center steering arm rebuild

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Nov 6, 2002
Pullman, WA
I am having a booger of a tiume getting my center arm shaft out of the drag link on my 78 FJ-40. The bolt, and screw on top are off, and the bottom lock washer and nut are also off. I have tried several types of pullers, and a 7 pound sledge hammer, all to no avail. :mad: . I have broken a pitman arm puller, and am working on my second one, and bought a 2 finger puller from Sears today, and it is also doing no good. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
I have always been successful using this old trick. Using 2 small but hefty size hammers, emphasis on hefty, hammer opposing sides of the taper joint trying to strike both sides at the same instant. You will spring the taper and the piece will fall out of the taper. Works every single time for me.
You have it off the frame? I had to do that and beat it several times with an 8 lb maul to get it apart.
I've always had luck with pitmans....install puller, torque tight, thwack arm with hammer, and watch yer toes. Might take an alternating thwack with a bit more torque each time. Outta be installed on vehicle for leverage tho, on the bench won't cut it.
I think I was a little confused. Are we talking the draglink to steering center arm?? Draglink to pitman? Or centerarm shaft to steering centerarm? Or centerarm shaft within the centerarm bracket? I found a pickle fork worked best for the draglink ends. The pitman puller didn't work for my pitman arm (hard to get the puller in there--had to move some of the wheelwell out of the way). I ended up getting an extra large pickle fork to work there. Had to take the bracket off to get the centerarm shaft out with the maul. Turned it upside down braced on two blocks of wood and whacked the threaded end hard. The rebuild kit replaced the shaft anyway.
Well, I got it out today :D. Someone from the LCML emailed me an idea about heating it up with a propane torch. So I heated it up with a torch, then bolted the box back on the frame, and re-heated the box, smacked it a few times with a sledge hammer, put the pitman arm puller on, tightened it, smacked it, tightened it, and then tightened it again, and that center arm shot about 3 feet up out of hte box, just from the pressure. Got the tapered part out by bending the little tab, and then it came right out. Now that I have the drag link off, I think I will go ahead and replace the tie rod end on the steering shaft side which was giving me some trouble. Thanks
Good Deal!
Yah, I've gotta use the torch more often.....

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