Power Steering Conversions???

Eric B

Precision Fit
Nov 27, 2009
Colorado Springs, CO
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Other
Willys Year:
  1. Other
I have been doing some research, I am still in the very early stages of my teardown rebuild, but I just like to have a plan.

I have done plenty of research on www.earlycj5.com about saginaw steering conversions and how it is supposed to go. I have read "Pavel6's" web page on his change over.

I am looking at herm's Ford (reverse rotation) set up for behind the frame rail. Just curious is anyone is using it or had experience with it?

I am already running a Ford 351W for a powerplant so adding a Ford powersteering pump shouldn't be too bad when calling my FLAPS for parts.

Looking for some input.


If you are not running this set up what are you running?
Running the stock front axle still.
Got a response from Herm about his conversion kit and was infromed that his is only set up for the CJ's. Will not work on a wagon or truck due to frame size differences and locations of components..... :(

Still have the Ross steering box in place.

Ford 351W V8 engine.... should be able to locate p/s bracket and pump.
Keep us informed, if I keep the stock axles, I'll need the info as well. As it stands right now, Jesus had better take the wheel, because clearly the truck won't listen to my steering input...
Been doing some looking online, and using a similar set up as what Herm offers just having to fab the frame mount to get it working is what I am up against right now. Just trying to get the plan of attack together as I keep pulling this Wagon down. I go into the garage daily and just sit there(beer in hand) and try to figure out what is going to be the best strategy on this whole deal...
I am using a setup similar to Herms cj system. Only I am using a reverse rotation saginaw steering box off of a chevy asto 2wd van. It would be tough to fit with a v8 though.
will try to get some better pics but from what I can see it seems like there is room up there for it. Especially since I am going to need to ditch the original engine mounted fan and switch to electric cooling fan. A "PO" hacked on the cross member a bit, and shifted the radiator over to make it work.... Just won't work for me so....

Dumb question of the day though

The Ford Reverse rotation that Herm had set up is for gear box above axle and the others are in front of the axle?
So is the Ford set up a Saginaw or something else?
The ford boxes herm uses are reverse rotation (the pitman arm sticks out forward off the output shaft) not all boxes are reversed, it is determined by the internal parts. The only reverse rotation saginaw boxes I have found come on gm vans, full sized vans had boxes that mount on the outside of the frame and astros mount on the inside. I went with the saginaw box because I am more familiar with them and it would be easier to find hoses that would work with a saginaw pump.
When I lived back east a local jeep club would have obstacle course races with a couple of old beater cj7s that had reverse rotation boxes installed with the pitman arms installed pointing rearward like on a normal cj box. When you turned the wheel right you would go left. It was always fun to watch.
On my PU I used a Saginaw box from a S-10 Mounted on the left frame rail just behind the bumper, Cut the steering collum at the ross box and welded on a u-joint, This ran the shaft next to the frame rail to the box. The drag link goes to the right Nuckle.
I would love to see a writeup or picture of yours...
That is the way I was thinking it could be done. but I saw no writeups on it, so figured it was not a good option.
I need something simple, and without hacking up the frame or crossmember.
Better yrt, put together a kit and sell it :thumbup:
I got some better pics of the left side of the engine bay and frame area on mine, I just have to get em downloaded. I am trying to do what I can to keep the P/S box inside the engine compartment. Goal is to keep exterior looking as close to stock as possible with what I have got. Still working on getting the body off so I can see what I am really working with on this thing though.
Yes I took some pics of my current "scary" motor mounts. Going to be getting replaced....

Pics added:
here are the links.
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_ima ... _large.jpg
http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_ima ... _large.jpg

Also have some other pics of the motor mounts in there.
Another option that my work for some of you is the Scout II Saginaw power steering box. It mounts on the outside of the frame like a Ford and is also a reverse rotation box. That means it can be mounted back closer to the axle centerline with the pitman arm running forward. It's a great option and I have seen this done many times.

This allows you to cut the steering rod right at the Ross box then install a u-joint that would then connect to the Scout box. The linkage between the two would run right on top of the frame. It does require some clearance trimming of the inner fenderwell though.

If you are looking to maintain a somewhat stock appearance from the outside of the frame this may not work for you though. Something to consider.
Thanks for the insight on the Scout II set up. I am planning on getting to the yards to some inspections of options and what not. Gonna wait till it gets a little warmer here.... Just wait a it's gonna be in the 50's again here soon.
I would like to get You some pics of my steering But at the moment I am in the wrong state.
So help me get this straight...
A reverse rotation saginaw box is what I need? I want manual steering, are they available in manual?
Reverse rotation is where the pitman arm points forward correct?
Lastly, can I do this without cutting the cross member?
Yes the reverse rotation points the pitman arm forward. So that when the steering wheel goes right the pitman goes right. They are available in the manual options on Ford pickups for example. If you check out Herms site it will list the vehicles that are equipped with this setup in both power and manual. I found a universal mounting plate with a gusset for the frame available from Advance Adapters that I was planning on using. From what I can tell some minor cross member trimming maybe needed, will know more once I get into it fully. Still at the starting stages of mine, but always planning ahead to keep on track. My first priority is to start on the rear axle/brakes etc and get that all cleaned up, repaired and sealed. Working forward on the frame.

I have been in contact with Herm on his kit. He is going to send me a modified mounting bracket from his CJ kit and the info needed tofind the correct placement on the Wagons.
In return I have to take pics and measurements.....
My intentions are to use Herm's mounting bracket ( modified ) steering linkage, Ford Reverse pitman arm and a Ford power steering box.
If I can make this work in my cramped engine compartment with a Ford V8 then there should be smaller challenges on other engines. I just don't want to hack and notch the front crossmember and loose the original splash pan and look up front.
53 willys is right. It's a good set up. I also did a frame modified off a 72 wagoneer onto a 49 Jeepster body that I found. Had to cut length to 104 in. but the width fit to the body. had all the steering box and arms in place and I left on the wide track axles. Smoother ride (wagoneer springs) and better gear set up 3.56. I paid $300 for the rolling frame n axles. I cut the original steering column (Jeepster) end gear off and mounted a u-join set. It had a slight forward feel in turning but I enjoyed more the benifits of the ride.
Has anyone taken the Ford Pinto style rack and used that on a wagon? I've got a 52 (and they don't seem to make replacement parts for the 52, only 55 and later) that has a Ford 2300cc engine in it. I got the pinto donor car along with the wagon and it seems I could just use the whole steering system off that. Pretty much just replacing the existing tie rod with the steering unit.


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