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Ford Ranger Pitman Arm

Signs of Problems with Your Ford Ranger Pitman Arm

Your Ford Ranger pitman arm directly affects the steering of your pickup truck. It is the major connection between your steering box and the center link that controls the turning of your front wheels. Your pitman arm may be a small metal bar, but it is responsible for transmitting the motion from your steering wheel to your wheels. Unfortunately, the part is known for wearing out due to age and abuse from the steering system. With this, you should be watchful for the slightest signs of problems with your pitman arm.

Loose steering wheel

When you notice that you your steering wheel requires being turned more than two inches before your front wheels eventually steer, you are experiencing a play in your steering connections. This is also characterized by a loose steering wheel. Your pitman arm and the center link are connected by a ball joint that provides smooth movement transmission. Contaminants cause this part to wear out. When this happens, the joint has to be replaced together with the pitman rod or the center link.


Without your Ford Ranger pitman arm, nothing would transmit the motion from your steering wheel to your wheels. If the connections of your pitman rod are worn out, the wheels are free to move slightly to any direction. These cause wandering of the vehicle which can be dangerous at high speed. When this happens, check your pitman rod and make sure it is fastened well in its position and joined snugly with the center link and the steering box.

Difficult steering

Your pitman arm is connected to the center link with a ball joint that is encased in a dust boot, which contains grease for lubrication. When this part breaks, the joint is left with less lubrication, drying out its connections. When this happens, it becomes difficult to steer your pickup truck because the pitman arm has rough connections.

Uneven tire wear

Uneven tire wear is an uncommon sign of a worn out pitman arm. This is a later effect of wandering. Since the wheels continue to move in different directions, your tires wear unevenly. This is an extreme sign that your pitman rod is left worn out for quite some time already.

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  • Making Sure Your Ford Ranger Pitman Arm is Working Well

    Needless to say, your Ford Ranger has countless uses that you are proud of. However, you cannot utilize its different functions if you cannot control your vehicle. Steering is very crucial for your pickup truck. With this, you should thank your pitman arm. It may be a relatively small metal bar, but it is the major connection between your steering box and the wheels. It transmits the motion from your steering wheel into the center link which dictates the turning of your front wheels. With this, you should always make sure your pitman arm is doing its job. Following are some ways for you to do so.

    Grease your ball joint regularly.

    Different steering connections should be lubricated from time to time. This ensures smooth operations between the parts. This is important because your steering system provides you with the control of your pickup truck. Your Ford Ranger pitman arm is connected to the center link with a ball joint enclosed in a dust boot. You need to regularly clean and lubricate this dust boot as the tiniest contaminant can wear the joint and harden the steering of your Ford Ranger.

    Clean your pitman arm shaft before installing it.

    Cleanliness is crucial for a new pitman arm. Before installation, it is advisable to have it cleaned. This especially goes to the splines of the shaft. Large formations of dirt, grime, and metal shavings should be removed from the part. These may make it difficult to connect your pitman arm with the center link. If you are able to install the pitman arm despite these formations, it may wear earlier. Keep yourself from these problems by cleaning your new pitman arm. All it takes is an old rag or towel.

    Never use hammer to remove your Ford Ranger pitman arm.

    The pitman arm is notorious for being stubborn as many owners find it difficult to remove. This is caused by rust formations on the metal material. However, you should note that striking it with hammer can make things worse. Doing so damages the bearing which supports your pitman arm to the steering box. Instead, use the pitman arm puller which is a tool particularly designed to remove the part.