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Old 07-05-2012, 05:31 PM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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XJ steering column swap into a 79. Pics.

Been wanting a tilt column with modern controls in my 79 cherokee for a while now, but wasn't sure what, if anything would fit. I saw in another thread where a member used a column out of a XJ. So I figured I would give it a go. My cherokee has factory intermittent wipers, and so do the XJ's. I always hated reaching down to the dash to hit the wipers, and wanted controls on the stick.
A trip to the pull a part junkyard scored me a complete column from a 93 XJ, no key though. I got the intermittent wiper module and pigtail, plus the pigtail for the headlight dimmer switch. (witch I ended up not needing)



First order of busniess was to remove the bottom mount that bolts to the XJ firewall. This peice is paper thin, so be real carefull when cutting it off. I used a 4.5in angle grinder with a 1/8in cutoff wheel, and cut into the column a bit. I didnt know it was that thin. Hind sight, I would have used a dremel tool, or a hacksaw.
Heres the offending peice that needs removed.



Next part I didnt think to take any pictures of. But there was a cable that attaches to a little arm/nub on the column. This cable runs to the stock XJ shifter and prevents you from turning the key all the way off unless its in park. I couldnt find a easy way to disable this annoying part. Long story short, just remove it. Simply take a pair of plires and rotate the nub 90 degrees, and pull straight down to remove it. Its now disabled.
I find out a new key cylinder for these are $50! A trip to the local locksmith gets me a key made for it for $25. Fresh coat of paint and its ready to go.
I yank the old column out and go to bolt this one in. The bracket that bolts to the dash is just slightly diffrent, a hair narrower. No problem, as the one from my old column bolted right on to the XJ column. The column fit through the firewall plate just fine. Column is just a little bit shorter, but the steering shaft takes up the extra length.
Now to hook everything up. The ignition switch, the plugs are simply upside down from how they were on the original switch, so flip the plugs over and plug them in. Turn signal switch, plugs right in.
Dimmer switch. I unbolt and unplug the factory foot dimmer and look at the plug, other than a couple plastic nubs on the plug, it looks the same. I cut the nubs off the plug and plug it in and test. It works perfectly! Now the XJ dimmer switch has 1 extra terminal in it. This is a constant 12v power in. This allows you to flash your headlights by simply hitting the dimmer. Ran a hot wire to it and it works like a charm.
Now the fun part, the wiper controlls. I wanted to use the XJ wiper module because I figure the stock fsj switch/modules are probably gonna get hard to find and very expensive. So a little time with the wiring diagrams for the two wiper systems, a little frustration and head scratching, I finally have success! Since the stock wiring plug for my jeep had female spade terminals in it, I simply crimped some male terminals onto the plug for the XJ module and pluged them in. I was not in the cut and splice mood..lol. Module fits nicely where the old one did.
Pic: you can see the dimmer switch and how the stock wires plugged right in, and how I simply plugged in the wiper module.



My stock steering wheel and horn button/horn button parts simply bolted right on. I now have tilt steering, with headlight dimmer and wiper controlls on the stick.



The last part I forgot to take any pictures of, was the steering shaft. The XJ column used a 1in double D shaft, where the fsj used splines. The fsj shaft is 1in dia. Some searching online found me a u-joint from flaming river that will work. http://www.flamingriver.com/index.php/products/c0005/s0004/FR1789-18

I had already replaced the rag joint at the steering box with a u-joint almost identical to this one a few years ago. I welded it to the shaft. So I would do the same here. I removed the steering shaft, cut off the old stock upper joint (witch had some play in it) and welded on the new one. I welded only about 1/2in at a time and let it cool off, so I didnt overheat and melt the seals in the u-joint.

All and all I am very happy with the swap. The u-joint was the most expensive part of the whole deal. Any questions I will try my best to answer.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.6 stroker/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, front hub conversion/big brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.

Last edited by JeepsAndGuns : 01-14-2018 at 08:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2012, 06:14 PM
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the original Honcho the original Honcho is offline
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2012, 07:23 PM
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Nice write up, thanks.
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2012, 07:30 PM
Kevin armstrong Kevin armstrong is offline
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Yeah very nice. I had no idea that the wheel would also just bolt right on. A lot more manual tranny xj vehicles out there than sj to pick parts from. Love those amc sport style wheels, very classy.
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2012, 05:05 PM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin armstrong
Yeah very nice. I had no idea that the wheel would also just bolt right on. A lot more manual tranny xj vehicles out there than sj to pick parts from. Love those amc sport style wheels, very classy.

Doesnt matter if it came from a auto or manual XJ, as the automatics used a console mounted floor shifter. So you can pretty much get this column from any XJ of the correct year range. But I am not really sure what years fit. I think 95 and older. But not sure how much older.
If junkyard hunting, if it looks like the column I have in the above pics, it will work.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.6 stroker/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, front hub conversion/big brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2012, 01:05 PM
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Jeepguy77 Jeepguy77 is offline
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This is so cool, to know. So roughly what is the cost of this swap? Could you also just do the XJ steering shaft swap as well, to get rid of the rag joint, or would it not bolt to the 70s steering box?
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2012, 07:39 AM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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Price will just depend on what you can get a column for from your local junkyards.

I started to get the XJ steering shaft but the joints in it had some play and wouldnt be much better than my old one. I checked a few other XJ's at the yard and they had play in them too. I suppose if you find a good one it might work, AFAIK, the steering boxes use the same size splines. But you would have to measure for length. Not sure how long the XJ shaft is.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.6 stroker/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, front hub conversion/big brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2012, 10:33 AM
jamesdart
 
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thats cool.
the xj rag joint delete didnt work on my 78. box splines were a different size. i was pissed when i figured that one out.
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2012, 05:27 PM
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Dumpy Dumpy is offline
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I couldn't get the lower part to bolt onto the steering box. I love the old school wheel, but a smaller one would be nice sometimes, especially offload.
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Last edited by Dumpy : 07-08-2012 at 05:29 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2018, 08:15 AM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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Well we all know what happened to photobucket, so I have updated the pictures to flickr.
Had someone PM me asking for the pictures, since they no longer worked. So I figured it would be better to just update the thread.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.6 stroker/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, front hub conversion/big brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2018, 02:58 PM
stpat stpat is offline
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Column swap

Will this mod work for a 78 J10? Don't know much about the Cherokees, except I think there are a lot more of them than J10's.
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2018, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpat
Will this mod work for a 78 J10? Don't know much about the Cherokees, except I think there are a lot more of them than J10's.

Internally, they're all the same from the B-pillar forward. J10/J20/Cherokee/Wagoneer, all the same.


aa
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2018, 07:36 AM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpat
Will this mod work for a 78 J10? Don't know much about the Cherokees, except I think there are a lot more of them than J10's.

As far as the steering column goes, your 78 J10 will be the same as my cherokee, so everything will work the same.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.6 stroker/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, front hub conversion/big brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2022, 10:22 AM
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wimbers wimbers is offline
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doing this exactly the same, I have a new hemi in my jeep with an 8hp70 automatic, the column mounted gear selector will not work with that since the transmission is shifter electronically.

thanks for this write up as it saves me a lot if searching!

already got the column and intermittent wiper module, added new switches, changed a bearing, and sprayed the plastic cover with the right color SEM paint. Do have to make the non-rag joint heavy duty steering shaft fit, thinking about cutting the splined part of the original column and welding it onto this shaft.

however, this is going to be awesome; wiper on the steering column, no gear selector, and the original looks.
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2022, 09:20 AM
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Would love to see under the hood parts! great write up. love JY mods!
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  #16  
Old 05-25-2022, 06:51 PM
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Thumbs up

nice write up
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  #17  
Old 06-14-2022, 03:19 PM
PlumCrazyChris PlumCrazyChris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepsAndGuns
As far as the steering column goes, your 78 J10 will be the same as my cherokee, so everything will work the same.

Really nice project. I like it. On a separate topic... how did you get MPFI on your 401. That has to be nice.
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  #18  
Old 06-23-2022, 04:19 AM
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wimbers wimbers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepsAndGuns
Now the fun part, the wiper controlls. I wanted to use the XJ wiper module because I figure the stock fsj switch/modules are probably gonna get hard to find and very expensive. So a little time with the wiring diagrams for the two wiper systems, a little frustration and head scratching, I finally have success! Since the stock wiring plug for my jeep had female spade terminals in it, I simply crimped some male terminals onto the plug for the XJ module and pluged them in. I was not in the cut and splice mood..lol. Module fits nicely where the old one did.
,

I know this has been 10 years, but if there is any info you can give me on the wiper module wiring that would be great, I have a 91 XJ column installed right now, and this is the only thing I still need to wire up
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