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Discussion Starter #1
So I am 99% finished with my DR/ICON 4.5 lift and I ran into a quite a headache today.

Upon the removal of the factory pitman arm (with the use of a good quality puller) the tool cocked to the side slightly under the torque and messed up a few of the threads on the shaft that comes down out of the steering box. The problem is JUST the tip which I attempted to slightly ground down and file out. Unfortunately the nut was messed up while we were trying to see if the threads were cleaned up/usable enough. However even a new nut wont got on freely as it should so I know the threads on the shaft are still not where they need to be.

My local stores do not have a tap or die large enough. A local machine shop turned me away with no help as to what to do with it. The largest I could find today in metric was a 16mm (assuming its metric as all the other bolts were). I have found a few places online that have dies in 18-20mm size. Does anyone know or know how I can find out the size/thread pitch on the shaft coming out of the steering box? I am going to have a lot of trouble paying $200 to replace a perfectly functional steering box at this point. The nut shouldn't be an issue as Ford can get it and I found out today its the exact same size nut used on my 96 Dodge Ram 1500 and a friends 97 Jeep Wrangler. So worst case I will pull one off a junkyard truck if I need to.

Any advice on cleaning up these threads would be great. Its just the tip so if I can rethread the tip with a die I should be set to go... just need to know what size to call around for. Its all I have left and the lifts DONE... just sucks having a nonfunctional truck taking up half the driveway.

Thanks!
 

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they call me tater salad
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snap on makes a universal tool for rethreading stuff, comes with a whole bunch of square dies,just hold them up to the threads to match them up install it in the tool and turn,any good heavy equip shop will have one and they work great
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like it could certainly work... just need to find a place local or online that has that tool and I will go that route.
 

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Could this happen to me when i do my lift ???
 

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next time you go to take a pitman arm off, use a cut-off wheel on a 4 1/2" grinder or cut-off wheel on a air grinder and cut the pitman arm. make sure you don't cut into the splines. only do this if you are not gonna reuse your stock pitman arm. it's like making a relief cut. then try pulling it off. i don't have a puller, so i made a special chisel. i cut the pitman arm, then i spread it with the chisel, and wham it falls right off. oh by the way, i am a machinis and any machine shop that would turn you away, ain't much of a machine shop. get a new nut and take it to the hardware or other machine shop and they will tell you the thread pitch and so on. i have a set of threading gauges, but no nut. sorry and good luck.
 

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they call me tater salad
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the snap on part # is tr20c it might give you an idea of what you are looking for and punch in tr25b it shows a different tool but the dies are the same,hope it helps
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah the machine shop is a joke and I generally never go there but I was in the area already so I figured no harm in stopping in. Unfortunately for me my machinist who I used for years closed up shop some time ago and I have no idea where he went.

As far as the method of cutting the pitman arm, I would have certainly done this but didnt think it was going to be soo frozen on. In the future since I did yes replace the arm with a drop unit I would cut it and toss it in the garbage.

I think my best bet (unless anyone here post the size/pitch) will be to take the nut to a machine shop. Id buy that tool jawsfx4 mentioned but for that price I might as well just replace the steering box as its not nearly a new truck anymore.

I just need to clean up the last few threads and I'll be set.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I intended on buying one today but napa and sears only had standard and no metrics. If I can find a metric one tomorrow ill try that for sure.
 

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I was able to salvage a threaded electric motor with a cheapo set of files from home depot and about 30 min of concentration.
 

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I was going to say a three corner file and patience.
 

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TennesseeHillbilly
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I was going to say a three corner file and patience.
:whs: This is your best and cheapest solution. Start at the best thread and work your way into the bad threads. I own a machine shop and this is probably how I would do it if it wasn't sh!t wrecked totally.
The only other way is to disassemble the gear and pull the sector shaft out. It could then be chucked in a lathe to recut the threads.
I can order a die whatever size you need but the problem sometimes is getting a die started straight on buggered threads. Also a die that size would probably cost more than a new steering gear. Good Luck!
 

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What year is the truck? I bet the gear box is worn and replacing it will show you how bad it was. Since they get loose slowly you most likely dont notice how bad it has gotten until you do replace it. At this point you might be better off just replacing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The trucks a 2001 but the steering is still tight (actually like that of my 30k 2002 F450). If I have to I can replace it but the lift and all the other components cost enough Id much prefer to wait until later down the road if/when it acts up.
 

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You would be amazed how many bad threads you can clean up with a cheap three corner file. You can also buy a thread file, they are four sided and double ended, so they have eight thread size options. If you can match the threads, they work pretty good. I usually opt for the cheapo three corner file though.
 

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If it is easy to get the right size nuts then take a dremel to the inside of it at about 4 spots till the threads are gone (being sure not to mess up the rest of the threads) and make your own die. Then clean up the threads as best you can on the shaft with a flat head screw driver as best you can then thread your home made die on there until it spins freely, being sure to use your favorite 'cutting oil'. I've done this a couple of times to save tie rod ends and various threaded parts.

Good luck
JP5
 

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Discussion Starter #17
GOT IT!! =-) Went to the junkyard and pulled off the pitman arm nuts on like 6 wranglers and dodge rams as I knew they were the same thread size. Spent quite some time with a file and a small disk in the dremel so I could go slowly around the threads and straighten them out. The nut went on with some resistance but went all the way on and is torqued down plenty tight. Its its ever a problem in the future I am sure it will be time to swap in a new steering gear box. Just glad I can put that money into someone more essential and the headaches gone.

Id be done the entire lift but the little bracket with the (2) welded on nuts that sits in the frame rail for the track bar mount caused some issues. One of the welded nuts (further inside the rail one) became dislodged and spins freely. Cut it off, pulled out the bracket and thankfully Ford will have it by 10am tomorrow. Would have been a quick install but a few of these little hangups made it far from smooth...although not hard just full of stupid headaches.

Thanks all for your help and input!
 

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show us some pics of the finished truck;)
 
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