The list of possible causes for lousy steering is a long one, and what's worse is that it's not guaranteed to end with a single broken part. More than the trouble it creates for the driver, steering inconsistency can be an indication of more problems to follow. Older cars are the ones that frequently suffer from natural wear of steering parts, which includes worn ball joints, a malfunctioning tie rod, and damage to the infamous pitman arm. A quick way to diagnose this arm is by turning the steering wheel right and left, while observing it. If the gearbox is responding and the arm isn't converting its input, then the arm needs to be replaced.
As a part of the steering system, the car pitman arm is vital to the recirculating ball steering mechanism. It's what links the gearbox sector shaft to the wheels via the tie rods and steering arms, working to convert the angular motion generated by the shaft into linear motion. The motion is received from the sector shaft, which the arm supports and sends to the drag or center link. This is then transferred to the wheels, so it can move effectively according to the relayed direction.
Aside from supporting the sector shaft, the pitman arm also supports the center or drag link with the use of a ball joint. These linkages make for a reinforcing structure to the entire steering assembly. That's why when the arm becomes irregular, it causes the steering to play or wander. Over time, it can even get worse and cause damage to more steering system parts. First in the list will be the sector shaft or the entire gearbox. When this happens, your steering won't be able to connect to the wheels, so the vehicle won't be able to run properly.
Now that you know how important pitman arms are, what're you going to do? If you have a worn arm or any other steering component that's in need of a replacement, then it's best that you get it over with as soon as possible. The linkage structure of the system is one that works wonderfully, but also one that endures a lot of friction and close connections. Any irregularities could trigger a domino effect that can take a turn for the worst. Prevention is the key to saving the rest of the system when one part breaks down.
For the amateur do-it-yourselfer, replacing the pitman arm won't be easy, and some gearboxes can prove to be extremely difficult to work with. The least we can do for you is make your purchase fast and hassle-free. Here at Parts Train, we have a selection consisting of over 300 arms from only the industry's top brands. With names such as Moog, AC Delco, Mevotech, and Skyjacker headlining our catalog, how can you possibly go wrong? Throw in our low price guarantee and you've got the best deals available online. Order from Parts Train today!