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Steering box sector shaft cleanup

2000 Crown Victoria, 172K

I recently tore into the car’s steering components because just about all of them were pretty heavily worn out (including one brand-new tie rod that already busted its boot). I got everything out fairly easily except for the pitman arm: That thing broke THREE pullers trying to yank it off the sector shaft. I finally had to get an angle grinder and cut the thing off, which I did by slicing away metal on both sides until I was able to pry it off.

It looks like that despite being as careful as I possibly could be, I nicked the sector shaft in a couple of spots. One is a small spot at the bottom of the threaded part for the pitman arm nut, which is making it tough to get the nut to bite. Another is at the top where the pitman arm engages the sector shaft splines.

Two questions:

- Is there a really large tap-and-die set somewhere than I can use to clean up the threads? Never seen one this size before. Failing that, will using a small file be enough to deburr the threads and allow the nut to engage?

- Will the nicks on the splines cause trouble with getting the new pitman arm seated properly?

Here are some pictures to check out:

http://i14…0_0733.jpg (the shiny spots at the bottom are where the threads got nicked)

http://i14…0_0743.jpg (splines)

For the threads determine the thread size and use the correct size thread file. For the splines? Patience and a thin file.


You can buy a set of machinists files inexpensively and they will clean things up quickly. The LAST thing you want to do is cross-thread that nut. Also make sure you match up the splines on the new arm and sector shaft, they only fit one way…

Nice Pictures by the way…The newer (2007 on) Vics have rack & pinion…Makes a noticeable improvement in how they drive.

You might want to check the control-arm bushings too…Get ALL the slop out…

There are taps and dies available in those sizes, however the cost will likely be as much as a rebuilt gearbox.

Like the others said, a thread file and a small triangular file are going to be your new best friends.