Center link removal question

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Center link removal question

Post by 77mali on Thu May 24, 2012 8:28 pm

Was working on the car & decided to remove the power steering pump, steering box & shaft for cleaning & painting. So far I removed the castle nut @ the pitman arm but can't find my darn "pickle fork"....If I remove the castle nut on the opposite side of the C link, will the bar just "lift out" with a little persuasion (maybe from a BFH) or should I just get a new fork? Is there another trick to this? I don't want to do anything to damage the grease fittings either.
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by ant7377 on Thu May 24, 2012 9:35 pm

Some guys whack it with a hammer with a block of wood on the other side but that never works for me I need to use the fork.
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by 77mali on Thu May 24, 2012 10:23 pm

FORKIN' A...I hate loosing stuff. Got a super deal @ a flea market last summer...haven't even used it.
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by ant7377 on Thu May 24, 2012 10:31 pm

Forkin A is right !
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by jerry46765 on Thu May 24, 2012 10:58 pm

This works on ball joints, tie rods, etc...
Take two hammers; a big one and a bigger one, hold the smaller one up against the joint and then whack it with the bigger hammer.
The joint should pop apart.
It's not really a finesse thing, just brute force.

A pickle fork will mess up the rubber boots on ball joints and rod ends, so the two hammers method will allow reuse of all existing parts.

Thanks -
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by 77mali on Thu May 24, 2012 11:09 pm

I'll give it a shot. I have a ball peen & a 4 pound mini sledge. I guess another option might be to just get a pitman puller & leave it on the C-link.
Thanks!
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by Sinister on Fri May 25, 2012 8:38 am

How about an air chisel?
I'm guessing you'll find the fork once you get the part removed. Laughing
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by thatfnthing on Fri May 25, 2012 11:24 am

FWIW, Auto Zone sells a front-end tool kit that consists of 7 or 8 different kinds of pullers, which work better than the old fork and will not damage anything. They also do an "informal" tool rental -- you buy it, use it, and return it for a refund.
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by 77mali on Fri May 25, 2012 11:40 am

thatfnthing wrote:FWIW, Auto Zone sells a front-end tool kit that consists of 7 or 8 different kinds of pullers, which work better than the old fork and will not damage anything. They also do an "informal" tool rental -- you buy it, use it, and return it for a refund.

Thanks! Yes, I found this out this morning when I went in to buy a Pitman Arm puller (which I got- $14.00 OEM part # 252797- also works for tie rods). I got an Engine lift chain too (OEM #27041- $45.00 & full refund if returned within like 6 weeks) that I am "borrowing" w/ the program you described. I've been looking online for a while for one of these chains- the sales associate made my day today when she had one in stock. Also got 2 new hydraulic lines for my steering pump- $19.99/ea & lifetime warranty! I had a good morning.

They also have a super Rewards program!
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by Jim_Rockford on Tue May 29, 2012 8:53 pm

Yep I swear by the hammer trick for ball joints, tie rods and everything else, I thew away all my forks years ago. Hate those frigging things.
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Re: Center link removal question

Post by 77mali on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:49 pm

OK so here's how I did this....

See the Pitman arm remover tool from Autozone in the first pic? It also works on some of the other parts in the suspension, in particular the center link. I did it this way because I could not get the the Pitman off the pump- even with the tool- it was very difficult & I did not want to damage any of the parts as they look to be in great shape minus some bushings here & there. I nearly soiled myself when I heard it pop thinking I broke the thing but I guess that's just the sound it makes, LOL. There was some wiggling that needed to be done but I loosened the other "arm" on the opposite side of of the pump on the frame.

After disconnecting the 2 center link sections, I completely removed said steering link, then removed the 3 bolts attaching the steering pump to the frame. Viola, not to hard at all. The worst part was getting the parts "de-greased" so I could see what I was working with & find the cotter pins.







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Re: Center link removal question

Post by thatfnthing on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:57 pm

77mali wrote:I nearly soiled myself when I heard it pop thinking I broke the thing but I guess that's just the sound it makes, LOL.

No doubt -- it is one of the scariest sounds I've ever heard my car make, and I had a similar reaction. Laughing
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