Restore Your Car’s Handling with an Idler Arm Repair Kit
Your car's steering system relies on two important components to provide you with seamless handling—the idler arms and the pitman arms. These arms work together to prevent your car's wheels from losing balance when you run through road bumps. When your vehicle's front end starts to feel shimmy, or pulls to the side when you go over road bumps, then probably need a new idler arm repair kit.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can repair your car's idler arm:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools to be used:
- Jack and jack stands
- 18mm - 1/2 drive wrench
- Pitman arm puller
- Socket set
- Screwdriver set
- Long breaker bar
- Torque wrench up to 180 ft lbs
- Diag wire cutter
- Needle-nose pliers
- New idler arm repair kit
Step 1: Jack up your car beneath the right A-arm and take out the wheel. Get your jack stands and place them under the frame. Let your car rest on the stands, as you add another floor jack to secure the vehicle.
Step 2: Take out the cotter pin located on the idler's nut. Then, use a 15/16 socket and a breaker bar to remove the idler's nut. You can use a long pipe and place it on the breaker bar to loosen the nut.
Step 3: Locate the two bolts that secure the idler arm to your car's frame. In most cars, you'll find an 11/16 nut and a 5/8 bolt. Remove these two using the appropriate socket and wrench.
Step 4: Detach the idler arm from the center link using a Pitman puller. But if you notice that your puller doesn't fit on the idler, then you need to manually take them apart using a pickle fork. You may also need to cut some metal off of the puller, so that it can fit properly on the idler.
Step 5: If you plan to replace the Pitman arm as well, then this is the best time to do it. With the center link drooped, you can easily pull the Pitman arm away from the assembly. Get a new Pitman arm and place it exactly where the old one was installed.
Step 6: Once the Pitman arm is in place, continue with the idler arm replacement. Grab your new idler arm repair kit, and put the idler arm's bolt in the center link. Install the new bolts through your vehicle's frame. Be sure that you install the new washers beneath the bolt heads.
Step 7: Place the idler arm in a way that the frame bolts slip through the bolt openings. Put the washers and nuts in place. Secure them with the right amount of torque based on your car's specifications.
Step 8: Place the large nut on the idler arm's center link bolt, and tighten it according to your vehicle's specs. Line up the holes of the cotter pin, and position the new cotter in place. Tighten them enough and apply some grease on the idler arm.