E350 pitman arm removal advice needed

bcaine

New member
Going more for convenience in this case than thrift, I purchased a "pronged" pitman arm removal tool with the two arms. It is a tight fit to say the least, and I know how terrible arms can be.

The lobes on the arms are a bit too large to fit between the steering gear box and the pitman arm, so that is issue one. There is also minimal clearance between the frame and the side of the arm, but perhaps wheel turned hard right might get me set in place.

It looks like a conical remover will fit, but I don't have one readily accessible.

Has anyone had success with the style of puller I purchased?
How bad are ideas like: grind off some of the puller, grind off some of the arm (replacing with drop arm), remove box and press off existing arm?

Thanks in advance.
 

ujoint

Supporting Sponsor
Take 2 of the box bolts out, loosen the 3rd and pivot the box a bit to give yourself some more room.
 

naterry

13 Cheeseburgers
Heating up the arm can help. Hammer taps help break the oxidation bond too (not BFH).
 

rdcolorado

Observer
What a PIA! I think I did grind a little on the puller but not too much. That with a bit of heat and a hammer. Took a while before it finally came off.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

silvrzuki77

explorer
What a PIA! I think I did grind a little on the puller but not too much. That with a bit of heat and a hammer. Took a while before it finally came off.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
Ditto! I used penetrating oil like crazy prior week also.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

GNTY

Adventurer
I just went through this my self. Arms of the puller were super tight but got them in. Impact, heat...nothing would get it. Ended up removing the steering box, and used a zip disc to cut a slit into the pitman arm just about down to the steering shaft to relieve pressure, puller worked after that.
 
Last edited:

bcaine

New member
Thanks to all for the advice. A little wiggle room helped, but the puller still wasn't going on. As though the arm was pressed too far up the output.

Decided early to just remove the thing and press off the arm. The three frame bolts came off nicely and the pressure lines were a breeze. The input splines aren't coming too easily, but it's also in the upper 20s and I got tired of laying on the driveway. Tomorrow I'll wrap up the job.

The van is a project, not a driver so I'm treating this as an opportunity. This is the van I'm working on putting a ttb under so I already have the whole front end and all steering linkage removed. So no time like the present.
 

Corneilius

Adventurer
Yeah grinding down the "teeth" on the puller is necessary on every puller I've used on a van. Some of them have been quite reluctant to come off, but haven't had a puller break yet
 

dinobody

Observer
just went thru this last week. Broke one cheep puller and one snap on puller. Both using a little heat and lots of pb blaster. finaly just took an angle grinder and cut most of the way thru it. Then took a chisle and hit it in the groove I cut then used a puller. It came off easy then.
 

bcaine

New member
Follow up: after pulling the steering box I ended up doing exactly what finally worked above. Ground a groove, punched with chisel then put the puller on it. Glad I never fooled around with the box on the van. My puller had to be ground smaller before it would work.
 

BajaSportsmobile

Baja Ironman
The method we use that always works is to remove 2 bolts and loosen the third, and rotate the steering gear so that the cup style puller can get a good angle and purchase. Tighten the puller as tight as possible and then hit the side of the pitman arm with a air hammer to rattle it loose. They can be a real PITA.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
I've not pulled one on a van yet... on the Fj40, I've used heat, broken a cheaper puller, turned one arm cherry red, cut slots in it in 3 spots with the torch... still never came off. I put on a better box and donated that one to the shop program.

They can be a major bear.
 

DougsE350

Observer
We've got a sacrificial puller we weld to the arm then hit it with the impact. Seems to work pretty well so far and saves a ton of time.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
They can be pretty tough to remove. I've broken a few pullers over the years.

Funny how easily they slide off once they finally POP free. :coffee:
 
Top