Register now to get rid of these ads!

Can I Flip My Pitman Arm Over?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 35 Woodie, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. 35 Woodie
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 194

    35 Woodie

    I'm have just about finished my deuce roadster but notice (rather late in the game, some things just get overlooked!) that the Vega box pitman arm has only 3" ground clearance at the bottom of the drag link connection. It is the lowest point on the car and will certainly pose problems at speed bumps to say the least.

    Can I flip the pitman arm over so the drag link connection is on top? I assume it will function properly.

    Or should I try to bend this arm or does someone offer a bent pitman arm?

    Attached Files:

  2. Not sure, but the hole in the pitman arm might be tapered, if so, no you cannot flip it.

    Otherwise, it should be able top be flipped and gain clearance.
  3. 35 Woodie
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 194

    35 Woodie

    The end with the drag link is tapered but the splined shaft out of the steering box is not. It should be a simple removal from the splined shaft and flip it over (famous last words!)
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,121


    The picture is not very clear, but that arm LOOKS to be fabricated and welded, and not WELL-WELDED, either. Why not find an original forged piece which is easily heated and safely bent upward? DD

  5. 35 Woodie
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 194

    35 Woodie

    I'm pretty certain that the arm came with the Flaming River Vega box and mounting bracket. The picture quality is poor but there is no evidence of any welding on the arm.

    Are Flaming River arms forged?
  6. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,655

    Atwater Mike

    HEAR, HEAR! Good advice! A sound steering linkage is one that is not compromised by welded components!

    words to LIVE by...
  7. the pitman arm goes on the steering box shaft just one way...although it is splined it is also tapered. you can not flip it

    you can retaper the other end so you can put the tie rod end on top. some are already tapered from both ways...check yours
  8. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    Ditto what 36 said,...You can retaper it, and run the draglink on the top. You can buy a taper tool, or have a local machine shop do it.

    Happy Roddin' 4TTRUK
  9. walker
    Joined: Dec 29, 2008
    Posts: 221


    And the tapered reamer is 'Only' About $100.
  10. yeah , they are kinda spendy and not worth buying if you have only one use , but if you do it a lot i look at it as an investment. i actually have two of them and have been paid to do it

    as i said before....some pitman arms have the tie rod end hole already tapered both ways
  11. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Wrong!! You have a taper on both ends. Easy fix is to re-taper the tierod end from the top only 1/2 way through and put the tierod end on from the top. Any sector shafts that use a nut on the end have a tapered spline there.
  12. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,765


    I have as a SOP to bend the Vega arm so it is backward from it's normal shape and retaper the tie rod end from the top. You look to have an aftermarket arm and I would be hesitant to heat one. I would get a stock arm. The drag link and tie rod will be in better relationship as well.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  13. blackout
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,269


    X2 this is the way to go
  14. Remove Pitman arm.

    Clamp in vise.

    Heat and bend.

    Allow to cool in still air.

    Polish, and reassemble.

  15. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    Why are so many scared of welds?
  16. 35 Woodie
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 194

    35 Woodie

    Thanks to all for your inputs! I'll pull the stupid thing and bend it!!
  17. kscarguy
    Joined: Aug 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,584


    You can flip it over, but your roof will get scratched...ha!.

    Contact Flaming river to see if it their part. If it is, ask if it is acceptable to taper the tie rod hole 1/2 way from the top. Also see if it is OK to heat and bend their part. This is a life and death part, so don't be cheap or stupid with it.

    If it is OK to re-taper, check with some local speed shops to see if they have the correct taper reamer.

    DO NOT weld on the pitman arm. That is just plain stupid.
  18. from what i can see , it appears just putting the tie rod end on top would solve your problem. AS I SAID BEFORE.....IT MAY BE TAPERED BOTH WAYS , TAKE IT OFF AND CHECK IT

    i don't believe there is any need to bend it

    i'd would have had it off , retapered it if needed , reinstalled , gone for a test drive and be back home with my feet up having a beer already
  19. B Ramsey
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 646

    B Ramsey

    if pitman arms werent supposed to be welded, why are they made of steel?
  20. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Yep weld them suckers but be sure you KNOW how to weld. Lots of people THINK they can weld !!! But all they do is make pigeon shit!!
  21. GM typically tapers the spines on a Pitman shaft,
    so the arm only goes on one way.
  22. go-twichy
    Joined: Jul 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,650


    my drag link side of the arm is tapperd on both sides.
  23. good point....i guess they could make them out of wood and then just glue them
  24. dave lewis
    Joined: Dec 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,372

    dave lewis

    If you cannot find someone to taper the other side..
    send it to me and I will do it for you !
    I do not loan out my reamers any more, but I will be happy to do it .
  25. Personally i would run a AMERICAN made welded pitman arn over a cast CHINESE one any day! Anyone else?
  26. snot275
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 131


    here here!
  27. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,365


    I have several welded pitman arms, and have installed in cars and trucks that I built. My OT/DD has one. It has seen 80,000 hard miles of hauling, towing, and extreme off-road use. No problems, at-all, on ANY of them. Then again, I am an engineer, a certified welder, and have access to Magnaflux equipment.

    The sky is still not falling.
  28. 35 Woodie
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 194

    35 Woodie

    I dug into the Flaming River and Vega box info and find that many of these arms are "double tapered". I'll check mine and if not double tapered, I'll buy one that is.

    Many thanks for all the comments and advice. It's appreciated.

    Here's my deuce just back from the paint shop. 401 nailhead, Tremec 5-speed, Winters QC.

    I installed the windshield, tail lights and the head lamp buckets yesterday. Drop the gauges back in and I'm ready to ride, steering clear of speed bumps until I correct the pitman arm road clearance.

    Attached Files:

  29. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    Heat it, bend it, move on.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.