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Old 05-09-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
Tom207
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Default pitman arm issue?

I have a 28 roadster with a 2 tooth steering box. This spring I decided to replace the steering/pitman arms with re-balled units from A&L. I purchased these items outright. When I installed the new arms and set the steering wheel dead center the front wheels were not even close to straight ahead. When I compared my old units to the new ones the only difference I found was that my original pitman arm has a pronounced curve which places its ball closer to the front axle by almost an inch. When I install my original pitman arm, dead center of steering wheel is straight ahead for the front wheels. I sent my original pitman to A&L for their opinion/input, they have not seen an arm like mine before. I am having my original re-balled. Does anyone have any experience with this problem? I did verify that my drag link was the correct length(24 9/16).
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:14 PM   #2
machine girl
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

We sell an adjustable drag link (on ebay) if this will help you, all USA CNC, MADE.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

machine girl,I haven't seen your adjustable drag link on ebay. How do I find it?
many thanks
Keith

Last edited by wensum; 05-27-2014 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:24 PM   #4
redmodelt
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

I would check to see where the steering wheel is when the gear in the box is centered between lock to lock with the drag link off. Then I would set toe in with the wheels pointed as straight as you can make them. Then measure the center to center on the balls for the drag link to see how it compares to the one you have. Could be something else is off and the steering wheel just will not have the spokes centered.
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Old 05-09-2014, 07:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Our draglink on ebay item #271470214080 or punch in ford model a adjustable drag link, other neat stuff at modelaonly.net
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

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The steering wheel should have two key ways so that spoke alignment could be adjusted. It would involve removing the steering wheel and rotating to the next slot in the hub of the steering wheel.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:03 PM   #7
machine girl
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

key ways have nothing to do with centering a steering box, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR NO PLAY (OR NOT MUCH) this applies for all steering boxes not just yours.
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Machine Girl understands my issue exactly. Model A is a joy to drive if the steering is perfectly aligned. i.e. steer box dead center(no play) and the front wheels tracking straight ahead down the road. I will settle for nothing less. I have been eyeing that adjustable link on Ebay and may end up going that route. My post is more about reasons for the major mismatch of parts. Maybe 2 tooth steering box in a 28 cause an issue or possibly there is a different pitman arm for 28s?
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

You say that when the steering wheel was dead center that the front wheels were not straight. Was the sector shaft dead center? Could be more than one problem.

Chet
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Chet, yes the steering sector is dead center. I rebuilt the steering box many years/miles ago and I did check the adjustment of it as part of this recent steering service. I agree there could be a few issues working against me here but before I started this recent service my car did track pretty well(steering wheel centered with no play meant car was traveling straight down the road).
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:22 AM   #11
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

I suppose it depends on what you are tring to center. you need to read the Sservice bulletins !!! There is a slot head screw at the bottom of the sector housing that centers the steering. This is called the centralization revit and is used on all of the two tooth steering assemblies !!!!!!!

Last edited by Purdy Swoft; 05-11-2014 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Ignore the steering wheel you don't look at it when you drive anyway and the spoke not being centered has nothing to do with the car going straight down the road. With the steering box at center between lock to lock with the pitman arm pointing about straight down, how much difference is there between the center to center of the balls compared to the actual point the balls ride in the drag link?
Are the both wheels at least parallel to the frame.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Have struck this problem twice . one LHD & one RHD , both cases rebuilt boxes with repo parts , It is just posible that the sector shaft is machined a little of square, I have found faulty ones when set up on a bench along side an orig one the end of the drop arm was 1" differant to orginal one , The only answer is what Dave (Machine girl ) says , an ajustable drag link, we cut down a tie rod & re threaded one end , this allowed us to ajust it untill zero play in straight ahead position , Combined with the shorten pitman arm 120 clicks is a breeze where as at 40 k before was not nice ,
Zero your free play with one of Daves ajustable links ,or do your own. It worked for us & others,
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:34 PM   #14
machine girl
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Back in the day we welded up and reground sector shafts. never had a problem, then the china stuff showed up, (no more calls for our service) funny thing Snyders 2014 catalog says 2 tooth sector foreign made QUALITY IS PRETTY GOOD ON THESE NOW?? so we guess they were bad before?? answer YES, and still $102.00 for what ?
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Thanks Machine Girl for great service and excellent communication
I've just oredered and paid for your adjustable drag link off Ebay
Cheers,
Keith
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:34 AM   #16
Tom207
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Quickchange, I did make an adjustable drag link, as you described, by shortening a tie rod. However the clamping area on the link and its bolt bang into either the steer arm or the spring perch(depending on which end you put forward). How did you deal with this issue? BTW, I do have a repro steering sector, more than likely it's one of the culprits.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:50 AM   #17
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Adjustable drag links have their Pplace on speedsters where the steering box has been repositioned or different steering has been used. Again as in post 11 , the two tooth steering assemblies have an adjustment for centering the steering. This adjustment uses a slot head and is under the serctor housing and is called the centralization revit. Most ass up when they tamper with this adjustment and that is no doubt what has happened with your steering. The service bulletins give an aacurate discription of how to adjust and center the two tooth steering. A shortened pitman arm did not cause your problem. Its not likely that a repro sector caused the problem either.

Last edited by Purdy Swoft; 05-11-2014 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:50 AM   #18
machine girl
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Default Re: pitman arm issue?

Tom ,we also tried that. lots of cutting and grinding(yes the bolt hit the perch) made these new ones.looks much better and no safety issue.
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