Join Date: Jan 2004
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Re: Steering Box Swap Info...
While it's impossible to tell what the prior onwner had done with things in the yellow Jeep. As Rabid_Tortoise has already said.... When we swapped his CJ over from manual to power the steering shaft was exactly the same, but replaced because we already had a new one and the old one was a bit loose.
I tried to research that and my best guess is that after 1981 (through 1986) the manual and power steering column to gear shaft was the same. There isn't alot of information about the minor changes (like none on the manual setup that I could find).
The pitman arm is different in that it is not mounted to the steering box with the same diameter spline.
There is also a difference in the mounting of the steering box to the frame. One or the other needs an extra plate - since the manual box is smaller I'm thinking that's were you need that extra plate. Don't hold me to that I have slept more than a couple times since wrench'n on it. But it would also be logical that the power box should be braced better (automotive engineers logical?).
I would think that if you want to swap to manual there are lots and lots of parts out there from folks that swapped the other direction. I have some eBay sellers that will work with me, drop a note if you would like for me to ask them.