Express, Savana, G1500, G2500, G3500, 1998-2005

Removal & Installation

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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.
    1. Tighten the frame-to-bracket bolts to 71 ft. lbs. (96 Nm).
    2.  

  4.  
  5. Install the idler arm ball stud in the relay rod, making certain the seal is positioned properly.
    1. 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!
    2.  

  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  

  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 Express/Savana tighten the frame-to-bracket bolts to 111 ft. lbs. (150 Nm). On 2005-06 Avalanche, tighten to 73 ft. lbs. (99 Nm). On 2007 Avalanche, 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. 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.  

  1. Raise and properly support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the steering gear from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the pitman arm nut, then extract the pitman arm using puller J6632-01 or equivalent.
  6.  

To install:

  1. Install the arm so the marks line up with those on the shaft. Tighten the nut to 184 ft. lbs. (250 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the steering gear in the vehicle.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Exploded view of the pitman arm

  4.  

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 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-2-wheeel drive



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig.

  6.  

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-2007 Avalanche shown, others similar

  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

  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.  

  1. Raise and support the front end on jack stands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the nut from the knuckle end ball stud. Discard the nut.
  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 nuts 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.
  2.  
  3. Position the tie rod assembly in the relay rod and install a new nut on the ball stud. Tighten the nut to 47 ft. lbs. (63 Nm).
  4.  

 
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