Achieve Perfect Steering by Replacing an Idler Arm Bracket
Steering your car seems effortless thanks to your vehicle's steering system components. Among the most critical parts of this system if the idler arm and its accompanying idler arm bracket. The idler arm serves as a steering linkage that comes with a pivoting support. One end of the idler arm is attached to the vehicle frame, while the other end supports a ball joint. When the idler arm bracket of your car gets busted, you can change it by following the steps we provided below:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things you need to prepare:
- 18mm - 1/2 drive wrench and socket
- 5/16 - 1/2 driver socket
- Long breaker bar or pipe
- Pitman arm puller
- Wire cutter
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Torque wrench
- Needle-nose pliers
- Jack and jack stands
- 2 cotter pins 1/8 x 1-1/2
- Replacement idler arm bracket
Step 1: Lift your vehicle by placing a jack right under the right A-arm. If you have a lift, then it's better to use it instead. Take out the right wheel and place a 6-ton jack stand under the frame. Let your vehicle rest on the jack stand, then remove the cotter pin from the idler's nut.
Step 2: Get the 15/16 socket or whichever fits into your car. Use it together with the breaker bar to take out the nut. You can place a long piece of pipe on the breaker bar to loosen the nut. Once loose enough, crank it off the idler arm.
Step 3: Remove the 2 bolts that secure the idler arm to the frame. Then, use a Pitman puller to separate the idler arm from the center link. If the Pitman puller doesn't fit on the idler, you can use a pickle fork to apply pressure and separate the two components. You might need to cut off some metal from the inside of your Pitman puller if you want to use it for removing the idler.
Note: If you also plan to change the Pitman arm, you should do it at this time, since the center link has dropped down, making way for you to access the Pitman arm. But if you're not in the mood to change the Pitman arm, or if you already have the new Pitman arm in place, then proceed with the following steps.
Step 4: Get a new cotter pin to replace the old one. You can trim the pin using diagonal pliers to match the specs of the previous pin.
Step 5: Put the idler arm's bolt in the center link, and insert the new bolts through the bracket. Bolt it in place, making sure that the idler arm is positioned properly for the bolts to slide through the bolt holes.
Step 6: Install the washers that came with the package, as well as the nuts, and torque them according to your vehicle's specs
Step 7: Set up the large nut on the bolt of the idler arm center link. Tighten the bolts; ensure that you always tighten the holes to spec. Line up the cotter pin holes and grease the arm.