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  #1  
Old March 3rd, 2004, 15:25
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YELLAHEEP YELLAHEEP is offline
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For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

I'm at a loss regarding my new steering setup.

Problem:
Steering won't turn fully right or left. When looking at the knuckles where the stop bolt is supposed to contact the flange on the knuckle and stop turn motion, I've got 1/4" space on the left and 1" on the right. The steering box seems to be maxed out with each turn right or left.

Parts used:
I installed a rebuilt '99 Dodge Durango steering box and the linkage is FSJ Waggy steering components. D30 knuckles reamed for over-the-knuckle installation of the steering components. Factory pitman arm.

Question #1:
Is it possible to rebuild a steering box and not put the pitman shaft in correctly causing the the gears inside to allow more travel one direction than the other? It seems that I get just a bit more turn to the left than the right.

Question #2:
I thought that the "lock to lock" feeling when spinning the steering wheel came from the knuckles stopping upon contact with those bolts on the knuckles. Am I right? Or does the steering box also have a "lock to lock" limitation in it's range of motion?

Question #3:
Would installing a drop-pitman arm help with the turning range right and left? I don't think it would, because it seems that I could simply turn out the drag link to increase it's length and create more "throw". When I did do this, it only helped my steering range to the right, but not the left. Turning out the tie rod only made the toe setting way out. Now, if the pitman arm were simply longer, then that would seem to work.....

Your help will be MUCH appreciated!

Troy
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  #2  
Old March 3rd, 2004, 15:45
GRNT GRNT is offline
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

I'm not all that familar with the Durango box. However I do know that all steering boxes have a turn to turn range. For instance the XJ box has a longer t to t than a ZJ box but they are interchangable as far as bolt in is concerned. So I am suspect that the Durango box may be the same as a ZJ and that is why you are not getting the full range necessary. I''m assuming that the durango was a bolt in which leads me to believe that it may be the same box that the ZJ uses.
Hope this helps and others may say I'm all wet in my analysis.
GRNT
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  #3  
Old March 3rd, 2004, 18:06
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Gary E Gary E is offline
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

So does the durango box have the bigger bore or is it heresay? You can tell by measuring the diameter of the front of the box

btw with that waggy steering are you sure its not hitting anything anywhere mine is awfully close to the trackbar and swaybar mounts.
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  #4  
Old March 3rd, 2004, 18:55
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

Grant is spot on, the box has internal stops that prevenbt over-cycling. I have never heard of it being a problem with a Durango box on an XJ, but i haven't seen it done that often, either.

A LONGER pitman arm will help with your problem. Call WMS or Roggy Enterprises, they can make one up for you in no time.

CRASH
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  #5  
Old March 3rd, 2004, 20:27
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Gary E Gary E is offline
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRASH
Grant is spot on,
CRASH

Who is Grant?
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  #6  
Old March 3rd, 2004, 20:48
wascobi wascobi is offline
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

hey! I'm just about to by a '99 durango steering box, like tomorrow. is this a common problem with all of them? I kinda like having my full turning radius! more input please
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  #7  
Old March 3rd, 2004, 23:39
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

It's not a "problem," it's a "consideration."

The Saginaw boxes are available with and without an internal steering stop. I don't know if the XJ boxes have an internal stop -- if they do it's extraneous, because the XJ has external stops.

I'm not "recommending" AGR steering boxes, because I think they are over-priced and I know two people who bought them and were very unhappy with the lack of quality control, BUT ... if you look at the AGR web site, in the section on racing/competition boxes they make a point (or did, I haven't checked their site in a long time) of mentioning that the racing boxes do not have an internal steering stop.

Which suggests that the "street" boxes probably DO have an internal stop.
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  #8  
Old March 4th, 2004, 09:05
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

Gary E, and wascobi,

Yes, the Durango box is the bigger bore/piston. It's a perfect fit after making 3/4" spacers to go between the box and the frame. The hydraulic fittings are the same and it has the same steering shaft and pitman arm shafts.

No, nothing in the steering linkage or otherwise is hitting anywhere. The box simply stops turning.

No one bothered to tell me wether or not the darn thing has a different range of motion and that does appear to be the case. I guess I'll first look at a Durango Pitman arm and see if it might work, if not, then it gonna be a custom one.

Thanks for the input guys, I think I now understand what I gotta do.
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  #9  
Old March 4th, 2004, 16:42
wascobi wascobi is offline
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

with the durango box, do you still use the aluminum spacer between the box and frame? and with the 3/4" spacers, how close is the box to the frame? c-rok's inside spacer has a 3/16 plate. would there be enough clearance for all of this?
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  #10  
Old March 4th, 2004, 17:05
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

My question is: does the larger piston and bore make any difference if you decrease the leverage by lengthening the pitman arm? Kinda seems like a waist of time to me. How much turning power do you really gain. I have an 87 with 35's and I did the modification to the pump from West Texas Off Road, and I can turn from lock to lock with one finger. (on flat dry pavement) The only modification I'm thinking of here is hydro assist. That and new tie rod and drag link. I may be way off base here, but it sounds like you loose whatever you gain.

Neil
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  #11  
Old March 5th, 2004, 01:13
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

Wascobi and Neil,

When installing the Durango box, you have to discard the aluminum spacer because it doesn't fit around the larger diameter of the Durango box. I took some 3/4" pieces of thick steel tube - I stress "thick" here so that you don't compress the tube when torquing down the mounting bolts - and welded the tube to the steering box. Let me also preface this by saying that the "3/4" measurement is aproximate - I don't recall the actual measurement I went with. I also welded thick washers to the ends of the tube to give the spacers a platform and spread the load further across the jeep's frame where the bolt holes are. With the spacers I made, the new box has the same clearance to the frame as the old box did. I have no idea about what problems might appear when doing this mod along with C-Roc's plate.

As far as the benefit to using the Durango box, the jury is still out - so to speak. I never had any problems with turning my tires on flat pavement. I swapped out the box because it was worn out and having problems turning my 35" tires while 'wheeling on the rocks. Basically, the valves in the box seemed to lock up and I couldn't even force the steering wheel to turn - only revving the engine and increasing the pump pressure would help turn the tires. The Durango box and new pump I installed made an immediate difference to my ability to turn the tires when on the rocks. I guess the fact that the Durango box has a bigger piston bore and larger volume gives it a bit more power to move the steering.

I'm still going to have to call the rebuilder and see if there's a difference between the XJ box and this Durango box as far as the lock-to-lock turning ratio.

If the same mod Neil did to his XJ box can be done to the Durango box, then this would be even more to support that the Durango box swap is worthwhile. I'll have to look into that as well.
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  #12  
Old March 7th, 2004, 10:56
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Re: For those of you who have rebuilt your steering boxes....

I have no doubt that the Durango box is more powerful. My point was that if you have to lengthen the pitman arm to regain the range of motion you loose the power you gained and create more stress on the steering box. A 1 loss of motion at the stops transfers to quite a bit at the end of the tire. The modification that I am talking about on the West Texas Off Road web site is for the pump. So far it seems to work well. I have yet to test it out on the rocks, but hope to soon. At idle the steering reacts quicker (jerking the wheel) and takes much less effort to turn the wheel. The modification is said to increase flow and line pressure at idle. So I figured that it would work well for me, because right around idle is where I spend most of my time on the rocks.
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