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  #1  
Old 05-27-2011, 08:52 PM
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Idler Arm

Hey doods,

Took the truck in for an oil change and a quick front end inspection. Dealership says everything was ok except the idler arm is loosened up a bit and needs replacing soon.

Is it a simple matter of just unbolting the old one and bolting up the new one? Truck has 112,000km on it. Any advice for approaching this issue?
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2011, 01:59 AM
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Yes it is a very simple procedure three bolts and a pickle fork and shes off the center-link. Reinstall it, grease it, quick alignment and you will be all set.
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2011, 03:56 PM
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Alignment? The guy at the dealership said I do not require an alignment after replacing it. Was he incompetent?
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:27 PM
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You should get an alignment anytime you make a change to the suspension.

It probably won't knock it off by much, but it will still be off nonetheless.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2011, 06:10 PM
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you will not require an alignment for just an idler arm. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise. That is a money grab for a lot of shops.
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2011, 09:02 PM
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Thanks guys. I will do this swap myself. Seems straightforward enough. Is it common for the Idler Arm to wear out before the Pitman Arm does? The dealership said the pitman was fine but just the idler needs changing.

The dealer wants 200 dollars for the part alone not to mention the labour. I found a Moog arm with a grease nipple on ebay for 80 bucks. There are other ones for sale for as low as 30 dollars, too.

What do you guys think?
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  #7  
Old 05-30-2011, 01:22 AM
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Get the MOOG one. Also there are 2 different idler arms for the 5.4 truck. It has a measurement difference. The measurement you are looking for the distance between the 2 bolts where it bolts on to the frame. Don't get a cheap one unless you are selling the truck soon
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:57 AM
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If it was my vehicle and I had just replaced an idler arm I would get an alignment. You should take most of what you read here with a grain of salt, but i suggest going to a different shop because that tech telling u ya don't need an alignment after a critical steering part is changed should go hit the books some more. Either way an idler arm is a piece in the vehicles steering system, when it is changed it will change vehicle alignment readings. Most specifically toe, toe is the angle that when incorrect will cause tire wear most rapidly as compared to caster, camber, sai, ia ect. So pay 60-100 more dollars and save your much more expensive tires sounds like a no brainer to me.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piston91 View Post
If it was my vehicle and I had just replaced an idler arm I would get an alignment. You should take most of what you read here with a grain of salt, but i suggest going to a different shop because that tech telling u ya don't need an alignment after a critical steering part is changed should go hit the books some more. Either way an idler arm is a piece in the vehicles steering system, when it is changed it will change vehicle alignment readings. Most specifically toe, toe is the angle that when incorrect will cause tire wear most rapidly as compared to caster, camber, sai, ia ect. So pay 60-100 more dollars and save your much more expensive tires sounds like a no brainer to me.
I was a tech for years. I worked with a guy who started his career as an automotive technician in 1968, he would never recommend an alignment for replacing the idler arm. The toe is adjusted via tierod ends. There is no adjustment needed for a quality idler arm.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:48 AM
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I realize that toe is adjusted via tierod ends (I am also a tech). Toe evens out so length is equal to each side correct? So if the pivot points change the idler arm and the pit-man arm then toe would be incorrect would it not? So if the alignment was done with idler arm with a little bit of play then the tech doing the alignment set the toe and this compensated for the play. Now a new arm is installed and the play is no longer there. So no more play toe will be more accurate and more precise. I am not saying this will cause your tires to go bald after 200 miles but it may cause the wheel to be a bit off center (which bugs me personally). Either way it is the op's choice, I could argue with you forever but where both just going to disagree.
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  #11  
Old 05-30-2011, 03:20 AM
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It would depend on the IDler arm and just I loos it is, some are keys and some aren't. You can not do an alingment with a bad idler arm since it will cause the toe to move around. I would recomend you go get an alignment after having any steering componant changed out, their is ways you can get away with out doing an alingmnet after replacing tie rods even but I don't recomend it.
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  #12  
Old 05-30-2011, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piston91 View Post
I realize that toe is adjusted via tierod ends (I am also a tech). Toe evens out so length is equal to each side correct?
Not exactly, but close. More toe on the right side to compensate for crown or road angles. But I see what your saying.
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  #13  
Old 05-30-2011, 11:16 AM
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Ok guys thanks. I will get the Moog one. Gotts, my truck is a 4.6L so would there be 2 different measurements for me too? I guess I will have to crawl under there and take some measurements.

I'm thinking that I might crank my T-Bars up at the same time I do the Idler Arm, and that would necessitate an alignment anyways. Ever since I had my steering shaft replaced, the steering wheel was just a couple of degrees off straight and it's been driving me crazy for 2 years. Hopefully this will take care of it all.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:16 AM


 
 
 
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