View Full Version : Power Steering Conversion

03-01-2009, 09:31 PM
Recently I picked up a mini truck power steering box and got started on collecting parts to convert to power steering. My 1971 will need a fair amount of work to get this done as it does not have dual pulleys and the steering shaft is one piece that runs directly into the steering box. I'm going to chronicle my work progress here for this project.

This is the first picture of interest for this project. I have removed the radiator and associated housings. I had never flipped down my front bib, and after I got it down decided to remove it for additional clearance. I only broke one bolt (one of the posts in the black grill) and was quite pleased considering how many old bolts and nuts I had to get removed. In this picture I have removed the big ole nut and the fan blade.

The leak is from my side cover and it is on my short list to be taken care of. Before dealing with the steering box and column there are quite a few things to be done right here. I need to remove the harmonic balancer w/ single pulley and replace it with a two row pulley.

My alternator will need to move to the passenger side. In its place I will be putting a saginaw pump. I am going to use the smog pump bracket to hold the saginaw pump.

I will need to put in a water pump from 1-75 thru 8-76 2F. The pulleys for this project came off a 76 2F and the dual water pump pulley will not line up with the alternator, saginaw pump or crank pulleys if I use the 1F water pump. The new water pump pulley has a longer shaft for the flange that the fan bolts to.

03-01-2009, 09:38 PM
I researched this project quite a bit and never did find a good picture of the differences between the single row and two row pulleys. Here is a picture of the harmonic balancer pulleys:

Here is a photo of the water pump pulleys:

The 2 row water pump pulley is quite bigger and will require a new water pump be installed.

03-01-2009, 09:42 PM
In addition to the mysterious gasket found when cleaning the two row pulley, I noticed some significant grooves had been worn into it. The grooves were not all the way around the shaft, and I would guess were a contributing reason for the FJ making its way to the junk yard.

Some research found a repair sleeve, so a quick call to NAPA and in short order I had the correct Harmonic Balance Repair Sleeve.

Here is the sleeve just getting started on being put in place. You can see the grooves on the shaft in this picture.

I started to install the sleeve with my BFH - very gently I tapped it on. Shortly after starting, I switched to my rubber mallet. It is much lighter than the BFH and as it was a slow going processs requireing a gentle touch this was a better tool. Here is the sleeve installed.

The slight bump on the top was smoothed out prior to installation. Installation was very smooth. I lightly greased things up, lined the key way up and used the 1 13/16" big socket with the BFH to tap it in. The big ole nut threaded on most of the way by hand. I then step torqued the nut (70, then 100, then 135 lbs) and bent the locking tabs to hold it in place. :thumb:

03-01-2009, 09:48 PM
I'm using a saginaw pump from an early 80's Volvo 240 series. These pumps are readily available in the junk yard and they come with a big groove pulley that is almost a spot on match for the Toyota pulleys.

I wanted to use the smog pump bracket to mount the pulley and to do this I needed to make some changes to the bracket.

The first change is to enlarge the holes on the ears so that the 10mm X 1.5 bolts would be able to pass through. Using a 3/8" inch drill bit I was able to enlarge one of the holes big enough to run a tap through. The second hole had a small sleeve it it and the drill bit succeeded in pushing it out - the resulting hole was larger than I wanted so I tapped the sleeve back in and used a small round file to bore it out enough for the bolt. A bit tedious work, but it got the job done. Here is a picture of the bracket mounted to the workmate during this process.

I don't have a bench in my garage, so the workmate has been a great tool. This is my second one, the vise mechanism on my first one came apart after 15 years of service, so it now serves to hold parts for painting.

Once I could get the pump into the bracket, next came a series of put the bracket in the truck, see what needed to be ground away, take the bracket out of the truck, grind; repeat the cycle.

The body of the saginaw pump has a ridge that makes it just a little to deep to put the front mounting bolt in. Once I ground for the depth, I next found that the same ridge would hit the bracket and affect the rotation that would be needed to tension the belt. Here is the grinding that I did on the bracket to deal with these issues.

Fresh grinds on painted bracket really makes it clear that I should not plan on becoming a blacksmith. There is not much that needs to be ground away and there is still plenty of metal left to keep things strong.

The next item to address was the bracket to tension the pump. The smog pump bracket almost works as is but given the large size of the bolt and body contours of the saginaw pump a bit of grinding was needed. I took a little off the bottom edge of the inside loop of the bracket and just a little off the bottom arch of the bracket. Its a bit hard to see in this picture:

03-01-2009, 09:52 PM
Well, with the grinding work done I could mock up the installation of the saginaw pump. I think it is going to work just fine. Here is a picture of the pump as close to the block as it will go:

With the grinding, I have plenty of room to tension the belt, here it is as far away from the block it will go:

I do need to get a 1" spacer for the bracket where it attaches to the water pump. The one that was there had to move over to alternator side. Unlike my water pump, I can use my 1F alternator but needed to space out the tension arm so it aligns with the ear. Here is a picture of my SST (nuts and washers)for determining spacer length:

This project is not done yet, but it feels good to post up my progress so far. More to come later.

03-01-2009, 10:53 PM
You are making some great progress!

Looks like a fun project.

Today was a beautiful day to be wrenching outside!

03-01-2009, 11:06 PM
Wow, keep it up! You're going to LOVE power steering, perhaps the best mod for DD that can be done!

Shark Bait
03-02-2009, 12:45 AM
Looking good, Ricardo. You are very thorough and good at documenting everything! :thumb:

03-02-2009, 10:57 AM
Nice Ricardo.. I might have to borrow the puller to do my front main seal.

03-02-2009, 01:44 PM
Very nice Ricardo. I for one enjoy your detailed threads and associated pictures. I'll be monitoring this one...

03-02-2009, 03:53 PM
Nicely done, and great photos.

03-02-2009, 08:54 PM
Awesome documentation Ricardo. Blacksmithing is fun, isn't it!

03-09-2009, 01:17 PM
Thanks for all the warm thoughts. Progress continued this past weekend, and things are getting closer to the end objective.

Saturday morning I went to the junk yard to look for a high pressure hose and return fitting for the low pressure side of the mini truck power steering pump. The low pressure size fitting was pretty easy to find. It is a 17mm x 1.5 thread and I found one in a 90s vintage Toyota 4x4 truck. It is the style that goes straight up and while I was hoping to find the style with the 90 degree bend it will work just fine. I also did some searching for a high pressure hose, but quickly realized I did not have a wrench big enough to disconnect the steering box end of the hose. The search for a high pressure hose was a long shot gambit at best because the threads of the Saginaw pump I pulled are 5/8 18" and the threads on my steering pump are 16mm x 1.5.

For those of you that are thinking about getting the Volvo pump because it has the wide groove pulley, you would actually be best off just grabbing the pulley from the pump and putting it on the generic Saginaw pump. This way you will have a pump with the 16mm x 1.5 threads for your high pressure hose. In my situation, if I get a custom high pressure hose made with different fittings at each end - When my Volvo pump goes belly up, to use my high pressure hose I'll have to replace it with the Volvo reman, at $100. So, I'm thinking that for the long haul I may be better off abandoning my Volvo pump in favor of the generic Saginaw. By doing this now, when my pump goes out I can replace it with another generic Saginaw for about 2/3 the cost of the Volvo pump. I will also have a more standard high pressure hose, which should be easier to find in a parts store should the need ever arise. This is one of those things that you just learn as you go through the process of putting things together, perhaps it can save someone a little frustration when they take on their swap.

After the boys swim meet, I got the new water pump installed. I did not have my bucket under the old water pump when I removed it from the engine block:o. Fortunately it did not take too long to sop up the mess. Most of the gasket came off on the pump so there was very little scraping needed on the block. With the pump off, I was able to run a flat razor blade down the block and scrape off the gunga from the side cover leak. As long as the cleanup had started, I went ahead and cleaned up the timing cover and around the front drive engine mount.

With the two row pulleys in place, I made the final adjustments on the power steering pump mounting. The pulley alignment is spot on and the pump is solidly mounted. That said, I'll likely end up going with a different Saginaw pump so that I can get 16mm x 1.5 threads. On the plus side, I was able to confirm that I don't have any clearance issues with my big air cleaner. It should not take long to fit another pump.

My largest time sink this weekend was re-routing the alternator wiring. The ground wires (white w/ black stripe) for the driver front head light and VSV had been spliced together with the ground wire running from the alternator to voltage regulator. In order to make sure I know where everything was going, I unwrapped all of the wires. To make the work easier, I removed the driver side fender. I decided to run the alternator to voltage regulator ground wire direct. The Haynes wiring diagram and information on MUD all indicate this is the way the ground wire should be. I also made sure the two remaining ground wires run independent of each other.

I used connectors with heat shrink. With all the wires unloomed, it was easy to clean up some loose ends from when I removed my VSV and speed sensor. My speed sensor connection wires are now wrapped up so they are not exposed to the elements; previously I had just taped up the ends and taped them to my bright light switch wiring. I also had spliced in some of the horseshoe shaped connectors for the voltage regulators, so i went ahead and swapped the connectors to the shrink-wrapped version. I do have some questions about the routing of the alternator/voltage regulator wiring that I posted up in a different thread. I am glad to have been able to remove the big ground wire splice and overall am very pleased with how much cleaner the wrapping of the wires is now that it has been redone.

Visually, there is not all that much to show for the weekends work, but here is a shot of what it looked like yesterday afternoon before I re-wrapped all the wires.

03-09-2009, 01:36 PM
Very nice Ricardo, making good progress.

FWIW, following on your comment made somewhere about two different kinds of two-row pulleys, I have a water pump pulley that has a wide and narrow groove that I don't need. Looking at the one currently on my truck, it has two wide grooves. On the wide-narrow pulley, it looks like the outer row (closer to the rad) is the narrow one, which would align with the alternator on my '77. There would have to be a crank pulley that matches though, so don't know what use it is. I'm trying to get rid of it now that I know I don't need it.

It feels nice to have wiring all fixed up nice so it's not a rat nest eh!?

03-10-2009, 06:13 PM
Thanks for sharing all that valuable info Ricardo! I have not seen the thread pitch issue about the Volvo pumps written before, quite helpful! Nothing like doing the job and sharing the gotchas!

03-29-2009, 09:43 AM
I still have a few lingering things to button up but the power steering conversion is done. Yesterday afternoon, I took it on an extended check out drive which started with a couple of errands close to home and finished with a high speed (for a 40) ride on the interstate.

Wow, the FJ40 is a bunch more fun to drive with power steering. It has always been fun, but being able to easily turn the wheels at slow speeds makes it feel sporty. Prior to the conversion I had some slop coming from the steering box, there is no slop in the power steering box. Of course the "new" power steering box is 25 years old, and I'm not expecting it will never develop issues. :D

An unexpected improvement from the conversion is a smoothness at higher speeds. Prior to the conversion as my truck exceeded 60 mph it would shake, shimmy and get louder. Not really a death wobble as I never felt as if I was about to loose control, but the kind of thing I noticed enough to put it on the list to figure out at some point. On the drive yesterday, I had no shake, shimmy all the way up to 70 mph.

I'll still post up many details on the conversion in this thread, but wanted to get it updated to let everyone know it is done.

03-29-2009, 09:47 AM
70mph!:eek: Maybe I should convert to an F?

03-29-2009, 09:48 AM
70mph!:eek: Maybe I should convert to an F?
It was on the downhill, albeit a slight downhill. ;)

03-29-2009, 10:21 AM
Very nice write up. What's up with the 2"x4" tube welded to the front cross member? behind the front bumper. Looks like something from Thomas the Train? Fishing rod carrier? Beer holder? Old plow mount?
How about a pic of the mounted mini-box. I'm only familiar with saganaw conversions. Drilling the front cross member and such.

03-29-2009, 08:03 PM
wow ricardo, maybe that's where my high-speed shimmy comes from too, seeing as my steering box is also loose! i'm even more excited to get my steering (started and) done to maybe experience the same thing!

BTW jacket, i got my 40 up to about 80 today on i-25 coming down into castle rock, but my tach was showing i was turning 4000 rpms, so i slowed it down a touch ;)

glad to see you got all the issues figured out and got it done! :thumb:

Shark Bait
03-29-2009, 09:16 PM
Very nice write up. What's up with the 2"x4" tube welded to the front cross member? behind the front bumper. Looks like something from Thomas the Train? Fishing rod carrier? Beer holder? Old plow mount?

Might be the perfect Birfield separator tool. :D:birf:

03-30-2009, 11:51 AM
Very nice write up. What's up with the 2"x4" tube welded to the front cross member? behind the front bumper. Looks like something from Thomas the Train? Fishing rod carrier? Beer holder? Old plow mount?

Might be the perfect Birfield separator tool. :D:birf:

Any or none of the above, its a PO mystery. :hill:

05-06-2009, 08:45 PM
Ok, back to posting about the conversion work, over the next couple of days Iíll be adding to this thread with some of the technical details about my conversion.

The low pressure return fitting that I picked up at the junk yard came straight up from the power steering box and was in between the oil filter lines. I trimmed the fitting enough for the hose to be attached and gently bent in the direction of the power steering pump. In this picture you can see how close the fitment is. Just use your x-ray vision to see through the coil of brake lines.:D

Junk yard parts tip; the low pressure fitting clamps in the Toyota trucks are a great item to pick up in the junk yard. I found these clamps to be easier to work with than band clamps.

Despite all my words of wisdom about switching to a new power steering pump, I ended up keeping my junk yard Volvo pump. I made a custom power steering hose by starting with an FJ60 power steering hose from NAPA, part # NPS72142. I removed the connector fitting from my Volvo pump removed the connector fitting from the FJ60 hose. Here is a picture of the fitting screwed into the Volvo pump Ė just cut the tube and the fitting is free:

I then took the Volvo connector and FJ60 hose to an auto shop and asked them put a double flare with the Volvo fitting. This was a bit risky because the Volvo tube was SAE and FJ60 tube was metric - close to the same diameters but the SAE was just a tad larger. Things got a bit riskier as the auto shop had double flare tool for SAE tubing and not metric tubing. In my case it all worked out. The connection is strong and does not leak. If you do go this route YMMV. Here is a close up picture of the hose connections on the Volvo pump:

I did not install a cooling coil on the low pressure return line.

05-06-2009, 09:22 PM
I had a few issues come up with my alternator relocation work; pulley alignment, let the smoke out of a wire and no headlights.

First, no headlights; when relocating the alternator I split up a splice of ground wires. I made the assumption that each of the ground wires were attached to ground and that by separating them I was "cleaning up" my wiring, this was a bas assumption. My mistake here could have been avoided if I had done some testing on the ground wires to confirm where each one went. Failing this I could have found my problem sooner if I had checked the function of my lights right after completing the wiring changes. I didn't do either of these things so I did not find my headlight trouble until after I had buttoned everything up. :o The picture quality is not very good, but here is the splice of ground wires that I split up:

Here is what my nice, neat splices looked like after I was done with the split.

It turns out that in splitting up the splice of ground wires I removed the ground portion of my head light circuit. A circuit is not a circuit unless it is complete and has a ground. MtnTrucker helped me through the de-bugging process to find the problem and getting it fixed. :thumb:

Second, let the smoke out of the wire; when adjusting the alternator tension my wrench slipped from my hand and made contact with a post on the alternator. This resulted in a short and in quick order the white wire to my ammeter heated up and burned through. My battery had been disconnected for weeks while I worked on the conversion and within 10 minutes of be being connected the mishap occurred. The needle fell off my ammeter from the ordeal so after replacing the white wire I had to manually check and confirm the voltage at the battery to make sure it is charging. I've found a new ammeter and will be installing it this week. The lesson here is clear; always disconnect the battery no matter how simple the electrical system work may seem to be. Here is a picture I snapped just after letting the smoke out. :eek: Do not give yourself the chance to take a similar picture.

Third, pulley alignment; when using my existing alternator the pulley alignment was not perfect. My existing alternator is a reman that I purchased last summer. As a reman the original pulley had been replaced with something smaller than OEM. When installing it originally it needed some shimming to get it aligned. When moved over the passenger side and placed into the 2F bracket there is very little shimming that could be done and it would not line up as needed. To get through this issue, I took an OEM alternator from my parts stash in the garage to D and D Auto Electric. This alternator had the larger pulley. I could have just swapped pulleys between the two but being that I did not have the correct sized nut to remove the pulley I took the more expensive route.

While not really an issue, I really overcomplicated the rewiring process. If I were to do this again, I would have routed the wires directly to the new alternator location, i.e. up and over the valve cover versus routing them across the fire wall and around the passenger side fender.

Air Randy
05-07-2009, 08:56 AM
I also like to put wire bundles into split loom tube versus wrapping everything in tape. Makes it a lot easier when trouble shooting, adding new wires for accessories and it doesnt trap water.

05-09-2009, 08:54 AM
The belts for the alternator and power steering pump were purchased at NAPA. I measured the length for each at the closest and farthest adjustment points to get an idea of the range. For the alternator I had a few inches of range and the power steering pump it was just shy of 2 inches. It took a few trips to and from NAPA to get my belt nailed down. In retrospect, it would have saved time to have started out with buying several belts in on shot, take them home to determine which was the best fit and then returning the others.

The belt width for wide pulleys is 17mm. The part number for the power steering pump belt is 25 22443. The part number for the alternator belt is 25 22485. Here is a photo of the steering pump belt.

Working with the belts is much easier when the radiator and radiator shrouds are not in place:D.

05-09-2009, 09:33 AM
In order to be able to remove the steering column and shaft, the steering wheel needs to come off. The first step in removing the steering wheel is to pop off the horn cover. Mine is loose enough that I can grab it by the edges and just pop it off. With the horn cover off, you are looking at this.

The nut in the center needs to be removed. It is 17mm. With the nut out you can remove the disk with the tabs. You are then looking at a plate with a black plastic circle. This plate will need to be popped out so that the holes used to pull the steering wheel can be exposed. Here is what it looks like.

A bit of side story is in order here, in my case, this black plastic circle had become brittle over the years and when putting the plate back in, the black plastic circle crumbled and disintegrated. The black plastic circle is a spacer that keeps the horn circuit open. Without it, the horn circuit will be complete and the horn will be always on:eek:. To correct this, I used a few layers of electrical tape in place of the black plastic spacer. It works just fine for now, but I'm wondering how it will hold up in the summer heat.

The spring for the horn brush is the bright silver piece at the top. From my research, the horn brush and spring are getting to be as scarce as henís teeth, so keep an eye on yours.

Once the horn brush and spring are removed the steering wheel is ready for the puller. Using the puller is very straight forward and in short order the wheel is off and here is what it looks like.

Next steps are to disconnect the turn signal lever, remove the turn signal lever bracket and disconnect the wire for the horn where it leaves the steering column. While not required, I did remove the top bushing from the steering column. Here is what things look like when all the work above is done.

The only thing left to do in the cab to free up the steering column and steering shaft from being removed is to remove the bracket on the bottom of the dash that holds the steering column in place. No pictures of that part of the process.

Uncle Ben
05-09-2009, 11:36 AM
I also like to put wire bundles into split loom tube versus wrapping everything in tape. Makes it a lot easier when trouble shooting, adding new wires for accessories and it doesnt trap water.

WERD! Split loom is awesome! :thumb::thumb: Tip: Buy it in bulk! For what you would pay for three or so pre cut packages you can get a 100' roll! You will use it yup faster than you think so don't worry about having to much!

05-09-2009, 02:29 PM
The spring for the horn brush is the bright silver piece at the top. From my research, the horn brush and spring are getting to be as scarce as henís teeth, so keep an eye on yours.

Awesome write-up Ricardo, keep it coming!

By now most folks should have their May/June Toyota Trails. Robbie has a trick he used for the horn spring on an FJ62, which might work on other applications. He used a spring from a ball-point pen. Cool cheap fix!

03-20-2013, 11:10 PM
You said that you used an air pump bracket to mount the P/S pump. What type of air pump bracket did you use? Was it an fj40 bracket? What year? My 72 does not have a smog pump on it.. Thanks

03-21-2013, 08:16 AM
You said that you used an air pump bracket to mount the P/S pump. What type of air pump bracket did you use? Was it an fj40 bracket? What year? My 72 does not have a smog pump on it.. Thanks

Yes it was from an FJ40. IIRC the air pumps began with model year 74. I grabbed the bracket from a late 70's FJ40 in the junkyard.