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74, With 304, Restoration Research, Power Steering Conv.

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5/6/7/8' started by Ol Fogie, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Dec 9, 2019
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    Beginning to plan my restoration and compile some parts. Have read and studied all I could find in the archives about converting to power steering. However still have an unanswered question.
    First the facts I have acquired from salvage yard 74 cj a power steer saginaw pump, and brackets, also gear assy, with pitman arm, drag link and a 3 bolt CAST mounting bracket. (salvage jeep may have been a conversion also or it would of had a 4 bolt gear mount bracket) . Pump and gear unusable, core charge only value.
    The salvage gear is 3.1 turns loc to loc. as is the factory spec. for 1974.
    When purchasing new rebuilt gear, contemplating one for later model 1980 cj with 4.1 turns loc to loc. would this higher ratio gear improve the '' road feel" ? I read in the archives that sometimes these conversions are sometimes ''twichey'' (is that a word?) and lack sensitivity to the road in straight ahead crusing and are a bit too ''quick turning'' for a short wheel base cj.
    Every thing else with the 1980 gear seems the same as the 74 gear except for o-ring lines rather than flair fittings. Also expect I can use the salvaged 74 pitman arm because indexing is different on the 1980 gear. Am I missing anything else?
    Thanks in advance, looking forward to every ones expert opinions and experiences. Jim
     
  2. Dec 9, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Perhaps you'd rather have a more modern variable ratio gear? Since you have a 3-bolt bracket, the gear from a 4x4 S10/Jimmy/Blazer/Bravada is a popular swap with the Wagoneer crowd. These newer gears seem to wear a lot less than the older gears and a junkyard example can go in with no further service. The ratio near center is slow, and increases as the gear moves off center. This makes steering docile on the highway, while still being easy when parking.

    I don't understand this - "Also expect I can use the salvaged 74 pitman arm because indexing is different on the 1980 gear." Wouldn't different indexing mean you could not use the 1974 pitman arm?
     
  3. Dec 9, 2019
    4wealn

    4wealn Member

    Ontario, Canada
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    In my 74, I am running a box out of a Durango. If you do a google search you will find it but I am also running a 98 Wrangler 4.0L and I am using the lines off the pump from that motor.
     
  4. Dec 9, 2019
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    Tim, sorry I was not clear, what I was trying to say is I think the pitman arm from the salvaged 74 cj power gear should work on the on the new 1980 power gear. The gear on the 74 is mounted parallel to the frame and the gear on the 1980 is mounted at a slight angle of about 15 or so degrees to the frame via the different mount bracket. The 80 gear uses a different pitman arm with splines clocked about the same amount so that it will point straight back when the wheels are in the straight ahead position.
    Tim the above info is based on research done on line, I plan on going to the salvage yard on a fact finding trip to be sure before making any definite decisions. While there I will look around for a variable ratio gear and see what differences there might be with them if any. Thanks Jim
     
  5. Dec 9, 2019
    sgogpn

    sgogpn I speak fluent Jeepanese... 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Glendale, AZ.
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    You can use a Saginaw box from just about any Chevy/GM application, or the Jeep box. My 75 had factory manual steering when i got it, and I just went to a wrecking yard and pulled the pump and bracket of an old AMC car and a GM steering box off a Monte Carlo. I want to say I used the pitman arm that came with it. It bolted right up to the factory cast steering box mount on the Jeep. I went from manual to power for around $100, and that included the pressure side power steering hose.

    RE: the gear ratio of the box; when I built my 7 I put a quick ratio box on it thinking it would be really beneficial for quick maneuvering in the rocks. It was, but it was too quick on the street for me. A variable ratio box or standard ratio worked better for my driving habits.

    FWIW,
    Mike
     
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  6. Dec 10, 2019
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    Mike, my apology for I am a bit challenged when it comes to discussion of ratios. Are saying a quick ratio box might be one that has 2.5 or 3 turns loc to loc? And would a variable ratio be something that starts out at say 3.1 in the center and goes to 3.5 or so as it nears right or left loc? would you also call a box with 4 turns loc to loc a standard or high (slow) ratio box? Hope this is not too dumb of a question.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  7. Dec 11, 2019
    Dphillip

    Dphillip Member 2020 Sponsor

    Omaha NE
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    If you decide on a later model gear box make sure the splines on the steering shaft are compatible with your steering shaft. I installed a later Chevy S-10 gearbox on my CJ and had to fabricate a new steering shaft because of different sized splines.
     
  8. Dec 11, 2019
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    You are correct. I have been searching the salvage yards for a variable ratio s-10 box. found only one usable, but they wanted too much for it. looked like it was going to require fabrication of a steering shaft and diff hoses too. Stopped by my local napa, they had in stock a rebuilt gear box for a 1980 cj for only 45 dollars more and my factory steer shaft, coupling and hoses would fit without alteration. It would be a slower ratio box than the factory 74 box just not a variable ratio. However still researching and parts hunting before any final decisions.
    Thanks everyone for your replies. Please keep posting you thoughts and experience. Jim
     
  9. Dec 11, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Note that there are two different bell couplers that connect the steering shaft to the steering gear; one for the manual gear and one for the power gear. No personal experience, but I understood that the S10 gear is a bolt-in to a Wagoneer, and I would expect that the Wagoneer and CJ power steering gears are the same in this era.

    There are also aftermarket steering shafts that eliminate the bell coupler and let you pick the diameter and spline count you want. Likely a worthwhile upgrade.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
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  10. Dec 11, 2019
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    Thanks Tim, I will look in to the after market steering shafts. I agree the factory bell coulpings are not to my liking, they are a weak point and wear out easily. The after market shaft would simplify use of a variable ratio gear also.
     
  11. Dec 11, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    I have the Borgeson shaft in my '75. Very nice.
     
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  12. Dec 11, 2019
    Dphillip

    Dphillip Member 2020 Sponsor

    Omaha NE
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    When I installed my S-10 gearbox I was already running a Borgeson steering shaft kit that replaced the bell coupler.
    To mate that Borgeson shaft with the S-10 box just required a different Borgeson joint on the end of the steering shaft.
    I think you could easily order the Borgeson parts needed to assembly a new steering shaft so your CJ would work with the S-10 gearbox.
    I also ordered a fitting for the back of my power steering pump that converted the pump from a flare fitting to a inverted flare fitting with a O ring. I had the pressure hose made at NAPA.
    The S-10 gearbox was a great upgrade, it really tightened up my steering system and gave me more feel for the road.
     
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  13. Dec 11, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Just mentioning ... I understand the 4x4 gear for these S-10 based vehicles has more turns than the 2WD version, presumably to better handle the wider tires used on those vehicles.

    That fitting screws in to the ham-can style Saginaw pump, and was used with the o-ring hoses. Should be easy to find at the pick-and-pull, I presume. I'd also expect that you could use the hoses from an '81 V8 CJ that would have the o-ring ends.
     
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  14. Dec 13, 2019
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Member

    Kelso Wa
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    One could say the roughly 4.25 turn gear is standard, 3.25 turn is usually the variable ratio and the roughly 2.5 turn is the quick ratio. I went from non power to 4.25 turns years ago in my 75. It worked great but became tiring on the trail constantly going lock to lock. I went to a variable ratio 3.25 turn next. This made a nice difference on the trail while maintaining highway manners. That gear was buit by a subpar builder so I bought a big bore variable ratio gear from Redhead earlier this year. I believe it was from a 1970s Cadillac. I just called ahead, gave them my input and output shaft configurations, what it was going in, and what I wanted in terms of big bore/standard bore and ratio and thats what they set me up with. Honestly the big bore is overkill in many CJ applications unless you're matching it to the expensive high flow pump and running large tires but it was the same price as standard.

    I also agree strongly with Borgeson intermediate shafts. Flaming river builds what appear to be nice shafts as well. In addition there are a few companies building cheaper option shafts with cheaper quality u joints on both ends. I have one on the shelf, but don't recall the brand. Maybe crown?

    Lastly if indexing the pitman arm becomes an issue, google "thejeepguy", he used to sell a pitman arm without the index notch so you can index it wherever you please.
     
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  15. Dec 13, 2019
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    Thanks Big John for your reply. That's the info I was looking for. I am planning and gathering parts for my not yet started steering conv. on my 74 cj5. I have picked up a like new and usable gear assy. from a 1980 cj5. with 4.25 turns loc to loc. Probably not a variable ratio gear. It will bolt right in to my 74 factory 3 bolt mount, factory steering shaft will also work with changing the bell coupler to a power steering bell coupler (39 dollars).I did check Borgeson has readily available joints and shaft to fit if I decide to go that route. I have a factory power steering pitman arm indexed to fit my 74 that will fit the gear correctly. I have a pump, mounts, and hoses from a 1981 j20 pu. with a 360 that all fit and bolt right up on my 304.
    My question for you is did the gear you used to begin with(the 4.25 turn gear) have good hwy and road manners even though it wasn't a variable ratio? And does the new gear with the 3.25 turn and variable ratio work better for hwy manners? My jeep will be driven almost totally on hwy and secondary gravel roads, very little off road in 4x4 drive.
    If it were you would you use the gear setup I already have or would you keep looking for a variable ratio gear? Is it worth the variable ratio change for the way I use the jeep? I also found it's hard to tell when looking at used gears if they are variable ratio or not. Thanks Jim
     
  16. Dec 13, 2019
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Member

    Kelso Wa
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    For street I would think either would work fine. If I recall I felt like the standard gear was very slightly less responsive on the freeway thus felt slightly more stable. That was many beers ago though, haha. The variable was nice though navigating trails or parking.

    The standard gear should be easy to find. Just get another one for a cj choosing the year based on whether you'll want o ring or flare fittings. Regardless of the year, the bolt pattern remains the same as do input and output shaft configuration. I priced the steering gear for mine earlier this year at my Flaps and it was only about $150 after core charge. The Redhead was $280 after core if I recall, but they're built in auburn wa. I just drove up, exchanged my core and brought it home.

    If you're looking variable , look at fsj, Cherokee, ASTRO, ect. Or save some time and call redhead, tell them what you're looking for and find out what the donor suits you best.
     
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  17. Dec 13, 2019
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    Thanks Big John, I am thinking I will go with what I have on hand already, the 1980 cj gear I have will bolt up, the factory steering shaft will work with a new bell coupling and the pitman arm I have will work also. I can always change out to a different gear later if things don't go well. Thanks Jim
     
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  18. Jan 12, 2020
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    got around to doing a mock up of my power steering pump and brackets from a J-20 with a 360. wanted to make sure all would line up, pulley, brackets and so on. All fit just like a factory set up. IMG_0468.JPG
     
  19. Jan 12, 2020
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    As Zilla says, here's the ''heap'' patiently waiting for it's restore to begin. IMG_0466.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  20. Jan 12, 2020
    timgr

    timgr Eppur si muove. 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Yeah, you should be able to take the pump bracket and pulley off of any Gen 3 AMC V8 and it will work. This is really different from the sixes, where there were several different pulley combinations that affect the belt alignment. A wrecking yard Wagoneer seems like an obvious donor (since they stayed with V-belts to the very end), or that J20. The only difficulty might be if the donor has air conditioning, the crank and water pump pulley are likely different. Jeep went to a dual pulley for the AC and alternator which I expect does not affect the alignment of the power steering pump pulley. AC has no effect on choice of PS pump pulley, according to the parts book.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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