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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Couple of questions..

1) Theres a small hole in the bumper of my jeep and what looks to be some
sort of steering box adjustment screw. It's for a flat head screw driver.
What's this do and how do I use it?

2) I've got a lot of play in my steering, sometimes the Jeeps scary to
drive. I need a new steering colum cause it's also too long. Can I convert
to power steering at that time? What would be involved? Does my stock 258
w/o power steering have mounting holes for a pump? Would I have to tap new
ones?

Carl, Tampa, FL, 74 CJ-5
If a Jeep can't take you there, Think twice about going..
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

Your 258 has all the holes you need for a poer steering pump bracket, I think there are 4 two on the side of the block and two up front. You will need a pump, pump bracket, power steering box, and steering shaft with a power steering coupler. There is a write up on my web site that gives a little more detail as well as a ource for parts. This is an easy upgrade. As far as the adjustment on the manual steering box, I think it is for adjusting how quick your steering responds to you turning the wheel.

http://www.geocities.com/austnjpr/
 

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Re: Steering Box ??\'s

I think the adjustment screw adjusts how stiff the steering wheel is to turn. If the screw is adjusted too tight, the wheels won't straighten back out after a turn when you let go of the wheel.

/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif Big Ed
'88 YJ, 4" susp,3" body,33's,283 Chevy V8,TH350,4.11's,D30,D35c
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

Which direction is tighter and which is looser?

Carl, Tampa, FL, 74 CJ-5
If a Jeep can't take you there, Think twice about going..
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

The adjustment you refer to is the overcenter drag adjustment for the pitman arm. It is the !!! LAST !!! adjustment made when adjusting your steering gear. Tightening it down alone as a "simple fix" does two things. First it can cause incorrect, possibly even variable, steering response. Second it is going to wear the S#!T out of your steering gear. Don't get me wrong it is definitly possible to adjust your steering gear yourself, you just have to go about it in the correct order.

First- Make sure that all rod ends are tight and in good condition. Also make sure your ball joints are in good condition. Bad rod ends and ball joints are the primary cause of loose steering. Replace any worn components.

Second- make sure column and all steering linkage is aligned properly and is in good condition.

Third- If all of the above are good, then you can adjust the steering gear. The first adjustment is the preload of the worm gear. Look at the front of your steering box. You should see a big lock ring around the outside and a cap with a sort of nut in the middle. This is where you adjust the preload of the worm gear bearings. You will have to drop the drag link off the pitman arm. You are actually supposed to pull the pitman arm, but I have never had it interfere with the adjustment process, so I don't. Your call. Be careful not to bottom out the box hard, the steering stops are no longer in play and bottoming out the box internally can cause damage if to much force is applied. Turn the wheel to one side (gently) until you feel the box bottom out then back off about 1/2 turn of the wheel. Put an INCH POUND torque wrench on the steering wheel nut and measure the torque required to turn the wheel, turn about 1/4 turn or so in both directions. Torque should be between 5-8 inch-lbs. If not in spec. adjust at front of box by loosening the lock ring, then tighten cap to increase preload, loosen cap to decrease preload, when in spec install lock ring to 90 ft-lbs. Now turn the steering wheel back to center. Measure drag in the center with the inch-lb torque wrench just like you did at the outside. Here torque should equal the outer torque setting plus 4-10 inch-lbs, you will end up between 9-18 but you have to do the math. Example: you set the worm gear preload to 6 inch lbs, therefore you need 10-16 inch-lbs. at the center. To adjust this you loosen the locknut around the adjusting screw while holding the screw in place, then set torque to spec with screw adjustment. When in spec hold screw in position and tighten locknut. The locknut is supposed to be set to 25 ft-lbs, but unless you have a crows foot to put on your torque wrench you'll just have to hold the screw and tighten the locknut good and tight with a wrench.

Good luck, hope this helps

My other car is a BULLDOZER
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

Great! Thanks.. I'm going to print this out and start replacing the necessary parts of the steering assembly prior to adjusting the overcenter drag to make sure.. maybe I'll just hold off until I get that steering column I'm looking for. Was also thinking about converting to power steering, in which case I'd be looking at a new box for sure..

Thanks again..

Carl, Tampa, FL, 74 CJ-5
If a Jeep can't take you there, Think twice about going..
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

Hi Carl,
Unfortunately, the power steering conversion is a lot more difficult on a stock 74 CJ than later CJs. To duplicate the configuration used in later CJs, you need to do the following additional things:

1. Get an alternator bracket from a later CJ and move the alternator to the right (passenger) side.
2. Install a cast iron intake manifold from a later CJ. The 74 intake manifold lacks a boss and two tapped holes for the steering pump bracket.
3. Get a vibration damper with extra pulley, timing chain cover, fan pulley, water pump, thermostat housing and hoses from a later CJ.

Best thing to do is to find a junker and get all the parts from the same vehicle. In my case, the doner vehicle was a 78 CJ5 with power steering. Try to avoid mixing and matching parts from different vehicles. When I did the upgrade, I got the fan pulley and vibration damper plus pulley from different vehicles. When I put it all together, the fan pulley and vibration damper pulley didn't line up.

The power steering is a great addition and I'm glad that I did it. When looking for sources of freeplay in your existing steering, also look at the bushings in your shackles and spring eyes. If they are worn, the steering will be sloppy.

Tim Kirby
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

I'll definately keep those items in mind. When I took the jeep to a 4x4 shop and asked about the steering, the mechanic told me the box was fine but that the "gear ratio" between the steering column and the box did not match and that was causing the jeep to steer stangely. I have decided to put in a new column as mine is too long anyway and thought I'd look into power steering as an option.

My problem is that there are NO junkyards in the Tampa area that I know of that have ANY Jeeps, much less one that would be intact in the engine compartment. I've been to several yards and they have nothing for me. My main source of parts thus far has been the dealership and the catalogs and this really bothers me because I like to get dirty and pull my own parts, match parts up, get ideas, etc.

If anyone knows of any tampa area junkyards with jeeps I'd be really interested..

Thanks again for the great info!

Carl, Tampa, FL, 74 CJ-5
If a Jeep can't take you there, Think twice about going..
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

A mechanic told you that the ratio was incorrect between the column and the box? I think I would find another mechanic. There is NO ratio between the column and the box! It is a direct connection. You turn the steering wheel one revolution and the input to the steering box turns one revolution. If you go to the trouble of changing the column, definitely upgrade to power. Check what you have before you go buying all those parts that Tim needed. My '75 and a friend's '73 both only needed the brackets for the pump, a pump, box, belts, and hoses to convert. We both already had the necessary bolt holes, bosses and pulley grooves and both were stock. Something about a Jeep, you never know what you have until you look under the hood.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

Yup, the mechanic said "where the column goes into the box, the column has a different ratio than the box". I thought that was a little odd but didn't press it, knowing I'd be looking it over again anyway. Never had to worry about a gear box before, but now I do! Hard to find good information on what's necessary for the conversion and what will and won't fit a gear box. Assuming I go get everything I need to do the conversion to power steering and get a new steering column from say an 80's chevy (monza sunbird or cavalier) do I have to worry about any type of adaptor to fit the power steering (or manual for that matter) box? Or are all columns the same at the bottom? There are no ratios between the two, so they should just go right in, right?

This really sounds like only a weekend project at best, so I think it's worth it. I just want to make sure that I do it right the first time.

Carl, Tampa, FL, 74 CJ-5
If a Jeep can't take you there, Think twice about going..
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

Carl,
I have a tilt column from a '80 Monza at home and I'll look tonight to see what is necessary to attach it to the box. I've been putting off swapping it into my Jeep as it's necessary to fabricate some sort of bracket to attach the top of the column to the bottom of the dash. I'm sure it's not too hard, but other things have taken priority. I'll send you a private mail tomorrow morning.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Steering Box ??\'s

Thank you very much. I have a steering column from a GM, not sure which because it was in the Jeep when I bought. Whoever put it in there fabricated a peice of metal that attached to the stock column attachement and then bolted into the lower lip of the dash. I'm trying to get a picture of it for someone else on this BBS, but haven't yet. Hopefully this weekend. I think I'll be using this solution again as long as the bottom of the column will match up to the box..

Carl, Tampa, FL, 74 CJ-5
If a Jeep can't take you there, Think twice about going..
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Kenny, here's your answers


Carl, Tampa, FL, 74 CJ-5
If a Jeep can't take you there, Think twice about going..
 
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