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Bad tie rods AND pitman arm?

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Old 05-28-2011, 01:30 PM
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Default Bad tie rods AND pitman arm?

Recently bought 98 Blazer 4WD for my daughter, which had suspension issues. Changed bad sway bar links and old struts. Pulled to right so took in for an alignment. Mechanic said couldn't do since pitman arm AND both inner/outer tie rods were bad. Does this sound possible? How can I test for issues? Can I make it through DIY if all have to be replaced? Besides pitman arm puller what special tools might be required?
 
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:00 PM
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I recently did all that to my Jimmy. These trucks are known for eating through suspension parts. The only thing that I needed that weren't in my garage were a large adjustable wrench (1 inch+), pitman arm puller, and pickle fork. I used the pickle fork for ball joints and tie rod ends and the other two tools for the pitman arm. To see if there's play in the tie rods or pitman arm, lift the front end and try to push/pull the wheel to the 3 and 9 o'clock directions. If you have play to the 12 and 6, the ball joints are bad. There are some great vids on youtube. (1a auto is my favorite...Just search "blazer 1a auto" and there are vids on a lot of replacements.) It took me around 45 hours to do ball joints, idler, pitman and all ball joints, but the worst part was popping the rivets on the ball joints (which you don't need to worry about right now). For replacement parts, MOOG is known as one of the best choices (although not the cheapest). Good luck and if you have any more questions, post em up!

EDIT: You may have to pull the steering box to get the pitman arm off (3 bolts into frame and two hoses on top of it). I did and getting the hoses off and on was a pain in the.... But I believe having a 4wd, it's necessary to have room to get the puller on the pitman arm.
 

Last edited by Little Roober; 05-28-2011 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:45 PM
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One side jacked I get serious play 3 and 9, but tight 12 and 6. So I guess I'll start by changing out the whole tie rod setup on both sides. Do I need to take a measurement between tie rod ends first (so new rods will be same length after any adjuster movements) or will a post fix alignment take care of this anyway?

Thanks for the reply! This forum is great for helping us Blazer newbies.
 
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:25 PM
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Measure out from end to end to get close, but you'll still need an alignment afterwards. Make sure you check the tie rods, pitman and idler arms all before replacing just one part, because if needed, it's a lot easier to replace them all when it's apart than one at a time.
 
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