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Hummer Knowledge Base

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Idler & Pitman Replacement:

The steering linkage consists of a steering (Pitman) arm, center link, idler arm, and left/right tie rods (Figure 8-3). The tie rods connect the center link to steering arms on the left and right side geared hubs. The idler arm stabilizes the center link and is attached to the vehicle frame. The steering arm connects the center link to the steering gear.

Steering Linkage Lubricant
Recommended lubricant for linkage lubrication points is NLGI-LB grade lubricating grease. Quality lubricants are available from suppliers such as Mobil, Kendall, and Valvoline.

NOTE: Ensure front wheels are in straight-ahead position while steering arm is removed and installed.


  1. Place front wheels in straight-ahead position.
  2. Raise and support front of vehicle.
  3. Put scribe marks indicating position of steering (Pitman) arm relative to steering gear shaft.
  4. Remove nut and lockwasher from steering gear shaft. Using suitable size puller, remove steering arm from steering gear shaft.
  5. Remove cotter pin and slotted nut from steering arm.
  6. Using puller J24319-B or equivalent, remove steering arm from center link.


  1. Line up scribe marks and slide steering arm onto steering gear shaft splines.
  2. Secure steering arm to steering gear shaft with lockwasher and nut. Tighten nut to 185 lb-ft (251 Nm).
  3. Secure steering arm to center link with slotted nut. Tighten slotted nut to 80 lb-ft (108 Nm).
  4. Install cotter pin in slotted nut. If necessary, tighten slotted nut to align holes for cotter pin insertion.
  5. Lubricate steering arm.
  6. Remove supports and lower front of vehicle.
  7. Check vehicle wheel alignment.

I just did this on my 1985 HMMWV. You need a ratchet with some sockets and a box end wrench. The only specialized tool I used way a gear puller. It was an old (and probably too small for the job) Craftsman puller with two hooks, a crossbar, and a threaded shaft in the center that you turn with a wrench.

Remove your cotter pins, unscrew the nuts, and pop those suckers off with the gear puller. It will take a lot of force, but I got mine all removed in about 2 minutes each- no damage to the parts, the tool, or my knuckles. This works for removing the pitman arm from the steering box as well. The rest is basic nut and bolt stuff. I used a humongous adjustable spanner for the pitman arm nut since I didn't have that large of a socket.

Make sure when you reassemble that you use all the right hardware. Someone had left a washer off of my HMMWV tie rod which allowed the nut to rotate off a few turns before it hit the cotter pin. This contributed to the 3 inches of toe-in free play I had when I got the truck. Now it has ZERO!


Torque Numbers:

Idler arm to frame 60 ft. pounds
Idler are to center link 80 ft. pounds
Pitman arm to center link 80 ft. pounds
Pitman arm to steering gear 185 ft. pounds

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