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Old 11-29-2006, 02:19 PM
Louiseven's Avatar
Louiseven Louiseven is offline
Gear Head
Join Date: Jan 08, 2006
Location: Los Angeles,CA.
Posts: 509
Turning Radius, Pitman arm? Steering swap.

I noticed a couple of days ago my steering box is leaking fluid. Not enough to even notice on the street. But lets just say my front suspension has a new auto lube feature. I started reading searched threads on the S-10 swap. It sounds like it would be an upgrade. However, I still have some questions. It is my understanding from the posts that the turning radious will stay the same if I continue to use my stock pitman arm. I do not presently have a lift although I am leaning towards a 4" lift. It is between BJ,s and the Skyjacker.
That said what I am seeking is a tighter feel in the steering but I'd like to keep that glorious Stock turning circle. If I do the swap aswell do the lift as described will I have to change to a drop pitman arm? I am also not clear on the power steering hose aspect of the swap. My waggy is a 1987 will the hose fittings work? Oh and lastly, on one of the old post someone mentioned the possibilty of the Durango's steering box but there was no further detail. Anyone know if it swaps in and if it does what is the advantage over the S-10 swap? Thanks in advance for your replies.
1990 Grand Wagoneer/Mary II/TFI/6"lift/33's-driver
1987 Grand Wagoneer/sold
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:11 PM
xsonmyeyes's Avatar
xsonmyeyes xsonmyeyes is offline
Master Mechanic
Join Date: Dec 13, 2004
Location: Wabash, IN
Posts: 784
I did the S-10 steering box swap and it was pretty easy save a small adjustment on the radiator hose neck (If I remember I just had to bend the neck a little to clear for bent right back.) You lose 1 bolt to the steering box but the others line up perfectly. I don't know about the radius because I haven't put in a drop-pitman but this mod will definiatly "tighten up" the steering. The first thing I noticed (besides the stopping of the leak) is that you lose the Cadillac feel of the steering and it is eaiser to hold a straighter line. I THINK your hoses will work but maybe someone else will chime in with a fer sure. I used a '95 4X4 S-10 donor.
'91 Grand Wagoneer- New Long Block 05-10 W/ Edelbrock Performer Manifold, Carb, & HEI upgrade w/Taylor wires...and lotsa CHROME!--Chevy S-10 Steering box upgrade--3" body lift--31' BFG's
2006 Harley Davidson 1200 Custom Sportster--
2008 Harley Davidson 1200 Low Sporster
'86 Chevy G20 Van
'96 Pontiac Grand AM
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:59 PM
Am4wag Am4wag is offline
Gear Head
Join Date: Oct 04, 2004
Location: Northeastern Maryland
Posts: 671
Not sure what year S-10 my gear came from,but I had to get a hose made (high pressure side) that would match-up to the S-10 gear I used;the fitting adapters were different on the S-10 gear and I could'nt find the appropriate ones..With DPA,yes lost some turning radius.But has more response.You're basically tradeing off turning radius for more responsive steering doing this swap.Is not a difficult swap.Check your steering shaft from the firewall down to the gear and make sure it is'nt sloppy too;often overlooked and/or not done because a new one is about 175$ if I remember right.
88GW,360,3 angled valves,K8600,1406,TFI,MSD,727,<br />Hurst,NP229.D44\'s,3:31\'s,BJ\'s 4in.,31in.Generals,ProComp alloys.S-10 box,"Swissed" rockers"
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:29 PM
AlsChopShop's Avatar
AlsChopShop AlsChopShop is offline
Join Date: Sep 20, 2005
Location: Portland, Orygun!
Posts: 5,428
Originally Posted by xsonmyeyes
this mod will definiatly "tighten up" the steering. The first thing I noticed (besides the stopping of the leak) is that you lose the Cadillac feel of the steering and it is eaiser to hold a straighter line.
do you mean it tightened up the steering 'play' or just gave the wheel some more resistance, or both? i've heard a new gear box will get rid of the play.

i'd prefer a little more steering resistance and i'm swaping out motors, it might be a good time to swap out the steering box as well.

and i just removed the 'auto lube' feature last weekend.

79 Cherokee Chief "Kronk" - TBI350/SM465/NP205
99 Dodge 2500 4x4 - Cummins 24v
07 Mazdaspeed3 GT - Big turbo, 340whp
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:16 PM
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J10Mike J10Mike is offline
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Join Date: Jun 04, 2003
Location: St. Louis, Mo. 63052
Posts: 5,811
Ya...on my S10 gearbox conversion, it removed most of the play and gave the wheel more resistance like a newer vehicle.
When I say most of the play, that's when I discovered that I should have replaced the rag joint at the same time. Replaced the rag joint on another day and NO PLAY.
Former - 1982 J10 Sportside, 360, TFI, 727/208, J20 axles, D44HD/Detroit TruTrac, D60/Detroit Locker, D60 disk brake conversion, 4.10s, 5 inch Superlift, 35x12.5x16.5 BFGs on AR767 Wheels. Procomp Super Seats. MileMarker 9000 on Cliffhanger front bumper. Dozer II rear bumper. Rhino Grill conversion. NP208 floor shifter conversion.

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Old 11-30-2006, 12:25 PM
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JeeperJay JeeperJay is offline
Grease Monkey
Join Date: Apr 26, 2005
Location: Bellingham, MA
Posts: 324
As the other guys have said, you will lose the Caddy "floating steering" feel. The wheel will be harder to turn.

I got a steering box from a 2000 S-10 4wd pickup. My '90 Wagoneer's lines bolted right in, but I had to replace the high-pressure line because it twisted when I put the wrench on it.

If you do add the lift and need a drop-pitman arm, you will lose turning radius. I don't know how much I lost, but places where I could pull a U-turn before now require a 3-pointer...
Jason T.
'04 Grand Cherokee: Silver/ black. 2" lift
'02 Grand Cherokee: Black/black Laredo with a V8 and Selec-Trac- Totaled in Sept.'07
'90 Woody:White/maroon. TFI, BJ's 4" & 33" BFGs. Gone but not forgotten
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