Power steering HELP.........Long! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 01, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Location: McKinney, Tx
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OK, the saga continues......made some real progress today. Got the pump mounted, figuring out the brackets was the hardest part but they finally lined up. Got the old header off and the old manual gearbox off. Installed the new rag joint, no problem. Here's the newest fly in the ointment. The new power steering gearbox had a pitman arm already attached to it, from the donor car. The old manual steering box had a pitman arm that appears to be the same, but I really had to beat on it to get it to separate from the linkage. The link between these two pieces is a long threaded bolt, with a hole in it. It's trashed, the threads are all beat up, and I don't think you could take it off and reuse it on another pitman arm anyway. The power steering box I'm putting in has a pitman arm without this link on it, there just a hole there. The old link is not coming out of the old pitman arm, it looked to be pressed in. So, what is this "link" called, where do I get one, and how to I get it pressed into the new pitman arm? I called several auto parts places, and they understood what I was looking for, but said they were not classified as "wearable" parts, in other words, they don't wear out, so they don't make them anymore? I couldn't call the local Chevy dealership being late on Saturday afternoon, but that will be the next thing I'll do on Monday. Anyone else ever run into this problem? Hopefully, this will be the last stumbling block. Nothing was easy. My new headers have the triangle collectors, with 3 bolts. The old headers had square collectors, with 4 bolts. That's gonna be some ride to the muffler shop....
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 01, 03:18 PM
David Pozzi
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Your manual box has a smaller shaft and the manual pitman arm won't fit anyway.
The joint on the end of the Pitman is like a tie rod joint with a grease fitting. But it doesn't swivel, it just rotates like the idler arm does.

Later cars had this joint on the center link so when they wear out the center link is replaced, that's the way the Pitman arm is on the PS box you bought.

you didn't mention it, but most of the late model boxes have the pitman arm going the other way, it's no problem to point it to the front when installing the new one.

You can buy a new pitman arm with joint on the end. Classic has it under #RP20138 $79.95 for slow std steering, and #RP20526 $119.95 for Z/28 with fast ratio steering.

I'd get the fast ratio one and if your idler arm is stock, replace it with a Moog idler #K-6099. This idler is a little longer than the stock one, but shorter than the 67 idler arm and should work with either pitman you choose.

The long idler that really matches the length of the long pitman is #RP20227 from Classic, it's $89.95.
Try a puller on the PS Pitman, you may have to heat the arm to get it off, I did on one of mine.

I've got some photos of these parts on my firstgen page.

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
David's Motorsports page
First Gen Suspension Page
67 RS 327
69 Camaro Vintage Racer
65 Lola T-70 Can Am Vintage Racer

[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 01-13-2001).]
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 02, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Searching through the archives and came across my old thread, couldn't find an answer to a similar question, thought I would post it here. While my front clip is off, I decided to install a brand new, fast ratio gearbox, to replace the old p/s gearbox that has been baking on my header for the last year or so. Just didn't want to get the car all back together again, and then have the old gearbox go out, it's sooooooo much easier to work on with the front clip off. Anyhoo, I have old gearbox out, but I have to go get the pitman arm taken off at a local shop, I can't budge it without air tools. When I go to put the pitman arm on the new box, how can I tell if the pitman arm is "centered" on the shaft of the gearbox? Is there a groove or something that will only let it go on one way? If I remember correctly, I thought my old pitman arm was off a little, in other words, I could turn the car further to the right then to the left, but not by too much. I assumed this was because the pitman arm wasn't centered on the shaft, but since it wasn't out of whack by too much, I never disassembled it to try and find out. I was just happy to have PS at the time!!! I want to make sure this new gearbox has the pitman arm installed on it in the correct position. Surely somebody else has come across this, or am I the only dummy around here???

John D. Smith
69 SS/396 CLONE!

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 02, 07:49 PM
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John, I don't know if this will help but on the ps gearbox I have to install in mine, which I understand came from a '69 donor, if I turn the input shaft fully counter-clockwise, the pitman arm is then parallel to the gearbox body facing the front of the vehicle. I have not pulled the arm off, and judging from the looks of it, no one else has in quite a long time.


68 Camaro SS - 383, Edlebrock Performer RPM, Trick Flow 23 degree heads, edlebrock 750cfm carb, dynomax headers, Tremec TKO, 4.10 Posi
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 02, 04:27 PM
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The pitman arm does have a keyway of sorts on it. It is just a smooth section one tooth wide on the shaft. It can only go on one way. The trouble comes when you try to reconnect the rag joint to the steering gear shaft. The rag joint is also keyed, but if the box isn't centered it's real easy to get it on 1steering wheel rotation off, which results in too many turns one way to the lock and too few the other. When reinstalling the gear into the car you have to determine where the centerpoint is before you reconnect the steering column. You can turn the steering shaft lock to lock counting the turns and then come back half way, or you can try to make sure the arm is centered under the gear. Then make sure the steering wheel is centered and hopefully the rag joint will line up correctly and slide onto the steering gear. If you pulled the rag joint apart at the same time it ony complicates the alignment process.

Mark Canning
1969 Indy Pace Car
350/300HP RPO Z11
My 69 L48 - 350/300HP Engine
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