1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link
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  • 1 Post By jayoldschool
RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hello to all the cadillac's rwd owners and forum contributors. In the last days, I've made a check of my ...
  1. #1
    jeff_herry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1978 EFI fleetwood brougahm d'elegance
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    1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Hello to all the cadillac's rwd owners and forum contributors.

    In the last days, I've made a check of my steering system of my 1978 fleetwood brougham d'elegance. In fact there is an excessive loose in my steering. After a short inspection under the car, I've seen that the problem is linked to the junction of the pitman arm and the center link. The junction need to add some grease every X miles, but I think mine hasn't seen some grease for more than 2 decades (or more...). as a consequence, there is that loose.

    On the shop manual, I cannot find a desricption of this junction, and I don't know of is made this junction and the axle. Is there a seal between the pitman axle and the center link? Or is tere anything else that could be repalce to solve my problem ? Or do I simply need to grease the axle and tighten more ?

    If you have any idea, just let me know !
    thanks for your help !
    JeFF

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  3. #2
    The Ape Man's Avatar
    The Ape Man is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): '80 Fleetwood Coupe, 1994 and 1995 Mercedes 140 Coupe
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    That joint is built into the center link. Replacement makes the problem go away.

    '78 can be a goofy year to get front end parts for due to the US converting to the metric system Know your production date when ordering parts.

  4. #3
    jeff_herry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1978 EFI fleetwood brougahm d'elegance
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Thanks Ape Man for your reply.

    Do you mean I need to replace the center link or is that join sold as a specific part?
    See you later, and thanks again !
    Jeff

  5. #4
    The Ape Man's Avatar
    The Ape Man is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Yes, you replace the whole center link. Sorry I don't make sense. Been up over 24 hours.............

  6. #5
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
    Automobile(s): 81 FWB D'Elegance coupe
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Note that there are two different center links. One with the hole for the steering damper, one without. The one with the hole is more expensive. Do your inner/outer tie rods and your idler arm at the same time. You can put everything together on the floor, and install it all at one time. Measure the tie rods carefully, and you can set the new ones close so you can drive it for an alignment.

  7. #6
    jeff_herry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1978 EFI fleetwood brougahm d'elegance
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    That's super guys !
    thanks for your advices and your help.
    I will replace the center link and the tie rods.
    Have a good day.
    JeFF

  8. #7
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    I meant "Do your inner/outer tie rods and your idler arm at the same time" as the center link. I'll edit my post above...

  9. #8
    jeff_herry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1978 EFI fleetwood brougahm d'elegance
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Ok thanks.
    Just to be sure: what is the difference between inner and outer tie rods? (I think I'm confused with the tie rods !)

    If I well understand for a side of the car:
    from the center link to the wheel, you have: the inner rod, the adjustable cap, and the tie rod end.
    The center link is hold with the idler arm, and connected to the steering gear with the pitman arm.

    So If this is correct, the 2 tie rod ends for left and right side of the car are the same, just like the 2 inner rods and the idler arm is specific. Is it correct ?
    just to be sure and to prevent a mistake when ordering my parts...

  10. #9
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Inner tie rod ends are the ones that go on the inside of the tie rod, outer ends connect to the outside at the wheel (spindle?)

    With the car being from 78 you may want to get the tie rod center too (heard it called a sleeve sometimes, not sure the real name)

  11. #10
    jeff_herry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1978 EFI fleetwood brougahm d'elegance
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Ok, so it is the same part for the left and right side of the car !
    Thanks.
    JeFF

  12. #11
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Check rockauto.com for part numbers and diagrams. I would recommend MOOG.
    mygpascaddy likes this.

  13. #12
    jeff_herry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1978 EFI fleetwood brougahm d'elegance
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Parts ordered and Shipped !
    Thanks to all for your support.
    HAve a great day.

    Jeff

  14. #13
    The Ape Man's Avatar
    The Ape Man is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1978 fleetwood steering: excessive loose between pitman arm and center link

    Be aware that if you replace the tie rods and do not get the turns depth exact the car will be a hazard on the road until it gets a wheel alignment.

    Not so for a center link or idler arm.

    If you are going to do enough work to need a wheel alignment I suggest a good visual inspection of the upper A arm bushings and all ball joints. Nothing works than having an alignment monkey tell you the car needs 500 bux worth of crap before it can be aligned.

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