Power Steering Converted …need some input

knuckle47

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My Land cruiser is here now about 1 month. I’ve dug into it to insure some secure Knowledge of it and found a few things. I could use some help.
the steering on it seems secure and it drives well but things can’t be all that good with the fit of some parts.

1.) is there a bushing or bearing in the end of the steering column before you get to the rag joint where the housing is attached to the firewall?
2.) does the rag joint have flexibility? If I grab the lower steering shaft, I can easily slop it around about 1/4”

in the left side photo, there is that much play in this connection
in the right side photo, the shaft has about 1/8 wiggle room and it just does not make sense to me

thank you in advance

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knuckle47

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Well, I found and answer to the support bearing at the firewall. The answer is yes and TPI makes it. There is an insert bushing up to 1972 and a firewall mounted bearing for later model FJ40’s

 

StinkyPig

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Yes, you got it. What year 40 do you have and was the bearing not installed or its just worn?
I assume this is a Saginaw type installation?
Show us more pics.
 

knuckle47

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Thank you for the reply… this is a May 1975 FJ40 . despite My years of restoration on 1920’ - 1960’s motorcycles, I have never encountered steering (aside from handlebars) so I am flying blind here. Especially the alignment between the firewall shaft and the power steering box. Like a 20 degree offset. I am not sure if the bearing was never installed or is worn out. I just started to look into this issue the last day or so.

The sloppy flexibility in the rag joint disturbs me a bit and the shaft coming out of the firewall has about 1/8 inch FreePlay within the Bering, if one is actually there. I have not yet looked into what type of steering assembly is at the end of the lower driveshaft I will be doing all of that this weekend and will post further details. I really do need to resolve this to my own satisfaction. I’ve never assembled anything with that kind of freedom of movement that had to deal with control of
anything

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StinkyPig

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How about some pics of the steering box as well. Maybe the entire system?
I am not an expert but I can tell you that I believe the rag joint should be in parallel with the steer shaft where it can be supported on both sides. NOT used as a flexible joint and unsupported as your is.
 

tornadoalleycruiser

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Looks like you have aftermarket power steering completed by someone that didn't really do it correctly. Is that shaft collapsible? If so you should read up on how to do a power steering conversion. I remove the rag joint to take out one point of slop.
three options for the column.. Column Bearing – 189431 Northern tool $5 for a 2pack, Cruiser Outfitters - http://www.cruiseroutfitters.com/powersteering.html bearing/bushing, or the 4 bolt one above..
I see NO Way of installing a column bearing without cutting the rag joint off or totally disassembling the steering column..

if you have a collapsible shaft and it can reach above the rag joint, install the bearing, after you cut the rag joint off, grind the output of the steering shaft to mimic the D D shape of the ujoint, reinstall and voila.. you should have a better system.
 

John Smith

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pb4ugo

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You can use the search function to find your answers. This bearing question has been covered many times. I personally would not use that bolt on external pillow block. To fix it correctly you will have disassemble the column. You may have to clean up the steering shaft to get a bearing to slide on.
 
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knuckle47

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I can’t thank you all enough for providing the input I have here…to sum it up, I also felt this is a disaster in the making. Not that I have design experience but knowing some general mechanics just made it feel wrong. I am happy to have a consensus like this. @John Smith i actually read your entire post last night at 2am. Great list of information for me.
@tornadoalleycruiser don’t mind disassembling the entire column. When I rebuilt my Ford t-bit’d (‘56) with telescoping column, it took 4 complete disassemblies to get it right… I have ordered the bushing for the point above the rag joint and new rag joint

@pb4ugo this is what my initial concern was but has become a touch more involved…oddly when driving it, you’d never know the slop was there.
@StinkyPig that is a complete understanding of power steering operation and that helps me a lot.
@bhsdriller ordered the new rag joint last night. That will help while the other parts are on order… depending on the way this ends up, I may not need it eventually.

so my next thoughts are, does anyone have an opinion on electric steering? Not a cheap option but safety is my greater concern. So far the rest of the truck is great. It does have a Weber carb and starts well…unless it sits 5-6 days. I know this is a younger man’s project but at 69, I still feel it’s not a challenge unless it’s heavy..
I am sure I will have 20 more questions… I will add them as they pop up

here are a few more current photos
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the ps unit says 3F on the sticker

copy from the Borgeson Universal sheet

Rag Joint Angles of Operation
Rag joints are designed to dampen vibrations, they are not
designed to accommodate an angle. If you do not have a
straight connection a rag joint should NOT be used.
Learned something already!
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pb4ugo

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I guess I missed the pic with the rag joint and u joint set up pic. I never seen anything like that. Usually the rag joint flange on the steering shaft coming out of the firewall should be cut off and the ujoint should be adapted to it. If the only problem is the steering shaft, it is probably cheaper to correct the problem. Electric ps adapts under the dash, so you'll still have to deal with the rag joint issue. Overall, your sag steering is a very common setup. The steering column is a simple design to take apart or remove from the 40.
 
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knuckle47

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@tornadoalleycruiser THAT is a picture worth those 1000 words ! Speaks volumes to me now. I am one of those that won’t read directions but show me what it’s supposed to look like and I will get it done (sometimes) I am going to repair the union of the upper and lower shaft by cutting the rag joint off and use the correct fitting… thank you !
 

StinkyPig

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I know this is a younger man’s project but at 69,
My wife is constantly telling me to stop acting like a 15 year old.
I hope when I'm 90 and in the garage yelling at an old FJ she is still telling me this. Younger mans project my a$$!

I agree with @tornadoalleycruiser
Nothing wrong with the electric systems. But you already have the hard part in place. With the few adjustments that you now understand, it will be easier, cheaper and safe.
 

knuckle47

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So this could be my question for today: I measured the shaft going to the power steering box. It is a 1” DD shaft with the u-joint going to some mediocre adapter to connect to the existing rag joint. When I cut the rag joint off, the will be a gap between shafts of about 5 3/4”. What is the best way to bridge that gap? 2 u-joints or a longer shaft to the power steering ?

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StinkyPig

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Pull the shaft out completely and throw it away. Get yourself a collapsing shaft from a Land Cruiser specialist like Man-A-Fre that can sell you exactly what you need.
Call Rick at 702-568-1511
 
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You don’t necessarily need an entire new shaft. You need a DD section and possibly a new joint at either the steering column end or the steering box end depending on which end you put the larger vs smaller end of the DD shaft. The DD is the middle section of your current shaft, a collapsible DD will have a smaller solid shaft that collapses into a larger hollow shaft of the same shape. Hope that all makes sense….

Looking at your photos you also need some reinforcement of your front crossmember where they cut the hole for the shaft to go through.
 

knuckle47

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Maybe its Memorial Day weekend so they bailed early. I left my number. Bought a ton of Man-A-Fre parts back in the mid '70's for my FJ40. Including the Rochester Carb they sold back then.
 

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