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Ford-a-Holic
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The last time I owned a '78 Bronco was in 1980. I'll ship one from a late model if you want, just let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #222
Well, one difference I see when comparing the 80-97 pitman arm on the JBG site to my 78 is that the 4 large splines on the pitman arm on the 80-97 are clocked differently. They're diagonal from each other rather than straight across when the pitman arm is laid straight.



JBG 80-97.





My 78.






I'd hold off on sending a late model one for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #225
You'll probably have it sorted by then, but next weekend I can take a comparison pic of stock pitman arms for '78 and '94
That'd be great, even if it was only for posterity. I won't have my other steering parts until next week and I won't have time to put stuff together/hit the JY until Wed-Thurs, so chances are I won't have everything together until the following Monday. lol

My Bronco has been doing a lot of sitting for the last few weeks. I knew this steering job was gonna throw me a curve or two though. It always happens. :thumbup
 

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Discussion Starter #226
Well I decided to pull the night shift version of an all nighter and I went out to the JYs today. At the first yard I went to I was able to find one, but they wouldn't let me pull it. They would only sell the pitman arm with the steering gear it was attached to. So after searching the yard, finding one, and getting stung by a wasp in the process, I came out empty handed.

The next two yards didn't have one. Since I was nearby, I swung by my mechanic's shop and he was working on some stuff on a Saturday, which I wasn't expecting. I asked him if he had any leads and he directed me to a very small yard that I was unfamiliar with. I lucked out and they had one 79 Bronco with the pitman arm still intact. They won't let me pull anything in their yard and they'll have to do it for me and they won't get around to it until Monday as I think they just happened to be hanging out at the yard on a Saturday when I swung by. They said it'd be something like $25 for the arm, so hopefully when it gets pulled it'll be in good shape. If not then I'll keep hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter #227
One of the yards had this 79 Bronco. Kinda makes me sad seeing it like that, because with everything that is growing on it on the outside you can tell someone had it sitting for quite a while and for whatever reason let it go to the JY rather than fixing whatever was wrong with it. I'm pretty certain before it got to the JY that it was a fully intact Bronco. This one was a 4 speed with a 400, fenderwell headers, captains chairs, looks like it was originally Maroon and repainted white. It has some nerf bars, but the way they're attached looks kinda ghetto to me. I've never fabbed mounting brackets for anything, but I think I would have used something a little heavier duty than what looks like some sort of u-channel that's bolted to the leaf spring hangers/body mounts and the body. :dunno

Either way, since I couldn't find a pitman arm at that yard and they're the only yard in town that charges you to enter it, I tried to leave with something. I wanted the rear bumper, but couldn't break the bolts loose with my cordless impact even after soaking the bolts with some penetrant. I would have tried approaching it differently, but I didn't bring all my tools and hadn't planned on working on a bumper. I'll probably try another time. If I can find the right brackets to mount a contour bumper on an f-series I'm gonna put it on my truck. Those brackets are like hens teeth though and most people fab their own which isn't something I'm equipped to do.





 

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Discussion Starter #228
Well I have good news and bad news.

Good news is: I got a replacement pitman arm and it looks to be in good shape. I'd like to thank @cobrajoe for the offer on sending a late model one, but it looks like my local sources pulled through this time.

The bad news is: I got a letter from Redhead stating that my core was bad, so my new steering gear goes up from and already high $386 to a whopping $561 and that's before shipping etc. So... just keep that in mind if you have some extremely terrible steering like I did, you might have a damaged box and not get all of your core charge back. Basically the letter was a return invoice stating that my core had a cracked sector shaft, which I don't doubt considering how shitty my steering was and how much I had to turn it to get a response from the wheels. Let's just hope that this box lives up to the hype for me, so I don't feel so bad about spending $600+ on it. :doh0715:

Back to the good news! This baby only cost me $25 and that was with someone else pulling it. Not bad. I gave it the same treatment I did to the other pitman arm, so it's nice and shiny. You can see where the guy who pulled it for me whacked it with a hammer a few times. He had mentioned he did that as his puller wasn't working as well as he had hoped.








All cleaned up next to my original pitman.








A little blurry, but the splines look a lot better than they do on the original one. Nothing broken and nothing bent like on the other one.






I also received most of my tie rod parts today as well. According to the tracking there's still one on its way currently in Oklahoma, so that'll be at least another day. I think I'm gonna paint everything to match the D44 cover. I don't know why, but that satin black really catches my eye. Today I'm gonna try to prep the frame area where the box is going to mount and hopefully have everything lined up for Wed/Thurs as I have those days off this week and, provided I have no more surprises, I should be able to finish this out by then. It may not be drivable, but I should at least have everything bolted on, hooked up, and ready to be bled. :thumbup
 

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You are welcome, any time. Hey, if I can do it for the Left Coast Biker dude, I should be able to help someone closer to home. :rofl:

Would it be cheaper to go to the JY and pull a box and ship it to them?
 

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Discussion Starter #230
You know, I had actually thought about that, about pulling another one and sending it to them in hopes of getting the full core. I'm just not sure how much of a net gain that'd be. They took $175 out of the $300. I think it'd be somewhere around $30-40 to ship it plus whatever a JY would charge for the box itself. Might have been worth buying the first arm I found where the yard wouldn't let me buy it unless I bought the box with it, but I have no idea how much the box was as I left once the guy mentioned that. Also, that's in hindsight since I had no idea it was bad until today. Oh well. I can make a couple of calls and see if that's a worthwhile endeavor. Who knows, maybe I'll pull another box and send it to them and that one will be bad too. That's the kind of luck I'm dealing with these days.
 

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...or you could be like the "Entitled Millennial's"; tell the JY you shipped it out for a core and it was bad. :cry


:histerica
 

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Discussion Starter #232
One yard I just called said they sell them for $51, so after tax and shipping that'd be about $90 or so for a net of about $85. I don't think that yard had any when I went through it on Saturday though. I can ask the guy who pulled this pitman how much it'd be for the box it came off of. Might have to do that in person as my kids just got home from their first day of school and my peace and quiet has now disappeared.
 

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Discussion Starter #233
Brad over at Redhead is their sales guy, the guy who took my order over the phone, and with whom I've been emailing to back and forth. I asked Brad if I could send another core to retrieve the remainder of my core to which he replied with a yes, as long as the sector shaft on that core was good. So, without me confirming that I was indeed going to send another core he already noted down in the system to expect another core from me, so I guess I have to now, nothing I can do about it! Aw, darn!... At least it has been confirmed that I can do it and that if I do manage to send a box with a good sector shaft that I can get the rest of my core and gain something from it in the end. :thumbup

On the letter they sent me it mentions that pics are available to show the broken sector shaft. I mean, I suppose they could just grab a bad shaft and send a pic of that and I'd have no way of identifying it. It's not like there's a family resemblance between me and my core and I can tell it's mine by just looking at it. Either way, for chits and giggles, I asked to see a pic of it and he sent it to me today. He took a pic of it with the shipping label in the pic so I know it's mine. Nice try, Brad. lol The damage absolutely lines up with my pos pitman arm. I actually kinda thought to myself "How did I not see that before sending it", but I never looked close at the end of the shaft where the pitman arm bolts on and the part where it's cracked it covered in dirt and grease in all the pics I have of the box. The crack appears to go all around the shaft near the top of the splines, right where the top of the pitman arm seats on the shaft. You can even see the splines all slightly bent like they were on my pitman arm.


 

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Discussion Starter #235
I slept for most of yesterday, so today was gonna be my one day to slap everything together and have it bled once before I have to work this weekend. Then I'd make sure all the air was worked out first thing next week, take it in and have it aligned, and have the whole week off to fart around with the Bronco. Yay, right? Well that's not happening.

I received my parts on Monday, but because of the crappy schedule I work I never got around to checking on what was sent as far as the items being correct. I took them all out of the boxes today and lined them up with their counterparts that are still on the Bronco and noticed that the drag link they sent looks a wee bit different. Instead of having one joint facing up and one facing down, they both face the same direction.

So that's frustrating. Since summit won't send out another drag link until they receive the one they sent me that was wrong, I just told them to refund it instead of exchanging it. I ordered a replacement somewhere else and it'll be here Tuesday. This is not the first time I've had issues with things sent from Summit. I realize it can happen with other companies, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating. I think out of the 5 or 6 orders I've placed with them over the last 2-3 years that on 3-4 I've had to send something back that wasn't my fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #236
Anyway, I flushed out the steering pump and lines. I hooked up a couple of 3 foot rubber hoses to the steering pump lines and ran them into an empty antifreeze jug on the ground, then disconnected my fuel pump relay (so it doesn't prime fuel every time I crank) and coil wire, and cranked the engine a few seconds while filling the pump inbetween cranking sessions so it didn't go dry. I ran a quart through it and figure that's good.

I took off the old rag joint from the steering shaft and mounted the new one straight to the new steering gear as that'll probably make things way easier for install. I hit the frame with a little bit of paint after wire wheeling where the gear will sit. There's really not enough room to work with as far as cleaning the frame really well. If the front clip was removed then I'd put some more effort into cleaning the frame. Plus with all the grease and oil in the area there's no chance for rust to form.






I assembled the new tie rod ends together along with the new adjustment sleeve and made sure it all matched the old stuff. While doing that I noticed the old tie rods they're replacing are super bent. The one long tie rod that goes most of the length is bowed out towards the front of the Bronco. The new ones I put together are perfectly straight.

 

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Discussion Starter #238
Are those cracks in the frame rail?
I noticed those as well after I painted that spot and took the pic. I'll have to go back and look. It sure looks like cracks in the pic though, huh? At this point there isn't much I can do about it though if it is. If they are cracks I'd have to get this thing put back together and then find someone who could fix that for me and take it to them, then disassemble again.

With everything that is messed up in the steering department (sector shaft, pitman arm, tie rods) I wouldn't be surprised if this thing has been hit pretty good in the front at some point and that forceful jolt caused all of this including those possible cracks. It does have mismatched front fenders after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #239
Alright. This is where things are currently at.

I wire wheeled the paint off around that bolt hole and went as far as to use a flathead screw driver to poke and prod at it like I was a dentist looking for a cavity he just knows is there. Yes, they are cracks for sho. I went ahead and finished putting on the steering gear regardless of the cracks. I will say that the most difficult part of the whole thing was getting the pump lines to thread into the new gear. What a bitch, but it's done. I'll put the rest of the steering together once my new drag link shows up on Tuesday.

I did some investigating online as far as how people have tackled the cracked frame problem. Some drilled holes just past the end of the crack, then welded the crack and ground it flat. Others welded on a fishplate. And then of course the third group combined both methods together.

I stopped by the shop that did my gears for me and spoke again to the owner yet another time, I bet he loves seeing my face by now. I asked what he's done for stuff like this and what I looked up is exactly what he said he would do, drill and weld the cracks, then weld a plate on top. So, that's what's going to happen. I'm no welder and even if I had a welder to use today I wouldn't trust my beginner welds to something that important. I'll take a crack at body panels, but not the frame.

I should be able to have everything finished on Tuesday once the drag link shows up, then I'll drop the Bronco off at the shop on Thursday. He'll weld up the frame and then they'll do an alignment after that. Sweet lord. This $700 Bronco has gotten expensive.

Then I swung by the salvage yard where I got the pitman arm from and asked the owner there how much it'd be for the box he pulled the arm off of. He said "It'd have been a lot cheaper if you had me pull it before I took the arm off". Haha! I told him it wasn't planned out that way and explained why I needed it. Either way, he said it'd be $50 if he pulled it, then he gave me the option of pulling it myself for $40. I'll be going back in a bit to go pull it myself before I go to work tonight. I'll be sure to snag some pics of other things in the yard I may be interested in coming back for.
 

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Discussion Starter #240
Ok, gentlemen, today's the day I finish this mess. If UPS shows up like they usually do, my drag link should arrive in about 2-3 hours. I've got everything else here and hopefully (cross fingers) no other surprises arise or at least not until this thing is at the shop. I want to be done with my end of things. Then hopefully on Thursday everything goes well when the frame is patched. I honestly don't want anything else to pop up while it's at the shop, but I'd rather they discover something else that's in need of repair than for it to go unnoticed and I have a catastrophic failure out on the road.

I also emailed Redhead again and asked if they needed the whole steering gear or if I can just send them the sector shaft as that was all that was bad on the core I sent. It was confirmed that I can indeed do that (so I can save money on shipping), so I'll be tearing apart my first steering box and removing the sector shaft. From vidyas I've watched on youtube it doesn't appear to be a difficult thing to get the shaft out, granted that wasn't on an identical box, but in general they all seem to operate in the same manner.
 
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