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Using The Shorter Pitman Arm

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  • Using The Shorter Pitman Arm

    Several weeks ago I mentioned that I'd buy a shorter pitman arm with my next parts order. I want to try it just to get my thoughts about how much easier it might steer, but it also gives the added benefit of putting less pressure on the gas tank bracket while turning the steering wheel.

    A few weeks ago my short pitman arm came from Bert's, and it's a quality forged piece of craftsmanship that Henry Ford himself would be proud of.

    Pitman Arm Short.JPG

  • #2
    How'd it work Tom?

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    • #3
      If you like the way it looks,wait until you drive with it.After driving an A with the stock setup,you are going to have to get used to the new one.That might soak up 30 seconds or a minute of your life.I have never once seen an instance of the steering radius reduced,but I've heard stories of that.I don't think I ever turn the wheels around to full warp on an A anyway.When I do the tires want to chitter along and slide in the dirt before they start to roll.

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      • #4
        How much shorter is it?
        2 1930 Tudors

        Henry Ford said
        "It's all nuts and bolts"


        Mitch's Auto Service ctr

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        • tbirdtbird
          tbirdtbird commented
          Editing a comment
          I believe 1.5"

      • #5
        The upper steering bracket takes a lot of stress,its amazing how much the frame flexes without it.

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        • #6
          Tom, how was the shipping ? I received my windshield from Berts and it was nicely crated. P.S.-- 3" of snow here and still snowing !!

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          • #7
            Originally posted by Fixitphil View Post
            How'd it work Tom?
            I won't get it painted and installed until the weather warms up. We are still having global winter in Minnesota.
            Still snowing and 20* below average for the next 10 days.
            The shipping was actual cost and fast from Bert's. If you like to pay actual shipping cost and need parts in a hurry, Bert's is tops.

            Comment


            • #8
              I installed the same shorter arm a couple of years ago. Its great and makes steering easier. Lately I've been driving with a thumb/wrist splint on my left hand, but driving the A is no problem (as long as it's rolling).
              The problem is not the state of being illiterate; the travesty is one's desire to remain there.

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              • #9
                I have that same pitman on my truck. So far I dont see a down side. It may have reduced my turning radius, not sure. More pleasurable to drive.

                Comment


                • CarlG
                  CarlG commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Did you ever get it painted?

                • Curly
                  Curly commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I didn't. I clear coated it for rust prevention. I have to assume they were painted from the factory.

              • #10
                Curly,turn your wheels around to full lock,and look to see if your spindles hit the stops.If they do,your turning radius could not have changed.I went through the front end of a roadster about 10 years ago for a woman,she was having a bit of a hard time steering it.It was nice when I finished it,but that short arm was the icing on the cake.She was in her mid-60's,and said she could palm the steering wheel while parallel parking after I put the arm on.

                Comment


                • Curly
                  Curly commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks, I will try that.

              • #11
                Originally posted by Mitch View Post
                How much shorter is it?
                I don't have the standard arm handy, but my shorter arm measures 5 3/8" center to center. I think what Dave said, about 1 1/2" sounds right.

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                • Mitch
                  Mitch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks to you both.

              • #12
                I shortened mine about 15 years ago. Since I am a welder, and welded on nuclear submarines, I felt confitent in welding my own. It made a big difference in steering ease. I shortened it 1.5 inches, with a Z shape cut to maximise strength.
                Bill
                http://www.brauchauto.com/

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by 2manycars View Post
                  I shortened mine about 15 years ago. Since I am a welder, and welded on nuclear submarines, I felt confitent in welding my own. It made a big difference in steering ease. I shortened it 1.5 inches, with a Z shape cut to maximise strength.
                  I thought about that also, because I can do a good weld, but for $39 I wouldn't mess around doing it.

                  Comment


                  • 2manycars
                    2manycars commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I did mine before they were available new.

                • #14
                  Why didn't Ford make them shorter to start with? One would think that a test of some kind would have been done, maybe Henry dictated the length?

                  Comment


                  • 2manycars
                    2manycars commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Evolution. The model A steering was much better than the T, and was advertised as "non reversing" steering gear, since the model T just had planitary gears up at the steering wheel, and the front wheels hitting a ditch could jank the steering wheel out of your hand. An improvement for sure.

                • #15
                  I made mine for the same reason Bill did.They weren't around,or,if they were,I didn't know about them.I won't make one for a customer,but not for safety reasons.I can pretty much kill an hour and a half making one,and I can get a store bought one for $40.The roads were different back in the A days,and the shorter arm will telegraph the yanking from the ruts to your arms.Not something you notice on todays roads.Even the rough dirt roads I drive on are nicer than the dirt roads back then.

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