This morning we started at 8AM. Jonathan got out the rubber mallet and the pickle fork (from the ball joint and tie rod kit) and started banging away.
After a dozen whacks or so, Jonathan decided this was going no where. Here he is watching a video of a guy removing the pitman arm. Basically the guy's advice was "smack it harder".
Here is Jonathan smacking it harder.
Sorry dude in the instructional video, your advice is not helpful. We have been at this for almost an hour now and we seem to be getting no where.
We again consult the internet and discover there is an actual "pitman arm puller" tool. Surprisingly this tool looks a lot like tool J-24319-01 mentioned in the Firebird service manual under the "removing pitman arm" section. We pull up the O'Reilly auto parts store web site and it says they have one in stock at our location. So off to O'Reilly we go...
It takes A LOT of force to turn the bolt. Jonathan switched to a breaker bar and added my old mop handle for more leverage. My old mop handle has come in very handy over the years. It currently also doubles as a hood and tailgate prop.
The pitman arm separated from the steering gear but Jonathan was still trying to get the pitman arm itself off the steering linkage.
Jonathan tried using the other puller we bought at O'Reilly this morning, but as you can see their forged steel is not as strong as they let on. Apparently a gear puller is not meant for a pitman arm or tie rod. :(
This is the part that is alluding us. We have decided to give up on this for the mean time and get the engine bay degreased. Maybe getting some of the grease off will make it easier. It would have been nice to have it out of our way (I foresee clothes catching on this) but we can work around it.
I collected all the tools that need to be cleaned now and put them in a bucket next to the steering gear. We will eventually get back to these, but for now we are going to get that engine bay degreased!
We lowered KITT down off the jack stands. Then we brought the tarp up around the sides to catch all the water and grease.