60 steering box leaks - rebuild, or swap to 80 steering box? (1 Viewer)

Rusto

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The title suggests my quandary... Do I rebuild my '87 steering box, or do I take this opportunity to swap in one from an 80?

I have done the Saginaw PS upgrade and I run 31s. Probably won't ever run anything more than 33s.

I've rebuilt an '84 toyota pickup steering box before. I assume that it's similar.

If I do decide to rebuild the steering box, is there a nice kit available? I've been leaning towards getting a 80 box, but I've struck out the last 6 times in the classified section.
 

OSS

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It depends on how worn out it is.
If the sector shaft is FUBAR, resealing the steering box won't do much. New shafts are no longer available - so an 80 box in good condition would be the best option if that's the case.
But if it's just the seals that are leaking and wear isn't out of spec, then a conventional rebuild (reseal) is all that's needed.

The power steering fluid is normally cooled by a metal tube running behind a gap in the stock bumper. Air flows by that tube when driving.
Some aftermarket bumpers (old ARBs and maybe the new ones) block that gap and air no longer cools the pipe which causes the ATF to run very hot in the summer - which can cook the seals in the steering box - creating leaks.

If you've got a bumper that blocks air flow to the ATF coolng tube, it would be worthwhile to install a small oil cooler next to the radiator.
 
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Rusto

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Good stuff, as always @OSS - is there any way for me to check to see if the sector shaft is FUBAR'd without removing the box? I have the stock bumper, by the way.

Any tips on the rebuild kit?
 

Rusto

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One more question - Can I rebuild the steering box w/o removing the Pittman arm?
 

GLTHFJ60

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Inspect sector shaft by removing the shaft from the case, which includes removing the pitman arm from the shaft.

Box has to be removed to rebuild.
 

Rusto

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Thanks. I knew the box had to come out, I'd read somewhere that the Pittman arm could stay on for a rebuild.. but, since I need to inspect the shaft...

Its taking me awhile, but I'm learning that there aren't any shortcuts to.doing it right
 

HemiAlex

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I had 320,000 on my factory box. It was leaking badly. I had already put an oem power steering pump with an aftermarket replacement hose. It started leaking worse (no surprise).

I called around locally for a rebuild. $400 for a reseal and adjustment. I couldn't get a solid word from them about what they would actually do aside from clean, seal and paint it. He said "it won't be good as new with that mileage". Really made me unhappy with that option.

So, being that I have an 87 as well...I bought a BBB/Vision 5110111 80 series box from rock auto. It was less than the local rebuilder and it was likely from a lower mileage and less beat to heck truck than my own.

It fit with zero mods aside from leaving that steering coupler u joint shield off. The old box ended up breaking two pitman arm pullers, so it was likely time to be replaced after leaking onto itself for that long. The 80 series box really tightened up the steering and the little bit of extra assist is really nice.
 
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I hear the Patrol GU steering box is the best. Maybe a 105 series too which will be newer than the 80 box. But those would have to come from overseas. Is it possible to put in a Jeep or Ram steering box? Those you could get new. But is a Jeep product reliable?
 

Spook50

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It depends on how worn out it is.
If the sector shaft is FUBAR, resealing the steering box won't do much. New shafts are no longer available - so an 80 box in good condition would be the best option if that's the case.
But if it's just the seals that are leaking and wear isn't out of spec, then a conventional rebuild (reseal) is all that's needed.

The power steering fluid is normally cooled by a metal tube running behind a gap in the stock bumper. Air flows by that tube when driving.
Some aftermarket bumpers (old ARBs and maybe the new ones) block that gap and air no longer cools the pipe which causes the ATF to run very hot in the summer - which can cook the seals in the steering box - creating leaks.

If you've got a bumper that blocks air flow to the ATF coolng tube, it would be worthwhile to install a small oil cooler next to the radiator.
Not a bad idea with the extra cooler. I've been half-assedly looking at fancy power steering coolers for a while now, but now that I have no need to use an extra tranny cooler, I can just put another B&M in place where I had the one I was using for my A440F before. If I had been thinking ahead I would've asked the guys at Torfab to leave the cooler in place for just that reason....

@HemiAlex did you reuse your 60 series pitman arm? My stock gearbox I fear is right at its wear limit, so a rebuild or replacement I think will be needed within the next year. My plan was to find a used 80 series box and go ahead and rebuild it with the 105 sector shaft and pitman arm, OR if it's in good shape and not leaking just stick my stock pitman arm on it until a rebuild IS needed.
 
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I had 320,000 on my factory box. It was leaking badly. I had already put an oem power steering pump with an aftermarket replacement hose. It started leaking worse (no surprise).

I called around locally for a rebuild. $400 for a reseal and adjustment. I couldn't get a solid word from them about what they would actually do aside from clean, seal and paint it. He said "it won't be good as new with that mileage". Really made me unhappy with that option.

So, being that I have an 87 as well...I bought a BBB/Vision 5110111 80 series box from rock auto. It was less than the local rebuilder and it was likely from a lower mileage and less beat to heck truck than my own.

It fit with zero mods aside from leaving that steering coupler u joint shield off. The old box ended up breaking two pitman arm pullers, so it was likely time to be replaced after leaking onto itself for that long. The 80 series box really tightened up the steering and the little bit of extra assist is really nice.


Can you tell me the part number / page listing for the 80 series gearbox you got from Rock auto ? I may need to go that route

I am going through this now, I have my late model 1985 60 gearbox out, Its worn but not leaking , and yes you are correct - the rebuilders do not really tell you if they replace the needle bearings and main worm gear shaft bearing ( all still available from Toyota ) and its very likely that they do not I have my entire gear apart and all the seals in I am just waiting for as new cap and locknut from Toyota
 
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Can you tell me the part number / page listing for the 80 series gearbox you got from Rock auto ? I may need to go that route

I am going through this now, I have my late model 1985 60 gearbox out, Its worn but not leaking , and yes you are correct - the rebuilders do not really tell you if they replace the needle bearings and main worm gear shaft bearing ( all still available from Toyota ) and its very likely that they do not I have my entire gear apart and all the seals in I am just waiting for as new cap and locknut from Toyota


I see the part for the 80 series at Rock Auto - Its the NeW Vision gearbox and its out of stock !
 

HemiAlex

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I used the remanned one. Even with eating the core cost I was ahead. I wasn’t going to ship that heavy core back on my dollar.

I reused my old pitman arm.

I wanted to do the 105 upgrade but it just wasn’t needed at the moment.
 

GLTHFJ60

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The 80 box has the same size spline on the sector shaft as the 60 box. To that end, you're only going to twist it if you have big tires and wheel the piss out of your truck. I put a 105 sector shaft in my 80 box on my '87 FJ60, but that's because I have big tires, and wheel the piss out of my truck :lol: FWIW, an 80 box with a good saginaw steering pump is enough to reliably turn 42s in the rocks.

If I had a stock-ish late 60 and a leaky PS box, as I once did, this would be my order of fixes, from most preferred, to least preferred:

1. Buy used or reman stock FJ80/FZJ80 power steering box, bolt it on, swap FJ60 pitman arm onto it. Easy.
2. Buy used or reman stock FJ60/FJ62 power steering box and swap it on. Easy.
3. Rebuild my current box with parts from Toyota. Really not that hard. No SSTs needed.
4. Send my box off for a rebuild and hope they do it right.
 
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Mine was leaking for a time and I shipped it to west Texas off-road, they cleaned it up and rebuilt it perfectly. I’m on 34’s with the V8 and it does just fine in the rocks

for the simplicity West Texas can’t be beat, had it back in my hands 6 days later
 

Godwin

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Mine was leaking for a time and I shipped it to west Texas off-road, they cleaned it up and rebuilt it perfectly. I’m on 34’s with the V8 and it does just fine in the rocks

for the simplicity West Texas can’t be beat, had it back in my hands 6 days later

I've used West Texas Off-road twice and both boxes eventually redeveloped leaks.
 

Rusto

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@GLTHFJ60 - I have the same thought process.

1. Buy used or reman stock FJ80/FZJ80 power steering box, bolt it on, swap FJ60 pitman arm onto it. Easy.
2. Buy used or reman stock FJ60/FJ62 power steering box and swap it on. Easy.
3. Rebuild my current pump with parts from Toyota. Really not that hard. No SSTs needed.
4. Send my pump off for a rebuild and hope they do it right.

Right now, I'm trying to find an 80 box in the classifieds... Then I'll keep my 60 box and rebuild it at my leisure (along with my stock PS pump) and maybe someday I'll have an 40 to put those on. The leak isn't catastrophic at this point (famous last words) so I have a little time to way. I don't think I'll ever get to number 4.
 

GLTHFJ60

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IIRC the pattern changed from square to rectangular, but I've never had the two boxes side by side. Worst case scenario two of the holes have to be moved in the frame, so cutting out the sleeves, filling the holes, locating and drilling new ones, then installing new sleeves.

Not super easy.
 

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