Mini-Truck Power Steering Conversion with Column Swap

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Lifetime Rookie
Mar 12, 2012
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Hello all! Thought I'd document my Mini-truck P/S conversion and column swap as I think there can never be enough step by step instructions floating around. I'm still in the middle of this conversion and I'm a 1 :banana: mechanic (weekend warrior) working on my first project. I chose the Mini-Truck set-up as my rig will pound the pavement most of the time with some light wheeling. Plus I don't plan to run anything bigger than 33's. Also my rig had the luxury of have a 1-piece column and an F engine with the alternator on the wrong side.

This is probably not the cheapest conversion ever done, but we don't have very many parts yards locally that have old Toyota's so I've picked most of everything up on MUD. I'll try to update my parts list as I go through this project.

- Mini Truck P/S Gear box
- Mini Truck P/S Gear box bracket (from georg at valley hybrids)
- Saginaw P/S Pump
- P/S Pump Pulley Wide belt - from Man-A-Fre
- High Pressure Hose
- Low Pressure Return
- Low Pressure nipple (44416-34010)
- 2F Alternator Bracket
- Late model Steering Column & Wheel
- Double Belt Crank Pulley
- Double Belt Water Pump Pulley

First here's what I started with...The 2nd picture is the awesome license plate firewall bracket that the PO gorilla glued in there. 3rd I decided to go ahead and unwrap the wiring harness back to the firewall to run the alternator wires back through the firewall.
So I started by removing the alternator and also the engine hoist hook on the passenger side. Then I mounted the 2F alternator bracket using the 2 holes in the block on the passenger side (theres not 3-holes on the F-engine, but I've heard that people have been running them with two bolts just fine).
Ran into my first problem. The alternator was hitting the by-pass hose on the water pump before I could even get the tensioner bolted on. Thanks to the forum someone told me that the bypass hose I have is too long. So I have part #: 16261-60011 on order and I'm pretty sure this will fix the problem.
Next I worked on removing the drag-link from the pitman arm. First start by removing the cotter pin at the end of the drag link (Pic 1). Then take a flat-head screw driver and back out the plate on the end of the drag link (Pic 2). Behind the plate there are two more pieces 1- spring, 2-cylinder with ball shaped cut-out on one end (Pic 3). I had to hit the end of the drag link for awhile with a rubber mallet before both of these pieces worked their way out.
So here's the part I got stuck on for a couple of minutes. I figured that the ball on the pitman arm would just pop off at this point so after hitting the drag link for awhile with no success I figured something had to give. So I stuck my finger in the drag link and realized that the wheel had to be a turned in a certain direction to line up the ball of the pitman with the right part of the "slot" (Pic 1). So I turned the steering wheel to the right until lock. Then the drag link fell right off.
Pulling the Pitman Arm

Next up was getting the pitman arm off. I picked up an OEM pitman arm puller from autozone, but after reading on MUD I was a little nervous whether or not this was going to work. BUT being a 1 :banana: mechanic on a budget I couldnt exactly run out and buy a snap-on puller. ;)

Pic 1 you can see that after an hour or so of hitting the pitman arm with a hammer and tightening the puller all I managed to do was bend my puller. :mad: About 2-hours in my frustration level was starting to peak so I picked up my 8lb splitting maul and hit the pitman arm several times all around pretty hard (Pic 2). Keep in mind that I've been hitting this thing with PB Blaster for the past couple of weeks in preparation...I was hoping this would make it easier. NOT!! At this point I had to improvise with a piece of rebar jammed into the puller because it was bent to the point it was no long holding. I put my breaker bar on the wrench and bingo. It finally came off! I attribute it to hitting it with the maul a couple of times....
Upcoming: Pulling the steering wheel, steering box and column....tomorrow. :cheers:
Pic 1 you can see that after an hour or so of hitting the pitman arm with a hammer and tightening the puller all I managed to do was bend my puller. :mad: About 2-hours in my frustration level was starting to peak so I picked up my 8lb splitting maul and hit the pitman arm several times all around pretty hard (Pic 2).

If you tightened the puller as much as you could without bending it, then whacked around the edges of the pitman arm with the maul, it would've popped right off. If you would've heated it with a torch it would've been even easier.
eah...I wish I would have thought about the maul sooner. If only I owned a torch! Oh well, at least its off now!

On to the steering wheel removal. I forgot to take a picture when I first removed it, but I took a picture pretty much explains it. I picked up an OEM steering wheel/pulley puller and it came with different bolts that you thread into the steering wheel. It only took a couple of cranks and the wheel popped right off.
I was able to score a new steering wheel & later model steering column with fire-wall mounts. I don't know if it was a stroke of luck...or my rig originally had one of these columns, but I pulled the old column out through the fire wall and the new one fit perfect! Even the 3 holes on the firewall lined up perfectly. This leads me to believe that my rig was robbed of the column once upon a time and sometime put in a 1-piece column.
I went to grind the old pedestal off of the frame and found another indication that the 1-piece column was not original. The "rivets" I was expecting were actually bolts!
Subscribed! Keep it up.
Here are the 4 bolts that I had to remove to detach the steering box from the pedestal. It was a lot easier leaving the box attached to the column and just pulling it through on the engine side.
One problem that I ran into when unwrapping the wiring harness was coming across 3-wires that were spliced together. After doing some research I found a thread of someone else's conversion and they ran into the same issue and they had split this cluster and had some wiring issues later (I believe I found the thread on the Rising Sun forum...I'll try to find again and post up). My plan is to split the wires up and then reconnect them closer to the firewall. I believe they are all grounds and I'll try testing them when they are split apart. This weekends goal is to figure out wiring up the new steering column as I've read there are some incompatibility issues. Plus my high-beam switch is on the floor and I'd like to relocate that to the column. More to come. - JP
Following this thread minitruck/hilux parts is something I have loads of. Good luck:cheers:

So I got the old manual gear box pedestal removed and the P/S Box mount bolted on (Pic 1). I got the bracket for Georg at Valley Hybrids (Orange45). He is fantastic to work with and this bracket is beefy and very well built.

I ran into yet another problem (Pic 2). I went to slide the P/S gear box onto the pedestal and go figure the d*&$ thing hit the oil line that you see coming straight down out of the oil filter. So off to the autoparts store to find another 90 degree elbow. So autozone was a was tractor supply & Lowes. I got lucky and picked up a couple of pieces at Advanced Auto Parts. I ended up only using the 90 deg elbow (1/8 x 1/8 "Street Elbow") - Part 321162.1 (UPC: 8035818872). Pic 3 has both 90's put on so that I could finally get the gear box bolted on.
Next I worked to get the steering column mounted at the firewall. Seemed like an easy enough task, but it took forever to get the bolt holes lined up. I ended up taking 3 screw drivers and poking them through the boot and then the bolt holes in the firewall. Then I took each out one at a time and replaced with the 3-bolts that mount it to the fire wall (Pic 1).

After getting the column secured in place I slid the P/S gear box on and pushed it into the rag joint on the column and bolted everything down. 4-bolts to mount the box and 1-bolt to tighten the rag joint onto the splines (Pic 2).

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