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Unread 06-17-2008, 07:33 PM   #1
Marine_Mike
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Dodge durango steering box in a YJ

OK here's my first attempt at a write-up. Before I begin, I have to give a big to Brandon Yj, whom through blood sweat and thrown wrenches, helped me accomplish this swap. By the way.... apparently he can't dodge a dodgeball either.

A little background on my jeep: I have a 91 with 4.0/tf999/231, pushing 151,000 miles. 35x12.5 mickey T's claws, 4.56 in the front 30 (W/lockrite) and rear 8.8(with Det Lkr). When I bought the jeep, it's steering was sloppy as heck. I had at least 45* of play left or right without the wheels so much as moving. Not very good at highway speeds. After tightening the Yj box as far as it would go W/O blowing it up, I decided to do the swap with a 99 dodge durango power steering box. Now some of this write up is a bit repetitive of the TJ swap, but as both Brandon and I found out... not all the wrench sizes are the same. I don't remember some of the sizes, but if they are different from the TJ here http://www.universityofjeep.ca/Tech/...onversion.html Then I will note it.
The box needs to come from the following vehicle(s)
98-99 Dodge Durango/Dakota
4x4
V-8
I got mine from Auto zone with a warranty for $185 + $110 core deposit. Now I'm not at all condoning dishonest behavior, but I turned in my YJ box W/O having the difference discovered. This part can also be found at any salvage yard. I just chose to forgo the hassle of prying one off.

****PB Blast is your friend..... use it on every blot to be undone******
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At this point decide whether or not you want to remove the grill.***We did this with the grill still on***Disconnect the high pressure hose and return line from the Yj box. Don't be like us unless you have the hands of a kid.

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We had a helluva time getting the high pressure hose off the box, so we left it on and just disconnected the hose from the pump.

Then went he hose from the power steering fluid resiviour.

At this point you can unbolt the steering shaft using a 7/16 socket and a 10" ratchet extension. (Not the 13mm suggest on the TJ swap) We just gave the wheel a little turn to allow us to get proper alignment underneath.

*****NOW THAT THE STEERING SHAFT IS DISCONNECTED FROM THE STEERING BOX, DO NOT SPIN THE STEERING WHEEL AS IT WILL BREAK THE CLOCK SPRING IN THE STEERING COLUMN. THIS THING PROVIDES THE ELECTRICAL CURRENT TO THE HORN.*****
The next step was performed, but not to the full extent that was called for. I found it unnecessary to remove the tie rod end from the pitman arm, but I removed the Cotter pin and castle nut anyway.


Next we tackled the pitman arm. Here is where PB is a God's gift to Jeepin. Now we had no socket big enough to fit the nut (33mm for info sake), but were able to get the nut off with a couple of turns with a channel lock.

I swear it seamed as if the pitman arm could have been pulled off without the puller.


Last edited by Marine_Mike; 06-17-2008 at 08:06 PM..
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Unread 06-17-2008, 07:46 PM   #2
yjcrawlr
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How much stronger is the durango box? Is the ratio different from the yj box? Nice thread!
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Unread 06-17-2008, 08:03 PM   #3
Marine_Mike
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This next part really is better with another set of hands. loosen the bolts connecting box to the frame.

Then remove the bolts from the box to the steering box brace and frame. You will have to remove the far top bolt in order to get a proper seat on the frame bolt.

Then carefully remove the bolts from the top portion on the frame. I suggest one person hole the box and the other unbolt.
Carefully slide the steering column shaft off the box and you're free.
Here is the fruit of our labors!

Notice the difference between the two boxes. Now one important fact to point out is that the durango box only has 3 bolt holes as compared to the Yj's 4.

Here is another side by side view.

At this point it would serve you well to clean out any and all threaded holes. Also note the flat part of the steering column cuff, as later when you install the new box it will need to be lined up.

Now just reverse the directions with the exception of the 2nd top fram bolt as noted earlier.
Here is it installed.

Now as I stated earlier, the high pressure hose could not be pried from the yj box, so a new one was purchased.

You'll notice that the pitman arm is not lining up correctly with the durango box. This is because the box is wider than the old yj one. The tie rod will have to be shortened to correct this.
After buttoning up everything else, fill your resivour. You'll have to put a little more than before, since the new box is bigger. Your pump may wine a bit upon starting the jeep, but rest assure it will quiet down once the pump works out the air in it.
Now enjoy a tougher box and quicker turning ratio. I might have left out some socket sizes, but I will answer any and all question as best as I can.
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Unread 06-17-2008, 08:05 PM   #4
Marine_Mike
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not sure of the ratio, but it's definatly quicker.
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Unread 06-17-2008, 08:23 PM   #5
northjeep
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3.0 to 1
I love it.
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Unread 06-17-2008, 10:40 PM   #6
Marine_Mike
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Just wanted to know if this was enough info?
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Unread 08-02-2008, 04:38 PM   #7
nic99007
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i can't believe this isn't a sticky
thanks
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Unread 08-03-2008, 07:47 AM   #8
dave_dj1
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so to understand this properly, the new hose is ordered for a standard yj?
and if you don't need a new hose the old ones will swap right over?
thanks,
dave
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Unread 08-03-2008, 08:05 AM   #9
Brandon_YJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_dj1 View Post
so to understand this properly, the new hose is ordered for a standard yj?
and if you don't need a new hose the old ones will swap right over?
thanks,
dave
Correct, the new hose he picked up was for a YJ and not a dodge.
(I'm the guy you see in all the pictures he took )
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Unread 09-10-2008, 10:24 AM   #10
lifted1992yj
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how much did u have to shorten the tie rod? and did this affect ur alignment?
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Unread 09-10-2008, 12:56 PM   #11
Brandon_YJ
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Never touched the tierod.
Made no change to the alignment that I am aware of.
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Originally Posted by Mean Max View Post
I think I'll keep the YJ. But can I talk you into taking the wife?
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Unread 11-13-2008, 07:37 PM   #12
lifted1992yj
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This is because the box is wider than the old yj one. The tie rod will have to be shortened to correct this.
just curious because im planning on doing this swap too.

Last edited by lifted1992yj; 11-13-2008 at 07:40 PM.. Reason: that was supposed to be qouted. lol
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Unread 11-14-2008, 08:32 AM   #13
northjeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted1992yj View Post
This is because the box is wider than the old yj one. The tie rod will have to be shortened to correct this.
just curious because im planning on doing this swap too.
I had to shorten (using the adjustable ends of the tierod) about 1/4".

This is an amazing convenience upgrade.

There are other steering upgrades available, but this one is really smooth.

You get slightly more power from the larger box, and a faster ratio for those "buck'n wild" times offroad.
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Unread 11-14-2008, 08:54 AM   #14
firefighter315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine_Mike View Post
By the way.... apparently he can't dodge a dodgeball either.
Brandon, you can't just let this one go by with no explanation......???

MM, great write up! Definitely likin' the price of the Durango box compared to the YJ replacement when I hear it is a stronger box. Have either of you ever used a steering box brace? Are they that beneficial or just a waste of ? What are the benefits supposed to be? Tighter or firmer feeling steering?
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Unread 11-14-2008, 09:36 AM   #15
dream911tommy
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this will be one of my next mods
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