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Need Some Steering Setup Advice

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by todd hofsaess, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. Feb 25, 2020
    todd hofsaess

    todd hofsaess New Member

    iowa
    Joined:
    May 5, 2018
    Messages:
    32
    So I started working on this 71 I picked up last fall. Has a ross box with single tie rod steering. King bearings are shot, bell crank pin worn, tie rod ends loose etc. hoping to stay out of the steering box unless I have to.
    Here’s the question, do I go back to double tie rods, keep the single, go with a herm dom single setup and since its apart flip the tie rods as well? Want to keep it as original as possible but want to spend the money where it makes the most sense. Its not going to be wheeled, only driven on gravel roads and around town.
    TIA
    Todd
     

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  2. Feb 25, 2020
    Jeepsterjim

    Jeepsterjim Member

    Lincoln, CA
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    Apr 25, 2019
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    197
    Just put Saginaw steering in it. Jeepster command of the same year had it.
     
  3. Feb 25, 2020
    jpflat2a

    jpflat2a what's that noise?

    Riverside CA
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    Jul 30, 2003
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    Based on your stated use, I'd just replace what's worn then drive it.
    No need to go overboard with DOM and all that.
    Keep it simple. Start driving it. Then you can decide if you want to do more.
     
    Jrobz23 and wheelie like this.
  4. Feb 25, 2020
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Saginaw steering is a very popular conversion. However, it's not a trivial change. You will need to design/install the new mount, which will require welding. You will also need to obtain and install the new parts, and make them work in the Jeep. The original steering will work fine, but there are many wear points to deal with. You will not get rid of the kingpins by changing the steering - only an axle swap will change from kingpins to ball joints. For good reason, Jeep went to a Dana 30 with Saginaw steering in 1972. Lots to consider ...
     
  5. Feb 25, 2020
    3b a runnin

    3b a runnin Member 2019 Sponsor

    virginia
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    Jan 11, 2015
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    X2
     
  6. Feb 25, 2020
    Rich M.

    Rich M. Shoe pusher

    Maryland
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    747
    All that stuff Is regular maintenance. In a weekend you can replace the kingpins, new tre's, rebuild the bell crank. Stay with the single tie rod system. For your intentions it will be fine. There is some adjustment to the Ross box. Worst case it can be rebuilt down the road.
    Saginaw is a significant improvement but it will take your Jeep offline for a longer period. It also tends to spiral and creep.
     
    mike starck, FinoCJ and wheelie like this.
  7. Feb 25, 2020
    wheelie

    wheelie beeg dummy 2019 Sponsor

    York, PA
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    If you're just going for ice cream on saturdays and bombing around town and dirt roads on stockish size tires then just fix what you have and enjoy it. Won't be a ton of money or time. And if your simple repairs don't fix it well enough for you, then consider an upgrade maybe.

    So, uhhhhhh, do that '71 have a tailgate? :whistle: Off topic. Sorry. Just a quick question. You answer may lead to another topic of discussion though..............
     
  8. Feb 25, 2020
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power 2019 Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
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    I'm with jpflat2a. For your stated use, I just don't see the return on investment going with Saginaw steering and that is difficult to undo if you want to go back to stock. And I would absolutely leave the one piece tie rod in place. It is superior to the 2 piece design and a lot less bump steer. Rebuild your existing system. In my experience, the closed knuckle king pin bearings CAN last a long time. You just have to keep the preload adjusted properly and make sure they are getting lubed. Filling the knuckles with heavy grease doesn't do them any good nor does running long distances with lockout hubs in free mode. And get a Tight Steer unit for the Ross box. They do work. All that said, you should plan on revisiting the stock steering about every 10 to 15k miles, especially the bell crank needle bearings.

    However, if you plan on putting a lot of miles on the Jeep, a Saginaw system is much better.
     
    mike starck likes this.
  9. Feb 25, 2020
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    exactly what I would say....I still run Ross box, but it does have the single tie rod mod and I do think that is well worth keeping.
     
    mike starck likes this.
  10. Feb 25, 2020
    garage gnome

    garage gnome Rust polisher

    Western MA
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    2,170
    I run a ross box too. There is a bell crank bearing upgrade that can be done. That takes most of the slop out of the system right away. The caged needle bearings wear out with no way to adjust them.

    Ted's Steering Upgrade, With A Twist
     
  11. Feb 26, 2020
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    I live South of...
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    It's all in what you want in a Jeep, if you want an Antique to putt around the forest in and just Forest View, or if you plan to Challenge the forest trails, and mud holes, as a hobby. I like to drive my Antique Willys CJ 5 on the Fire Roads and Forest trails, and see nature, then I like to drive my Antique Jeep on the two lane blacktop roads to Town and get an Ice Cream with our Grandkids. To me it is enjoying the simple life of the old days, in an old Jeep. Good Luck
     
  12. Feb 26, 2020
    jeepstar

    jeepstar Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor

    Sheboygan
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    Jun 28, 2006
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    a tightsteer video
     
  13. Feb 26, 2020
    todd hofsaess

    todd hofsaess New Member

    iowa
    Joined:
    May 5, 2018
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    32
    Thanks guys, exactly what I was looking for.
    I don't want to put a saginaw in this one, I’d rather keep it original though it will require more maintenance.
    I was assuming I’d have to go through the front end when I first drove it and I don’t mind that, then you know what you have when your done.
    From the advice above I’m just going to replace the maintenance items, look at a tight steer, use the existing tie rod shafts and see how it performs.
    Wheelie, for your question yes this one has a tailgate I think its a September 1970 build date.
    Thanks again
     
  14. Feb 26, 2020
    wheelie

    wheelie beeg dummy 2019 Sponsor

    York, PA
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    I guess it's the color but that JEEP screams "Renegade" to me.
     
  15. Feb 27, 2020
    todd hofsaess

    todd hofsaess New Member

    iowa
    Joined:
    May 5, 2018
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    I was hoping it was but it doesn’t have the magical extra wire and resistor under the hood nor the spare tire brackets (or holes from) on the back of the tub
     
  16. Feb 27, 2020
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    For your stated use, I would replace the kingpin bearings, and consider a modified roller bearing bellcrank, and keep the one-piece tie rod. The Ross steering will be fine with these slight modifications.
    Your Jeep looks to be quite original and likely will have more value with minimal modifications that are not easily un-done (like Saginaw steering). There are few unmodified Jeeps today, and they will likey become more desirable as time goes on. Replacing the worn parts you have will make a pleasant driving original Jeep.
    -Donny
     

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