View Full Version : which tool?

tahoe healey
04-26-2003, 08:58 PM
I need to remove the lever arm from the shaft on the steering box to get to the oil seal at the bottom. There doesen't seem to be enough room to get a two armed gear puller on due to the proximity of the suspension arm. Any help out there? I'd rather not get into removing the suspension or raising the steering box if I don't have to.

Dave Russell
04-26-2003, 11:58 PM
I don't want to be negative or discourage you. There are a couple of things to consider. Do you have a good factory shop manual for the car? It goes into quite a bit of detail on servicing the steering box.

It appears that as a very minimum you will need to slide the box forward & turn it 90 degrees to get room for an arm puller.

After you get the arm off how will you get the seal out with the rocker (vertical) shaft still in place? To remove the shaft it needs to come out through the box top plate opening.

If the seal is worn, it is likely that the lower bushing which holds the shaft is worn which is what caused the seal to fail.

If you succeed in this project without removing the steering gear from the car my hat is off to you & I will be very interested in how you do it.

Good luck,

[ 04-26-2003: Message edited by: Dave Russell ]</p>

04-27-2003, 09:43 PM
Hello Tahoe

Two items could work: They make a bearing remover accessory for pullers. It looks like a cup that is split down the middle. This is bolted on the far side of the arm. It has bolt holes for attaching the puller to it. It allows the usual puller to remove small and oddly shaped items. I bought mine years (and years) ago so I just guessing that it would cost about $40.00 to pick one up today. Second, is a ball joint removal tool, not a pickle fork, but it is used for many of the same jobs. This device has its own bolt that is tightened against the shaft while the fork portion applies the opposite force to the arm. Tighten it up, whack the arm with a lead hammer (and occasionally add heat depending upon how solidly the arm is attached). These little goodies are about $20.00.

While you're at the tool store picking up one or the other of these also pick up a seal remover. It will make the above mentioned removal process easier.

Be aware that the leak is usually (&gt;80% of the time) NOT going to be fixed just by replacing the seal. The bearing also needs to be replaced to eliminate the excessive play that is the usual root cause. Being that you're from Tahoe, roll the dice and take a chance ;&gt;} .... It's only about 4-6 hours work at risk!

To the best of my knowledge, the only way to get to the bearing is to remove the box.

Good luck!

04-27-2003, 10:58 PM
It has been about 15 years since I had to replace the seal in my steering gearbox, so some of the details are hazy --- but I can say that I ended up removing the entire steering column from the car because I couldn't get the arm off without doing so. I tried the pullers, but ran into the same problem of access (or lack thereof).

Good luck! graemlins/cryin.gif

tahoe healey
04-28-2003, 02:46 AM
Thanks all. I think the PO installed the oil seal up-side down. The dust excluder (seal) is missing (as well) and I can see the black rubber with the groove visible from below. Amazing! I think I can pry it out along shaft. But I just need to get that lever arm off. The tool in the shop manual seems what I need but where do you find it. It looks very specific to the task and therefore useless for anything else. I saw the two hammer discussed under tools forum (olive fork) but, again, I don't think there is enough room. images/icons/confused.gif

John Loftus
04-28-2003, 01:05 PM
Since this is one of the jobs I need to do soon I picked up an inexpensive Pitman arm puller from Harbor Freight. The following link shows the tool. I haven't used this yet but think it should work and will know later this week.


Cheers, John

Dave Russell
04-29-2003, 01:20 AM
I checked your Harbor Freight link for the puller. Under "what's hot" I spied a very interesting floor jack, item 40105-OVGA. What do you think? Good deal? good jack? My old floor jack is pretty far gone.

04-29-2003, 09:10 AM
Those jacks are $169.00 in the local HF. I saw a pallet of them go by while I was in the store last Friday. I'm tempted, they go nice and low 4 1/2 ", but with 3 floor jacks, what would I do with a fourth?

John Loftus
04-29-2003, 12:45 PM
Thom, actually the specs show a minimum saddle height of 3 1/2" which would make them ideal for our frames, especially after you have one end up on jack stands.


Dave, the great thing about Harbor Freight is they will let you return anything that you don't like. I bet you won't want to return it after using it though. It does look nice ... I would pick one up in a heartbeat if I didn't have so much to spend still on the restoration.

Cheers, John

04-29-2003, 06:51 PM
I'll bet a dollar that the previous owner installed the seal upside down trying to make the seal make contact with a different spot on the shaft. You probably have a pitted shaft and or a worn bearing. Do it right the first time. Much less aggravation. School of hard knocks,Sky graemlins/thirsty.gif

Dave Russell
04-30-2003, 03:42 AM
John, Thom,
I got one of the HF jacks. It is only 3.5 inches high at the saddle. Even better, it has more "reach". Measures 18 inches from the handle pivot to the center of the saddle. This is two inches longer than my old jack. It reaches in under the front of the car with no handle fouling with the front bumper. Pretty sturdy & stable, but still light weight.

Down side - Due to the fast lift action it takes a healthy push on the four foot handle to get things lifted. The roller front won't go over an obstacle as easy as wheels would. Just have to keep the floor cleaner.

Tahoe healey, sorry for side tracking Your thread. I guess this should have been in "tools"

[ 04-29-2003: Message edited by: Dave Russell ]

[ 04-29-2003: Message edited by: Dave Russell ]</p>