it should fit the straight axle box that we use just fine. After AX's post, I dug a little deeper just to make sure. There are a couple outfits that manufacture arms for the IFS Toyota box, so I called the tech line of a different manufacturer and they said that the splines aren't compatible. (sigh) So which is it?!? Until I can get out to Pull-a-Part with my arm and see for myself if it fits an IFS box, I'm going to retract my statements and assume that it won't work. I took the link down, too.
With that idea on the ropes, I went back to the CPP pitman for the '57-'60 trucks. Here's a couple pics of that arm:
It is the design I'm looking for, but CPP's tech line wouldn't cough up the aftermarket part number or any data on the tapered stud rod ends that they are using. The tech guy claimed that they are custom made for CPP. Yeah, right. I really don't want to buy one just to see if I can find a common tie rod end that will fit it. It doesn't look like there's enough meat left around the hole to ream it to the large Chevy drag link size. Back to the drawing board, I guess! Sorry about the false alarm.
OK, I can now say without a doubt that the pitman arm that I initially linked to will in fact fit the '79-'85 Toyota straight axle 4x4 steering box that we use on our trucks. I pulled the original Toyota straight axle pitman arm off of my box and took it with me to the salvage yard today. I found a '95 4-Runner with the IFS box on it that the arm I linked to is designed to fit and popped the pitman arm off of it. My straight axle pitman arm was an exact fit on the sector splines of the IFS box. The spline pattern is identical to our straight axle boxes. +/- 30MM and 48 splines. I'll be ordering one in the next week and will post a pic of it on my box after it shows up. I put the link back up in the first post along with a pic of the arm. I can only guess that the reason that the one vendor said it would not fit is because it's for a completely different box in a completely different application. Who knows?!?
For the record, you made a good point and I'm glad I checked into it to find out for sure. You were partially correct, too. After talking to some Toyota guys, it seems that the 2WD IFS box is very similar to the 4WD box except the sector splines are indeed smaller and the 4WD pitman will not fit it. I don't get why Toyota felt like it was necessary to use so many different spline profiles, but in the end, all that matters to me I suppose is that the arm that I need for the setup I'm planning will fit the boxes we use.