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Unread 05-26-2010, 08:15 AM   #1
Jason790812
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1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 244
J20 Steering Box Upgrade

Anyone did the J20 steering box upgrade on a CJ with power steering? I've read about it on some other forums. Is it worth the hassle of trying to get the right box, or is it better to just buy a PSC or AGR? I know the J20 is ALOT cheaper and if it works as well as a PSC or AGR why spend the extra cash.

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Unread 05-26-2010, 08:41 AM   #2
78treehugger
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I did it and love it. Buy a manual steering coupler and bolt it on.
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1980 CJ 7--3" Black Diamond, 1" body, locked both ends, 4.56, 35x12.50x15 SS LTB, "family" cage

It's easier to get forgiveness than permision.
Salad is what food eats!!!
http://emptypocketsoffroad.org/

Last edited by 78treehugger; 05-26-2010 at 12:50 PM..
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Unread 05-26-2010, 09:43 AM   #3
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
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Done 4 or 5 and they work GREAT.

If you want to go to hydraulic steering ram later, you just tap the box for lines and if you aren't running some 2.5" bulldozer ram it works fine.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
Jason790812
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Do you have a part number? This should improve the stock ratio correct, because the J20 box is variable, so I won't feel like I'm driving a log truck? Plus a bigger piston to move bigger rubber around easier?
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Unread 05-26-2010, 11:10 AM   #5
78treehugger
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You can also modify your pump for more volume. I can turn my 35" SS LTBs with one finger on the street or trail. Obvioulsy going through obstacles I use my hand but every other time it's like driving my Dodge down the street. I just saw your response after replied to your PM. But yes it's a varible ratio. I believe it's a 17-13:1 same as the TJs.
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1980 CJ 7--3" Black Diamond, 1" body, locked both ends, 4.56, 35x12.50x15 SS LTB, "family" cage

It's easier to get forgiveness than permision.
Salad is what food eats!!!
http://emptypocketsoffroad.org/
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Unread 05-26-2010, 11:52 AM   #6
lockedcj7
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I just did this but it will be a while before it drives. I went to O'Reilly and told them I had an '85 J20. They ordered the steering gear and took my old one for a core. It bolted onto a HD mount like it was made for it. If you stick with the same year, you should be able to use stock hoses. I'm doing a motor swap so I'll be making up custom hoses anyway. I reasoned that '85 would be the most likely to have an improved box if any refinements were made along the way.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 02:30 PM   #7
bleoh
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The J20 box has a larger internals then other FSJ boxes. But be careful at the national parts houses as they will often give you a regular FSJ box. The cap at the opposite end of where the steering shaft connects is larger on the J20 but I forget the measurement.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 03:07 PM   #8
tcl632
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So are y'all saying there is a cheaper steering box I have no power steering?
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Unread 05-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #9
JeepHammer
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Late '70s early '80s FSJ or J-truck steering boxes,
Variable rate, where CJ had single rate,
They are heavier duty than the CJ boxes,
And they bolt right in to common power steering box brackets...

You will have to find/fabricate the power steering pump brackets for your engine,
Other than that, all you need is hoses...

Some people will need a conversion coupler or to change pitman arms for the right size, but that's cheap compared to the $800 and up for the 'Premium' boxes everyone wants to run,

And if you want to add ram assisted steering later, you simply drill the FSJ box for fittings and use the internal valving for the ram... Nothing to it.
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Unread 05-26-2010, 05:40 PM   #10
tcl632
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that sounds like a good up grade I am going to replace all the moveing parts on my 5 what would I need to tell the local parts house?
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Unread 05-26-2010, 05:40 PM   #11
tcl632
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replaceing all the steering parts
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Unread 05-27-2010, 05:43 AM   #12
JeepHammer
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I buy the entire J-20 trucks for $100 to $300 dollars around here,
But if you were going to the parts store, pick a year and stick with it.
Like the guy in a previous post, LockedCJ7 said he asked for an '85 J-20 truck box,
If you do that, you should stick with '85 Power Steering pump, hoses, so all of that stuff fits without custom hoses.

The FSJ box is vairable rate, but it's not quite as heavy as the J-20 (3/4 Ton Truck) boxes.
I buy every J-20 truck I can find...
They are a gold mine for parts!
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Unread 05-27-2010, 07:11 AM   #13
bleoh
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Here is a picture of the difference I was talking about. The cap on the J20 is about 3.5" wide, the CJ's and other FSJ are only about 3". Most of the time the chain stores will give you the smaller one.

http://members.cox.net/pmountsoa/J20Box/01sidexside.JPG
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Unread 05-27-2010, 08:01 AM   #14
I6CJ7
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I'm going to pick up one of these today to put on my 84 CJ7. What is the part number or actual name for the manual steering coupler you guys are talking about? And should I try and find a "new" box or just get a remanufactured unit, even though i'm not a huge fan of reman crap. I think a new box is like $300 vs. $135 for the reman.
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Unread 05-27-2010, 08:02 AM   #15
CSP
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It's called a bell coupler and chances are you won't find one in a local auto parts store.
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