Friday, August 28, 2009

We got steered a little off course since the beginning of the year, so lets see if we can get back on track by talking, what else "steering". First a bit of an update on the young lad. He got himself into Williamson free school of mechanical trades in the power plant curriculum. For anybody who isn't familiar with this school they take only 100 boys total and distribute them over 6 courses, power plant, machine shop, carpentry, paint, masonry and horticulture. It's a 3 year course with an associates degree and it is free, yep free tuition. Their goal is to produce respectable productive members of society with no strings attached. And they have companies knocking on their doors for these students with job offers. Hey more money for the Jeep fund. Of course the summer was spent rebuilding and installing a 2.2 engine to replace the 1.8 in his Subaru. Now don't get me wrong, it was a good learning experience, but the Jeep got dusty. On to the steering. Sent the original box out to Chip at Power Steering Services. They do a complete rebuild and convert your box from a constant 17.5:1 ratio to a variable 16/13:1 ratio, that's a difference of around 4 1/4 turns down to about 3 1/2 turns. I had the box on my J10 converted to 12:1 ratio (around 3 turns) but Chip didn't recommend that for a short wheel base CJ. Check out their websight for a full rundown on services. These boxes have a lifetime warranty, which uses your stock inch fittings on the hoses and cost $278.00 out and back. Yeah you could get an F body box from the junkyard but it will have metric fittings and you would be hard pressed to find one with 4 mounting holes. With the warranty and quality of work Chip does it ain't worth the aggravation. I can't say enough about him. Give him a call, he knows his stuff and you wont be disappointed. Installation went well with just enough clearance for the larger sway bar mount. The dropped pitman arm as stated in an earlier post is from a Wrangler, but what I did was file out the 4 wider indexing keys on the inside spline so it could be clocked at every tooth as compared to only 4 different positions as in the stock application. This gives me total control to index it to clear the radiused tie rod. To give a little bling I used button head socket head stainless steel bolts on the top of the cross member and even added the same bolts on the passenger side holes and just nutted them on the bottom for a more symmetric appearance. These I got from MSC