I've got an 89 Firebird T/A with the death wobble and yesterday I was
underneath and trying to figure out if I had a bad ball joint or something
in the steering linkage that was loose but couldn't find anything. The only
thing I have is a leaky steering box that looks like the pitman arm is
slowly falling out of the box. I was wondering how much trouble it is to
rebuild it? I know it would be easier to just replace it but I like the
idea of fixing it. Anyone know what I should expect to run into? I've
skimmed the internet and found this website:
It seems to give me most everything I need to know.
Anyone have any hints, tips or comments? Thanks in advance.
It's easy if the parts are available:
Get a good used box as a core for parts if needed, and most of all. Don't
use a fork or heat to remove the pitman arm.
Take out the first snap ring for the lower pitman arm seal while the box is
till in the car, then remove the first seal carefuly. Remove the snap ring
for the upper seal, start the car with a large pan under it, then turn the
wheels hard left to right.
The seal will pop out and there isn't any chance of damaging the shaft.
Have fun chasing the recirculating balls when you take the top off of the
Did you try replacing the wheel bearings? I just got that wobble and I
replaced my bearing and swapped the rotors and it's gone! Doesn't shake
at all! Get the seals (only on inner), inner/outer bearings for both
sides and make sure you try and get all the old grease out of the rotors
with a rag. You can use a drift to knock out the bearing race to replace
it and make sure when you install the new one not to damage it. It should
bottom out when it's in far enough. Pack the bearings and install.
BTW, don't torque that castle nut to the books settings. Just make it
tight enough so it hardly has any play if any at all and turns without
much resistance. Wipe of the knuckles spindle (that is what it's called
right?) so you can see where the cotter pin holes are for alignment. Tell
us if it works for you...
Well, I didn't replace the wheel bearings but I did replace the ball
joints.. One was visibly worn when I moved the steering knuckle around, the
other was still in pretty good shape but I went ahead and replaced it as
well. Most of the death wobble is gone and it feels a lot better when I'm
driving around. I'm hoping to replace the inner and outer tie rods at some
point as well as get around to rebuilding the steering box.
Thanks for the suggestion.
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