HELP! power steering / suspension question

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Aug 5, 2008
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Baltimore, MD
Hello all, Get your :popcorn: and :beer: ready, this is a long one!

I am fairly new to this site and have only had my 1975 FJ40 since fall 2008. I am trying to learn all I can but I'd like some input from some more experienced owners! So far, I have only done a few little things here and there to the cruiser to make it safely usable, fixing lights, turn signals, replaced a couple switches, etc.

One of the first things that I would like to upgrade is too add power steering......stock steering has WAY too much play for my liking, and city parking blows! I have read and heard about several different options and opinions as to which is the best, most cost-effective way to add power steering. The problem I am having is that I know that I want my next project after adding power steering to be lifting the truck slightly to be able to fit 33-35" tires (has 31" now)........obviously, several options exist for lifting the rig and more decisions need to be made, SOA, or just a spring-shackle-shock kit, shackle reversal or no shackle reversal, "handling kits" , etc...right?......so, here is my question:

....WHAT IS THE BEST COMBINATION OF POWER STEERING UPGRADE AND SUSPENSION MODIFICATION / LIFT METHOD THAT WILL WORK TOGETHER BASED ON WHAT I HAVE SAID I AM TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH? (33-35's with pwr. steering)

I should mention that my rig currently has a 1F out of an older FJ....I have no plans to put in a V8, want to keep the orig character of the truck, may want to switch back to a 2F at some point - I assume the drivetrain is an important consideration in the whole plan is why I mentioned it. Also, note: I don't plan on doing much if any wheeling (unfortunately!)

I think I have addressed everything you would need to know to come up with some suggestions, if I have over-looked something, let me know. I guess I should mention that budget is not unlimited by any means but, I want to do it once and do it right so, if that means saving up some coin to do it right the first time, that's what I'll do. Thanks for reading my long post!! I look forward to hearing from some FJ40 pros out there! :cheers:

Regards, Lee
PS-I'm looking for a running, driving FJ55 to putt around in while I'm working on the FJ40......l am in the Baltimore, MD area, if you know of one in the $1000-$1500 range, let me know! carsncards@comcast.net Thanks!!
 
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Joined
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Mini truck box conversion and a set of springs will work fine for your application.......

Good luck on finding a drivable 55 for 1500$........
 

green40

 
 
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Ok, THERE IS NO BEST COMBINATION! You mentioned that you didn't like the free-play in the steering.
Make sure all of the other steering components are in good shape. If your TRE's and center arm are worn
you'll get slop.
If you are going to run 33"-35" and are only going to do light wheeling the minitruck conversion works well.
I ran it on mine for a few years and it was fine (4" lift and 34" tires) Basically a bolt in swap.
If you tend to run harder stuff you may want to go with the 60 series box (I'm running this now) or the Saginaw box.
Both offer more power but require more fab skills (welding)
With both you have to figure out how to mount a steering pump.
 
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Hey Guys.....thanks for the input so far, I appreciate it...keep it coming!! What's the consensus on Shackle reversal and "handling kits"?......worth it? what are the benefits?

Also, I have seen a couple 55's on here for around 1K....so I thought I'd add $500 to the range since I'm on the wrong coast!
-Lee
 
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Messages
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Mini truck box conversion and a set of springs will work fine for your application.......

Good luck on finding a drivable 55 for 1500$........
Can someone point me to a mini truck pwr steering kit that is ready to install as opposed to trying to piece it together?

Ok, THERE IS NO BEST COMBINATION! You mentioned that you didn't like the free-play in the steering.
Make sure all of the other steering components are in good shape. If your TRE's and center arm are worn
you'll get slop.
If you are going to run 33"-35" and are only going to do light wheeling the minitruck conversion works well.
I ran it on mine for a few years and it was fine (4" lift and 34" tires) Basically a bolt in swap.
If you tend to run harder stuff you may want to go with the 60 series box (I'm running this now) or the Saginaw box.
Both offer more power but require more fab skills (welding)
With both you have to figure out how to mount a steering pump.

Where is the best place to source a Saginaw box and the related parts needed to complete the conversion? Am I going to have to find all the bits and pieces used?


SOA
For stearing I used a Saginaw box out of an astro van On a budyy of mines 40
I have the scout box in mine.
Both work great and are cheep if you can do the work yourself.
https://forum.ih8mud.com/pa-steel-city-land-cruiser-club/120147-erics-wreck.html
I will check out the link......I am not afraid of a little fab work. What is the benefit of the SOA over upgraded springs / shackles? What is the cost of the SOA conversion versus springs, shackles and shocks, generally speaking? thanks again guys!!

-Lee
 
Joined
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Soa if do my yourself completely may be cheaper but then you will have to address the steering linkage which would require you to by a cross over steering kit, this replaces the existing steering arms with different ones. If you go SOA you will need, xover steering and a saginaw steering box mounted up front. (more involved, probably more money too). a spring lift kit, standard shackle height and a mini-truck steering gear is fairly easy to do yourself and not too expensive.

It's really all a matter of how extreme you want to take the truck. factory out of the box these are tough little trucks, lockers and power steering takes you places yo'd never imagine. Bigger tires and some lift even further and with ease. How far do you want to go and how much money are you willing to spend (and how much work can you do with the knowledge and tooling available to you).

I'm in Hagerstown MD not too far from baltimore. I know of couple of guys right around my area and we all wrench on these 40's. Feel free to contact me anytime. Good Luck Ken
 
Joined
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Soa if do my yourself completely may be cheaper but then you will have to address the steering linkage which would require you to by a cross over steering kit, this replaces the existing steering arms with different ones. If you go SOA you will need, xover steering and a saginaw steering box mounted up front. (more involved, probably more money too). a spring lift kit, standard shackle height and a mini-truck steering gear is fairly easy to do yourself and not too expensive.

It's really all a matter of how extreme you want to take the truck. factory out of the box these are tough little trucks, lockers and power steering takes you places yo'd never imagine. Bigger tires and some lift even further and with ease. How far do you want to go and how much money are you willing to spend (and how much work can you do with the knowledge and tooling available to you).

I'm in Hagerstown MD not too far from baltimore. I know of couple of guys right around my area and we all wrench on these 40's. Feel free to contact me anytime. Good Luck Ken
Ken, I sent you a PM......I really want to try to keep things somewhat straight-forward so it is sounding more and more like the mini-truck box and shackle / spring lift kit might be the best way for me to go......keep the ideas and thoughts coming though, I am learning a ton and I appreciate it!! -Lee
 

green40

 
 
Joined
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Messages
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Ken, I sent you a PM......I really want to try to keep things somewhat straight-forward so it is sounding more and more like the mini-truck box and shackle / spring lift kit might be the best way for me to go......keep the ideas and thoughts coming though, I am learning a ton and I appreciate it!! -Lee
If you go with the mini box I have the pedestal for the box. I'll let it go
pretty cheap. (it's from JTO)

Lane
 

Lil'John

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For power steering, I am a BIG supporter of the Scout PS over anything else. It keeps the front of the rig clean:cool:

As for lift, I still am a believer that once you get into the 35" range, the best bet is an SOA.

I won't start the SOA debate.

As for the shackle reversal, save your money. If you have the rest of your steering components in good shape, they do very little noticeable. 99.9% of the claims of "miracle steering" after a SR were usually due to replacing bushings, tie rod ends, center arm, etc at the same time:rolleyes:
 
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For power steering, I am a BIG supporter of the Scout PS over anything else. It keeps the front of the rig clean:cool:

As for lift, I still am a believer that once you get into the 35" range, the best bet is an SOA.

I won't start the SOA debate.

As for the shackle reversal, save your money. If you have the rest of your steering components in good shape, they do very little noticeable. 99.9% of the claims of "miracle steering" after a SR were usually due to replacing bushings, tie rod ends, center arm, etc at the same time:rolleyes:[/quote


Thanks for your feedback.....will SOA conversion alone provide enough room for 33-35" tire? Besides modding the axles, what else is required to complete the SOA conversion? Will the Scout PS conversion work ok with SOA conversion? how does the scout box compare in strength to a saginaw? thanks in advance! -Lee
 
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