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Separating the Steering Box from Steering Linkage - help please?

 
  #1  
Old 05-22-2011, 12:44 PM
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Separating the Steering Box from Steering Linkage - help please?

I am having trouble pulling my steering gear box, specifically separating it from the "drag link," if that is the right name. Forgive me if I don't have the terminology down.

It is a 1973 F100 2WD with C4 and Power Steering,

Photobucket seems to be down right now, otherwise I would post a pic.

I pulled the three mounting bolts that hold the box to the frame, and pulled the cotter pin and nut from where it attaches to the linkage. Is there a trick to separating it? I don't want to beat on it and break something.

Thanks in advance! When photobucket is back up, I'll post a pic for clarity.

 
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:20 PM
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I would bolt the steering box back to the frame, then try to remove drag link. They can be a pain! Use a pickle fork and a big hammer to try and brake it free. If you are replaceing the rod end I just put the nut on flush with the stud and it hit with a big hammer. Usually one or two good hit get it loose
 
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:27 PM
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A Picklefork....

If you have one, and a 3lb sledgehammer. Or, thread the nut back on and stop it even with the threads and tap on it with a hammer till it pops out. This way you wont mushroom the end of it. Im thinking you want to re-use your tie rod otherwise beat on it how ever you want till it comes apart. I just put a new outer tie rod on the pass. side and I had an issue with the stud part spinning in the hole so I used my Dremel tool with a cutting wheel and cut a slot so I could use a screwdriver to hold it so I could get the nut off.
 
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:35 PM
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Yeah, easier to remove linkage from pitman arm while box is bolted to frame.

To pop off tie rod ends or the drag link from pittman arm, remove cotter pin and loosen nut, then use a pickle fork .... or a big chisel as a wedge inserting it beside the ball joints stud, not at the stud (a pickle fork is like two wedges that apply pressure on both side at once, with a chissel or single wedge made from steel you can only apply pressure on one side).

Often it will pop loose and then you can remove nut and stud from tapered hole. Sometimes, you get it wedged in tight and it seems stubborn, hit the part with the hole a few licks with a hammer and often the vibrations along with the pressure applied by the wedge or fork will combine to "pop" it loose.

Almost allways in my experience, the use of a fork or chssel or wedge will result in a destroyed rubber boot, but then I'm usually doing it because the ball joint is worn anyway.

If you loosen a nut and beat on the end of it where it's castled ... to loosen a ball jointed stud in a tapered hole, you run the very likely risk of deforming threads between the nut and stud just enough that after the ball joint pops, the stud turns with the nut. Have a plan.

To pull a pittman arm off the shaft of the steering box, there is a specific puller for that and I recommend borrowing / begging / renting one. Ask around, maybe check Advance / Auto Zone, etc.
 
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:35 PM
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Thanks, guys! I had already tried threading the nut back on on flush so as to not bugger the threads, but didn't dare smack it any harder than I did with my plastic mallet. I think the pickle fork is the way to go, as I am hoping to save the ball ends. The reason for the dis-assembly is to get the steering box rebuilt at Red Head in Seattle.

I appreciate the help!!!

 
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:32 PM
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The pickle fork will trash the rubber boot FYI..... They are cheap and easy to replace after you get it apart.
 
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:46 PM
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So are these pickle forks readily available in most tool stores? Thanks, gang!
 
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:49 PM
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You should be able to rent from auto parts store....
 
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:07 PM
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Cool, thanks!
 
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:19 AM
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If you are sending the box to Red Head, aren't you going to pull the pittman arm off first? You'll need a puller for that.
 
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:46 AM
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I was not aware that I would have to pull the Pitman Arm... darn.

Can you tell I've never done this before? I have already messed up the dust cover boot, so I will still need pickle-forkage to separate the joint.

Then I guess I will need to pull the arm after I have the gear box off the frame?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:05 AM
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Ya, you'll have to pull the pitman arm off once you get the box off the frame. Some come off pretty hard so you'll need a good impact. It may be worth just taking the box to a local Mech shop and have them pull it off for you. I couldn't get mine off with a cheap impact, I had to step up to a better impact. For the drag link, a pickle fork will separate it no problem.
 

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