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Steering Rebuild

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by Jeremy Knakmuhs, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Jun 4, 2019
    Jeremy Knakmuhs

    Jeremy Knakmuhs Jknakmuhs

    Parker, CO
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
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    Looking at the steering of my 68' cJ5 with the v6 and wondering what others have done for steering rebuilds. I see that the forward steering conversion is common but sound s like it can be difficult with fabrication of getting the parts to fit. Have you guys with 225's rebuilt them or converted them? And if so, what do you recommend, is the Herms conversions the best?
    Thanks
     
  2. Jun 4, 2019
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist Sponsor

    Albertville, AL
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    I converted my v6 to Saginaw power steering about 13 years ago. The typical front mounted Saginaw in my opinion is far better than the Ford (Herm) conversion. After all it’s what the factory did later on.
     
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  3. Jun 4, 2019
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

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    X2 on Mcruff's comments. I too like the Saginaw box mounted on the inside of the frame rail just behind the bumper. Herm's kit uses a Ford box mounted on the inside of the frame roughly over the front axle. In my opinion, real estate is scarce in that general area of the engine compartment, especially with the Dauntless V6 due to the exhaust routing and the fuel pump location. With the Saginaw setup, you need to snake a small diameter shaft up front past all the obstructions mentioned.
    Either system works, but the factory later did opt for the Saginaw setup.
    -Donny
     
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  4. Jun 4, 2019
    Chilly

    Chilly Active Member 2019 Sponsor

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    I've not suffered a Ross steering system so my opinion is well and fully uninformed. That said, are you sure you need a conversion to achieve an acceptable result? Or would a thorough rebuild of your current system suffice? It may depend on how you use your Jeep, tire size, etc.

    Sometimes simply catching up on a few decades of neglect can yield remarkable results.
     
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  5. Jun 4, 2019
    Jeremy Knakmuhs

    Jeremy Knakmuhs Jknakmuhs

    Parker, CO
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
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    Reason I brought up the conversion is that is what was recommended by the 4x4 shop that is replacing the main seal at the moment. He is a owner of a 68' as well. Torn between if he is pushing for more business or actually recommending a good fix. Power steering would be nice though. Has anyone rebuilt an original steering system? And where have you found parts for that?
     
  6. Jun 4, 2019
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    .The downside to the Ross setup is that there's a lot of wear points that had add up & multiply for "slop. that being said I have a rossbox & it works fine, when properly set up & maintained it works as well as anything.

    That being said there's two reasons for going to the trouble of a conversion-

    If you're running oversized tires the saggy will handle it better

    Replacement parts for the ross stuff can be spotty in quality
    Power steering can be nice but you don't have to go saggy to get it-


    Ted's Steering Upgrade, With A Twist
     
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  7. Jun 4, 2019
    Twin2

    Twin2 wasn't me Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    did mine more than 30 years ago . way before internet . bunch of trips to junk yard
    back then V6 cars were everywhere
    and after I did it . I said to myself WHY did I wait so long to do it (y)
     
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  8. Jun 5, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    TimE has done some nice work on rebuilding Ross boxes...maybe shoot him a PM or try to find one of his threads. He has found a good source and way to replace the two commonly worn pins/nubs that sit inside and slide against the worm gear.

    Pretty sure Maury also did a nice rebuild on his, also worth checking out his thread.

    This link may be useful: 1967 Jeep CJ5 restoration: Ross steering gear
     
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  9. Jun 5, 2019
    homersdog

    homersdog Tulsa, Ok Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Tulsa, OK
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    I rebuilt my Ross steering, most of the parts are available from crown. Then about 3 years later I converted to Saginaw power steering. There is no comparison, the Saginaw steering is much, much better than Ross. The only reason to stick with ross is if you want to keep the jeep original for shows or nostalgia.
     
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  10. Jun 6, 2019
    Jeremy Knakmuhs

    Jeremy Knakmuhs Jknakmuhs

    Parker, CO
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    Sep 16, 2016
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    Thanks, still unsure how I want to go about this. Dad and I own this together and we go back and forth about keeping it original or upgrading different aspects. For the power steering conversion, did this take some fabricating or was it fairly straight forward? I have read that in some cases you have to cut the grill, and/or replace a cross member.
     
  11. Jun 6, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Power steering is a popular upgrade, but it's a big project unless you have a shop set up for it and some experience. You can also go with a manual Saginaw steering gear, which improves durability and makes the steering somewhat easier. I would consider the tire size I wanted first. If I had a CJ with the original Ross steering, I would stay close to the original tire size like say a 225/75R15. I'd also keep the original steering wheel (the "bus wheel") which provides the leverage you need to steer these near-factory-sized tires at low speed.

    The forum has a thread with steering conversion stories and pictures: Saginaw Power Steering (pics) Please Add Yours!

    I respect the opinions that have been given above, but from my perspective, Herm's kit looks pretty good, if it actually does everything it claims to do. The Saginaw conversion requires machining, fabrication and welding, and the final design is up to you. If you choose either route, you'll get plenty of help on the forum. One possibility is to trade up your project for a Jeep that is a few years newer. Starting in 1972, the Saginaw steering was standard equipment for CJs.
     
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  12. Jun 6, 2019
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Every Saggy install is a little bit different based on the parts source & jeep mods but generally you end up having to do some work on the front cross member to allow the steering shaft to reach to box. There can also be clearance issues with things like the exhaust. Have a look at some of the pics here for a general idea of what's involved-


    Also use the search function to find previous build threads from folks who have done this.

    The question is- What's the intended use of your jeep? If it involves 33"+ sized tires or rock crawling general consensus here is that the saggy box will worth the effort, especially a power unit. If you're going to run stock 30-31" narrow tires on trails or Sunday drives then a rebuild of the Ross box & attendant parts will probably serve you well- do another search here on "death wobble" to get an idea of what's involved for a complete steering overhaul.
     
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  13. Jun 6, 2019
    Jrobz23

    Jrobz23 Member

    Northern, WI
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    I did the Herm/Ford manual steering swap. I actually liked the box location being behind the crossbar and out of the damage path. That said, it is VERY crowded in there. Results are good but I'm not sure I'd do it again over a rebuild of the Ross. I don't run huge tires and the Saginaw swap does create a mod cascade. There is just too much right there for it not to. I can't see how a Chevy style wouldn't do something similar/worse with cutting the crossmember/grill..
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
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  14. Jun 6, 2019
    Jrobz23

    Jrobz23 Member

    Northern, WI
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    Basically I see it this way, with the Roxor having effectively ALL of the mods I was planning on doing to a EarlyCJ5 done already, I'd much rather keep one very close to stock and have the Roxor to cut up (they still make em lol). On the early, do disk brakes, maybe a header, MAYBE NT30 but otherwise darn near stock and have the early be the car show/old man cruiser.
     
  15. Jun 6, 2019
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash Member Sponsor

    Gulf Breeze FL...
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    I used the Herm kit with no real problem. It is tight around the fuel pump as mentioned. I have V6 fenderwell headers so the exhaust wasn't an issue. I think the best part of this method is that all the parts stay inside the engine compartment. The GM pump and Ford steering gear makes getting hoses a little more of a challenge.
     
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  16. Jun 6, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    I've been interested in both a manual Saggy upgrade and/or Herm's Ford kit. There are a few different things that are all part of this decision such as pedal set-up, brake MC location and exhaust routing, as well as the differences between F4 and V6 space etc. Guessing you may have some of the same questions I do, such as although I do like Herm's Ford set-up, wondering how it would work with keeping the frame mounted pedals and MC in the stock location, and also keeping oem forward dump exhaust manifold....there really isn't a lot of room to mount the ford steering box behind the cross-member etc...
    As for a saggy swap...there is more freedom and room to fit stuff (mostly the box up front of the cross-member), but there is an intimidating amount of fab work (mostly important strong welding) to be done. If I were to go the Saggy route, I would probably follow this AA methodology: 6) Steering Conversions Jeeps prior to 1971 | Tech Vault | Advance Adapters
     
  17. Jun 6, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    mind posting some pics of how tight the Herm kit is with the fuel pump? Do you think it would have any chance of fitting with oem front dump exhaust manifolds? thanks!
     
  18. Jun 6, 2019
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash Member Sponsor

    Gulf Breeze FL...
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    This one isn't the best.
    [​IMG]

    Better...
    [​IMG]

    Found a good one. It's this close...
    [​IMG]

    Those lines with the rubber are routed around the front now so it's better the one hard line to the carb is still there but it isn't a problem. I'd suggest having all the lines plumbed before making final call on placement of the steering gear mount. This was my "build" project so no lines were there when I started.

    I have no experience with the front dump exhaust. But I understand it is very difficult or impossible.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
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  19. Jun 6, 2019
    Jrobz23

    Jrobz23 Member

    Northern, WI
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    That's well done. This is not an easy mod to get right.
     
  20. Jun 6, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    thanks!...feeling like from your pics that it is not going to be possible with front dump exhaust...rear dump exhaust requires changing MC and pedals...or one has to go with headers....
     

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