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Steering Drop Arm-

Ordered steering drop arm ball joint rebuild kit from AB, figured it couldn't be that hard... All things that should've been hard went easy, the part that should've been easy was a show stopper.  Result: I need a NEW drop arm. I first attempted to rebuild the joint with the arm still ON the steering gear, but needed to remove it to try and remove the "lower race" of the ball joint. (the "lower" race is actually on top of the joint as installed... see manual). In the end, I simply bought a new drop arm from Mansfield UK for about what the US kit cost, and swapped out the arm, MUCH better steering, and very easy repair. 

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Separating the ball joint from the steering track rod was easy... I used a cheapie Pitman arm puller and it popped off.

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Compressing the ball joint to remove snap ring and joint guts was a snap, a big C-clamp was used.

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Couldn't easily see or attempt removal of the "lower" race inside the drop arm.  This is the part the ball swivels in while inside the joint.

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Used a 2 jaw puller and easily removed the drop arm from the steering box... very surprised it came off as easily as it did given the experience of so many other list members.

The show stopper: Thanks to the wonders of midwest winters, snow, salt, rain, and a complete disappearance of any grease inside the zerk-less joint, the ball was rusty, and the "lower" race was badly worn, and permanently affixed to the drop arm.  It had corroded so badly that the race and drop arm had fused to one solid entity.  The race must be case hardened as I couldn't drill it, saw it, or pound it. See pictures above.

Time for a new drop arm.  I reassembled the drop arm using all the new parts of the rebuild kit EXCEPT for the "lower" race.  The joint seems solid, and steering is better, but that race needs replacing, and a new part is to be ordered for a complete repair.

Part replaced, but I lost the pictures somewhere... it was an easy repair as long as you get the old drop arm off.  I used a large crescent adjustable wrench to remove the locknut, then a puller and a few hammer taps.

 

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