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atomicjoe23 06-27-2011 11:00 PM

1949 Jeep Willy's pick-up steering help???
Without going into the whole build I have a 1949 Jeep Willy's pick-up truck with a 350SBC, TH350/NP203 (soon to be a 203/205 doubler), D44 front (hopefully soon to be D60)/GM 14-bolt rear axles. . .

. . .and the steering box mounting is seriously kicking my butt!!!

The box it came with is a Saginaw 3-bolt inside the frame version (may be part of the problem, but there is more to the problem than just that). . .the frame rail near the front axle is not tall enough to accomodate the 3-bolt pattern so I had initially welded some appropriately sized 0.120" wall rectangular tubing onto the bottom of the frame rail (with gusseting and reinforcement of course), but it ended up looking like a big pile of poo. . .and just didn't seem right (I will take a picture of what is left so you can see, but I've ground most of the welds out and am in the process of removing it so that I can get rid of the uglieness and do something better. . .it was kind of embarrassing to look at, still is in fact) so that I could bolt the steering box to the frame rail. . .

. . .I'm not sure what to do (short of full hydraulic steering, but then it won't be street legal). . .

. . .anyway, I could use some help from those of you with Willy's and Chevy/GM drivetrain. . .what do/have you done???


atomicjoe23 07-10-2011 09:52 AM

I made some slow & tedious, but significant progress today. . .

. . .re-did the PS box mount to get the box into place. . .I have to machine some spacers to space the cylindrical part of the PS box body off of the plate and cut some gussets (3"x3" triangles) to reinforce the plate (3/16" mild steel)

The only thing that I don't like right now is that the box sticks out past the end of the frame, but once I get the bumper mounts figured out and the bumper on it will be protected and it looks a LOT cleaner and better now than it did when I had this abortion welded onto the front of the frame!!!

I also ordered all new hard brake lines and fittings so I can replace my leaky, home-made hard lines. . .using 3/8"-24 TPI 45* double flare line instead of -3 AN lines this time (because that's what's available factory flared for hardline). . .hopefully I will have that stuff installed before next weekend.

I will be bench bleeding my new MC this weekend as well. . .once all that stuff is done all I should have to do is to machine some spacers to mount the PS pump on the cylinder head and get the timing on the engine right and it should be moving under it's own power!!!

JeeperJake 07-10-2011 06:11 PM

I sympathize with the efforts it takes using the old style steering by Armstrong design.

I drove a 54 Willys Overland for 5 years and the best thing I came up with, was to learn to turn the wheel only when the rig was in motion....then it was pretty easy. Standing still was very difficult.....and the turn radius was about 40 acres!

The 45 CJ2 was somewhat less of an effort but still power steering is a blessing like air conditioning that doesn't take much to learn to appreciate.

Lotta work on your project there, hope it performs as you expect. Post more photos please.

atomicjoe23 07-10-2011 06:55 PM

More pic's on the build thread here. . .

Some of the uglieness from older pictures has been removed and fixed. . .pretty much anything that looks ugly was because I was just trying to get this thing rolling, but despite all my efforts to get a quick turn around it didn't happen so now I'm going back and fixing the things that I'm not happy with and then when it's rolling I won't have to go back and fix anything. . .

. . .there will be future changes, key among the going to a NP-203/205 doubler and ditching the leaf springs for a 3-link front/4-link rear (thinking 7075-T6 aluminum links. . .after all that 16" x 72" Monarch lathe in my garage has to earn it's keep somehow or another!!!)

atomicjoe23 09-28-2011 10:33 PM

Spent most of the evening staring at my new Toyota steering box, then staring at the Willy's frame, then back at the steering box trying to decide where the best place to mount the steering box would be. . .

. . .I finally decided on a spot that only requires me to drill one additional hole in the frame. I also located the 17mm x 36 spline u-joint (someone on another forum sent me a link to Woodward steering and they have exactly what I need). So, all I have to do is buy a U-joint, a weld-splined stud, a new threaded steering shaft support bung (for the steering shaft support rod-end since I will be shortening and rerouting the steering shaft. . .a good thing I think. . .a shorter steering shaft will be sturdier in my opinion and now the steering shaft stays above the frame for it's entire length), some new tubing and threaded tubing adapters for a new drag link.

The new steering box location also will allow me to run a high steer, crossover set-up instead of a a traditionally located inverted "T" set-up. . .I wanted to run a high steer, crossover from the beginning so I'm happy about this. Additionally the steering box will no longer be hanging out at the front of the frame. . .it will be much less vunerable in the new location.

So far the only downside to the new steering box and steering box location is that I will be limited to ~5 1/2" - 6" of suspension compression or else there is the potential for the leaf spring plate to contact the pitman arm depending on the the wheel orientation at the time of compression, but so far I'm willing to make that trade-off compared to what I was working with before.

I'll take some pic's one the new hardware comes in and I have everything mocked up. . .I will try to get a pic of the new steering box and mounting location posted by this weekend.

atomicjoe23 09-30-2011 07:41 PM

Picked up the correct size hardware to mount the steering box (7/16" x 14 TPI x 4") and I machined some 5/8" spacers to space the steering box off the frame just enough so that the pitman arm clears the frame at full swing. . .

. . .also grabbed some 1/4" angle stock to use for the uppermost mounting location/gusset.

Just need to order the U-joint stuff, threaded tubing adapters (no time to make them right now so it will be faster. . .and cheaper. . .to order them), and pick-up some tubing for the new drag link.

I'm gonna revert back to my build thread now. . .unless something comes up, so look there for progress on the truck.

00tj2 10-01-2011 02:35 AM

I' far from a pro or fabicator but looking at your pictures I got an idea. Why don't you box out the front of the frame and that you you can incorporate the bracket into the new boxed out section. Something similar to the tj/tj wranglers with the tube that runs across the front of the frame. Then you can mount a front bumper onto that. Just an idea. Good luck and get some pics up when your done. Love old jeeps.

atomicjoe23 10-01-2011 11:18 AM

00tj. . .funny you should mention that because now that the GM steering box won't be in the way that was exactly what I was planning on doing. . .that way I could gusset that corner of the frame against the steering stresses and I would be able to mount a tasteful bumper of some sort up there.

00tj2 10-03-2011 12:56 PM

Very cool, maybe I should by a welder and start building stuff.. Haha. Hope it works out and please get some pics up once you are done.

atomicjoe23 10-03-2011 11:00 PM

Will do. . .figured out what I need to order. . .all I need to do is contact my tubing supplier and find out what tube is available so I know what size threaded tube adapter to order.

atomicjoe23 04-17-2012 11:30 PM

Quick update. . .I now have an early-style Toyota PS box and pitman arm that will allow me to mount the steering box to the outside of the frame and the pitman arm will line right up with the steering arm on the axle. . .

. . .I removed the TRE from the pitman arm and machined a press-fit (.0015" interference fit) straight wall sleeve for the pitman arm to allow the use of a through bolt and rod end for the drag link and a slip-fit taper wall sleeve for the steering arm. . .

. . .one step closer to this thing moving under its own power!

Rusty Knutt 04-18-2012 10:21 AM

Dedicated the Dora said....just keep swimming.

Looking great Bud... Im rather jealous.

atomicjoe23 04-18-2012 06:52 PM

The blind hole spotters I ordered showed up in the mail today so I should be getting the steering box mounts sorted out shortly.

I will try to take pic's of the pitman arm (should have taken a picture of the sleeve before I pressed it in so you could see a before and after) and of the steering arm/sleeve and post them up later tonight.

Weather is finally starting to turn nice here again. . .hoping to have this thing running by June.

atomicjoe23 04-19-2012 11:17 PM

Here are some pic's of the pitman arm with the new sleeve pressed in; the sleeve I pressed in is the one flush with the pitman arm (bottom of the arm in this pic). . .

. . .the steering arm with the taper sleeve

. . .and finally the sleeve I'm gonna weld to the top of the frame for the upper bolt on the front of the Toyota steering box.

I'll post a pic of the side brackets for the PS box once I finish it up in SolidWorks.

cavediverjc 04-20-2012 05:44 AM

Glad to see you're still wrenching on the old girl. I was watching your project pretty're going to have an awesome rig, man. :thumb:

atomicjoe23 04-24-2012 11:17 PM

I finally got the placement of the PS box figured out. . .this is basically where it's gonna be. It will sit straight up and down (it's cocked forward a little bit here because there is only one bolt holding it up) and it will be moved down about 1/4" as well, but this lines the pitman arm and steering arm up.

Sorry the pictures are kinda bad, but it was dark outside by the time I got finished up today.

I will be drilling 3/4" holes in the frame for the forward bolt and the lower rear bolt, those holes will have 5/8" OD x 3/8" ID machined steel sleeves welded into them. The upper rear mount will have the same sleeve, but the sleeve will be welded to the top of the frame rail and there will be 1/4" thick brackets on the inside and outside of the frame rail that will tie the upper rear and lower rear bolt sleeves together. . .I think that should be stout enough.

Another bonus is that the steering box and drag link will be much more protected in this location than they were with the Saginaw box I was gonna use before.

I will try to post up a SolidWorks illustration of everything in place later so that my plan will make more sense.

JeeperJake 04-27-2012 09:21 AM

glad to see you're still on the project....

Willys styling design was always my favorite. There's fewer of them on the road around my area these days.

I'd love to have a 54 Willys Overland body sitting on modern running gear. Yes, WITH power steering. Perfect configuration for my needs.

atomicjoe23 04-29-2012 10:40 PM

Here is how I'm gonna mount the Toyota steering box to the frame. . .waiting for the two tabs to get cut and then I will get everything mounted up.

The mounting plates are 1/4" thick.

atomicjoe23 05-02-2012 08:40 AM

I got the quote on the mounting plates and they are getting cut out now. . .just FYI, the frame is boxed as well.

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