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1967 Jeep CJ-5 Steering Question

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Hey Moses,


I am using a rebuild kit for my drag link. Using your book as well as the factory service manual as a reference, It say the steering gear side of the drag link should have the short plug and the spring between the ball seat and the end plug, however on my Jeep it is reversed, and when I turn it around like your book and the manual says the grease fittings will not be accessible as one will be facing frame and other facing bottom of tub. I know the drag link has never been removed. Any thoughts ?


Original photos before removal.





I also have 4 of these in the new kit. original only used 2 ?


New springs are taller than original



I did a dry fit the way it was originally. Does this look correct ?


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JohnF...I've attached a Jeep Universal shop manual page from the 1965/V-6 CJ introduction era.  I would not dispute your installation findings.  The Jeep CJ V-6 production came with a lot of adjustments during actual assembly at the factory, shop manuals could not keep up with many of these changes, likely due to adapting the V-6 engine into the CJ chassis.  Many of these factory V-6 installations look like an "engine swap", with various and makeshift adapter plates, frame and engine mount adjustments, steering gear and pitman arm changes, and the very strange clearance solution for the exhaust manifolds and head pipe configuration. 


The factory illustrations in this PDF may very well reflect the Kaiser/Jeep guidebook you have.  The Mitchell parts illustration includes a late Ross gear adaptation that uses the bellcrank, a fore-aft draglink and a one piece tie-rod (circa 1970-71):


V-6 CJ Draglink.pdf


When Jeep finally ironed this all out, the CJ was at the end of the Kaiser era and already receiving updated Ross and Saginaw steering gear designs with a one piece tie-rod that eliminated the bellcrank and double tie-rods altogether.  Many convert the vintage Jeep/Ross setup to Saginaw recirculating ball-and-nut manual or power steering with a one piece tie-rod that eliminates a variety of issues, including bump-steer.  (This approach is outlined in my Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual.)  Advance Adapters offers the popular Saginaw gear conversion and steering linkage retrofit.


Since you're confident this is the original draglink in the original installation configuration, and since your family Jeep has been driven a considerable distance in this layout, there would be little reason for concern.  I would restore the draglink to fit just like it did originally. Follow the OE parts design and the original draglink orientation—install the draglink just like it fit when you removed the piece from the Jeep.  Assemble the parts just like Jeep did, and adjust the draglink ends to factory specifications.  Make sure the replacement parts fit just like the original pieces.


The aftermarket repair kits are typically "universal".  For safety sake, duplicate the factory layout.  As for kit spring lengths, consider the amount of collapse at the OEM springs.  Be sure the new cup springs fit without creating any bind.  Make sure the ball heads of the pitman arm and bellcrank will seat well within the secure areas of the draglink bores.  (Be sure that these ball heads cannot jump out of the draglink under any circumstance!)  Plugs should fit properly, with cotter pin slots accessible and aligned.  Importantly, you must be able to adjust the plug ends to proper specification and spring tension without creating bind or a safety risk.  Check for chassis and parts clearance as the installed draglink moves through its full range of travel; also allow for axle and leaf spring movement.


Note that the V-6 Ross cam-and-lever gear housing and pitman arm are not the same as the four-cylinder models.  The cross/lever shaft and housing casting are shorter to accommodate the V-6 engine fit.  If you dig into the steering gear itself before this is through, I cover the Ross TL gears in my 1946-71 book and also at the magazine.  There is even a slideshow on rebuilding a unit:







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