Cutting and rewelding pitman arm - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old May 4th, 07, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

Has anyone ever cut and rewelded a pitman arm, sounds scary. I have a aftermarket pitman arm from flaming river, most drop size they had. Its really thick at least a inch or more. What I need is more center link clearance from the oil pan. Thing is its in a v/8 vega. Any ideas. The box is flaming river manual, new and a new manual center link. No ball socket on pitman arm.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old May 4th, 07, 08:28 PM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

didn't v8 vega's use to put the steering link thru a tube welded into the oil pan?
Do they still make those pans?





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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old May 4th, 07, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

Dont think so, center link runs right across cross member. Mines a milodon vega pan, front bottom of pan is cut and raised about a inch or more for center link clearance.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old May 4th, 07, 08:55 PM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

There were thousands of Vega-V8 conversions back in the day,..surely there's a solution that doesn't require sawing then welding the Pitman.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old May 4th, 07, 09:20 PM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

Cast iron steering part. Do not attempt.
Cast iron requires very special welding and cooling techniques. Even if done right by a trained pro, I wouldn't have it done for a steering part. Only on Go-Parts... not on stop/steer parts.

Maybe raise the engine mounts or lower the trans mount?

If I didn't learn it from my my mentors, I learned it as a result.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old May 4th, 07, 09:46 PM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

Do not, i repeat, DO NOT cut and weld this cast piece! It WILL fail.

How about changing the mounting location ? Adding to the frame and moving the mount location ?

Doug
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old May 5th, 07, 05:24 AM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

Are you guys sure the pitman arm is cast? Mine looked like a forging not cast and it was heavy like one solid piece of steel.

I would look at it a little closer before making your final decision. If it is cast then forget welding, if it's not cast and your a VERY GOOD welder you wont have any troubles.

Rich

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old May 5th, 07, 05:35 AM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

A pitman arm should be forged!

Or machined billet, imho..

Should be able to heat and bend it, but then you will need to re-temper it afterwards.... A competent heat treat shop should be able to do it, but again, getting somebody to do it is another matter!!

I bet that you will find out that nobody will do it for you b/c of possible liability issues!

That said, my old Blacksmith Buddy back in Highschool dropped the tierod in my '52 Willis Areo HT car for me after I stuffed my '51, 232" Stude V-8 and 3-speed stick OD tranny in it!! Worked fine BUT he trusted his own welding!!!!

pdq67



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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old May 5th, 07, 07:51 AM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

NEVER WELD A STEERING COMPONENT! dont even ever put too much heat on one.
there was a towing company around here that towed a vette and bent a tie rod. they heated it up and bent it striaght and didnt tell the owner. he was going around a rotary pretty fast when it broke. hes eating out of a tube now.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old May 5th, 07, 09:16 AM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdq67 View Post
A pitman arm should be forged!

Or machined billet, imho..

Should be able to heat and bend it, but then you will need to re-temper it afterwards.... A competent heat treat shop should be able to do it, but again, getting somebody to do it is another matter!!

I bet that you will find out that nobody will do it for you b/c of possible liability issues!

That said, my old Blacksmith Buddy back in Highschool dropped the tierod in my '52 Willis Areo HT car for me after I stuffed my '51, 232" Stude V-8 and 3-speed stick OD tranny in it!! Worked fine BUT he trusted his own welding!!!!

pdq67
Your pretty damn smart

The steel simply needs to be quenched after welding and it would be good as new. That's exactly how they make leaf springs so damn hard and why they are so strong. The material is heated to 350-400 degrees and oil quenched for rapid cool.

Your right about the liability issue. You will have a hell of time finding a competent shop who believes in their own work to do it for you.

Good luck.

Rich

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old May 5th, 07, 11:47 AM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

I'd do it myself if I has a gas forge that would hold a plow share in it!!

Get the part modified the way I want it.

Then heat it, quench and then watch the tempering colors go by, quench again at the needed temper and then anneal..

And I've thought very HARD about taking four forged spindles and cutting them such that I would end up w/ two that had right at 1.25" taller upper ball-joionts and w/ the wheel spuds in the stock location..

Spindles that Heidlt's should have made.............

pdq67



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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old May 5th, 07, 01:23 PM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

Welding or even heating/ bending of any steering/suspension rod, axle, mount
is illegal unless certified by a qualified engineer...
To get this done is expensive and above the cost of a new or custom built part.
This is how serious this subject is

IF a failure happens...in NZ it is Damn near automtic manslughter charges for the end user, welder and certifier in NZ...thats Prison

And it has happened

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old May 5th, 07, 02:39 PM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

Steps,

I looked into making my own taller forged spindles so I am well aware of what's going on.

Even to the point of chasing down the grade of Ductile-iron used to make cast ones instead of forged b/c of forging die set costs!! I think a set may run up to $30,000 or probably higher nowadays.. It's been quite a few years since I looked into it..

pdq67, (and fwiw, BSME)..



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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old May 5th, 07, 09:11 PM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

I built a v8 Vega and didn't have to alter the steering. Just modify the oil pan, it's easier and safer to do and it's the right way to go about it. Anything you do to the steering is going to make the car handle poorly.

I used the Hooker mount kit with front mount across the water pump area like a 60's vette. What engine mounts do you have?
David

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old May 5th, 07, 09:36 PM
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Re: Cutting and rewelding pitman arm

I suggest you stay away from putting any heat on a steering componet. There's alot more to it than just heating it up then dropping it in a bucket of oil that is if you survive the fire. there is different degrees of hardness in metal measured by a rockwell test. If you get it to hard even steel can snap like a toothpick if you hit a pothole in the road!! JMHO good luck. I think you should listen to David Pozzie on this. I think he's been around the block a few times when it comes to steering componets.

Don't forget to post your results
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