Saginaw Steering Malfunction (1 Viewer)

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1. The Downey saginaw power steering instructions are here on Mud, look under the Downey Off Road link. If you can't find them, then send me snail mail address for a freebie set of instructions.
2. I don't buy into the 4.25 turn gear boxes, most with them complain of way to mushy on the highway, no feel of the road. I prefer the 3.5 turn box, better ratio, better feel of the road, still very powerful steering.
3. I will check my ebay store inventory and see what Saginaw conversion parts I still have, I know I have the complete steering drive shaft with 3/4-30 lower universal joint- - -stay tuned.
 
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Wow Mark Jennings ( post #31 above), that is the Downey cast steel gear box mounting bracket that we made about 1,000 years ago, they have not been available for at least a dozen years, wondering how TPI still had one to sell to you, life's great mysteries ???
 

RWBeringer4x4

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1. The Downey saginaw power steering instructions are here on Mud, look under the Downey Off Road link. If you can't find them, then send me snail mail address for a freebie set of instructions.
2. I don't buy into the 4.25 turn gear boxes, most with them complain of way to mushy on the highway, no feel of the road. I prefer the 3.5 turn box, better ratio, better feel of the road, still very powerful steering.
3. I will check my ebay store inventory and see what Saginaw conversion parts I still have, I know I have the complete steering drive shaft with 3/4-30 lower universal joint- - -stay tuned.
I will say steering through the 4-turn box is super numb on the highway but I think that has a lot to do with the super neutral caster angle on a stock 40. I put 2.5 degree shims on the front and it got better. I'm debating trying 4-degree shims when I put a lift on it. I've always suspected the 3.5 turn box "problems" may be overstated - if I trip over one of those I may throw it on one day and take it for a spin to compare.
 
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The 4.25 gear boxes have a 20 to 1 ratio, the 3.5 turn boxes have a 16 to 1 ratio, much much better for highway driving.
 

brian

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back when i had a sag power box, it was a 3.5 turn....had no issues with it being squirrelly.
 
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Wow Mark Jennings ( post #31 above), that is the Downey cast steel gear box mounting bracket that we made about 1,000 years ago, they have not been available for at least a dozen years, wondering how TPI still had one to sell to you, life's great mysteries ???
Bought it from them (TPI) in 2017 for fit up before we fully striped the frame down for powder coating. The PO had a funky steel plate with a Saginaw box where he had a notch cut in the top of the cross member for the steering shaft. He had also cut the Toyota steering arm in half and the Chevy steering arm in half and ‘cob’ welded the arms together. I’m thinking the PO added it in the mid 70s. The POs installation was pretty ‘ugly’.

Besides the ‘Downy’ bracket, the TPI kit had a new Saginaw box, new GM pump, a smog pump mounting bracket for the pump, tie rod with a Chevy rod end and Toyota rod end. The only issue I had were the hoses....drove the local NAPA guys nuts ‘til I found what I liked.

I also have a 3 on the tree, the PO gutted the original Toyota box, cut the front half away and we connected to the new telescoping shaft to the original Toyota shaft with a universal....I retained that portion for the nostalgia of the column shift.

My welder/pipe fitter buddy and I fussed with the layout for several weeks....scratched our chins....drank to many beers....and finally came up with something that looked good (didn’t look like it was scabbed on) and was SAFE. Then drank more beer...LOL

In the second picture you can see where we had to extend the original steering box mounting to get the lower steering shaft lined up to pass through the cross member instead of over it.

Anyway, if the mounting plate I got Through TPI is one of your originals, thank you....it made a great starting point for my installation.

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Wow Mark Jennings ( post #31 above), that is the Downey cast steel gear box mounting bracket that we made about 1,000 years ago, they have not been available for at least a dozen years, wondering how TPI still had one to sell to you, life's great mysteries ???
Hey Downey.....looks like advanced adaptors still sells a cast steel plate....even though advertised for Jeep, looks an awful lot like the one I picked up through TPI


C65E48D8-CC5D-48EF-9342-BF2DB3A54327.jpeg
 
Joined
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Yep, now I remember. When I closed Downey I sold "much" Downey adapters and "stuff" and molds to AA, but this is the first thing I now see they have re-introduced. Most Downey stuff went into storage at AA, now sold or thrown ???
 
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Austin, TX
Rod ends are a good place to start, however.....

If it’s a Saginaw conversion, sounds like one of the universals came off on the steering shaft from the wheel to the box. Some guys just use a set screw, some go to trouble of broaching the shaft and installing a key. If the PO just used a set screw, I would drill through the shaft an use a roll pin.

Also check and see if there is a rag joint...like a rubber coupling....these deteriorate over time and can tear.

Send some pictures alonge if you get a chance.
mark, here are a couple of pics of steering system.

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mark, here are a couple of pics of steering system.

Hello Rowdy,

I think Downey is correct, the spud shaft between the lower universal is slipping around the steering box input shaft. One of your earlier pictures showed what looked like a split shaft...it should have clamp. If there is a clamp, see if you can get in there and tighten it, If not, I’m not sure what to tell you.

Your steering system by the PO isn’t good or bad, it’s just different from what most of us that have lived with 40’s have. Generally, if it’s a Saginaw conversion, then it’s a power steering unit. If you like that manual steering then stick with it.

However, most likely you’re gonna’ have to pull it and since it looks to be completely welded, you’re gonna have to grind it out.

If you go that route, remove the bumper and the bib so you can get to everything. Since you’re in the Austin TX area....find a good friend with welding skills (your in an industrial area) and see if you can up with something the works and is safe. Power steering has its advantages but you’ll have to include a pump...more belts and hoses. There are a number of kits available, none are inexpensive if you’re on a budget.

If you stick with original steering box, then you’ll need to fab up a new mounting plate and weld it to the frame channel. Then clean up the area(s) on the box that were welded and reinstall to the new plate with grade 5 or 8 bolts.

If you fab your own plate, don’t go cheap, find a piece of 1/4 or, better yet 3/8. You can torch cut and grind clean as needed.

Have Fun and welcome to FJ40 ownership.
 
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Hey Downey.....looks like advanced adaptors still sells a cast steel plate....even though advertised for Jeep, looks an awful lot like the one I picked up through TPI


View attachment 2433454
 
Joined
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Austin, TX
Here is a picture of the 2 openings on front. Unseen is a 1x2 rectangular cut-out for current Saginaw gear box.

not sure if this is helpful or sparks any other ideas...
 
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Based on advice I’ve started my rebuild thread.


Open to advice on how to improve rebuild thread, mainly to help future “rebuilders.”
 

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