JEEP POWER STEER­ING SWAP

Jp Magazine - - News -

Eric from Mo­tive Gear says he’s got all the mus­cle he needs for his stock Willys steer­ing sys­tem. Some Jeep nerds just like to keep things sim­ple and all orig­i­nal. With orig­i­nal­size tires, the fac­tory steer­ing does just fine with a lit­tle mus­cle and mo­men­tum. If you’re an all-orig­i­nal kind of per­son and you want to re­fresh the orig­i­nal steer­ing sys­tem, all of the parts and pieces are still avail­able. Chris­tian Hazel’s ar­ti­cle on re­build­ing a fac­tory Jeep Ross steer­ing box is a great read to help guide you through the hard part (four­wheeler. com/how-to/trans­mis­sion-driv­e­train/1406ross-cam-and-lever-steer­ing-re­build). This is a view of the stock steer­ing on all Jeeps up to 1971. The Ross steer­ing box is mounted to the frame in front of the driver’s feet. The orig­i­nal steer­ing box pulled on a drag link, which is prop­erly named be­cause it is dragged back and forth by the ver­ti­cal pit­man arm. That drag link op­er­ates a bell­crank at­tached to the front of the frame, which trans­fers the move­ment to the two tie rods to turn the wheels. There are a lot of mov­ing parts and joints to wear out in the stock sys­tem, and a lit­tle bit of wear on each one adds up to a lot of wan­der­ing and steer­ing wheel play in the sys­tem.

This Jeep was cob­bled to­gether out of sev­eral dif­fer­ent piles of parts. A 1968 CJ-5 “parts” Jeep be­came the base of this CJ-2A build, and the chas­sis was al­ready out­fit­ted with an older man­ual Sag­i­naw steer­ing box that was re­tained for a while. It is def­i­nitely a more ro­bust box than the Ross style, and it has bet­ter steer­ing link­age ge­om­e­try. If you’re still run­ning the fac­tory Go-Devil flat­head motor, a man­ual Sag­i­naw steer­ing box may be the right move to im­prove the steer­ing since there is no good way to mount a power steer­ing pump on those mo­tors. If you’re set on power steer­ing and keep­ing your Go-Devil en­gine, there are some elec­tric power steer­ing pumps on the mar­ket, but they are pricey. The three-bolt man­ual Sag­i­naw steer­ing box mount was re­moved to make way for a beefier four-bolt plate to fit the spare power steer­ing box (on the tire) out of a CJ-7 I’ve had ly­ing around the shop col­lect­ing dust for way too long. It was time to put it to good use. For the new steer­ing box bracket there are a cou­ple of op­tions. Ad­vance Adapters sells a cast-iron bracket, but then you add the com­pli­ca­tions of weld­ing the cast iron to the frame. A piece of 3⁄8-inch plate and some 0.125-wall tub­ing out of the drop bin from the local steel sup­ply was about $18 to fab­ri­cate our own bracket. Our friend Bren­nan Met­calf (Ul­ti­mate Ad­ven­ture alum­nus ’14, ’15) had a pat­tern al­ready drawn up for the Sag­i­naw four-bolt pat­tern. He printed a scale copy and sent it in the mail. This turned out great and saved some time on lo­cat­ing the hole cen­ters. You do not need any­thing fancy to cut the 3⁄8-inch steel. An el cheapo band­saw from a yard sale does the trick here. A trusty an­gle grinder with a good qual­ity cut-off wheel will do the job just fine too if that is what you have avail­able. Af­ter the holes were drilled, the bracket was loosely bolted to the steer­ing box. Once it was lined up pretty evenly, a pair of calipers was used to mea­sure for the spac­ers that were sliced from some 1⁄8-inch-wall tub­ing. These spac­ers are es­sen­tial to clear the girth of the steer­ing gear.

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