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Questions On Herm's Ford Steering + F134 + Exhaust Clearance

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Mr. Polecat, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. Jul 22, 2017
    Mr. Polecat

    Mr. Polecat New Member

    Fort Seybert, WV
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Howdy folks. The Ross steering on my mostly-stock F134 1966 CJ5 is worn out to the point of being junk, and a rebuild kit didn't do much for it. I've been investigating steering swaps, because I think the Ross setup was almost junk when it was new... >_>

    Anyway, I have two early 80s Ford steering columns sitting out in some of my yard ornaments, so it seems like Herm's kit would be a good way to go. Also have three Ford reverse rotation power steering gear boxes, but I am given to understand that Herm's kit will only work with a manual box, because of clearance issues. But that's ok, I think I know where I can get one.

    So, the thing I am most unclear on is.... Will Herm's setup work with the stock exhaust in a '66 CJ5 with the F134? This is assuming I cut the bottom of the Ford steering stuff off and weld it onto the Ross column after cutting off the worm gear, so I have the two U joints like one sees in old Ford pickups. Seems like some searches tell me "yes", but others tell me "no".

    Although my stock manifold is in fine shape, the rest of my exhaust is close to being junk, so it'll have to be redone at some point, so I can change things up a little there if I need to. But if I can get away without buying a new manifold, that would be nice.

    Thanks, folks! I hope this hasn't been hashed to death already or anything. :) I did some searches here, and some general Google searches, too, but I am still not clear on how much modification is needed with this swap.
     
  2. Jul 22, 2017
    Oldriginal86

    Oldriginal86 Member

    Pasadena, Md.
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    Messages:
    451
    Herm's website says it will fit after a bit of massaging of the pipe.
     
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  3. Jul 22, 2017
    Mr. Polecat

    Mr. Polecat New Member

    Fort Seybert, WV
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Ah very good. Ball-peen massages are one of the few things that I am good at. :D

    Thank you, sir.
     
  4. Jul 23, 2017
    Oldriginal86

    Oldriginal86 Member

    Pasadena, Md.
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    Messages:
    451
    Before you commit to Herms kit, look at the Saginaw thread. Many more Saginaw conversions have been done versus Herms.
     
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  5. Jul 23, 2017
    Mr. Polecat

    Mr. Polecat New Member

    Fort Seybert, WV
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Thanks. I was looking at that conversion, too.

    I probably don't know what I am talking about (I usually don't, lol), but I don't like the idea of having to box the frame up there where the Saginaw box goes. I don't wash my vehicles hardly ever, and I want this Jeep to last until I die. All the vintage box frame stuff I've ever had has eventually rusted out, unless I never ever drove it in winter.

    It's probably an irrational fear, heh.

    A little off-topic maybe, but I fixed the Ross steering pretty good today, so I may just forget the swap. I'll always run the stock size 6.50-16s on it (or something close), and today I went to visit a neighbor who has a better machine shop than I do. We ground off the welds and rivets on the wallowed out bellcrank mount, and drove the rivets out with an air chisel. Then built up the wallowed out inside with braze and milled it out to 0.002 over the diameter of the pin that goes through. Bolted and welded it back onto the frame.... Now other than the Ross box itself needing rebuilt, the steering is tighter than it ever has been. I only have about a quarter turn of free play instead of 3/4 turn now, LOL. It's stable enough to run down the road a full speed (but I don't know what speed that is, because the speedometer has never worked, and it's faster than I trust the brakes anyway), so I may just leave it alone for the foreseeable future.
     
  6. Jul 23, 2017
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    3,391
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  7. Jul 23, 2017
    Daryl

    Daryl Sponsor Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,800
    If you are running stock 28"tires, have an F-head and keep the tie rod ends and Ross box in good condition it will probably be just fine for you. Change any of those thing out and it really is best to go to Saginaw steering.
     
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  8. Jul 23, 2017
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

    Florida Keys
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    Messages:
    2,262
    Change out the stock two short tie rods to a 1-piece from spindle to spindle, (along with using one of your original short ones) really helps the stock steering system.
    -Donny
     
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  9. Jul 31, 2017
    dieseljeeper

    dieseljeeper New Member

    spanaway, wa
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    I used Herms kit on my M38a1 with a power steering box from a Ford Ranger. I have had several rigs that I swapped to Saginaw steering. Done properly they both work WAY better than the Ross box.
    The advantage to the Saginaw conversion is that it has been done a lot and with a little forum lurking a lot of problems can be avoided. The disadvantage is running a winch, especially a pto, can be challenging and the steering column wants to be where the left motor mount is.
    The advantage to Herms kit is a lot less fab work is required, it works really well and a winch is easy
    The disadvatages are that if using the stock column the close proximity to the steering box will make hooking the column to the box really challenging and you may have to raise the radiator about 3/8" to gain clearance between the lower outlet and the steering box.
     
  10. Jul 31, 2017
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,520
    I believe the Jeep JK boxes are also reverse rotation and have a long sector snout with a mounting offset so the bulk of the box could mount above the frame rail. Similar to the above Bronco box but mount on the inside of the frame. May be something worth looking at and you could probably get one cheap at a real 4x4 shop as a lot are replaced with PSC or other aftermarket versions. WAY strong enough for an early Jeep-unless it weighs 5000 lbs and sits on 40's.
     

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