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Steering Parts Removal
If you are removing steering components from your car to send in for rebuild, there are some guidelines we can recommend. We realize that not everyone owns or has access to some of the tools needed to remove some parts properly, but if you can possibly follow these suggestions, the removal will be easier and result in less damage to the components and the parts they connect to. Special tools are available at reasonable prices from Harbor Freight. While these are not the highest quality tools for the job, their availability and price makes them an excellent investment for the weekend mechanic.
NO PICKLE FORKS ALLOWED !!!
Under no circumstances should you use a "pickle fork" to remove or separate suspension of steering components. Use of such a tool will almost always damage the parts it is used on. Even if you do not intend to re-use the parts you are removing, a pickle fork will damage other parts.
Even though pickle forks are used in shops and dealerships around the country, it is not the proper tool to disassemble steering components. At least half of all the physical damage a rebuilder sees each day is due to the use of this foul and unholy instrument. No respectable mechanic would use one.
1) Fords like the 1965-early 1967 Mustang and early Falcons and Fairlanes used a long-style input shaft - the input shaft came out of the steering box and went all the way up to the steering wheel. This shaft is mounted in the steering box, so it is not coming out through the firewall. Cars with this style box must be removed from the engine side of the firewall. This means the steering wheel must be removed from the shaft before the box can come out of the car. Do not hammer on the end of the steering shaft. This will drive the bearing surface on the end of the shaft into the bottom shaft bearing and damage it. While the bottom bearing is always replaced during a rebuild, damage to the input shaft bearing surface will require the shaft to be machined before it can be used again
2) To properly remove the Pitman Arm from the steering box requires a special tool. Unless you need to keep the Pitman Arm for some reason, just leave it on the steering box and we will remove it for you. We will clean, blast and paint the Pitman Arm at no extra charge and return it loose with the steering box.
If you want to remove the Pitman Arm yourself, use a Pitman Arm Puller. Pitman Arms are often very tight and hard to remove, so be careful removing it..
STANDARD PITMAN ARM PULLER
Part # 36865-0VGA
Will also remove Power Cylinder Stud and some Idler Arms from Centerlink
Part # 40661-1VGA
Will also remove Power Cylinder Stud and some Idler Arms from Centerlink
Some people will try to remove a Pitman Arm from the Sector Shaft of the steering box with a 2 or 3-jaw gear puller. These will generally not work on a Pitman Arm because the edges of the arm are rounded and the jaws of a gear puller tend to spread and slip off of the arm. Since it usually takes a great deal of effort to get a Pitman Arm off of the tapered splines of the Sector Shaft (where it may have been attached for over thirty years), it is best to use the right tool.
On the left are two examples of a dedicated Pitman Arm Puller. The one on the left is the most common and can usually be borrowed or rented from someone like Autozone or Chief Auto Parts. It will remove most Pitman Arms from the Steering box shaft. Occasionally, a Pitman Arm is so tight on the sector shaft that the standard puller jaws will spread or break. For this reason there is a heavy-duty Pitman Arm Puller like the one on the right. The jaws are movable and can be adjusted inward for maximum grip on the Pitman Arm.
If you do not have access to one of these tools, it is easy and inexpensive to buy them from someone like Harbor freight. Listed here are the part numbers and prices of these tools. They can also be used to remove other parts from the centerlink without damage.
3) The steering boxes with the short-style input shaft use a "rag joint" coupler to connect the input shaft to the steering column shaft. Removal of this coupler requires a 12-point socket. If you like, leave this coupler on the steering box and we will remove, clean, blast and clearcoat the part and return it loose with the steering box. If you decide to remove and keep the coupler, use the proper socket to remove the bolt. Keep the bolt with the coupler because it is an unusual bolt and hard to replace.
1) On cars like the 1965-1966 V8 Mustang and some early Falcons, the Ball Stud area of the Control Valve assembly was made into the end of the centerlink. Since the Ball Stud is an integral part of the Control Valve, the complete unit with the centerlink must be sent in for rebuild. Removal of the centerlink on these cars requires removing both Inner Tie Rod Ends, the Idler Arm and the Power Cylinder. If you like, you can send in your Control Valve/Centerlink assembly with all these parts attached and we will remove them for you. If you do this, please let us know if you want the old rod ends and idler arm returned to you or scrapped. If you decide to remove these items yourself, please use the proper tools to avoid damaging the Centerlink.
This handy tool is a 2-jaw puller that is designed to keep the jaws from spreading and slipping off of the centerlink. It acts like a press and pushes the studs out - usually with a sharp pop. It puts no stress on the socket of the stud and will not damage the threads.
TIE ROD END
Part # 36861-0VGA
Also listed as a Pitman Arm Puller but not strong enough for most applications
2) The most common physical damage found on Control Valves is caused by people who try to separate the Ball Stud from the Pitman Arm with a pickle fork. This always damages the centerlink or ball stud sleeve and causes extra repairs. It will usually pull the Ball Stud out of the sleeve and inner bushing rather than out of the Pitman Arm. It distorts the sleeve area and causes the ball stud bushing to bind and lock up inside the sleeve. Use one of the above pullers to pop the Ball Stud out of the Pitman Arm. If you cannot do this, remove the Pitman Arm from the steering box and leave it on the Control Valve when you send it in. The Ball Stud itself is not important as it is always replaced during a rebuild, but try to avoid damage to the sleeve or Pitman Arm by using the proper tools. If you send in the Pitman Arm, we will clean, blast and paint it at no extra charge.
3) Be careful removing the hose fittings from the Control Valve if you intend to reuse them. Use a Tube Flare Wrench on those fittings it is possible to get the wrench on. We get a lot of Control Valves in for rebuild that have been hammered on the side of the pressure hose port. We haven't figured out why this is, but this often breaks the housing and puts a crack down into the threads and port. This will ruin a housing and require replacement. Never hammer on the control valve housing.
4) On 1965-1966 6-cylinder Mustangs, early 60's Falcons, Fairlanes and Galaxies, the Control Valve/Ball Stud Assembly screws onto an extension that is bolted to the centerlink. All 1967 and later Fords have a Control Valve/Ball Stud assembly that screws onto the end of the centerlink itself. To remove the valve from these vehicles requires you to unscrew the sleeve from this extension or centerlink. The sleeve is partially retained by a bolted clamp. Unbolt this clamp, spread it slightly and slide it from the end of the sleeve. There is a slot in the end of the sleeve. Originally, there was a small roll pin driven into a hole in the extension/centerlink that protruded out of this slot. This located the sleeve on the proper "clocking" on the extension/sleeve and also helped prevent it from rotating and coming loose. Remove this roll pin. We have had the best results clamping it in a pair of wire cutters and levering it out. With the pin removed you can unscrew the sleeve from the end of the extension/centerlink.
If there is no roll pin sticking out of the slot, it has probably been sheared off inside the extensio/centerlink during a previous removal. Most people do not know the roll pin is there or notice it under the grime that tends to accumulate on it and the clamp. They unscrewed the sleeve without removing it and sheared it off in the process. You may still be able to see the remains of the roll pin inside the hole of the extension/centerlink. Unfortunately, this is only part of the damaged that was done. Shearing the pin also caused it to damage all the threads inside the sleeve and on the extension/centerlink from the pin on out. You should still be able to unscrew the sleeve from the extension/centerlink, but be aware that the internal and external threads are likely to be damaged and at least partially stripped.
The picture on the left shows a sleeve clamped onto the extension/centerlink. You can see the tip of the roll pin protruding from the slot. The picture to the right shows the clamp pulled back from the sleeve, clearly showing the slot in the sleeve and the roll pin sticking through it from the extension/centerlink.
If you are sending in your Control Valve/Ball Stud Assembly for rebuild, I recommend leaving it attached to the extension or centerlink. We will remove, clean, blast and paint the extension/centerlink and reinstall on the valve assembly the correct distance. Be aware that there is a certain distance that the sleeve is supposed to be threaded onto the extension/centerlink. This distance properly sets the length of the linkage and puts the ball stud in the correct orientation to the steering box. This distance varies from model to model and sometimes year to year. The distance that your setup was installed at may not have necessarily been correct.
The clamp is retained onto the sleeve by a raised area that fits into a hole drilled into the sleeve. This also locates it on the sleeve in the correct position to fit over and protect the roll pin. Since the clamp and its corresponding bolt and nut are part of the sleeve, please send it in with the other parts. We will clean, blast, paint and install them on the sleeve during the rebuild.
1) On most Fords, the Power Cylinder has a rod that mounts to a bracket that is itself mounted to the frame of the car. The end of this rod is secured to the bracket and mounted in rubber bushings to allow movement of the cylinder as the linkage moves. The end of the rod is threaded and a nut on the end mounts the rod in the bushings and bracket. Originally the nut had a thin retaining lock nut on it, but this may no longer be present. The nut must be removed to allow the rod to go through the washers and bushings. Often when trying to remove this nut, the rod wants to turn with it, making removal difficult. The end of the rod has two flats on the tip. Use a tight fitting wrench or vise-grips on the flats to hold the rod and prevent it from turning while removing the nut. Sometimes the nut is frozen on the rod from rust and is very difficult to unthread from the rod. Be careful not to twist the end of the rod out of the wrench or vise-grips and damage it while trying to unthread the nut. This tip is the only way to hold the rod from turning and must not be damaged.
If you unbolt the bracket from the frame and leave it mounted on the cylinder when you send it in for rebuild, We will remove the bracket, clean, blast and paint it, and return it loose with the cylinder.
2) The end of the cylinder rod is mounted in two metal washers and rubber bushings. Originally, slipped over the rod and inside the bushings was a metal tube sleeve. This sleeve protected the rod and also kept the bushings from being too tightly compressed when being installed. This tube sleeve may no longer be present and many bushing kits do not include this tube sleeve. If not, the threaded part of the cylinder rod may be damaged and worn thin from wear against the frame bracket or corrosion from inside the bushings. Do not install new bushings without installing this sleeve. Our boot and bushing kit includes this sleeve and we can install it during the rebuild at no extra labor charge.
3) The Power Cylinder is mounted to the centerlink by a large tapered stud. If you send in the Power Cylinder still mounted to the centerlink, we will remove properly remove it. If you want to remove it yourself, please use the proper tools listed above to do so to prevent damage to the cylinder or centerlink. Do not use a pickle fork. This will damage the rubber boot on the end of the cylinder, gouge the surface of the centerlink and will put extreme stress on the cylinder stud joint, possibly pulling it out of its socket. Do not hammer on the end of the cylinder stud trying to push it through the centerlink hole. This may damage the threads beyond repair.
EATON STEERING PUMP:
1) The pulley on an Eaton pump slides on the input shaft and is located by a Woodruff key and retained by a bolt and lockwasher. Though it is not pressed onto the shaft, it may be stuck on it from age and rust. Carefully rap against the back of the pulley with a hammer or use a puller to remove. Do not lose the Woodruff key that locates it on the shaft. Also, the original retaining bolt and washer is a high-grade bolt and should be reused. A hardware store grade bolt is likely to break off inside the shaft during installation.
We recommend sending the pump in with the pulley still attached. We will remove, clean, blast, paint and reinstall it during the rebuild at no extra charge.
2) Depending on the engine and presence of an air conditioning compressor, some Eaton pumps had the reservoir mounted on top of the pump, some remotely on the fender apron. Regardless of style, the reservoir used a rubber gasket on the lid and a rubber grommet where the lid retaining bolt came through. If you send the reservoir in with the pump, even if it is a remote style tank, we will clean, blast and paint the reservoir and install new gaskets and grommets.
3) Eaton pumps had a paper filter installed in the reservoir to filter the fluid. Unless the filter is coming apart or exceptionally dirty, they are usually reuseable. Do not disgard the filter unless you have a new one to install. We do not have any of these filters at this time. If you have a new filter to install, please send it in with the pump and we will install it during the rebuild.
4) Eaton pumps are split vertically and the two halves are held together by five bolts. Many times these bolts are also used to mount the pump to its mounting brackets. Please send at least two of these bolts with the pump, and all of them if possible. We will need them to bolt the pump together and check its rotation. If you send the pump in for rebuild with all the bolts and mounting brackets still attached, we will remove, clean, blast, paint and reinstall the brackets at no extra charge.
FORD STEERING PUMP:
1) The pulley on a Ford pump is press fitted to the shaft. You must use a tool specifically for its removal to prevent damage to the pulley or shaft. While the pulley can often be reinstalled with a bolt and washer setup, there is also a specific tool made for proper installation.
The pulley on a Ford power steering pump is pressed onto the input shaft. You can't remove a pump pulley from a Ford pump without the right tool, but you can destroy a pulley finding this out. The pulleys are designed with a special grooved snout just for removal and installation. These tools will smoothly remove a pulley a hundred times without ever leaving a scratch.
The best design is the one shown on the left. It uses a coupler that completely surrounds the pulley snout and pulls the pulley off. It spreads the strain around the full diameter of the snout and won't hardly scratch the paint.
POWER STEERING PULLEY REMOVER
Part # 43188-0VGA
A lot of rebuilt pumps come with a bolt and washer setup to be used to press the pulley onto the input shaft of the pump. We recommend that when you get the special tool to remove the pulley you also get a special tool to install it. While the bolt and washer setup will work on some pumps, many pumps have a real tight press fit for the pulleys. A dedicated pulley installer is easier and safer to use.
STANDARD PUMP PULLEY
Often supplied with aftermarket
rebuilt pumps and available
We recommend when sending in a Ford pump for rebuild to leave the pulley mounted to the pump as we have the proper tools to remove and install it. We will clean, blast and paint the pulley at no extra charge.
2) Originally, Ford pumps came with a rectangular metal ID tag mounted on the back under a nut screwed onto the pressure fitting. While this tag was used to identify the pump, it also acted as a washer to spread out the pressure when tightening down the nut. Please send this tag and nut with the pump if it is still there. Without the tag, tightening the nut tends to damage and distort the thin metal of the reservoir where the pressure fitting comes through and can cause a leak.
3) Because of the depth and diameters of some pulleys, it may not be possible to remove the bolts that hold the pump to the pump bracket with the pulley in place. The pulley may need to be removed just to get the bolts and bracket off the pump. Regardless if this is the case, if you send in the pump mounting brackets still mounted to the pump, we will remove, clean, blast, paint and reinstall them at no extra charge.