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Power Steering Alternative for Early Jeep CJs

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I thought I would share my power steering solution for my CJ5.  I started talking to Moses about this a couple of years ago, but due to my deployment schedule and life in general have just now got around to completing it.  When I finally updated him on my solution, he asked that I share it here.  So here it is :)


Due to the big Koenig model 100 PTO winch sitting up front between my frame rails I couldn't use a typical Saginaw power steering setup on my CJ5.  So after a couple emails back and forth with Moses and some long nights researching parts on the internet, I put this together and I think this works just about perfect... It provides plenty of wheel clearance and doesn't sacrifice any space between my frame rails up front.  With the tie rod end flip, my steering geometry is just about ideal.  I don't expect any bump steer issues at all.  This part of the frame is also very strong, due to the factory crossmember, and much less susceptible to flexing and twisting.  I still reinforced the outer frame rail with some 3/16" plate I had on hand, but I don't expect to have any of the issues some have with the power steering box up front.








I did have to move the shock to the back side of the axle for clearance, but overall I think it makes a really clean install.  In this photo you can see the PTO drive line for the winch below the radiator outlet.






The steering gear is for a 1978-79 Ford Bronco, which came from the factory with the forward pitman. The pitman arm is for the 78-79 Bronco with a 3" lift (my new springs are 2~2.5 inch lift from Rough Country but ultimately I positioned the box where I wanted it to optimize the geometry and ensure clearance).  I adapted the Ford pitman arm to the jeep tapered tie rod ends with an extra "tie rod end" sleeve from TMR Customs, which I used to flip the tie rods to the top of the knuckles.  Steering boxes for IH Scout II can also be used.  From everything I read the Scout boxes are a little bit beefier and in fact the Ford box is largely a copy of the Scout box.  I decided to go with the Ford box primarily due to price and availability.  The Scout boxes are very hard to find and extremely expensive.  These Ford boxes can also be found on 78-79 F150's, although some of those boxes had the pitman arm facing aft so you need to watch which version your getting if it is off an F150.


Hope someone out there finds this helpful... Standing by for questions!

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Stearnsm...Nice steering conversion for your '58 CJ.  Brilliant solution for the Koenig PTO winch obstacle...If these parts are accessible, your approach makes good sense for others.


The later AMC era CJs and Wranglers (Cherokees and other models, too) use a Saginaw gear.  The full-size GM passenger car and light truck Saginaw units have also been popular.  Advance Adapters makes a mounting kit with pitman arm and a one-piece tie-rod for the pre-1972 CJs.  Your approach is helpful for those with access to these parts.


If pursuing the swap with a popular GM/Saginaw passenger car or full truck steering gear (manual as well as power type), check out the detailed Advance Adapters booklet for the conversion:  Advance Adapters Steering Conversion.pdf.


Here is the actual kit that Advance Adapters offers:




The steering column adaptation or a retrofit steering column and steering wheel are options.  Study the swap before chasing down parts.  I like the Bronco and Scout 4x4 steering ratios on the gears that Stearnsm describes.  My favorite generic Saginaw power gear is the 4-turns (lock-to-lock) GM big car Saginaw unit.  I have used 4-turn gears on Land Cruiser FJ40 and Jeep 4x4 buildups.  The slower ratio is very powerful and avoids overly quick steering.  On a short wheelbase CJ, fast steering ratios ("sprint car feel") can be a hazard.



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