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I'm cleaning up the power steering box from my parts car and the pitman shaft appears to have a copper coating on the threads and splines. Anyone know if this is normal / the way it came from the factory / aftermarket?

It seems to be a very effective way to avoid rust but I was surprised to see it. Although I've replaced pitman arms long ago, I'm sure I wasn't paying as much attention to how clean the shaft was.

The threads aren't as obvious in the photo as they are "in person" and the splines almost look like rust in the photo but that's definitely not rust.
pitman_shaft_copper_25.jpg
 

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Copper-based anti-seize compound is frequently used on metal-to-metal interfaces, particularly when both mating pieces are of the same metal. That will make it much easier to separate the parts later. It will often leave that same appearance.
 
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