J10/J20 Steering Box to CJ7 Spline Count Off!!! - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-14-2019, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
sertshark
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J10/J20 Steering Box to CJ7 Spline Count Off!!!

Wow, what a nightmare...

Been trying to upgrade/replace my '86 CJ7 steering box. First, I couldn't find an H1 box anywhere. Decided to go with a J20 box, but nobody has those either (they show they do, but really I think they are just J10 boxes, since it has the same Part # as the J10 and has the smaller piston). I also ordered a Borgeson shaft for a manual steering because that is what many threads on here said to do, since the manual input shaft is 3/4" while the power one is 13/16".

It's been a rodeo trying to figure out why the Borgeson shaft and my rebuilt J10/J20 box won't fit together, and I've researched part #'s and counted splines until I can't see straight. I am ready to return the J10/J20 box and just get a CJ7 box!!!! The reason I didn't do that at first is because I don't like driving down our treelined country roads and having to turn the wheel so many times to get through all the tight corners, especially with the oncoming traffic. White Knuckles!!

Anyways, the J10/J20's data show a spline count of 26 (which I finally figured out is a 30, with the flat portion not counted). If it is indeed a 30 spline with a flat portion, then a MANUAL STEERING COUPLER WILL NOT FIT, or at least that is what I am experiencing, because a MANUAL coupler is a 36 spline (the same spline count as power steering couplers, except a different size: manual = 3/4", and power = 13/16"). Someone correct me if I am wrong or missing something.

The way it appears, there are only 30 or 36 spline counts for steering box input shafts. The odd spline counts (32 and 26) are simply the flat portion not being counted (add 4 splines for the flat part, and bam!). And, a 30 spline is going to be 3/4", while the 36 can be either 13/16" (power) or 3/4" (manual). So that means there are three options, not just two.

So, unless I have really missed something (I probably have), those of you who, like me, want to upgrade your CJ7 steering box, and you are going to go with a "J20 but is really just a J10" box, don't assume it is going to just bolt up if you go out and buy a manual steering shaft. The splines will probably be off, and if you start hammering it on to make it fit, it will probably never come off. And, as you can see by other posts who struggled with this, it will probably drive you a little crazy trying to figure out the whole spline count thing.

Why couldn't we just buy a J10/J20 steering shaft? Is it because the coupler at the column is different for a CJ?

I'm calling Borgeson right now. I hope they have a good return policy.


Year/Model: '86 CJ7 - Engine: 258 I-6 - Lift: Pro Comp 4" - Tires: 33X12.5 - Nuttered - Team Rush'd - Howell TBI
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-14-2019, 10:04 PM
CSP
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Fullsize Jeeps use a rag joint to join the steering box to the shaft, not a bell coupler.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-14-2019, 10:29 PM
BagusJeep
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Without power steering the FSJ coupler on the bottom of the steering shaft is a bell coupler and has the same part number as a non-power steering CJ7.

With power steering it is a completely different design for a FSJ and a different part number for a CJ7.

A J20 should have a Saginaw 800/808 big piston steering box (the piston should measure on the outside about 3" for an 800 or an 808 is 3.5"). There are two eras, pre 1980 it was a 13/16-36 but a -30 after 1980. The early ones have inverted flare SAE fittings, the later ones use metric O rings. If you are not using O rings, it is unlikely to be a 3/4-30. It is a very common GM box and I doubt you got one specifically taken from a J20. There are apparently 3 hole and 4 hole versions which are interchangeable. If you want most control, the 808 will be the one to have.

As you have already worked out, counting the splines 30 and 36 includes any missing splines where there is a flat.

It is worth checking what you have, particularly year.

A CJ7 manual box has the 3/4 - 30 input. It is recommended to get a CJ manual coupler but it will not work with a pre 1980 Saginaw 800/808.

I don't know if that helps, a lot of it I pieced together from my books as I only have one J20 and it is a 1981. The box has O rings.

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1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
1984 CJ7 258ci - Puthijeep
1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-15-2019, 03:52 AM
skizriz
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I have a Rugged Ridge heavy duty MANUAL shaft on mine. It bolts right up to my J20 box without issue.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-15-2019, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
sertshark
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Well the thing I found out is this: If anyone is changing out an 86' (or similar) CJ7 steering box for the J10/J20 one, the regular "CJ7 Manual" shaft will not work. Yes it is 3/4", but it is 36-spline, yes just like the 13/16" (power steering) is a 36-spline (weird, I know). If you are getting a Borgeson shaft, you will need to order the three sections separately, because the pre-made CJ7 power OR manual shaft assembly will not fit the shaft on your 3/4 30-spline J10/J20 steering box, unless you hammer it on so hard you strip all the threads. You can get the parts directly through Borgeson (who were a big help when I spoke to them), but it is cheaper through Summit. You CANNOT get the individual pieces through Quadratec (but you can get the premade ones through them).

The three steering shaft parts, for anyone else doing this, for a later CJ7 to J10/J20 box are: BRG-034931 3/4'DD to 3/4" 30-spline (if you want the dampener U joint); BRG-450036 (shaft); and BRG-014352 1" DD to 1" 48-spline.

It's going to happen, maybe not right now but sometime soon. Someone at some point is going to: a) want to get the H1 box, b) find out there are none available, c) try to go with the J20 box, d) find out it is the same part number as the J10 (and then read a ton of different posts online regarding different reasons that may be the case), e) go with the J10 if for no other reason than it's a cost effective solution and it's available, plus they hate spinning their steering wheel round and round and round to get through a corner with the CJ7 box, g) read online posts that say it is a direct bolt up to the CJ7 "and all you really gotta do is get the manual coupler/shaft", g) order a new shaft because, after all, they have the thing apart and some people out there swear a brand new (expensive) Borgeson takes a lot of the wobble out, h) see the UPS driver pull up in a few days and then jump up and down and run out to the garage to put it on, i) get in the garage and hammer away at it to get it seated because online posts say it is a tight fit and a little hammering will get it on, j) if they didn't already muck it up too much, they will go back inside (cussing to themselves, and wondering why they didn't just get the CJ7 steering box in the first place) and then go online with dirty fingers to figure out why the **** thing isn't fitting...

and then (k), hopefully they will read this post and it will help them realize there actually is a solution! Hopefully before they break steering parts or lose their mind, or both...

After all this, I sure hope this helps my steering....

Year/Model: '86 CJ7 - Engine: 258 I-6 - Lift: Pro Comp 4" - Tires: 33X12.5 - Nuttered - Team Rush'd - Howell TBI
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-15-2019, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
sertshark
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Just read the post above about the J20 box fitting onto a manual shaft...

I wonder if during the rebuild process, they sometimes put in a 30-spline, and sometimes put in a 36-spline? Is that possible? Might make sense out of why so many people have different experiences getting things to bolt up sometimes...

Year/Model: '86 CJ7 - Engine: 258 I-6 - Lift: Pro Comp 4" - Tires: 33X12.5 - Nuttered - Team Rush'd - Howell TBI
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post #7 of 10 Old Yesterday, 11:58 AM
Spieg8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sertshark View Post
I wonder if during the rebuild process, they sometimes put in a 30-spline, and sometimes put in a 36-spline? Is that possible?
Anything is possible, but seems unlikely... if the input shaft was worn too badly, to reuse I think they'd chuck the whole box.

When I was younger, I thought I was Don Quixote... turns out I'm just another donkey-hootie.
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post #8 of 10 Old Yesterday, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sertshark View Post
Wow, what a nightmare...

Been trying to upgrade/replace my '86 CJ7 steering box. First, I couldn't find an H1 box anywhere. Decided to go with a J20 box, but nobody has those either (they show they do, but really I think they are just J10 boxes, since it has the same Part # as the J10 and has the smaller piston). I also ordered a Borgeson shaft for a manual steering because that is what many threads on here said to do, since the manual input shaft is 3/4" while the power one is 13/16".

It's been a rodeo trying to figure out why the Borgeson shaft and my rebuilt J10/J20 box won't fit together, and I've researched part #'s and counted splines until I can't see straight. I am ready to return the J10/J20 box and just get a CJ7 box!!!! The reason I didn't do that at first is because I don't like driving down our treelined country roads and having to turn the wheel so many times to get through all the tight corners, especially with the oncoming traffic. White Knuckles!!

Anyways, the J10/J20's data show a spline count of 26 (which I finally figured out is a 30, with the flat portion not counted). If it is indeed a 30 spline with a flat portion, then a MANUAL STEERING COUPLER WILL NOT FIT, or at least that is what I am experiencing, because a MANUAL coupler is a 36 spline (the same spline count as power steering couplers, except a different size: manual = 3/4", and power = 13/16"). Someone correct me if I am wrong or missing something.

The way it appears, there are only 30 or 36 spline counts for steering box input shafts. The odd spline counts (32 and 26) are simply the flat portion not being counted (add 4 splines for the flat part, and bam!). And, a 30 spline is going to be 3/4", while the 36 can be either 13/16" (power) or 3/4" (manual). So that means there are three options, not just two.

So, unless I have really missed something (I probably have), those of you who, like me, want to upgrade your CJ7 steering box, and you are going to go with a "J20 but is really just a J10" box, don't assume it is going to just bolt up if you go out and buy a manual steering shaft. The splines will probably be off, and if you start hammering it on to make it fit, it will probably never come off. And, as you can see by other posts who struggled with this, it will probably drive you a little crazy trying to figure out the whole spline count thing.

Why couldn't we just buy a J10/J20 steering shaft? Is it because the coupler at the column is different for a CJ?

I'm calling Borgeson right now. I hope they have a good return policy.
Question... Why did you want to change out the stock steering gear for an FSJ steering gear? Is it a ration issue? i.e. quicker steering? slower steering?

Thanks,

trailhead
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post #9 of 10 Old Yesterday, 01:38 PM
ChrisHager
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I had a heck of a time coming up with a shaft replacement for my '79 J10. Mine had a power steering box with a rag joint. I wanted to upgrade it to a bell coupler/U-joint. After a bunch of confusion, I ended up getting a shaft from a '97 XJ. The lengths weren't right but the splined bell coupler matched up to the steering box. After separating the shafts, I was able to use the '97 XJ lower and the '79 J10 upper.

I don't know if this will help but figured I'd throw in some more info on bell coupler/U-joint shafts on J10 boxes.

Here's my original thread: Steering Shaft Upgrade


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post #10 of 10 Old Today, 09:15 AM
CoAce
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Looks like I did the swap back in 2012 ish. I just re read my post (no pics) and I don't remember doing the swap.(old age) I used the J20 box , shaft from a waggy and I kinda remember the hoses being made at napa after I took them all the ends I needed/salvaged. My 77-7 is long gone now. Not a ton of info but you could read under my name if you would like. https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/j20-box-1371941/

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