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Old 10-21-2017, 10:15 PM   #1
71CHEVYSHORTBED402
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Steering Linkage

71 C10, 2WD, SWB, 402

Couldn't find a detailed instruction and may have missed it. My first time taking this off. Nobody chimed in from the General, thought someone might here. Don't know if I'll take one apart again. The build side will be much easier. Cleaner too. If anyone knows of a better way, corrections, suggestions etc.......any input appreciated:


What I did

Stuff:. Square up the steering. Then you can mark to your heart's content. I sure did, Ha!..... Definitely mark the Pitman to Steering Box so the splines line up, but more on that later. Note: Grease and markings don't mix well, ask me how I know.

Disclosure: I have no idea what I'm doing. Anyway, I loosened up the entire thing and then lightly snugged up the nuts.

Minor dilemma:. I pulled the nuts off the Pitman Arm, but still couldn't seem to negotiate the Pitman Arm off. So I put the Pitman back on loosely, dropped the Idler Support, and then pulled the Pitman Arm. Then I rehung the Idler, believing it would help to disconnect the Tie Rods (See disclosure). Note: The Pitman Arm at the Steering Box uses a 1.5/16 hex nut, and a 7/8" ID lock washer.

BANG:. If you go online you'll see how to strike the joints releasing the tapers in the joints. I was only successful at the Tie Rods to Spindles. Perhaps I babied the other joints, and/or did this in the wrong order. So I pulled the Center Link, Idler Arm & Support, and the Tie Rods as a single unit, and put it on a vice....YIKES!

Pickle Fork: Even on the vice I was unsuccessful in pulling the joints by banging on them, so I used a pickle fork. Somehow the seals "appear" saved, but I'm replacing them anyway. I'm disappointed I was unable to make this work using the "bang" method.

In Hindsight: I think I would try backing off the nuts and bang on the joints like "The Fonze". Maybe take the Tie Rods off first, and then hit the Pitman. Speak of taking off joints, the right Pitman Arm "type" remover would be great for disconnecting all of the joints cleanly. I don't have this tool, assuming they exist. My Pitman Arm puller can be used at the Tie Rod joints, but not well.


Some useful information. Keep in mind the steering is square (i.e.,straight). I'm doing a ground-up and need the details.

Steering Box & Pitman Arm: There are four large splines (or spaces) equally spaced on both the Pitman Arm and the Steering Box. The Steering Box does an approx. 45 degree turn each side of center. When center on the box is found the rearmost large space on the Steering Box faces straight back. The Pitman Arm also faces straight back. In other terms, even if you don't mark the splines, it's not difficult to determine how to reassemble the Pitman Arm to Steering Box.

For what it's worth, I measured 1.1/10" from the frame to the center of the dome on the top rear of the Pitman Arm. This was measured on a flat plane.

Center Link: The two inner holes on the link are positioned vertically. The ends of the link must be bent toward the front. Also, the ends of the link must tilt toward the front (i.e., the holes on the ends of the link tilt forward). In other terms, the ends face forward and are titled forward.

Idler Support: Fits onto the two "lumps" on the frame near parallel the front of the engine block. Position the Idler Support so the "elbow" in the support faces down toward the rear. The Idler Support mounts using two (GR 8) 9/16" hex bolts and lock nuts. The bolt threads are 3/8-16 x 1.1/4, and the heads are stamped "RSC". The bolts insert from the outside. NOTE: The assembly manual shows lock washers.

Idler Arm: May not matter, but the part numbers on the Idler Arm face down.

Seals & Zerks: With exception of the Pitman Arm to Steering Box, a rubber seal is used between all joints. The narrow portion of these seals face the threads on the joint. Both ends of the Idler Arm and the rear of the Pitman Arm use the same seal type. Each end of the Tie Rods use a grease seal and Zerk fitting.

Cotter Pins: The longest end of the cotter pin faces the end of the studs, so you can bend it over the bottom of the studs, or over the edge of the nut. Most were bent over the end of the stud.

Other Nuts: The cotter pin (i.e., castle) nuts are 15/16" hex, 5/8-16 for the Idler Arm and the Pitman to Center Link connections. They're 3/4" hex, 1/2-20 at the Tie Rods.

Tie Rods:
• Each Tie Rod is composed of two rods, a coupler and two clamps. The short rod is to the Spindle, and the long Rod is to the Center Link. The stud on the short rod is 2". The stud on the long rod is 1.5/8".

• The RH Tie Rod was extended 17.3/4", and the LH Tie Rod was 18". These were measured from the outer edge of the heads on the Rod.

• The RH Tie Rod had 9/20" of thread exposed from the coupler on both rods. As for the LH Tie Rod, the long rod had 3/4" of exposed thread, and the short rod had 5/8" of exposed thread.

Tie Rod Couplers & Clamps:
• Each Tie Rod coupler uses two clamps, one for each rod. The clamps use a 9/16" hex bolt and lock nut. The clamps position between the lumps in the coupler. The bolt threads are 3/8-16 x 1.5/8, of which 1/2" is shaft. NOTES: The bolts are stamped "EWF". The clamp bolts are TIGHT.

• Page 684 of the assembly manual provides some wording for how to position the clamps: The clamp "slots" to be located forward to 45 degrees up or down as near the "Tie Rod Split" as possible. Couldn't tell you what a "Tie Rod Split" is. Regardless, there wasn't much rhyme or reason for how my clamps were positioned, described as:

o LH Tie Rod: The bolts inserted into the clamps at approx. 45 degrees from the top of the coupler to the rear. The bolts insert from the top rear.

o RH Tie Rod: The bolts inserted into the clamps at nearly 180 degrees from the top of the coupler to the rear. The bolts insert from the rear.

Steering Box Mount: Pending, not there yet.

Torques: Definitely not there yet. On a side, my Pitman Arm to Center Link nut was finger tight at best. That can't be right. Less the Pitman Arm to Steering Box, and I believe the Idler arm to Idler Support, all other joint connections budged easily with a breaker bar.
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Tony


71 C10 Custom Deluxe, SWB, fleet, 402, A/C...Resource intensive

72 Cheyenne Super, LWB, fleet, C20, 402, A/C. Driver and tinker truck

Last edited by 71CHEVYSHORTBED402; 10-26-2017 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:30 PM   #2
71CHEVYSHORTBED402
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northern Nevada
Posts: 3,160
Re: Steering Linkage

Clean up took a while. I don't have a blaster, and refuse to spend $35 for anything smaller than an inner fender. Okay, inner fender might be an exaggeration, but still, $35 a piece for media blasting?


Could be mistaken, but blasters seem to require a bunch of air, and I don't have the luxury. Anyway, they came out nice.
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Tony


71 C10 Custom Deluxe, SWB, fleet, 402, A/C...Resource intensive

72 Cheyenne Super, LWB, fleet, C20, 402, A/C. Driver and tinker truck

Last edited by 71CHEVYSHORTBED402; 10-26-2017 at 06:46 PM.
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