Willys Power Steer­ing In­stall

With a lit­tle fab work it’s easy

Jp Magazine - - Table Of Contents - By Brian Gabriel jped­i­tor@jp­magazine.com Pho­tog­ra­phy: Brian Gabriel

There’s noth­ing quite like an old Jeep. The sound, the smell, and the feel of the Jeep are

those things ev­ery­one talks about, and some just don’t un­der­stand. Pi­lot­ing one of these relics is more like herd­ing it down the road in­stead of steer­ing, thanks to the old Ross steer­ing boxes. They were mounted to the frame just in front of the driver’s feet and were prone to pre­ma­ture wear. The 17-inch-di­am­e­ter steer­ing wheel pro­vided the me­chan­i­cal ad­van­tage needed to get the tires to turn, which took lit­tle ef­fort when go­ing down the road. How­ever, it took some mus­cle to move those same tires when run­ning slowly in park­ing lots, rocks, mud, or snow with that old Ross steer­ing setup.

While there’s noth­ing wrong with the old way, there is also a lot of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy (rel­a­tively) that can be adapted to these old Jeeps to im­prove the steer­ing. You hear a lot about Sag­i­naw power steer­ing boxes and pumps, and that’s be­cause the Sag­i­naw Steer­ing Gear Com­pany has been do­ing busi­ness with Gen­eral Mo­tors since 1917. The Sag­i­naw steer­ing boxes were mounted up on the very front of the frame to sim­plify the steer­ing link­age to the axle. Their man­ual steer­ing box de­sign ended up on Jeeps start­ing in 1972, and the power steer­ing was an op­tional fac­tory up­grade. Keep on read­ing to see how we adapted a Sag­i­naw power steer­ing sys­tem onto our Willys CJ-2A. There is more than one way to skin a cat, though, so we also take a quick look at how a few of our Jeep bud­dies have tack­led the same job.

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