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.
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.