Brahma's Saginaw/FJ60 Power Steering Conversion

subzali

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
9,314
Location
Denver CO
Against all my better engineering judgment ("not knowing 'enough' information") I have begun my long sought-after power steering conversion. I liked the premise of TJ's FJ60 power steering and after seeing Mark Whatley's article in July/August 2003 TT on it as well I wanted to try it with my own tweaks. A couple other guys in the club have done it as well so after many hours of talking and figuring I felt I had enough to actually pull the trigger and go with it. Of course there were some issues that came up a couple days ago that attempted to halt it again, but I was already steaming up to get 'er done!

So here's the breakdown:
-FJ40 steering wheel
-FJ55 steering column (splined at firewall vs. rag joint) v2.0 - FJ40 steering column w/ rag joint cut off and "double-D" ground onto end of shaft
-U-joints from FJ55 intermediate shaft to mate to bottom of steering column at firewall v2.0 - Cruiser Outfitters steering column bearing installed in steering column
-FJ60 steering column, taken apart and used to mate up with FJ55 column to become the new intermediate shaft. Since the 60 column is collapsible, and is held in place with a couple plastic pins, you can punch out the plastic pins and all the sudden you have yourself a slip joint to allow the frame to flex different than the body. v2.0 - Borgeson intermediate shaft w/ slip joint. 3/4" Double-D on column/firewall end, 11/16" - 36 spline on gearbox end
-FJ60 steering box
-LHD J7 drag link end
-LHD J7 drag link tube
-FJ40 driver's side TRE v2.0 - J6 drag link end
-v2.0 - stock FJ40 tie rod end with drag link connection reamed out to fit abovementioned J6 drag link end (reaming done by Cruiser Outfitters)
-FJ40 tie rods (small taper)
-FJ40 knuckles (small pattern)
-Ford F-250 shock towers (not straightened)
-GM Saginaw power steering pump
-JT Outfitters bracket, pulley, and high pressure hose EDIT: Use a Volvo 240 pump/pulley setup, see page 9. It fits a wide belt instead of the JTO solution which is for a narrow belt.
-FJ60 power steering cooler, rebent to mount in my FJ40.

On v1.0 I had 40/55/60/70/GM steering, for v2.0 I have 40/Datsun/Borgeson/60/70/GM steering ;)

I liked the FJ60 box because I saw it could work, for some reason I never really liked the idea of full Saginaw conversions, and I didn't want minitruck because it keeps all of the relay rods etc. which I consider to be "unnecessary" and just add more places where slop can develop. Currently my steering has quite the wander, mostly because of my steering box (I put on new TREs and rebuilt the Center Arm before I finally saw the steering box itself had slop) and this is my solution.

Here's some questions I asked on IH8MUD about the differences between Saginaw boxes and FJ60 boxes

I wanted to use an FJ60 power steering pump, but the Saginaw has more boost I understand and since my block wasn't tapped for the stock power steering pump bracket, I figured I would go with the JT Outfitters bracket because I could fit either the stock air pump or a Sanden air pump underneath the power steering pump and have factory emissions or OBA.

The beauty, I think, of what I'm going to try and do here, is that I'm going to use a modified Land Cruiser drag link. No custom drag link (though if I were running heavier duty TREs etc. I would go that way for sure), and no sleeving/cutting and welding a drag link together (I definitely don't want this to fail on or off road). After doing some measuring and figuring I *should* be able to use a LHD J7 rebuildable drag link end at the pitman arm, a J7 drag link tube, and the driver's side TRE from an FJ40. That way the threads, size, and taper should mate the J7 drag link tube to the FJ40 tie rod. More details to follow on that.

I'm also doing F-250 shock towers to allow a longer travel shock absorber, since I need new shocks anyway :p:

Previous Work (besides all the figuring, talking, sketching, and daydreaming about FJ60 power steering ;)
Tools needed
1. Pulley installer/remover kit ($12 at Harbor Freight)
2. Various box end wrenches/ratchet/sockets
3. Vice
4. Torque wrench (up to 90 ft-lbs for the head bolts)
(two sets of hands helps, but not necessary)

(Note: If you're using the JTO pulley (which I would not recommend, there's a better solution), it goes on with the grooved part of the hub facing out; the clamshell of the puller has to be able to attach to it if you ever want to get it off, plus that's the only way it will align properly and not interfere with the fan)


The JTO-style pulley needs to be installed something like this (stolen from Treeroot):


I bought a Saginaw pump and pulley from JT Outfitters along with the bracket to mount it to the front two exposed head bolts. I figured I could at least get that figured out and mounted to the truck, to make sure there were no surprises there. Well lo and behold there were some surprises. I put the pulley on backwards and thus could not get it off with the puller (there is a place on the hub for a clamshell to catch and pull the pulley off, but if it's on backwards it won't work). So I had to order a new pulley, cut a pie-shaped wedge out of the old one, then chisel it until it slid off. Then install the new pulley and mount it to the head bolts. Mounting it to the truck was pretty easy, once the pulley was on correctly :rolleyes: EDIT: should have just gone with the Volvo pulley in the first place, would have been a lot easier and less $$ shelled out in the long run.

I also spent 4 hours last week cutting/straightening and welding the Ford shock towers (and bs-ing with Ige). I did this because I wanted to keep from cutting the fenders. But they have to be cut anyway for the steering box, and mine are rusty anyway, so I don't know why I'm making a big deal about it. I think there's going to be interference with the steering box as well, so I was probably jumping the gun a bit to do that, but I can always reverse those kinds of things right? :D EDIT: should have not straightened the shock towers, shoulda just left them as-is

Day 1 (or "It's amazing what you can do with an angle grinder and a couple of hours of your time): April 26, 2009 - 8 hours
Tools needed
1. Angle Grinder with cutoff wheel and grinding wheel
2. Various box end wrenches (loving my stubby Gear Wrenches)/ratchet/sockets
3. Various screwdrivers
4. C-clip pliers
5. Small Sledge/mallet
6. TRE puller (finally bought one - NOT a pickle fork but a puller - $25 at NAPA)
7. C clamps to clamp p/s box to frame for mockup
8. Tape measure
(Note: PB Blaster helps in the rusty bolt arena of getting stuff off - I broke two today)


1. I removed the doors and hard top just 'cause.
2. I removed the shocks. I don't know how old they are, they could be OEM, at any rate they don't work all that great. Since it's just past 4 years I've owned this truck I figure I'd better replace them :eek:
3. I removed the Center Arm and detached it from the steering stabilizer, drag link and relay rod. If anybody needs a good Center Arm let me know, I rebuilt it a couple years ago and it's in pretty good shape. I actually think I have a couple of these now.
4. I removed the apron and fender to give myself some workspace and put my truck up on blocks so I could take the tire off.
5. I removed the driver side shock tower. At first I tried to be nice, I thought I could buzz the rivets down then punch them into the frame and pull off the shock tower. Not so today, those rivets are VERY TIGHT in the frame. So I switched to the cutoff wheel and cut the corners off then beat it off with a small sledge. That was fun :D (at this point I'm committed to a new shock tower arrangement)
6. I removed the steering column and rag joint. It took me a while to figure out that there was a c-clip holding the lock cylinder on the shaft, once I found it it was only a couple minutes to slide that off and slide the inner steering column through the firewall.
7. I removed the steering box. First I scraped off the gunk and unbolted the box from the pedestal then I cut the pedestal (see I can learn too! :thumb:) then beat it off too. (At this point I'm committed to new steering)
8. Once I had the frame cleared, I mocked up the FJ60 steering box with a couple clamps to get it in the approximate position. I then took some measurements to the tie rod to see if my J7 solution to the drag link will work. I think it will, so I will order the couple parts I lack on that end and get that mocked up in a couple weeks.
9. I mocked up the Sanden OBA pump that Neil Quigley let me borrow. I'm going to have to convince him to sell it to me :D I think it will be a good use of space and will give me the functionality I want. I can run it off the p/s pump belt, and there should be sufficient wrap for both to work well.
10. I mocked up the intermediate shafts, just trying to see what's going to have to happen. I need to recombine some u-joints and then I should be able to set where the steering box will sit on the frame. I'm hoping there will be enough room to fit the F-250 shock tower behind it without interfering with the fender support. If I get really lucky I won't have to relocate the shock tab on the axle.
11. Started making a list of all the things I'm going to have to figure out before I'm through with all this :D

Removing the top for the summer - ready to go under the knife!


Getting some of the stuff out of the way


Shock Tower's gone!


Steering column swapped out!


Steering box is gone!


FJ60 box is clamped to keep me psyched and give me an idea of some dimensions


On-Board Air pump looking for a new home!


Giving an idea of what the intermediate shaft is going to look like


My next trip home I will have to disassemble/recombine some of the steering shafts I have so that I can have a good u-joint connection at the firewall and the steering box. The FJ60 steering shaft is collapsible, so that sleeve will act like a slip joint and allow the body and the frame to flex separately without binding the steering up.

Right now my plan is to mount the steering box flat on the frame (this is key to getting the J7 drag link to work because of the distances involved), sleeve the frame, and bolt through the frame when I mount the box. If the intermediate shaft pushes the steering box too much further forward, it will interfere with the radiator support and I will have to space the box out toward the tire about 1/4" or so to clear the radiator support. After some of my measurements today, this might have to happen anyway for the J7 drag link to work, so maybe it will all work out ok. I will find out soon whether the box will interfere with the radiator support.

After that there's not much I can do until I get my drag link parts. That will determine if/how much I need to space the box off the frame (if it isn't already needed because of the radiator support), and then I can start laying out my bolt hole pattern on the frame and make sure to locate the box so the pitman arm clears the frame but doesn't interfere with the springs when they are flexed either. I will also be able to finalize my shock tower location/orientation (whether they will be straight or bent, or spaced out from the frame as well).

Punch List:
1. I need to get the FJ55 column keyswitch removed by a locksmith (I don't have a key so I can't do it the kosher way and I don't want to destroy it) so I can use my current keyswitch.
2. I have to get some pipe for sleeving my frame and sharpen a bunch of drill bits so they are ready for use.
3. I have to get some plates (at least one, maybe two 1/4" plate) cut and drilled to the bolt pattern of my steering box.
4. I have to get a plate made in place of the EGR pipe that connects to the exhaust manifold.
5. Once I figure out the shock tower locations, do some measuring (might have to wait until steering is done I guess) and figure out what shocks I need to get (thinking Bilstein).
6. Figure out what I'm going to do about a return line cooler (I decided I'm going to buy a tubing bender for $15 and try to rebend the tubing to fit where I want it to go, in front of the radiator behind the grille).
7. There's a plate on my frame, welded in front of my steering stabilizer. It isn't really doing all that much good (maybe a little bit), but it's mostly in the way, so I'm going to have to cut that off too.

The goal is that on May 15th I will be ready to take it to a welder and have him do the welding and fabbing that needs to be done to make this happen.
 
Last edited:

Uncle Ben

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Messages
14,310
Location
Northside
Outstanding! You are going to love yourself! :eek:;)
 

MDH33

Hard Core 4+
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
6,783
Location
Trapped in a corn field
Great job Matt! Your attention to detail will pay off, I'm sure. :thumb:

Although, as I drove over Vail pass last week with my Armstrong steering and bias tires, I couldn't help but reflect on the plight of those who could not truly enjoy the road. Riddled with 18 wheeler tire chain ruts and pot holes that do an excellent job of making the drive a "hand's-on-interactive-experience", those with power steering are missing out on half the fun of the journey. ;) :zilla:
 

corsair23

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
8,686
Location
Littleton
Excellent start Matt :thumb:

Looking forward to following along with the change!
 

subzali

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
9,314
Location
Denver CO
Great job Matt! Your attention to detail will pay off, I'm sure. :thumb:

Although, as I drove over Vail pass last week with my Armstrong steering and bias tires, I couldn't help but reflect on the plight of those who could not truly enjoy the road. Riddled with 18 wheeler tire chain ruts and pot holes that do an excellent job of making the drive a "hand's-on-interactive-experience", those with power steering are missing out on half the fun of the journey. ;) :zilla:

Yeah, I've already had the "hands-on driving experience" of driving home with a broken thumb from the trail. And then the next summer I tweaked my hand pretty good again on Spring Creek. That's enough for me. Plus I let Jacki drive a little bit on Argentine and some of those trails and don't want her to get hurt from the manual steering.
 

RicardoJM

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2007
Messages
2,464
Location
Centennial, CO
Wow Matt, great progress for the time you have into it. Power steering and on board air, you are really going to enjoy both of these improvements. I like the picutres and the details of your work and the challenges encoutered and overcome. Keep up the good work.
 

Shark Bait

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Messages
4,819
Location
Parker, CO
So, you going to get a plate made for the frame? :D
 

subzali

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
9,314
Location
Denver CO
I will need at least one 1/4" plate, yes. Not sure about any others, it will depend on the spacing from my drag link setup.
 

subzali

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
9,314
Location
Denver CO
I updated my original post with some new information/details that I thought of and added this section

Day 2 (or "the steering shaft on my Land Cruiser is as big as the drive shaft on your Corolla"): April 27, 2009 - 1 1/2 hours
Tools needed
1. Various box end wrenches (loving my stubby Gear Wrenches)/ratchet/sockets

(Note: the u-joints are pressed in the intermediate shaft, and with two simple measurements (diameter and cross length) any parts store should be able to match the u-joint and it should cost around $25. Some say it's a matching u-joint to a mid-70s (1.2L) Corolla driveshaft. EDIT: got it today. It's manufactured by GMB (a Japanese company), distributed by Precision Universal Joint (a Federal Mogul Company), and I got it at NAPA. NAPA Part Number 395. Federal Mogul Number FM68-401225. By the way my parts guys at the dealership know what years and engine designation the 1.2L Corolla engine was - that's how good they are ;))


Tonight's attempt was to get the intermediate shaft mocked up so I could locate the steering box fore/aft on the frame and make sure my shock towers would be okay (fore/aft) and not interfere with the fender supports.

1. First you have to remove the u-joint ends on the FJ55 intermediate shaft, using simple tools.
2. Next make sure you have your new u-joint from the parts store and use the u-bolts to clamp the u-joint ends together around the u-joint and you're on your way! Spline to spline connections with a u-joint in the middle!

FJ55 intermediate shaft/slip joint, from which the u-joint ends will be stolen


u-joint ends taken apart


u-joint reassembled with new u-joint from Corolla ;)


So now I am done until next week when I get my drag link parts in and get my u-joint for the intermediate shaft. I waited on ordering the drag link parts until I got some closer measurements - it's kinda expensive to do it this way but I wanted to try it and see if it will work.

Punch List:
1. I need to start a list of mounting hardware I will need to get (I want to stay JIS metric for as much of this as possible) - box mounting bolts, exhaust clamp bolt, intermediate shaft bolts, etc.
2. I need to get my u-joint for the intermediate shaft to mock up my box fore/aft. EDIT: As of 4/28/09 I have this in hand
3. I am waiting on my drag link parts (FJ40 TRE and BJ70 drag link end) to mock up my box side-to-side. EDIT: As of 4/28/09 I have the TRE in hand. Still waiting on BJ70 drag link end - those Canadians are slow eh?
4. I need to get the FJ55 column keyswitch removed by a locksmith (I don't have a key so I can't do it the kosher way and I don't want to destroy it) so I can use my current keyswitch.
5. I need to mock up my shock towers and see what modifications will need to be made.
6. I have to get some plates (at least one, maybe two 1/4" plate) cut and drilled to the bolt pattern of my steering box.
7. I have to get some pipe for sleeving my frame, cut to length.
8. I have to sharpen a bunch of drill bits so they are ready for use.
9. I have to get the frame drilled to the bolt pattern and bored and chamfered so the sleeves are ready to weld in.
10. I have to remove anything that will be in the way of the welder.
11. (Welding day)
a. A plate will need to be made to fill in the flex hole in the frame, ground flush.
b. The mounting holes will need to be extended through this new plate.
c. The sleeves will have to be welded in place.
d. The reinforcing plate(s) will have to be welded in place.
e. I have to get a plate made in place of the EGR pipe that connects to the exhaust manifold.
f. I need a change made to the back end of my exhaust - tab with bolted connection.
g. I need my windshield frame support brackets (where the knobs screw in) to be rewelded in place so I can drive around with the the top (including bikini top) off.
12. There's a plate on my frame, welded in front of my steering stabilizer. It isn't really doing all that much good (maybe a little bit), but it's mostly in the way, so I'm going to have to cut that off.
13. The drag link, steering column, and intermediate shafts will have to be bolted up.
14. The shock towers will have been located and mounting holes drilled, but I will need to do some measuring and figure out what shocks I need to get (thinking Bilstein). Also figure out what steering stabilizer is needed.
15. Trim fender(s) to accept steering box and shock towers.
16. Make sure high pressure hose works properly. If not figure out what needs to be done to make it work (research thread pitches if necessary, rebend hard sections to position loop in hose where I want it to be).
17. Figure out what I'm going to do about a return line cooler (I decided I'm going to buy a tubing bender for $15 and try to rebend the tubing to fit where I want it to go, in front of the radiator behind the grille).
18. Get my steering all centered, get everything buttoned up, flush power steering system and go for a drive!
 
Last edited:

frontrange

Hard Core 4+
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
588
Location
Colorado Springs
I just finished doing an 80 box in mine, pretty much the same box as the 60 but newer. You may not be real happy with an 55 column. I decided against it after someone doing this said he hated it, I'm not sure why.

The column parts are all low carbon cast steel, so they are weldable without special treatment. I just TIG welded a U joint on to where the base plate had been after turning the parts in the lathe for a running fit. Same with the TRE and relay rod, used the left half off a FJ60 and turned the end to fit in the right half of a 40 relay rod and TIG'd that.

It all came together better than I'd hoped, no real grief. Let me know if you need any dimensions or pics.
 

subzali

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
9,314
Location
Denver CO
Day 3 (or "If I was a redneck I could be driving this baby tonight!"): April 29, 2009 - 2 hours
Tools needed
1. Various box end wrenches (loving my stubby Gear Wrenches)/ratchet/sockets
2. Bench grinder
3. Vice grips/pipe wrench

(Note: The steering shaft u-joint will need to be clearanced in order to work properly. It doesn't need much, the angle is very low.


Tonight I assembled my u-joint and did a test fit of my intermediate shaft to find my steering box's fore/aft location. I also got one step closer with my drag link, by installing the FJ40 tie rod end in the new drag link. It worked like a charm and exactly as I was hoping for.

1. If you like you can fit up the new u-joint, but you will quickly find that the two halves interfere with each other, so you will have to disassemble it.
2. Mark the corners and take them to a bench grinder, test fitting the halves a couple times to see how much you have to take off to get them to rotate.
3. Now you can assemble the u-joint and then bolt it on to the intermediate shaft.
4. Since the new steering column is in place, bolted to the firewall, you can plug the intermediate shaft into it, then move the steering box to attach to it on the other end and boom! You have the fore/aft location of your steering box. I found that there will be plenty of room for the F-250 shock towers in front of the fender support, and in fact they should line up perfectly with the stock mount on the axle. The u-joint hangs over the edge of the frame, though, so it looks like at the very least the shock tower will have to be left in its stock bent location and fender trimming will have to be done. I will have to wait and see if any more spacing will be needed once I finalize the side-to-side location of the steering box.
5. Take the FJ40 tie rod end and thread it into the 70 series drag link. I was surprised at how many threads there were on the TRE; I didn't remember that many but that's a good thing; it means there is lots of room to play.

Here's an excerpt from some posts in TJ's thread:
subzali said:
Here's my definitions for rods:
Relay Rod - on stock 40s only, from pitman arm forward to center arm
Drag Link - from 70/60 pitman arm to tie rod or from FJ40 center arm to tie rod
Tie Rod - Rod that connects steering arms of two wheels together

For clarification, here is what I think I know about steering rods (with a little input from Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters on page 4):
FJ25/early 40 tie rod ends (the tie rod is 17mm I believe but it tapers down at the ends) - 14mm (I'm guessing)

mid 40 drag link and relay rod - 17mm
mid 40 tie rod - 21mm

late 40/60/70 drag link - 21mm
late 40/60/70 tie rod - 23mm

This is why the mid 40 tie rod end will thread on the 60/70 drag link.

And guess what? The stud taper on the FJ40 tie rod end fits exactly the taper in the hole on the tie rod where it threads into. ;)

6. I measured up the distance from the end of the drag link tube and if the BJ70 drag link end (that connects to the steering box) is between 4 1/2" and 5 1/2" long it will be just the right length. And you know what? I measured Wes' at 4 3/4". How lucky can you get?

At this point I could have pulled the FJ60 drag link end and threaded it into my new tube and connected it to the pitman arm. I could have taken my high pressure hose and threaded it into the power steering pump and into the box, hooked up the low pressure line, put the steering wheel on and taken the truck for a joy ride (with the steering box clamped to the frame with c-clamps)! Aren't you glad I'm not THAT redneck!? :eek: :D

Okay, for some pics:

Precision u-joint box


Precision Part number


u-joint in GMB bag


showing u-joint interference


ground down corners


intermediate shaft hooked up


checking out about where the steering box will be located. Notice the low angle of the intermediate shaft. The four bolts on the far right are the mounting bolts for the fender support. There should be plenty of room to mount the shock tower between the fender support and the steering box, and maybe even align it with the shock mount on the axle.


Showing the amount of threads available on the FJ40 tie rod end


Plugged the drag link into the tie rod. Looking good!


Measuring from the end of the drag link to the pitman arm. I think it's going to work!


trying to show the drag link angle - it's pretty close to parallel with the tie rod


So now I am done until next week when I get my BJ70 drag link end in. The FJ60 steering box will hit the radiator support if it's mounted directly to the frame, so I will have to have a spacer plate made (about 1/4" or so I think). This will require the drag link to be slightly longer than I was measuring above, but will actually end up being pretty perfect I think. Now that I have the steering box kinda sorta located fore/aft, I'm going to take the steering column in to a locksmith and have them match the lock cylinder to my key set.

Punch List:
1. I need to start a list of mounting hardware I will need to get (I want to stay JIS metric for as much of this as possible) - box mounting bolts, exhaust clamp bolt, intermediate shaft bolts, etc.
2. I need to get my u-joint for the intermediate shaft to mock up my box fore/aft. EDIT: As of 4/28/09 I have this in hand
3. I am waiting on my drag link parts (FJ40 TRE and BJ70 drag link end) to mock up my box side-to-side. EDIT: As of 4/28/09 I have the TRE in hand. Still waiting on BJ70 drag link end - those Canadians are slow eh? EDIT: As of 4/30/09 4Wheel Auto in Canadia received the 70 series drag link ends they ordered. But they now come with the drag link tube attached, and the retail price has increased from about $100 CA for just the end to more than $225 CA for the end plus the tube :banghead:. It's cheaper to order the rebuild kit with all 4 ends than it is to order just this one...going to wait and see if they come up with any solutions...Specter's kit is $179. EDIT AGAIN: Don was able to find a 70 series drag link end for a "reasonable" price and it should be here this week.
4. I need to get the FJ55 column keyswitch removed by a locksmith (I don't have a key so I can't do it the kosher way and I don't want to destroy it) so I can use my current keyswitch. EDIT: As of 4/30/09 I went to a locksmith down the road from work and had them rekey my ignition switch to match my current keyset. We'll see if that stops the run-on problem I've had as well since I've owned this truck.
5. I need to mock up my shock towers and see what modifications will need to be made. EDIT: As of 4/29/09 I know I will need to bend the shock towers back to their original location. Maybe I can get rid of these to somebody who wants straight F-250 shock towers and I can go buy me some new bent shock towers? Any takers?
6. I have to get some plates (at least one, maybe two 1/4" plate) cut and drilled to the bolt pattern of my steering box.
7. I have to get some pipe for sleeving my frame, cut to length.
8. I have to sharpen a bunch of drill bits so they are ready for use.
9. I have to get the frame drilled to the bolt pattern and bored and chamfered so the sleeves are ready to weld in.
10. I have to remove anything that will be in the way of the welder.
11. (Welding day)
a. A plate will need to be made to fill in the flex hole in the frame, ground flush.
b. The mounting holes will need to be extended through this new plate.
c. The sleeves will have to be welded in place.
d. The reinforcing plate(s) will have to be welded in place.
e. I have to get a plate made in place of the EGR pipe that connects to the exhaust manifold.
f. I need a change made to the back end of my exhaust - tab with bolted connection.
g. I need my windshield frame support brackets (where the knobs screw in) to be rewelded in place so I can drive around with the the top (including bikini top) off.
h. I need to have a spacer plate welded to my shock tower (maybe?)
12. There's a plate on my frame, welded in front of my steering stabilizer. It isn't really doing all that much good (maybe a little bit), but it's mostly in the way, so I'm going to have to cut that off.
13. The drag link, steering column, and intermediate shafts will have to be bolted up.
14. The shock towers will have been located and mounting holes drilled, but I will need to do some measuring and figure out what shocks I need to get (thinking Bilstein). Also figure out what steering stabilizer is needed.
15. Trim fender(s) to accept steering box and shock towers.
16. Make sure high pressure hose works properly. If not figure out what needs to be done to make it work (research thread pitches if necessary, rebend hard sections to position loop in hose where I want it to be).
17. Figure out what I'm going to do about a return line cooler (I decided I'm going to buy a tubing bender for $15 and try to rebend the tubing to fit where I want it to go, in front of the radiator behind the grille).
18. Get my steering all centered, get everything buttoned up, flush power steering system and go for a drive!
 
Last edited:

PabloCruise

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Messages
2,715
Location
Northern CO
Matt,

This is an outstanding thread!!!

That is disappointing news about your drag link end!

I have a few questions:
- Are you certain that the 70 series drag link end and the 40 series DS TRE are opposing threads (so that you can thread them into both ends of tube)?

- Why not go w/ 70 series ends at both ends of the relay tube?

- what is the rule of thumb about how much thread depth you should have on a TRE in tie rod/relay rod/draglink? Is it 2.5x thread diameter or something like that?
 

subzali

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
9,314
Location
Denver CO
[break for Cruise Moab...]


[/break for Cruise Moab] :D

Matt,

This is an outstanding thread!!!

That is disappointing news about your drag link end!

I have a few questions:
- Are you certain that the 70 series drag link end and the 40 series DS TRE are opposing threads (so that you can thread them into both ends of tube)?

No I'm not certain yet, but I got a feeling ;) (especially since lowenbrau on MUD said it would work)

- Why not go w/ 70 series ends at both ends of the relay tube?

I think the 70 series end on the other side is longer than the 40 end, plus the taper on the stud (to connect to the 40 series tie rod) is wrong.

- what is the rule of thumb about how much thread depth you should have on a TRE in tie rod/relay rod/draglink? Is it 2.5x thread diameter or something like that?

I don't know, whatever looks right I guess. I guess I would like to have more than what is shown in the picture above, but we'll have to see where it comes out when it's all together.
 

Mendocino

Event Coordinator
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
2,361
Location
North Side
Matt,

Why don't you just have Front Range Off-Road Fabrication make a drag link to your specs? I had them make one for me and it was much cheaper than ordering one from any of the usual suspects and burlier too.:D
 

subzali

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
9,314
Location
Denver CO
I'm trying to see if this can be done with all Toyota pieces/parts (even though I'm using a Saginaw pump/bracket I know some people can use an FJ60 pump because their blocks will accept the bracket). But yes the more cost-effective way would be to have a custom one made, if I weren't on a mission to make this work then that's what I would have done. But thank you for the link because someone else who reads this thread in the future will probably want to go that route and they'll know who to go to.
 

subzali

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
9,314
Location
Denver CO
Day 4 (or "Cruise Moab "El Guapo" was great but now it's back to work - gotta keep momentum"): May 5, 2009 - 2 hours
Tools needed
1. Various box end wrenches (loving my stubby Gear Wrenches)/ratchet/sockets
2. Punch/Hammer
3. Vice grips


Tonight I installed my newly rekeyed FJ55 column assembly, installed my newly acquired sun visors (finally!), and made my intermediate shaft collapsible. I am still waiting on my drag link end (should be here any day, they already charged my card which tells me it shipped), so I am working on some other things; the big ones are getting my mounting bolts lined out so I know what kind of drilling is going to need to be done, and get my reinforcement plates drilled to the box bolt pattern. I also have to get the pipe I am going to use for the sleeves.

1. First I installed my sun visors, just to get that out of the way :D.
2. Next I started to reinstall my steering column. I got to thinking about how it's longer than the stock one, and found out it's exactly 1 1/2" longer. I got to thinking about why that was and got to wondering if there was a way that the outer part of the steering column from the FJ40 could be made to fit on the FJ55 steering shaft. So I took it back out and looked at it closer. They are different designs, the FJ40 uses a bushing at the base of the column, which like TJ's was all worn out and crumbly, probably adding to slop in the system. The FJ55 uses a bearing and the base plate is removable, so if I cut the mounting flange off the FJ40 column and cut it to the proper length I could probably get the FJ55 flange to slide right in and I could shorten the column up a bit; good info for the future in case I don't like how close the wheel is to me. It actually wouldn't be that hard to do.
3. Well figuring that that was out of the scope of this project and I would have to write myself a change order for that job (here's work creeping in to my personal life ;)) I bolted it back in and got it all reassembled. I couldn't find all the screws to fix the plastic clamshell on, but oh well I guess. They're around somewhere ;).
4. Next I took the intermediate shaft and looked at the pins that hold it rigid until it gets impacted. TJ told me they are just plastic, and that they would break the first time the frame flexes away from the body. But I wanted to find out just how much travel in both directions I had so I took out a piece of wood and slammed the shaft down on it, splines first (like popping a birfield bell off your inner axle shaft) and with a bang the two pieces slid into the collapsed position. I took them apart a few times and took some measurements, it's 24 1/4" long in the uncollapsed condition (from end of u-joint to end of splines) and 19" long collapsed. They don't give much room to extend, but I figure the movement there will be very small so I'll just remember that I have 5" or so that the splines could get closer to the steering box before I have problems. That might come in handy some day when I decide to shorten my steering column up a bit.

I also realized that I could move the steering box back an inch or two on the frame because of the collapsible intermediate shaft; of course it will have to clear the shock tower, but it would be nice to have the box far back enough to be able to clear the radiator support and mount the box directly to the frame (given the J7 drag link end allows it, i.e. isn't too long). Am still waiting to see what all will happen with that.
5. I then took some bolts and clamped the u-joints to the column and intermediate shaft splines and fit it up once again. I also disassembled the unnecessary bearing that would be at the base of the FJ60 column if it was installed in a truck, to clean up the shaft a bit.
6. After all that, I took a look at my drag link shafts to try and figure out the answer to TJ's question above. On the FJ60 drag link, the pitman arm "end" is Left Hand Threaded while the tie rod "end" is Right Hand Threaded. I'm assuming it will be the same for the J7 drag link ends, so since the FJ40 TRE I am using on my drag link on the tie rod "end" is Right Hand Threaded, the J7 drag link "end" at the pitman arm should be Left Hand Threaded. So in theory this all should work.
7. Lastly I've been investigating the connections to the steering box itself. There's some threads on MUD that are very confusing. But here's what I think (stolen and modified from Mace/TJ on MUD):

Metric
HIGH Pressure Port - 16 x 1.5 MM Inverted Flare to #6 JIC Male adapter, Toyota - 'PSC Motorsports' #PSC-SF06 or 'Summit Racing' #EAR-9919DFJERL
LOW Pressure Port - 17 x 1.5 MM Inverted Flare to #6 JIC Male adapter, Toyota - 'PSC Motorsports' #PSC-SF07

As I understand it the SMALLER port is the press side, and is the outboard connection.

Or
LEE MFG. CO in Sun Valley CA
818-768-0371
has
16mm x 1.5 inverted flare to #6jic for the PRESS side and
17mm x 1.5 inverted flare to #6jic for the RETURN side for
$8 each

Sag pump
pump side is 5/8 x 18 inverted flare to -6jic, which BTW is close enough that the 16mm x 1.5 will thread in and seal.


JT Outfitters sells a hose, which I have, that has the exact same fitting on both sides. That leads me to believe that the 16mm x 1.5 HAS to be the PRESS side because it matches the the thread on the steering pump. Some also say that I could get a replacement FJ60 high pressure hose and it will do the same. So they have to be the same!

*So can someone with an FJ60 verify for me that the high pressure side is the outboard side of the pump?*

Thanks. I'd like to get the 17mm x 1.5 fitting on order for the low pressure side so I can plumb it up.

Okay, for some pics:

Toasted bushing at base of steering column


Steering wheel back in the vehicle


Intermediate shaft with stops punched out so it can slide


Two halves of the collapsible intermediate shaft


Intermediate shaft with bearing taken off


Intermediate shaft hooked up


Up close picture of the u-joint at the firewall


FJ60 Drag Link end for pitman arm side - showing Left Hand Thread


FJ60 Drag Link end for tie rod side - showing Right Hand Thread


So now I have to wait for my drag link end. Get the reinforcement plates made and the sleeves figured out. Drill out the holes so they're in their proper place and can get made to go through the frame on welding day after the frame is closed in on the back side. I have to get the fitting ordered for the the steering box. I am going to buy a tubing bender to try and tweak the return line cooler that I have so it will work for my truck. I have to remove the plate on the front of my frame that is keeping me from getting at my steering damper to remove it. Then I have to clean up the frame and prep it for welding day.

Punch List:
1. I need to start a list of mounting hardware I will need to get (I want to stay JIS metric for as much of this as possible) - box mounting bolts, exhaust clamp bolt, intermediate shaft bolts, etc.
2. I need to get my u-joint for the intermediate shaft to mock up my box fore/aft. EDIT: As of 4/28/09 I have this in hand
3. I am waiting on my drag link parts (FJ40 TRE and BJ70 drag link end) to mock up my box side-to-side. EDIT: As of 4/28/09 I have the TRE in hand. Still waiting on BJ70 drag link end - those Canadians are slow eh? EDIT: As of 4/30/09 4Wheel Auto in Canadia received the 70 series drag link ends they ordered. But they now come with the drag link tube attached, and the retail price has increased from about $100 CA for just the end to more than $225 CA for the end plus the tube :banghead:. It's cheaper to order the rebuild kit with all 4 ends than it is to order just this one...going to wait and see if they come up with any solutions...Specter's kit is $179. EDIT AGAIN: Don was able to find a 70 series drag link end for a "reasonable" price and it should be here this week.
4. I need to get the FJ55 column keyswitch removed by a locksmith (I don't have a key so I can't do it the kosher way and I don't want to destroy it) so I can use my current keyswitch. EDIT: As of 4/30/09 I went to a locksmith down the road from work and had them rekey my ignition switch to match to match my current keyset. We'll see if that stops the run-on problem I've had as well since I've owned this truck.
5. I need to mock up my shock towers and see what modifications will need to be made. EDIT: As of 4/29/09 I know I will need to bend the shock towers back to their original location. Maybe I can get rid of these to somebody who wants straight F-250 shock towers and I can go buy me some new bent shock towers? Any takers?
6. I have to get some plates (NOW!)(at least one, maybe two 1/4" plate) cut and drilled to the bolt pattern of my steering box.
7. I have to get some pipe (NOW!)for sleeving my frame, cut to length.
7a. I have to cut off the plate that's in the way of the steering stabilizer (some PO did it :confused:)
7b. I have to figure out what kind of bracketry will be needed for the Sanden air pump
7c. I have to get a low pressure return fitting for my steering box

8. I have to sharpen a bunch of drill bits so they are ready for use.
9. I have to get the frame drilled to the bolt pattern and bored and chamfered so the sleeves are ready to weld in.
10. I have to remove anything that will be in the way of the welder.
11. (Welding day)
a. A plate will need to be made to fill in the flex hole in the frame, ground flush.
b. The mounting holes will need to be extended through this new plate.
c. The sleeves will have to be welded in place.
d. The reinforcing plate(s) will have to be welded in place.
e. I have to get a plate made in place of the EGR pipe that connects to the exhaust manifold.
f. I need a change made to the back end of my exhaust - tab with bolted connection.
g. I need my windshield frame support brackets (where the knobs screw in) to be rewelded in place so I can drive around with the the top (including bikini top) off.
h. I need to have a spacer plate welded to my shock tower (maybe?)
12. There's a plate on my frame, welded in front of my steering stabilizer. It isn't really doing all that much good (maybe a little bit), but it's mostly in the way, so I'm going to have to cut that off. (See 7a)
13. The drag link, steering column, and intermediate shafts will have to be bolted up.
14. The shock towers will have been located and mounting holes drilled, but I will need to do some measuring and figure out what shocks I need to get (thinking Bilstein). Also figure out what steering stabilizer is needed.
15. Trim fender(s) to accept steering box and shock towers.
16. Make sure high pressure hose works properly. If not figure out what needs to be done to make it work (research thread pitches if necessary, rebend hard sections to position loop in hose where I want it to be). It should work as long as the fender doesn't get in the way
17. Figure out what I'm going to do about a return line cooler (I decided I'm going to buy a tubing bender for $15 and try to rebend the tubing to fit where I want it to go, in front of the radiator behind the grille).
18. Get my steering all centered, get everything buttoned up, flush power steering system and go for a drive!
 
Last edited:

maxsdad

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
247
Location
Highlands Ranch
Hey Matt - Max may be interested in the shock towers if they're still available....I'll ask him tonight.


Great job on detailing your steps! Max is about to begin a similar conversion and I'm sure he'll really appreciate all this great data.

Rob
 
Top