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Old 08-15-2020, 12:29 AM   #1
saxman657
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Default Pitman Arm Question

Just recently rebuilt my 7 tooth steering system for my 28 Model A. Installed a new sector shaft and worm as a part of the rebuild. My pitman arm fit fine on my old sector shaft, but upon installation I'm finding it doesn't want to fit on the new sector shaft. I tried opening with a large screwdriver and wedge, but no luck.

Any suggestions? Do I need to file down the the internal portion of the pitman arm to fit?
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Old 08-15-2020, 07:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

Can you get a small flat file in the arm clamp to massage it to fit?
While you got it off why not replace it with a new longer one to help with steering? Chap
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Old 08-15-2020, 09:25 AM   #3
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

Take the bolt out of the pitman arm and it will slide right over the sector shaft .
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Old 08-15-2020, 09:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

First thing is to measure, measure, measure, the new sector shaft, the old sector shaft and the pitman arm to find out where the problem is.
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Old 08-15-2020, 11:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by chap52 View Post
Can you get a small flat file in the arm clamp to massage it to fit?
While you got it off why not replace it with a new longer one to help with steering? Chap
Are you talking about a longer pitman arm? I don't have the shorty - heard too many problems with those. I have a new powder coated pitman arm from Bratton's (I believe) when I rebuilt the front end last year. That pitman arm fit fine with the old sector shaft.

Sounds like filing filing is the answer, but want to make sure before I start taking metal off.
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Old 08-15-2020, 11:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
Take the bolt out of the pitman arm and it will slide right over the sector shaft .
No bolt inserted. Saving it to slide in after I get thenrpitman arm on.
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Old 08-15-2020, 11:59 AM   #7
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Post Re: Pitman Arm Question

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Originally Posted by katy View Post
First thing is to measure, measure, measure, the new sector shaft, the old sector shaft and the pitman arm to find out where the problem is.
Will do. Parts were purchased from Snyder's with the familiar Ford logo on the packaging ( so I'm hoping all is to spec.
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

Problems with the shorter pitman arms? I guess I have missed something. It's the shorter one that make steering easier.
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

That’s what I thought.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:07 AM   #10
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

It is often necessary to spread the split in the upper part of the pitman arm for the needed clearance for the pitman arm to fit over the square end of the sector shaft .
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

Shorter pitman arm means larger turning radius. That is the only down side I ever heard.
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Old 08-16-2020, 01:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

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Originally Posted by Curtis in MA View Post
Shorter pitman arm means larger turning radius. That is the only down side I ever heard.
Not sure ho that could happen. On my '30 it hits the stops in both directions, same as before. Maybe the '28-29 are different?
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Old 08-16-2020, 02:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

The original long pitman arm will move the drag link farther each way . this is how it effects the turning radius .
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Old 08-16-2020, 02:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

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Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
The original long pitman arm will move the drag link farther each way . this is how it effects the turning radius .
I can agree with that to a point. The spindle will only turn until it hits the King Pin Locking Bolt Nut (Turn Stop). The spindle can not turn any farther than that. It does not matter how far the drag link can move, the spindle is not going to move any farther once it hits the stop.

As I stated before, mine hits the stops in both directions with the shorter pitman arm, so the turn radius is the same.
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Old 08-16-2020, 03:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

All of which brings up a question Should the King Pin Locking Bolt Nut have a lock washer? Mine does not but I noticed some of the vendors supply a lock washer with the King Pin Locking Bolt & Nut set, others do not.
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Old 08-16-2020, 06:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

Parts book shows a lock washer 34808-S.
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Old 08-16-2020, 07:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

This thread is moving off the original topic but here's my experience with the short pitman arm.
My Brother In Law recently bought his first Model A. It had been fitted with a shortened pitman arm and because he bought it quite a distance from home with lots of twisting, turning mountain roads to get it there, he asked me to drive it home for him. It was terrible. There was waaay too much play at the edge of the steering wheel and the car was not easy to control into and out of a corner. When we got it home, we did a few things like readjust the way too tight wheel bearings, adjust the brakes and while we were at it, we put the original arm back on. When I drove it afterwards, it was a whole different car. Steering was back to normal and it was a pleasure to drive. I'll never fit one of those on any of my cars. It is blindingly obvious that whatever free play you have in the steering with the standard arm, you will have more with a shortened one.As for the OP's problem getting the arm on the sector shaft, I'd be reluctant to file anything. I'd try again with the slot held open as far as needed and making sure the arm is aligned with the shaft properly. Don't expect for it to slide on easily. you should have to "encourage" it with (not too hard) blows with a hammer.
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:24 AM   #18
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

You mentioned the pitman arm was powder coated. Maybe the hole needs to be cleaned out. JMO
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Old 08-21-2020, 02:45 PM   #19
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Y-Blockhead View Post
I can agree with that to a point. The spindle will only turn until it hits the King Pin Locking Bolt Nut (Turn Stop). The spindle can not turn any farther than that. It does not matter how far the drag link can move, the spindle is not going to move any farther once it hits the stop.

As I stated before, mine hits the stops in both directions with the shorter pitman arm, so the turn radius is the same.


I agree that the spindle can't move any farther after it hits the stops . Maybe the cars with seven tooth steering are effected the most . I use the shortened pitman arms on most of our model A's because they steer easier with them . The shorter pitman arm does change the turning radius for some reason . No harm meant .
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Old 08-21-2020, 02:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Pitman Arm Question

I'm guessing that with the shortened pitman arm the sector is hitting inside the box itself. Can anyone with the shortened arm confirm that the spindle is hitting the stop with the wheel at full lock?


saxman657, this is probably a stupid question but are you putting the arm on in the correct orientation, ball facing in? When I had my steering box on the bench I was trying to test fit a NOS pitman arm and couldn't get it on for the life of me. Flipped it around the correct way and it slipped right on.
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