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Jim_Lou 04-21-2009 07:23 AM

Steering box problems
The stock steering box has developed a leak at the input shaft, and the darn thing is barely 31 years old! Sheesh!

Anyway, am I correct in thinking that the Waggie/J-truck box of similar vintage is a stronger unit that's a bolt-in replacement? The stock box has enough power for my 31's, but the darn thing gets loose and needs to be adjusted more frequently than seems reasonable - I've taken it out and adjusted it by the book at least four times, and it's loose again. It only has about a hundred K on it, and probably less than ten K since the last adjustment. I can't get excited about rebuilding a box that was only marginal in the first place.

sourpwr 04-21-2009 05:21 PM

I think that the J20 box is the stronger box. It also has a quicker ratio I think.

You might have issues with the input shaft size/spline count and also with the hose connections on the box. Nothing that a few dollars can not overcome.

A quick search finds this page and some information from people who are more knowledgeable than me.

-- mike - Steering upgrade? Wagoneer box?

Jim_Lou 04-21-2009 07:03 PM

Thanks, Mike. I thought that the Waggy/J10 box was stronger than the CJ box, but that thread says otherwise. I wonder if the J20 and 99 Dakota boxes have the same mounting bolt pattern; I don't have time to re-engineer the whole installation right now.

Caver Dave 04-22-2009 08:38 AM


Originally Posted by Jim_Lou (Post 1544098)
I wonder if the J20 and 99 Dakota boxes have the same mounting bolt pattern; I don't have time to re-engineer the whole installation right now.


They likely share the same "Saginaw" mounting pattern, but as already stated, be careful when looking for replacements due to different "plumbing" options. The J20 box (year model dependent) will likely have flared fittings, which should be what you have. The majority of boxes for newer stuff is for the most part all o-ring fittings and IIRC, a better option for the TJs than CJs.

Jim_Lou 04-22-2009 09:07 AM

Thanks, Dave. Since I built the steering shaft I guess I can find the proper yoke for the input splines if they're different. I don't suppose you have any idea about that.

Caver Dave 04-22-2009 11:50 AM

The only thing I know is that there were 2 different diameter input shafts used on the "1/4 ton" Jeeps. My OEM '72 box had the smaller (possibly 3/4" like the manual boxes) and a buds '73 had the larger (possibly 13/16"). My box went out in Tellico (MANUAL 'power steering" sucked bad!), but was able to borrow his for the weekend just swapping the belljoint.

I was given a "76" marked Sag box of unknown origin to replace mine that also needed the larger splined belljoint. Luckily, another bud had just completely replaced everything from the column down and gave me the larger belljoint from his late-'70s CJ.

You should be able to source a new yoke for the box end of your shaft if needed...

sourpwr 04-22-2009 06:02 PM

If I recall correctly, when I was researching steering boxes I used the NAPA website. I think that their site lists the input shaft specs as well as O-ring vs flared fittings. It also gives an idea of cost and core charge. I would definitely look around if you buy a "new" one as their was wide ranges in price when I looked. Also core charges varied from model year.

However, it could have been autozone or I am making it up. The kid at Kroger aged me 30 years yesterday by attempting to sell me senior discount tickets...

New hoses are fairly inexpensive if you need to get a flared vs an O-ring fitting. My local parts store had the hose on the shelf. Also Jegs/Summit/Speedway sell a fitting that will convert one way to the other. Unfortunately, the fitting is probably more expensive and would probably hit the crossmember so keep that in mind.

That is about all I can think of for now.

-- mike

Jim_Lou 04-23-2009 05:09 AM

That's what I've been looking for. Thanks, Mike!

Is it May yet?

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