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Power Steering Gear ?

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by fesser, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Apr 10, 2018
    fesser

    fesser Napa, CA Sponsor

    Napa, CA
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    I just unpacked my rebuilt power steering gear for my 75 Cj6. I bought one from Napa mainly because mine was really ugly and I am not sure of its condition. The core charge for the new one is over 200 bucks so I thought I would strip down the old one right away before I forget to return it. Then I noticed some differences.

    My old one has the "76" casting on it. It has a little more than four turns lock to lock.
    The new one lacks the 76 casting. It has a little more than three turns lock to lock.

    I recall, many years ago (like 20+ years ago), that the 76 casting was the box to look for. I am running one on my GPW and remember scouring wrecking yards to stockpile them. The problem is, I don't remember why we thought they were so desirable.

    My first reaction was to just box up the new one and return it. But then I thought to see if someone on here has some input on the matter. A quick google search turned up a bunch of pirate 4x4 useless information and a lot of other information that doesn't shed light on whether I should keep my old one (at least until I find out if it even needed replacing) or not.
     
  2. Apr 10, 2018
    jpflat2a

    jpflat2a what's that noise?

    Riverside CA
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    You want a slower ratio box for a short wheel base Jeep.
    4 turns was the norm if I recall.
     
  3. Apr 10, 2018
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

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    Like Jim says above, the "slower" ratio is preferable for a Jeep. That 3 and a bit more box likely is spec'ed for a TransAm or other sport/performance oriented vehicle. Too quick steering can make a Jeep too squirrely to be safe on the road. A slight steering correction with a fast box will have a more dramatic result than a slower box. Return the new steering box and get the slower 4+ turns ratio, if you are using it on a Jeep.
    -Donny
     
  4. Apr 11, 2018
    fesser

    fesser Napa, CA Sponsor

    Napa, CA
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    Thanks guys! Good point about the slower steering. I am going to clean up and install the old one then. I only drove the CJ6 about two miles after I got it running and before I tore it apart, but I don't recall the steering being bad (or any worse than other Jeeps). All other steering parts, from the knuckles in, will be new, so at least if it is sloppy I will have a pretty good idea of where the problem lies. I will install, and replace it later if it is a problem.
     
  5. Apr 11, 2018
    nickmil

    nickmil Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Happy Valley, OR
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    Like was said you really want around a 4 turn lock to lock box on a short wheelbase. I have a 2 3/4 turn box from a turbo Firebird in my '5 but no one drives it but me. I like it on tight trails and when I used to race it but it takes a light touch on the highway.

    More and more you can't get the correct turns by application. Used to be you ordered a box for an FSJ and would get a 76 box with 4 turns. Now you get a different box altogether with the right mounting and input spline count
     
  6. Apr 11, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    I'll pile on.

    I'm like Nick; mine's an ex-racer with a way-too-quick ratio for common-folk to use on the street. If your not careful, it can be downright dangerous.

    I'd keep returning at NAPA until you get the one you want.
     
  7. Apr 11, 2018
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    I think my box is less than 4 turns but close...

    I use the original steering wheel from my 2A and honestly, I wish I had to turn it less. With the big steering wheel i keep turning it and turning it.. A bit less turns would be just fine for me.

    I was driving around yesterday thinking about this. I also have 12 inches added to my wheelbase, but thats less than the 6
     
  8. Apr 11, 2018
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
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    I wont drive a 3 turn...

    I you want something real good, i would look for a variable ratio from psc motorsport
     
  9. Apr 11, 2018
    tarry99

    tarry99 Member Sponsor

    Northern California
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    The 76 box is the original Series 800 Saginaw gear box produced by Saginaw / GM for there passenger car line dating back to the late 1960's and has been reproduced in several variants that along the way eliminated the 76 branding.........basically it is a large bore HD gear box that fits many applications , 4-bolt mounting and 13/16" input shaft are easy ways to spot them..........when AMC bought the Jeep line in the 70's they started using the 800 box for there power steering needs and continued to use that box up through the 90's and to this day is still one of the most popular gear boxes that can be found in many different variants & applications.............If you have the time I would send your old box out and have it rebuilt and have the box converted to a variable steering ratio......that will cover all your steering needs in your Jeep.........
     
    johneyboy03 likes this.
  10. Apr 11, 2018
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Not everybody knows about variable ratio steering gears. They have a slower ratio near the center, so that they are comfortable on the highway. The ratio increases away from center, so they are more responsive when parking and maneuvering. The gear from a Chevy 4x4 Blazer or 4x4 S10 is variable ratio and slower than the 2WD gear, presumably to make steering easier with wide tires in the 4x4 application. These gears are popular replacements for the worn-out and sloppy original gear in 70s and 80s Wagoneers. Bolts right in, but the case only has three tabs, which is a strength issue with CJs. The newer gears are also much more durable than the older gears, and your typical junkyard pull can go in needing no refreshing.

    If I had the old gear on the bench, I would adjust it. The procedure is in the TSM. The main thing is to adjust the end play (big nut on the input shaft) before you adjust the gear mesh (screw on the top). You'll need an inch-pound beam torque wrench.
     
  11. Apr 14, 2018 at 10:26 AM
    Dphillip

    Dphillip Member

    Omaha NE
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    I put a Chevy S-10 steering box in my CJ-7 years ago and as Tim said it’s a direct bolt in but only 3 mounting bolts. It’s 2.5 turns from center to lock. The S-10 box has hose fittings with O-rings verses the typical double flare fitting on the original box. The original CJ steering shaft won’t mate with splines on an S-10 box it requires a custom steering shaft with the correct size and spline count.
     
  12. Apr 14, 2018 at 11:02 AM
    cj6/442

    cj6/442 Sponsor Sponsor

    Fallbrook, Calif
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    i ran into a guy on a Olds site that will turn a normal box #6 or #76 into a 3 turn with a
    12:1 c
    onversion kit and i installed it in the Olds .(which was 4 turn +)...and liked it so much i bought one for my 6,,,,, love it .....cool part is it retains all the factory fittings and turning radius on both cars .

    on the jeep I tried a Z box out of an later model s 10 but didn't like the feel of it at all .
     
  13. Apr 15, 2018 at 2:36 PM
    fesser

    fesser Napa, CA Sponsor

    Napa, CA
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    This is not really related, but I figure I can derail my own thread. Zinertia2 wanted some pictures of how the power steering gear mounts on an intermediate and how it offsets the box from the frame. Here are some pictures.
    The four bolts go through the cast bracket that the steering box bolts to...
    [​IMG]
    This is what the bracket that you can't see looks like (ignore the broken off bolt)...
    [​IMG]
    This is what it looks like from the front.
    [​IMG]
    This is to give an idea of how far out it moves the mounting face away from the inside of the frame rail...
    [​IMG]
    This is basically what you can't see under the flat part of the crossmember (the bracket already bolted on the frame is barely visible...
    [​IMG]
    This is how the steering gear meets up with the bracket (not the correct bolts, for the picture only).
    [​IMG]
    and this is how it looks bolted in...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018 at 2:50 PM
    timgr and ITLKSEZ like this.
  14. Apr 15, 2018 at 2:56 PM
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    So is that a 4-bolt or 3-bolt bracket? I suspect it's 3-bolt and the fourth bolt would be reached through the hole in the bracket, if the 4th tab were there.
     
  15. Apr 15, 2018 at 3:07 PM
    fesser

    fesser Napa, CA Sponsor

    Napa, CA
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    Three bolt bracket, four bolt box. The fourth hole is left empty. It would be damn near impossible to get the fourth bolt in there if there was anything for it to bolt to.
    [​IMG]
    You can't tell too easily, but the area where the fourth tab would want to be is crowded by the frame and the steering box and not accessible from the top either.
     
  16. Apr 15, 2018 at 3:26 PM
    tarry99

    tarry99 Member Sponsor

    Northern California
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    Due to the enormous forces created by the power steering gear box ...........that suspended mounting system held together by bolts was pretty much a factory flop.......aftermarket brackets are available that have greater strength & support coupled with an opposite side frame rail tube back to the sector shaft housing helps.........most intermediate frames crack there first.
     
  17. Apr 15, 2018 at 4:20 PM
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    The factory bracket when power steering equipped had 4 bolts into the steering gear. Only the factory bracket for manual steering has 3. The only service part available in the day had 4, and works for either application.

    Now you have seeded doubt in my mind. I have not looked closely at that part in a long time. Cold and raining here today, but when I can, I will look at my Jeep.

    BTW I have broke and replaced a 4 bolt bracket back in 1973. Had to be towed back from a desert run by my friend's Land Cruiser.

    There was an aftermarket intermediate bracket available, but last I looked it was out of production.
     
  18. Apr 15, 2018 at 9:12 PM
    fesser

    fesser Napa, CA Sponsor

    Napa, CA
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    My crossmember (over the steering gear) was broken in a few places when I got it from the forces you mentioned, the frame was okay. I bought, but have not installed, a pretty impressive steering gear brace that I first saw in Rejeep's Cj6 build. It clamps around the snout of the box, above the pitman arm and has a heavy rod that crosses over to the opposite frame rail. It is threaded so you can either take up slack or preload it I suppose.
    The parts on this rig seem to be original based on the crud and wear, but I can't say for sure that no one added power steering and left the 3 hole bracket. I would like to see (and/or buy) a four hole bracket for the strength but I still can't see how you would get the top, rear, bolt in there. The history of this rig is unknown. I got it from a shady, Jeep peddler way up north in a place called Bonney Lake. He had Jeeps and parts everywhere. Even had a Jeep tow truck.
     
  19. Apr 15, 2018 at 9:26 PM
    Daryl

    Daryl Sponsor Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
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    I have a few of these brackets, I will look to see if they are all the same.
     
  20. Apr 15, 2018 at 9:26 PM
    fesser

    fesser Napa, CA Sponsor

    Napa, CA
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