Escalade, Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, Denali, DenaliXL, YukonXL 1999-2005

Removal & Installation

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Drag (Center) Link



C3hd Series Only
  1. Raise the front of the truck and support it on safety stands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the nuts from the Pitman arm and drag link ball studs.
  4.  
  5. Press the link off the arm and the tie rod.
  6.  
  7. Install the link. Tighten the Pitman arm ball stud to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm) to seat the tapers. Tighten both ball stud nuts to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  8.  

Idler Arm



  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the idler arm ball stud nut. Discard the nut.
  4.  
  5. Using a screw-type ball joint tool, separate the idler arm from the relay rod.
  6.  

To install:

  1. Make sure that the threads on the ball stud and in the ball stud nut are clean and smooth. If threads are not clean and smooth, ball stud may turn in the socket when attempting to tighten nut. Check condition of ball stud seal; replace if necessary.
  2.  
  3. Position the idler arm on the frame and install the mounting bolts. On C/K series, tighten the frame-to-bracket bolts to 71 ft. lbs. (96 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the idler arm ball stud in the relay rod, making certain the seal is positioned properly. On C/K series, tighten the new ball stud nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off!
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  


NOTE
Do not attempt to free the ball stud by using a pickle fork or wedge type tool, because seal or bushing damage could result. Use the proper tool to separate all ball joints.

  1. Raise the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the engine protection shield, if equipped.
  4.  
  5. Remove the idler arm ball stud nut. Do not reuse the idler arm ball stud nut.
  6.  
  7. Remove the idler arm from the relay rod using tool J24319B or equivalent.
  8.  
  9. Remove the idler arm frame bolts and the nuts.
  10.  
  11. Remove the idler arm from the vehicle.
  12.  

To install:

  1. Position the idler arm on the frame.
  2.  
  3. Install the frame bolts and the nuts to the idler arm.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the frame bolts or nuts to 73 ft. lbs. (99 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the relay rod to the idler arm ball stud. Ensure the seal is on the stud.
  8.  
  9. Use tool J29193 or equivalent in order to seat the tapers.
  10.  
  11. Tighten tool to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm) in order to seat the tapers.
  12.  
  13. Install the new idler arm ball stud prevailing torque nut to the idler arm ball stud.
  14.  
  15. Tighten the nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Install the engine protection shield, if equipped.
  18.  
  19. Lower the vehicle.
  20.  
  21. Check the wheel alignment.
  22.  

  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the idler arm ball stud nut. Discard the nut.
  4.  
  5. Using a screw-type ball joint tool, separate the idler arm from the relay rod.
  6.  

To install:

  1. Make sure that the threads on the ball stud and in the ball stud nut are clean and smooth. If threads are not clean and smooth, ball stud may turn in the socket when attempting to tighten nut. Check condition of ball stud seal; replace if necessary.
  2.  
  3. Position the idler arm on the frame and install the mounting bolts. On 2005-06 models, tighten the frame-to-bracket bolts to 71 ft. lbs. (96 Nm). On 2007 models, tighten to 78 ft. lbs. (105 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the idler arm ball stud in the relay rod, making certain the seal is positioned properly. Tighten the new ball stud nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off!
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  

Pitman Arm



  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove nut from Pitman arm ball stud.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Removing the Pitman arm

  4.  
  5. On C/K series, break loose the Pitman ball stud from the relay rod using a screw-type ball stud tool. Pull on the linkage to remove the stud.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Typical steering linkage components-C-Series

  6.  
  7. If necessary, unbolt the steering gear from the frame.
  8.  
  9. Remove the Pitman arm nut from the Pitman shaft or the clamp bolt from the Pitman arm, and mark the relation of the arm position to the shaft.
  10.  
  11. Remove Pitman arm, using a large puller.
  12.  

To install:

  1. Install the Pitman arm on the Pitman shaft, lining up the marks made upon removal.
  2.  
  3. Make sure that the threads on the ball studs and in the ball stud nuts are clean and smooth. If threads are not clean and smooth, ball studs may turn in their sockets when attempting to tighten the nut. Check the condition of the ball stud seals; replace if necessary.
  4.  
  5. Install the Pitman shaft nut or Pitman arm clamp bolt and tighten to 184 ft. lbs. (249 Nm).
  6.  
  7. If removed, bolt the steering gear to the frame.
  8.  
  9. Position the ball stud onto the Pitman arm or relay rod.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the Pitman arm-to-relay rod nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off!
  12.  
  13. Lubricate ball studs.
  14.  
  15. Lower the vehicle to the floor.
  16.  

  1. Raise the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Suitably support the vehicle with jack stands.
    NOTE
    Use the proper tool in order to separate the ball joints.

  4.  
  5. Remove the relay rod nut from the Pitman arm ball stud. Do NOT reuse the relay rod nut.
  6.  
  7. Use tool J24319-01 in order to remove the relay rod (10) from the Pitman arm ball stud.
  8.  
  9. Remove the Pitman arm nut (8) and the Pitman arm washer.
  10.  
  11. Mark the Pitman arm (1) and the Pitman shaft in order to ensure the proper alignment at assembly.
    WARNING
    Do not hammer on the pitman arm, pitman arm shaft or puller. Damage to the pitman arm or steering gear may result.

  12.  
  13. Use tool J6632-01 in order to remove the Pitman arm.
  14.  
  15. Inspect the ball stud threads for damage.
  16.  
  17. Inspect the ball stud seals for excessive wear.
  18.  
  19. Clean the threads on the ball stud.
  20.  

To install:

  1. Install the Pitman arm on the Pitman shaft.
  2.  
  3. Align the marks made at removal.
  4.  
  5. Install the Pitman arm washer and the Pitman arm nut.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the Pitman arm nut to 184 ft. lbs. (250 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the relay rod to the Pitman arm ball stud. Make sure the seal is on the Pitman arm ball stud.
  10.  
  11. Use tool J29193 in order to seat the tapers.
  12.  
  13. Tighten tool J29193 to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Remove tool J29193 .
  16.  
  17. Install the new prevailing torque nut.
  18.  
  19. Tighten the new prevailing torque nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Lower the vehicle.
  22.  

  1. Raise the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Suitably support the vehicle with jack stands. Important: Use the proper tool in order to separate the ball joints.
  4.  
  5. Remove the drag link from the Pitman arm ball stud.
  6.  
  7. Remove the Pitman arm nut from the steering gear shaft.
  8.  
  9. Mark the Pitman arm and the Pitman shaft in order to ensure the proper alignment at assembly.
  10.  
  11. Use tool J6632-01or tool J29107-A in order to remove the Pitman arm.
  12.  
  13. Inspect the following:

    The ball stud threads for damage.
     
    The ball stud seals for excessive wear.
     

  14.  
  15. Clean the threads on the ball stud.
  16.  

To install:


WARNING
If a clamp-type pitman arm is used, spread the pitman arm just enough with a wedge to slip the arm onto the pitman shaft. Do not spread the pitman arm more than required to slip over the pitman shaft with hand pressure. Do not hammer. Damage to the steering gear may result.

  1. Install the Pitman arm on the Pitman arm shaft.
  2.  
  3. Line up the marks made at removal.
  4.  
  5. Install the Pitman arm washer and the nut.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the Pitman arm nut to 184 ft. lbs. (250 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the drag link to the Pitman arm ball stud.
  10.  
  11. Make sure the ball stud seal is on the ball stud.
  12.  
  13. Tighten tool J29193 to 48 ft. lbs. (62 Nm) in order to seat the tapers.
  14.  
  15. Remove tool J29193.
  16.  
  17. Install the Pitman arm nut to the Pitman arm ball stud.
  18.  
  19. Tighten the Pitman arm nut to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Lower the vehicle.
  22.  

  1. Raise and suitable support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the power steering gear.
  4.  
  5. Install the power steering gear into a vise.
  6.  
  7. Remove the pitman arm nut and washer.
  8.  
  9. Remove the pitman arm from the pitman shaft using J6632-01, J29107A, or equivalent.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Install the pitman arm to the power steering gear.
  2.  
  3. Install a new pitman arm washer and nut.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the nut to 184 ft. lbs. (250 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Remove the power steering gear from the vise.
  8.  
  9. Install the power steering gear.
  10.  
  11. Lower the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Check the wheel alignment.
  14.  

  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove nut from Pitman arm ball stud.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Removing the Pitman arm

  4.  
  5. Break loose the Pitman ball stud from the relay rod using a screw-type ball stud tool. Pull on the linkage to remove the stud.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Typical steering linkage components

  6.  
  7. If necessary, unbolt the steering gear from the frame.
  8.  
  9. Remove the Pitman arm nut from the Pitman shaft or the clamp bolt from the Pitman arm, and mark the relation of the arm position to the shaft.
  10.  
  11. Remove Pitman arm, using a large puller.
  12.  

To install:

  1. Install the Pitman arm on the Pitman shaft, lining up the marks made upon removal.
  2.  
  3. Make sure that the threads on the ball studs and in the ball stud nuts are clean and smooth. If threads are not clean and smooth, ball studs may turn in their sockets when attempting to tighten the nut. Check the condition of the ball stud seals; replace if necessary.
  4.  
  5. Install the Pitman shaft nut or Pitman arm clamp bolt and tighten to 184 ft. lbs. (249 Nm).
  6.  
  7. If removed, bolt the steering gear to the frame.
  8.  
  9. Position the ball stud onto the Pitman arm or relay rod.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the Pitman arm-to-relay rod nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off!
  12.  
  13. Lubricate ball studs.
  14.  
  15. Lower the vehicle to the floor.
  16.  

C3hd Series
  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the drag link from the Pitman arm ball stud.
  4.  
  5. Matchmark the Pitman arm to the Pitman shaft, remove the nut from the steering gear shaft and discard it.
  6.  
  7. Remove the Pitman arm with the proper tool (ball joint puller).
  8.  
  9. Install the arm so the marks line up with those on the shaft. Tighten the nut to 184 ft. lbs. (250 Nm). Tighten the ball stud nut to 48 ft. lbs. (62 Nm).
  10.  

Relay Rod (Center Link)



  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the steering shock absorber from the relay rod.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut and disconnect the inner tie rod ball joint from the relay rod using a screw-type ball joint tool. Discard the nut.
  6.  
  7. Remove the nuts from the Pitman and idler arm ball studs at the relay rod. Discard the nuts.
  8.  
  9. Using a screw-type ball joint tool, disconnect the relay rod from the Pitman and idler arm.
  10.  
  11. Remove the relay rod from the vehicle.
  12.  

To install:

Installation is the reverse of removal but please note the following important steps.

  1. Make sure that threads on the ball studs and in the ball stud nuts are clean and smooth. If the threads are not clean and smooth, ball studs may turn in sockets when attempting to tighten nut. Check condition of ball stud seals; replace if necessary.
  2.  
  3. Connect the relay rod to the idler arm and Pitman arm ball studs, making certain the seals are in place. Tighten the new ball stud nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off!
  4.  
  5. Install the tie rod to the center link. Tighten the new nut to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the shock absorber. Tighten the frame end nut to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm); the relay rod end nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off!
  8.  

  1. Raise the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Suitably support the vehicle with jack stands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the steering shock absorber from the relay rod, if equipped.
    NOTE
    Use the proper tool in order to separate all the tie rod and the ball joints.

  6.  
  7. Remove the inner tie rod ball joint from the relay rod.
  8.  
  9. Remove the idler arm ball stud nut. Do NOT reuse.
  10.  
  11. Remove the Pitman arm nut. Do NOT reuse.
  12.  
  13. Remove the relay rod from the idler arm ball stud using tool J24319-01 .
  14.  
  15. Remove the relay rod from the Pitman arm ball stud using tool J24319-01 .
  16.  
  17. Inspect the threads on the tie rod for damage.
  18.  
  19. Inspect the ball stud threads for damage.
  20.  
  21. Inspect the ball stud seals for excessive wear.
  22.  
  23. Clean the threads on the ball stud.
  24.  

To install:

  1. Install the relay rod to the idler arm ball stud.
  2.  
  3. Install the relay rod to the Pitman arm ball stud; make sure the seal is on the stud.
  4.  
  5. Install tool J24319-01 or tool J29194 to the ball stud.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the steering linkage installer to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm) in order to seat the tapers.
  8.  
  9. Remove tool J24319-01 or tool J29194.
  10.  
  11. Install the new idler arm prevailing torque nut.
  12.  
  13. Tighten the nuts to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Install the new Pitman arm prevailing torque nut.
  16.  
  17. Install the tie rod inner ball joints to the relay rod.
  18.  
  19. Install the steering shock absorber to the relay rod, if equipped.
  20.  

  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the steering shock absorber from the relay rod.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut and disconnect the inner tie rod ball joint from the relay rod using a screw-type ball joint tool. Discard the nut.
  6.  
  7. Remove the nuts from the Pitman and idler arm ball studs at the relay rod. Discard the nuts.
  8.  
  9. Using a screw-type ball joint tool, disconnect the relay rod from the Pitman and idler arm.
  10.  
  11. Remove the relay rod from the vehicle.
  12.  

To install:

Installation is the reverse of removal but please note the following important steps.

  1. Make sure that threads on the ball studs and in the ball stud nuts are clean and smooth. If the threads are not clean and smooth, ball studs may turn in sockets when attempting to tighten nut. Check condition of ball stud seals; replace if necessary.
  2.  
  3. Connect the relay rod to the idler arm and Pitman arm ball studs, making certain the seals are in place. Tighten the new ball stud nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off!
  4.  
  5. Install the tie rod to the center link.
  6.  
  7. Install the shock absorber.
  8.  

Steering Damper



  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the frame end nut and bolt.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the relay rod end. It may be necessary to separate the shock from the relay rod with a screw-type ball joint tool.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Steering shock absorber-C-Series



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Steering shock absorber-K-Series

  6.  
  7. Install the shock and tighten the frame end nut and bolt to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm); the relay rod end nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm).Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off! A maximum torque of 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm) is permissible to align the hole.
  8.  

Steering Linkage Shock Absorber (Damper)



  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the frame end nut and bolt.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the relay rod end. It may be necessary to separate the shock from the relay rod with a screw-type ball joint tool.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Steering shock absorber-2005-06 models



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Steering shock absorber-2007 models

  6.  
  7. Install the shock and tighten the frame end nut and bolt to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm); the relay rod end nut to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm).Always advance the nut to align the cotter pin hole. NEVER back it off! A maximum torque of 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm) is permissible to align the hole.
  8.  

Tie Rod Ends



  1. Raise and support the front end on jack stands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the nut from the knuckle end ball stud. Discard the nut.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Tie rod clamp and adjuster tube positioning-C3HD-Series



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Tie rod clamp and adjuster tube positioning-C/K-Series

  4.  
  5. Using a screw-type ball joint tool, separate the tie rod ball stud from the knuckle.
  6.  
  7. On all except C3HD models, remove the nut from the inner tie rod ball stud.
  8.  
  9. Using a screw-type ball joint tool, separate the tie rod ball stud from the relay rod.
  10.  
  11. Clean the threaded parts of the tie rod ends thoroughly and count the exact number of threads exposed on each tie rod end. Measure the overall length of the tie rod assembly.
  12.  
  13. Loosen the clamp nuts, spread the clamps and unscrew each tie rod end.
  14.  

To install:

  1. Coat the threaded parts of the new tie rod ends with chassis grease. Screw the tie rod ends into the sleeve until the exact number of threads is exposed on each tie rod end. Check the overall length of the new assembly. Adjust as necessary. Don't tighten the clamp nuts yet.
  2.  
  3. On all except C3HD models, position the tie rod assembly in the relay rod and install a new nut on the ball stud. Tighten the nut to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Position the other tie rod end in the knuckle. Install the new nut and tighten it to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm) on (except C3HD). On C3HD models, tighten the nut to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Before tightening the clamp nuts, position the clamp as shown in the accompanying illustrations.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the clamp nuts 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm) (except C3HD). On C3HD models, tighten the clamp nuts to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm).
  10.  

  1. Raise and support the front end on jack stands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the nut from the knuckle end ball stud. Discard the nut.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Tie rod clamp and adjuster tube positioning-2005-06 models

  4.  
  5. Using a screw-type ball joint tool, separate the tie rod ball stud from the knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the nut from the inner tie rod ball stud.
  8.  
  9. Using a screw-type ball joint tool, separate the tie rod ball stud from the relay rod.
  10.  
  11. Clean the threaded parts of the tie rod ends thoroughly and count the exact number of threads exposed on each tie rod end. Measure the overall length of the tie rod assembly.
  12.  
  13. Loosen the clamp nuts, spread the clamps and unscrew each tie rod end.
  14.  

To install:

  1. Coat the threaded parts of the new tie rod ends with chassis grease. Screw the tie rod ends into the sleeve until the exact number of threads is exposed on each tie rod end. Check the overall length of the new assembly. Adjust as necessary. Don't tighten the clamp nuts yet.
  2.  
  3. Position the tie rod assembly in the relay rod and install a new nut on the ball stud. Tighten the nut to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Position the other tie rod end in the knuckle. Install the new nut and tighten it to 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Before tightening the clamp nuts, position the clamp as shown in the accompanying illustrations.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the clamp nuts 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
  10.  

 
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