I am putting a lift on my '87 chevy 3/4 ton 4x4. I would like to know the easiest way to get the compression screws out of the old steering arm so I can reuse them with the new steering arm. I have been told this can take all day. I would appreciate any advice.
Not to sound negative; it's quite a job to remove the steering arm. I also have an 87 4x4 1/2 ton and had to replace the steering arm while rebuilding the front end. After spending about four hours trying to remove the three nuts I decided on using a nut splitter to remove them, that was the easy part. Once you get the nuts off then you think the arm will just pop off with a couple of raps with a mallot, not so! I used a chisel to catch the edge of the compression nuts and after heating them up with MAPP gas I tapped on them and tried to spin them off. Not a chance, all the chisel did was shear off the edge of the nuts which are brass. I finally had to take off the knuckle (which I was going to do anyway) and bring it down to the local truck spring shop. There they put the knuckle in a vise and heated up the arm and were able to seperate the arm from the knuckle. I then replaced the three steering arm bolts, compression nuts and top lock nuts (all available at the local chevy dealer) along with a new steering arm. I do have one suggestion; Try taking the top lock nuts off using a nut splitter then since the three bolts are threaded into the knuckle you can spin them out using a stud removal tool, (I purchased one at harbor freight for a few bucks after the fact). As the bolts spin out the compression nuts will spin out with them, then just replace the three bolts, nuts and compression nuts ( at the chevy dealer) for about $12.00 or so. Heat up the nuts with MAPP gas and spray them good with PB parts blaster or a penatrating oil and you should have no problems. Now that I know all of this lifting my truck this spring this summer will be much easier. How much lift are you going to go? Hope this helps. Let me know how you make out.
If you remove the top nuts and then heat around the compression nuts.You can pour water on them and the arm and the differences in the metals will cause the comp. nuts to pop out.Make sure that you get it hot enough that the water steams pretty good.It might take more than one try but it work's without damaging any thing.