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Old 08-24-2009, 02:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
bruinz
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How to install idler arm on pivot assembly???

Hi All,

I posted this in the Supsension & Steering forum as well because I need a quick response to get my Suburban back on the road.

I have taken off my idler and pitman arms. I have already replaced the pitman arm and need to get the new idler arm back on.

The idler arm pivot assembly is off the frame.

My question is this...

How do I assemble the idler arm to the pivot assembly?

I have the idler arm on the tapered bolt and am trying to tighten down the nut that presses the arms onto the taper, however I can only get the nut tightened down so far.

Basically... I can get the nut to be flush with the end of the bolt, but that looks like it's about 1/4" short of where it needs to be. The idler arm can still rattle around.

If I try to tighten down the nut some more, all that does is it makes the nut and the tapered spin together. Basically, it goes nowhere.

Please advise because I need to get this Suburban back on the road.

How can I get the idler arm bolt to stop spinning so that I can tighten down the nut that holds the idler arm to the pivot assembly?

Thanks in advance.

More later...

Z.
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- 1997 Chevy Suburban K2500 6.5L TD LT "F" VIN
- ~230K Miles
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Last edited by bruinz; 08-24-2009 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
Jake
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Usually if you press the tapered shaft into the hole, it should stop spinning as soon as it makes decent contact. You may have to hold the shaft with a needle nose pliers or small vice grip too.

Jake
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
handcannon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruinz View Post
Hi All,

How can I get the idler arm bolt to stop spinning so that I can tighten down the nut that holds the idler arm to the pivot assembly?

Thanks in advance.

More later...

Z.
It is possible that there is a rough thread either in the nut or on the threaded shaft. As long as it is still loose, remove the shaft from the pivot and inspect the threads. If you find rough threads on the tapered shaft use a thread file to clean them up, or, if it is the nut, just replace it.

Don
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
bruinz
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Thanks guys.

It may be a problem with the thread on the shaft because the original nut also stopped at the same spot yesterday.

I'll give it a try.

Where would I hold the shaft with a needle nose? On the thread? I'm afraid that it will do some damage there. I've heard some people talk about using an Allen key... in an opening somewhere... but I don't think mine has such an opening. It's a McQuay-Norris part as far as i can tell.
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- 1997 Chevy Suburban K2500 6.5L TD LT "F" VIN
- ~230K Miles
- Nitto Terra Grappler LT295/75R16/D
- Running on splash-mixed B2-B20
- Heath TurboMaster; Good Year Gatorback Serpentine Belt; Matching Batteries from Kragen; New Headlights; OEM Fuel Manager O-Rings (2); Good Year Fuel Lines on Fuel Manager; Fram Air & Fuel Filters; ACDelco LP ('93) and OPS; Stant Locking Fuel Cap; OEM Tailgate Weatherstip; McQuay-Norris Pitman & Idler Arms & Sway Bar Links; Raybestos Front Brake Pads & Rotors; Heath PMD Isolator; OEM Harmonic Balancer; OEM Crankshaft Pulley;
- Cleaned Fuel Manager
- Cranked Torsion Bars 2"
- 1998 Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Sport 4.0L I-6 5-Speed Manual NP231 Dana 30/44
- 2001 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) Limited 4x4 4.0L I-6 4-Speed Auto NP242 Dana 30/35
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
Paveltolz
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C Clamps

I recall jerry rigging "C" Clamps over the idler arm and under the centerlink to press them together in order to stop the bolt from spinning. Sorry, it's been a while and replacing the centerlink, pitman, idler arm, idler bracket, tie-rods, ball joints, axles within a couple of weeks all blurs into a bad memory that has left me pretty scarred. IIRC, the attachment was rather tenuous and I needed to hold the clamp in place pretty firmly to keep it attached to the top of the Idler Arm and the bottom of the Centerlink while tightening it up. Congrats on the Pitman Arm though, THAT one was a class a pain in the head.
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Last edited by Paveltolz; 08-24-2009 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
bruinz
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Oh that might just do it... C-Clamps!!!

My part looks like the attached pic or it may even be the same (???). The part came on the truck when I bought it.

I'm thinking...

Putting two C-Clamps on it, one end on that "ridge" just to the right of the tapered shaft/bolt... the other on the idler arm, right around the opening for the shaft/bolt. I'm hoping that cranking on the C-Clamps will press the idler arm onto the tapered part with enough pressure to stop it from spinning.

Then hopefully I should be able to tighten the nut.

I'm thinking... taking the thing apart wasn't hard because the idler arm was already pressed onto the shaft... so that leveraging the arm, kept the pivot from spinning. Now it's starting to make sense!!!

I'll give it a try and report back.

Regarding the pitman... well, it wasn't that bad... once I figured out that INSTEAD of rotating the steering box to get the pitman puller on from the front of the vehicle, I could lift the steering box and push it up and back toward the firewall. This allowed me to access the pitman through the wheel well, which gave me all the room I needed to work. Oh, I also cranked the steering wheel all the way to the right to angle the pitman toward the driver's side, that way I could push the steering box a little further back and get a clear shot at it with the puller. (Of course, I centered the steering wheel before putting the new pitman on.)

Thanks for the congrats though!!! I feel "proud" for having done something that I've never done before.

:-)

I'll get back to you regarding the C-Clamps.

Thanks for the idea!!!

More later...

Z.
Attached Thumbnails
How to install idler arm on pivot assembly???-mcquay-norris_-_fa5039.jpg  
__________________
- 1997 Chevy Suburban K2500 6.5L TD LT "F" VIN
- ~230K Miles
- Nitto Terra Grappler LT295/75R16/D
- Running on splash-mixed B2-B20
- Heath TurboMaster; Good Year Gatorback Serpentine Belt; Matching Batteries from Kragen; New Headlights; OEM Fuel Manager O-Rings (2); Good Year Fuel Lines on Fuel Manager; Fram Air & Fuel Filters; ACDelco LP ('93) and OPS; Stant Locking Fuel Cap; OEM Tailgate Weatherstip; McQuay-Norris Pitman & Idler Arms & Sway Bar Links; Raybestos Front Brake Pads & Rotors; Heath PMD Isolator; OEM Harmonic Balancer; OEM Crankshaft Pulley;
- Cleaned Fuel Manager
- Cranked Torsion Bars 2"
- 1998 Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Sport 4.0L I-6 5-Speed Manual NP231 Dana 30/44
- 2001 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) Limited 4x4 4.0L I-6 4-Speed Auto NP242 Dana 30/35
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
chickenhunterbob
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Don't hold the thread with anything (although my Wife's PT cruiser has a hex hole right there and just for that on the Watt's link bell crank) just bolt the idler shaft back on to the frame and hold the relay rod against the idler arm with a pair of channel lock pliers.

Doubt if they even make vise grips that big.

You need to seat the taper of the idler arm to the ball stud, no biggie...some times they suck right up, sometimes not...
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