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leboyd

97 Tahoe 4x4 Steering Gear Box R&r

Question

I just beginning the R&R of the steering gear box on my 97 tahoe (I know either it's bad on the pitman arm).

 

I have some immediate questions.

 

i having difficulty getting the puller on the pitman arm/steering linkage. is there a trick? the 4x4 case is just enpough in the way.

 

does the bolt that holds the steering shaft on the gear box need to be completely removed or just loosened?

 

does the gear box just slide out from the steering shaft or should i expect a lot of tugging and pulling? (not there yet, just mentally preparing) In other words, once I disconnect the pitman arm from the steering system and the bolts holding the steering gear box on the frame, with the box just slide off the shaft (and back on)?

 

If i take measurements on the tie rod ends and install the replacements the same way, can i expect that the steering will be "good enough" to only drive to an alignment shop or can i expect better than that - like almost exact?

 

TIA!

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so to get the puller on the pitman properly you`ll have to unbolt the box from the frame and either push it to clearance the puller or turn it slightly, you only need to loosen the clamping bolt on the input shaft, and it should come off easily but a small prybar can assist. take off your lines then off she goes, make sure NOT to turn yout steering wheel or shaft AT ALL! keep it in the straight forward position (before dissasembly). before installing the new box make sure it is in is "center" position (not turned one way or the other) if it is turned funny you could end up with steering complications.

 

as with the tie rods you should be pretty close just measuring the length, something I do just before i drive it to get aligned is use a tape measure and measure between the insides of the front tires, in front of the axle and behind at the same hieght on the tire and this will roughly tell you if your toed "in or out". then adjust both sides equal amounts untill its about the same or slightly toed in.

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so to get the puller on the pitman properly you`ll have to unbolt the box from the frame and either push it to clearance the puller or turn it slightly, you only need to loosen the clamping bolt on the input shaft, and it should come off easily but a small prybar can assist. take off your lines then off she goes, make sure NOT to turn yout steering wheel or shaft AT ALL! keep it in the straight forward position (before dissasembly). before installing the new box make sure it is in is "center" position (not turned one way or the other) if it is turned funny you could end up with steering complications.

 

as with the tie rods you should be pretty close just measuring the length, something I do just before i drive it to get aligned is use a tape measure and measure between the insides of the front tires, in front of the axle and behind at the same hieght on the tire and this will roughly tell you if your toed "in or out". then adjust both sides equal amounts untill its about the same or slightly toed in.

 

Thanks! Both suggestions worked well.

 

Once I got the pitman arm, it went pretty easily. The most difficult/time consuming issue was losing one of the bolts from the idler arm mount into the frame! Luckily I had a magnet and was able to get it out (dropped it two more times before I could get it back in the hole and the nut started. (Not really a good design)

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