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TR2/3/3A Separating Tie Rod Ends from Steering Arms TR3

newmexTR3

Jedi Trainee
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Hey Guys,

I'm installing the R&P conversion on the 3. Started last night, got the apron & radiator out. Now I need to pull out the old steering components. I picked up a Pitman Arm puller from pepboys this morning in order to separate the tie rod ends from the steering arms. I've never used one though- any have any tips on how to use it? I've heard that I should loosen but not remove the nuts on the tie rod ends- is that correct?

At pepboys I also saw one of the fork-shaped tie rod end removers- should I have got that too?

What goes where with the puller:
Steering%20-%20Pitman%20Arm%20Puller.jpg

Thanks!
 

DNK

Great Pumpkin
Country flag
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Tie rod and ball joints,always used a pickle fork.
 

billspohn

Jedi Knight
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you can use the old pickle fork method, although that tends to tear up the grease boots.

My favourite method utilizes two heavy hammers and a good sense of timing. Strike the eye of the tie rod arm on as close to opposite sides as you can manage at the exact same time and that tie rod end should pop right out of there.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Pitman arm pullers are for ... Pitman arms.

My favorite for TR tie rods is this style:
https://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/p-6985-tool-aid-61900.aspx

Loosen the nut but leave it on so it protects the threads. Then tap the end of the tool so the two fingers slide in between the boot & arm as far as possible. The curve of the jaw should cup the nut, rather than the point. Then tighten the screw until the joint pops apart. Usually it won't damage the boot (if it was in good condition to begin with).
 

tomshobby

Yoda
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I have always used the two hammer method. The only difference is that I hold a heavier, 2lb, hammer against one side and hit it on the opposite side with a smaller, 1lb, hammer. Just did the ones on my Midget a couple days ago with a couple whacks apiece.

I do have a pickle fork that has been in my tool box for twenty or more years and never been used.
 

martx-5

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I've always used the big hammer method myself, but in this instance Gavin, I would suggest you go and get the pickle fork. You don't really care about the tie rod boots, as you've got new tie rod ends on the rack & pinion. The forks always work, so bring back the pitman arm puller and get the fork.
 

Adrio

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Having just gone through this (and still in the middle of it) I used the Forum puller for the Pitman Arm (drop arm) [by the way it is exactly the same as the one in your picture and is now available for the next person that needs it] but it is too big for the tie rod ends.

However fot the tie rod ends and silent blocks, the two hammer approach works as does the "pickle fork" that destroys the boots and will not work for the silent blocks, but I picked up one of these:

https://www.princessauto.com/tools/automotive-tools/auto-repair/8000947-universal-tie-rod-end-remover

and it works great for the tie rod ends. I don't ever think I will use the two hammer or pickle fork methods again. I highly recomend picking one up and going that route.

Adrio
 

martx-5

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So Gavin...are you done yet???
grin.gif
And how did you make out with the door seals??
 
OP
newmexTR3

newmexTR3

Jedi Trainee
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I'm about half way there- I'm gonna go pull the steering components for a few hours tonight. Can't wait!

As for the door seals, I'll start a new thread...
 

martx-5

Yoda
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BTW Gavin. When you get the R&P in you will need to do a toe-in alignment. Perhaps the easiest method is Randall's (TR3driver). You can follow his method in this thread. Also, Randall also recommends 0"-1/32" toe in instead of the 1/8" shown in the service manual. That's due to the use of radials instead of cross bias tires. I set mine at 1/32", and it worked out great.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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martx-5 said:
Also, Randall also recommends 0"-1/32" toe in instead of the 1/8" shown in the service manual. That's due to the use of radials instead of cross bias tires. I set mine at 1/32", and it worked out great.
Just for clarity, the 1/32" value (given as a range of 0 to 1/16") is actually in the books. Page 24 of the 6th edition of Practical Hints; or page 32 of the Bentley "Complete Official TR2-TR3".

I set mine to 0, on the theory that the Nylatron bushings deflect less while driving than the stock rubber and nylon ones do. Worked well overall, although badly rutted roads were a bad combination with my wide tires.
 

martx-5

Yoda
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Sorry if I mis-quoted you Randall. I thought you had mentioned 1/32" somewhere along the way. I guess it was in reference to the figures given in the Bentley books.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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No worries, Art. Just wanted to let others know where the numbers came from.
 

TR6BILL

Luke Skywalker
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The 2 hammers trick (and it is a trick) reminds me too much of the camel joke. And the pickle fork, woof, is also a joke. You have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Obviously, I am not. Just buy the cheap tool and be done with it. You will never need it again, but it costs the same as 2 double lattes.
 

Adrio

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That cheap tool was listed as 24 bucks on the website and when I went to the store the shelf said it was 24 bucks but when the lady at the cash scanned it in the computer told her is was 11 bucks. All the more reason to go with the cheap too.

I should have called it my lucky day and used the extra cash to buy a lottery ticket! Instead I rushed home and separated tie rods and it was fun.
 

DaveatMoon

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TR3driver said:
My favorite for TR tie rods is this style:
https://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/p-6985-tool-aid-61900.aspx

Loosen the nut but leave it on so it protects the threads. Then tap the end of the tool so the two fingers slide in between the boot & arm as far as possible. The curve of the jaw should cup the nut, rather than the point. Then tighten the screw until the joint pops apart. Usually it won't damage the boot (if it was in good condition to begin with).
I've been using one of these tools for about 20 years on several kinds of cars. For the first 5 years or so this is exactly how I used it. It was at a tech session of a club I belonged to that I found out the correct use of a tie rod end lifter.

These tools are not meant to be used as a press, like TR3driver's description here. If you continue to crank hard on the bolt you will eventually "pop" the joint loose, but it's often <span style="text-decoration: underline">a lot</span> of hard cranking. Much worse, it risks stripping the tool out (which is usually a pretty cheap item like the one in the link).

What you want to do with one of these lifters is to crank it on the joint nice and firm, but not hard enough to even approach stripping the threads. If the joint pops loose at this point you're in, but most likely it won't. Instead of cranking hard on it at this point you want to hit the end of the tool pressing on the tie rod end's threaded stud with a hammer. (In the illustration from TR3driver's link that part of the tool is on the lower right.) Most times (especially if you're able to manuver the tool against a hard surface) a good whack will knock the stud loose without damaging the boot or the tool. You don't have to hit it very hard usually, because the tool already has the stud pressed against the exit side.

For really stubborn joints you might need to retighten the tool's stud and hit it again a few times. Don't hit the tool more than 2 or 3 times without retightening it.

The last time I used mine (this past March) it had to retighten and hit for 4 repetitions before the joint (an original Triumph 2000 tie rod) finally broke loose. That's the worst joint I ever did with this tool. If I had tried to use the tool like a press I would've definitely stripped it out on that one.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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DaveatMoon said:
What you want to do with one of these lifters is to crank it on the joint nice and firm, but not hard enough to even approach stripping the threads.
Yeah, I forgot to mention that part. If the forcing screw gets really tight before the joint pops apart, then a swift smack or two with a BFH is in order. IMO this is a general rule for all "puller" type devices. However, for me, 90% of the time the joint pops apart before I get to that point.
 
OP
newmexTR3

newmexTR3

Jedi Trainee
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I ended up buying the $12 dollar tie rod fork tool. Worked like a charm.

Thanks again for the tips!
 
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