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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Pitman (drop) arm is excessively worn to the point that its starting to tear my relatively new tie rod boots. I've been looking around on the net but can't seem to find any place that sells them. Is it a package deal with the steering box or am I just not looking in the right place? Also can I get the tie rod boots separately or do I have to get new tie rod ends?
Also I found this site http://www.vtr.org/maintain/diy-alignment.html and it kind of interests me. Has anyone ever did there own alignment similar to this or do y'all usually take yours to a shop. I'm not really a cheap-ass but I'd much rather spend the ~$100 of a lifetime alignment on other areas of my Ghia.
Oh, a little observation. Why does the spell checker always have a problem with "Ghia" and "Jetta"? It's so dang annoying. Can't they be added to the dictionary? Kinda
for a VW site.

TIA
Mike the Spaz


Modified by Spazmatic2000 at 4:21 AM 5-21-2004
 

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Re: Pitman arm and alignment (Spazmatic2000)

I can't imagine what would actually wear-out a pitman arm?
It's only bolted to the output shaft of your steering gear box and connected to two tie rod ends?
I actually had a bus come into our shop once where the owner ran off the road hitting a really tall curb and trashing most of the front end - breaking tie rods and even the whole steering gear box assembly. The only part that didn't get damaged by the impact was the pitman arm (and the bus has two of them - one for each end of the drag link).
You won't get a new pitman arm with a new steering gear box. They are definitely not sold together and frankly I've never seen new pitman arms for sale either which leads me to my first question - what would wear it out to require replacement?
Perhaps your pitman arm is made for larger tie rod ends.... The tie rods came in two sizes 17mm and 19mm and if I recall correctly this changed around ....... 1968

Maybe this is why you think your pitman arm is worn; because it has the incorrect tie rod ends (too small diameter)....
For what it costs - $40 across the street from our shop; I'd rather pay the money and have the alignment done on a machine made for the task. I haven't looked at the web site you mentioned but I think I know what they're probably saying and yes I've seen folks that have done that and they're Vdubs seem to be fine. I think it's just too much "fiddling" for me to wanna bother with.... Seems like if you don't get it just right, you're going to be spending money on tires and maybe even other stuff (like the neighbor's fence or something) if you make any error in measurement.
By the way. You can actually buy replacement boots for tie rods. They're sold in rubber and urethane nowadays. The rubber ones tend to be out-of-stock from the most common sources but they do exist.... The urethane ones don't have the metal snap-ring but instead rely soley on pressure of being held in place by tie rod to mating surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Pitman arm and alignment (wrenchmonkey)

wrenchmonkey is the man! Thanks a lot.
I could figure out how the arm could "wear" out since it really has no wear surfaces (this is what the alignment shop told me, I have basically no front suspension experience so thats why I came here to ask). It has to be the wrong size tie rod ends. I checked the body's number and its a 147 7XX XXX so maybe they went by that number by mistake.
So I guess Monday I'll rent a tie rod puller and pick up some new 19mm tie rod ends.

I was just kinda curious about the DIY alignment, really never heard of it before. I found a place near my house that does a 4 wheel alignment, rotation, and oil/filter change for $39.95. I'll have to check them out and see how much just a 4 wheel would be.
Thanks again.
 
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