Does anyone know about the Classic Cruisers Power Steering conversion kit for an FJ-40? They say it's a bolt-on, all-inclusive, no trips to NAPA kit. Is it a Saginaw box/pump? Will it be stout enough for 35's? Your comments please.
I think that the kit is good for 33" and smaller tires, but I doubt fat 33 x 12.5's would be in that group. For 35's and bigger, Saginaw or "Scout" or 60 series steering is a must. If you were closer to stock, the mini truck set up (Classic Cruisers) or OEM FJ40 PS would work, but not up higher.
I'm not mechanically inclined enough to do a conversion like in the tech pages. What do you think I will need to budget for to have a local shop do a Saginaw conversion, using used box/rebuilt pump...like in tech articles? What's a fair price for parts and labor? Should I get the parts myself? Is it better to get an all-new kit...like Man-A-Fre's? Help.
I have heard both rumors on the mini truck style power steering. Some say it will and some say it won't work with 35's. I do know that JTOutfitters runs this PS set up with 35's. I know of several people in my area that run it as well. I am like you though, I don't have the time and mechanical skills to do the Saginaw. Maybe I'm just lazy and the other method just seems easier Read over this link:
One of my main goals for converting to PS is to tighten up my wandering factory set up. Looks like the JTO kit won't help me there. Saginaw may be the only route. I can't tell if the Classic Cruisers kit eliminates the factory, extra drag link???
The minitruck setups keep the drag link, tie rod, and the relay rod. Only GM/Scout/60 swaps eliminate one of the relays.
IMO, if you haven't replaced/inspected other items in the steering setup, none of these conversions will make a lick of difference. LOTS of areas for steering slop, including spring bushings, center arm adjustment, tie rod ends, knuckle bearings, wheel bearings, lug nuts, u-bolts, etc...a thorough inspection should solve your issues.
Amazing what you can see move when someone else moves the wheel while you visually inspect everything underneath.
Now add in Bias tires, lift kits, etc and the wander-issue can get worse/tougher to diagnose.
Tie rods, knuckles, lugs, suspension, etc. is good...my center arm is major loose. I've tightened and retightened to no avail. The 35's are wearing it out. It needs to be rebuilt, but I'd rather convert using a system that scraps the center arm and 2 tierods in the process. With power assist to boot!
Do the Saginaw conversion (I love mine and its only fault is you dont notice bent tie-rods as easily ). It isnt as hard as it sounds if you find a reputable shop to do all of the welding (If you cannot yourself, I have not tried welding yet).
I'm also interested in the "Bolt-on" approach. Swallowed hard on the rebuilt Toyo box. I'm sure I can find one cheap in a boneyard. My question is..How difficult is it to rebuild a pump? O rings, seals, gaskets. Is it beyond the capabilities of the average wrencher? I don't do any extreme offroading as I live in Missouri. Only running 31's. The rest of it sees pretty straightforward. I know it does not eliminate all the linkages. Just looking for a little more oomph to turn the wheel.
Also, has anyone out there rebuilt an early center arm? Is it worth it or shoud I look for a later model tapered style center arm?
I'm with woody (brian) on troubleshooting the existing steering first. Heartoftexasoffroad.com has a good deal on a 5 piece tie rod and center arm bundle and Rocky Mtn and CCoT are also competitive on center arm only kits. 3 of the 5 tie rods are going to be OEM anyway in a sag/60/scout conversion, grab at least that kit. Balance your front tires, OH your wheel bearings and I'd do a knuckle job (it's time every 6 years or 75,000 miles). 2 cent fix your drag link and tighten the steering box. Think about steering coupler/flex plate (joint fuji aftermarket..). Spring bushings can also play into slop. Remember, the PO just drove your truck for miles and miles and spent $4 on steering parts over it's lifespan- it's time to bring it up 25 years to modern.
when that is done, then report back. $200 and much of the above is distinct from a steering conversion.
Now I have OEM PS on my '81 with 30 x 9.50's and it's one hand palm steering which is cool- but my tires are small (and my steering linkage is tight). Mini truck (aka Classic) is bolt on, but only after you torch/grind off the steering pedestal. I am also more fond of 60/scout as the box is concealed behind the bib.
It is true that there are many reasons for steering slop and Sag conversions only address a couple, but they are an important couple. The center pivot and box slop are big areas. There is no better single mod to a 40 series than a good PS set up.
c'mon, somebody give me a better one. I double dog dare ya