Step-by-Step Guide To Idler Arm Replacement

idler arm replacement

Idler Arm Replacement – What Is An Idler Arm?

Idler arms and Pitman’s arms are the two most important components of a steering system that link the steering box not only to the center but also to the hub assemblies.

The Pitman arm, also known as a steering arm, is the main player whereas the idler arm provides support to the other side and makes sure your vehicle makes proper turns when you try to turn the car’s wheels.


You’ll know it’s time for the idler arm replacement when your car starts being sloppy on the road. For instance, when you don’t intend to move your wheels but your vehicle sways either right or left about 2 inches on its own. That’s a red flag right there.


Lurching to the left or the right when bumping over a road bump or the front vibrating could also be signs that you’ll need to pay immediate attention to. This will also be a sign that your car or vehicle is going to need idler arm replacement soon.


Mostly, you might just need to replace either one of the two, but it’s better to change both at the same time since the labor it requires is just the same. If you think it’s time to get your idler arm repaired, read on to find out how to do that by yourself.


Tооlѕ You’ll Need For Idler Arm Replacement:


  1. New idler arm
  2. 2 cotter pins 1/8×1-.5
  3. Grease
  4. Jack stands and a floor jack
  5. Needle nose pliers
  6. Flathead screwdriver
  7. Diag wire cutter
  8. Torque wrench that goes up to 180 ft-lbs
  9. 11/16 and 5-8 – .5 drive socket and wrench
  10. 5/16 – .5 drive socket and a long breaker bar/pipe
  11. Pitman arm puller
  12. 18mm – .5 drive wrench and socket


Idler Arm Replacement – How to do it

As I lay on the floor of my garage working my way with the truck, I could only think of how easy it would have been with a lift. It’s okay if you don’t have a lift though, since a jack can do the same work with just a little more effort.


To remove the right wheel, jack up the vehicle under the right arm and put a 6-ton jack stand under it. Just as a precautionary measure, you can consider leaving the floor jack under the A-arm so that the vehicle does not fall on you. Now, remove the cotter pin from the idler and then the nut using a long breaker.


Rеmоvе Thе Idlеr Arm Bolts:

Now, remove the 2 bolts that fasten the frame with the idler arm.


Sераrаtе The Idler Arm From the Cеntеr-lіnk:

This could prove to be really difficult and you might need to use a pitman puller to help you separate the idler arm from the center link. You might even have to trim some metal from the inside of your pitman puller.


Pаuѕе, Then Work On Idler Arm Replacement:

If you think your pitman also needs to be replaced, this is the best time to do it as you have already opened it up to this stage. As you have removed the idler, the center link would automatically fall off letting you pull the pitman arm out.


However, if your pitman does not need to be replaced, ignore the above-mentioned step. In order to have a new cotter pin just like the one you removed, trim it with the help of diagonal pliers ensuring both ends match the pin you just removed.


Put the idler arm’s bolt in the centerline and insert new bolts through the frame, ensuring the new washers are under the bolt heads. Tighten the washers and the nuts.

Now, install the big nut on the center link bolts of the idler and tighten according to the specifications. Just make sure the cotter pin holes are aligned when installing the cotter pin. Once you have greased it, you are good to go.

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