FJ60 Power Steering Conversion for FJ40 while keeping air pump

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Jun 3, 2004
Northern Colorado
I wanted to post this here - in my club's section of MUD.

The following thread outlines the addition of power steering components (box and pump) from an FJ60 onto my 1978 FJ40 (09/77 build date, federal spec emissions).

I just finished this conversion, and I must say that the results of this conversion exceeded my expectations!!!

This project resulted in:

1) Removing lots of slop from the steering wheel
2) More assist than I thought I would get

I have been interested in some form of power steering conversion since Cruise Moab 2003. At the tech inspection the officials noted some slop in my steering system. Then when I was fighting the steering wheel in the rocks I heard many comments about the merits of power steering.

I worked diligently to remove all sources of slop in my manual set-up. I rebuilt the center arm. I rebuilt the rag-joint at the pitman arm. I adjusted the steering box. I replaced the bushings when I lifted the 40 with a 4 inch lift kit. I kept the shackles on the front at the factory height. I do not like the concept of lifting a vehicle by adding length to the shackles.

At the same time that I was working on the manual system, I was researching power steering conversion options. One of the first that I found was the Saginaw conversion. I did not like this option for several reasons:
- The box is exposed at the front of the frame rails
- Potential interference with a future winch addition
- Requires removing material from the front cross member
- Non-Toyota pieces used.
The last point is not a major mechanical factor, more of a philosophical one.

Then I saw Mark Whatley's article in Toyota Trails (July/August 2003 - see PDF) outlining the FJ-60 power steering conversion - that is taking the PS box and pump off a 60 series Land Cruiser and mounting them on a FJ-40. Eureka! I liked the concept immediately. There were only a few issues to overcome.

The major issue is emissions inspections are required where I live in CO. So I needed an option that would allow for my air pump (smog pump – but who wants to pump smog?!?) to remain on the vehicle. Mark W’s conversion does not require the presence of an air pump, they simply mounted the PS pump where the air pump used to reside. The PS pump mounting was further hindered by the fact that my 2F block was not drilled and tapped for a PS pump mount. From what I understand, sometime in 1979, the blocks accept the same PS pump bracket found on all 60 series 2F’s. Bummer!

I heard many opinions on this undertaking. Comments like “Saginaw is the only way to go” and "Ditch the air pump – it is useless” and “You’ll never get enough power out the Toyota pump”. I decided I really wanted to build my rig my way, and that meant that I wanted it to pass emissions anywhere, and I wanted to build it using Toyota pieces. So I had to figure out a way to mount that damn pump on my 2F, while keeping the air pump. I scoured MUD and the LCML archives. I found a post where Mark W say that he thought some African Cruisers had blocks that were tapped for PS as early as 1975. This was interesting, but I wasn’t planning on going on safari any time soon.

I emailed with Mark about the possibility of drilling and tapping my block. He indicated that he had indeed done that, but he thought it was not worth the time and effort. Nevertheless, it seemed like my only option. My buddy manages a garage and machine shop. When they got a 2F block in for machine work that was drilled and tapped for the bracket, we set out to create a cardboard template that would allow us to bridge the gap from the water pump to the part of the 60 PS pump bracket that goes around to the front of the block. We created the template and decided we would drill and tap the side of the block, and create a steel bracket that would go from two of the water pump bolts to a stud we put in the front part of the pump bracket.

In the meantime, I rounded up parts off of a 60 series Cruiser. I got a PS pump, pump bracket, PS box w/ pitman arm, drag link and relay rod assembly, PS lines (high and low pressure) and finally the steering column and intermediate shaft w/ u-joints. I also got the column and intermediate shaft off of a FJ55, as Mr. Whatley recommended using the column inside the cab of a 40 as it will bolt up, and allow for the placement of a u-joint right past the firewall.

Before I got to execute this project I noticed that the belt the 60 uses to power the PS pump was quite long. It goes from the alternator all the way across the engine compartment to the PS pump. This means that if the air pump ever seizes, you have no way to spin your water pump. You must choose between your alternator or your PS pump, and belt up and drive home accordingly. I did not like this aspect of the conversion, but I could not think of another way to do this.

Then I met a pretty crafty welder/metal fabricator. He did some work on a new product I was developing at work. When I saw his skills, I mentioned the PS project I wanted to undertake. He was up for looking at it. When I described what I wanted to do, he asked why we don’t mount the PS pump such that it rode on the same belt as the air pump, thus leaving the alternator belt as stock. I had a hard time visualizing this, but he said we could do it. Shazam! This sounded great! This meant if I ever lost the air pump, I could throw a shorter belt on and keep wheeling.

So the following thread outlines how I took this project from concept to execution. I must say, I am really impressed with this conversion. I recommend it for anyone who can handle the detail, and wants their Cruiser to drive a little safer/easier.

I sent the pump out to be rebuilt. I used PS Systems in Florida. They did a nice job and turned the pump around promptly.

I tried to get a rag joint rebuild kit from Cruiser Dan before beginning the project. He said Toyota only sells a complete drag link now, due to a design change. So I got that and had that base covered.

When we began the project, we decided to replace the u-joints in the steering column. Of course, I tried to find these on a Saturday. My local Toyota dealer did not have them. NAPA did not have a listing for these, they wanted to measure a bunch of odd dimensions. Local industrial supplier had the same result. So I called Cruiser Dan. He wasn’t there, but his weekend crew was. One of them told me that these u-joints are the same as the u-joint for the driveshaft of a 1200 cc Corolla!!! Really?!? So I went drive to the next parts store I saw (Carquest) and asked for this application. They had 2 of them! $40 later I was down the road.

The only thing I would caution the reader to do differently than myself is change out the shock mounts at the same time as the PS conversion. I switched over to Ford F-250 shock mounts at the same time I put the 4 inch lift on. I decided to change shock mounts to make room for the new steering column, and to run a longer shock that could droop to the spring’s potential. When we fabricated the mount for the steering box, we had a very close fit to the shock mount. If you can do them at the same time – do it!

I might also think about converting the knuckles to FJ60 knuckles while doing this conversion. This way you could run all 60 tie rod ends at the knuckles. You could simply section and splice the 60 drag link and relay rod. My set-up splices the 60 relay rod to the 40 relay rod. So I have a 60 rag joint at the pitman arm, and the rest of the set-up is 40 tie rod ends out at the wheels...

One thing I am very proud of with this conversion is that the steering column is completely stock Toyota pieces. It is comprised of:
-My 40 wheel
-FJ55 (Pig) column from wheel to firewall
-Spline-to-spline u-joint made from the Pig intermediate shaft.
-We used what was the 60 series column as the intermediate shaft to go from the firewall to the box.

I will say that I still have a few details to clear up:
- I need to modify the air hoses for the air pump
- Need to find a shorter steering stabilizer
- Need to fab a radiator support for the driver’s side (had to move to make room for column)

I will also say that there is more than enough assist for regular daily driving. It is easy 1 finger steering, contrary to what I heard about using the Toyota pump. My fabricator had a thought on this. When we went to fill the system, I said we had to use ATF. He said “No way” He went on to explain that the old school Dexron II and III would have been good, but that what they are making now will not lubricate a PS pump and pressurize, as it is too thin. So we went with regular power steering fluid, and it works great.

Enough words! If you are like me, you got bored a LONG time ago and started looking for pictures… So here are the pictures involved:


  • PS Conversion, Whatley Style.pdf
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Glad to hear that you got it done. I look forward to checking it out.
First, a few pictures of how the 60 series components mount:

These pics show the box mounted on the 60 frame, the PS pump mounted on a 2F block, and the steering column at the firewall on a 60
Note: CCOT offered a PS kit that would mount a FJ60 style pump on a block that was not tapped.

I called them to inquire about this kit and was told they do not make it anymore. I asked about just the pump brackets and they said they don't have anymore. So I asked if they had a CAD file. "Nope" was the reply...

I doubted that, but what can you do?
ccot brackets installed front.jpg
ccot brackets installed.jpg
ccot brackets.jpg
Then we started building the bracket that would mount the pump.

This attached to the bolts on the exhaust manifold, and the water pump. We built in the ability for it to swing in an arc - it can provide tension to a belt if the air pump is removed.

Some prelim shots:

Note: the air pump pictured here had the wrong pulley - it was for a skinny belt. It had to be replaced later by one with the correct pulley for wider belt.
When the 40 column was out of the vehicle, and removed from the bucket that mounts to the firewall, I found another source of slop in the steering system - the bushing at the bottom of the column was oblong.

Next, laying the 40 column next to the 55 column - you can see the 55 column is a touch longer. So far this has been more comfortable to drive, although it s not as easy to steer with your knee! :doh:
Now it was time to start mocking up the PS box mount on the frame.

We trimmed the fender and got to starting on this. I must be doing something right, because after a few tries, it looked like we would be able to mount the box nice and high, still clear the frame rail, air pump, and not have to extend the 60 DD shaft that we were using as our intermediate! Cool!

Note: In these pics we have the 55 u-joint down by the box. We flipped it for the final install to make more room down by the box. We had lots of room by the firewall...

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