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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Q: how common is it for a steering pitman arm nut to come completely off at the center link shaft?

I ask because this just happened to me.
07 classic GMC 2500 HD 170k - stock

Had an accident Sept 21' - Body shop took 5 months and subbed out the suspension work which included new tie rods and center steering link rod. (to which the pitman arm ball joint is connected)

5 months 3,000 miles after getting truck back I am returning from a 500+ mile round trip pulling my 24' enclosed with car, tire machine, tools, tires and wheels, etc and notice the steering wheel cocked 20 degrees left and steering being a bit loose. Was pretty close to home so I pulled up to our neighborhood RV lot gate and decided I better look at things. OMG - the nut is off the pitman arm and it is halfway out of the hole. Pulled into the RV lot and as I was turning sharper than the past 250 miles to park the pitman arm popped out of center rack. No steering now.
Got it back in and zip ties and wire together just enough to get trailer parked and home.

Reach out to body shop and sub shop with photos and a WTH and a day later get a return call. Was going to put a .91 nut back on but thought no, they need to fix this to know it really happened. Body shop sends a tow truck and takes it to the sub shop. Day later I get a call from the body shop and after they tell me they would pay for everything and did I want to pick up the truck at their shop or the subs shop I hit the roof. How could there be any costs for repairs?
At that point I said no, I am heading there right now to have a little discussion.

First the shop owner says they had not touched the part that failed and shows me a pitman arm with the stud broken at the base (says it snapped off when they were putting a nut on it. I start to show him photos showing the stud was not the issue - it was the nut that obviously wasn't properly installed. He then went to the silent hands up play saying he had no idea how a nut could come off. (and stock pitman arm nuts are not castle nuts so no cotter - must me nylocs - maybe they reused or used an plain nut? )

In any case am I wrong in thinking this was their fault for the nut not being installed properly?

I would probably sue if I could but pretty sure there has to be an incident and thank God there wasn't and I am here typing this. Hell I would sue for stupid if I could but all I can do now is just be grateful for safety and move on ( and go through the suspension completely myself)

Any comments are welcome and if appropriate I will post name of shop ( Beaverton, OR )

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Please list info on the vehicle ( Year, Make, Model ) and list any mods
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Doubt you'll be able to prove in court that they are at fault. They probably didn't torque down the nut and it came loose, simple as that. Just be glad that nothing worse happened.
 
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