PSC Xtreme Duty Steer Gearbox Install Write-up
I just finished installing a new PSC steering gear box in my 2000 TJ. My factory one was completely shot and leaking all over the place. I guess my 35'' tires got the best of it. Any way I did the install myself, learned a hell of a lot and wanted to share the 2 day (should have been 1) experience.
First day - Realized the nut on the pitman arm was 1 5/16ths and had to go to sears and buy a 1/4'' ratchet and 1 5/16ths socket. Also went to home depot and bought a 4 foot 2'' diam. steel breaker bar.
Second day - Now I have my tools and knowledge on which direction to turn the nut (after looking at the nut on the PSC box) I can get started.
1. First I used my ratchet and breaker bar to crack the main nut loose.
2. I loosened the bolts on the frame holding the original steering box. You can see in the next photo that the pitman arm and box are soaked with steering fluid.
3. Next, I attached my pitman arm puller to the pitman arm trying not to destroy the rubber gasket inside the steering box. Caution on this part. My pitman arm puller started to bend from the force needed to remove the arm. They can break and go flying. I used a small about of force, hit it with a hammer, then applied more force. It came out after 2 hours or so with some PB blaster to assist. The shaft where the pitman arm connects to the steering box is tapered and keyed. Notice on the pitman arm the keyed splines match up with those on the box. The tapering shaft is why it was so hard to get arm off. I don't know how many tons of pressure it took to get it on but it was a hell of a lot of work to get off.
4. Now that the box was free, I disconnected the main fluid lines from the top of the box. Fluid will drain out so have a pan ready.
5. The steering box is now only connected at one more place. The steering column. I wrenched out the small bolt hold the splined end of the box to the steering column and with some help of a flat heat screw driver and some more PB blaster it came right out. Notice that the steering column shaft is keyed to have the box only attach one way.
6. The box is free.
7. Now all I had to do was everything in reverse. It will take you and a friend to hold up the steering box to the steering column to connect it. Now it was just a matter of reconnecting the pit man arm and the frame bolts. I have to say though, the pitman arm did not want to go back on all the way. I even had someone with an airplane use only air ratchet try and put it on and it will not mate up where it supposed to be. The pitman arm is now sitting about 1/8'' lower than its supposed to be. I'm sure it's not good for the box but I can't figure out how to get it all the way tight. I was told to use a torch and freeze off so we will see.
Nice write-up. My steering box is leaking pretty good too so this job is in my near future. Have you driven with it yet? I'm curious how much of a difference you can feel in the steering.
Yeah, the steering is better than stock. The steering wheel now turns around a lot more times than it used to but I'm sure that's due to the different gear ratio. Even with a lift and big tires I do not have to over compensate turning or have steering wheel wrenched out of my hand when I hit a pot hole.This was a very worthwhile investment.
Just a quick question. Would anyone know why I would be getting a tightness in the steering wheel while turning only after about 120 degrees in either direction? It feel like its getting stuck then frees itself.
I will be posting pics soon of the new box.
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