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  #1  
Old 06-01-2012, 05:44 PM
okedokeno okedokeno is offline
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Toyota MANUAL Steering Box Pitman Arm Issue

Ok, here is my situation: I spoke with a lady at Mid-50 the other day about the Toyota pitman arm and was assured that they did in fact have a Toyota to Ford Pitman arm that would fit a MANUAL steering box. They even "double checked" and said yes. I know the tech article on FTE says no one does but I figured something may have changed. So stupid me, bought a MANUAL Toyota Steering box, CUT my stock steering column and removed the stock steering gear box and steering column. Today I went to order my Toyota to Ford Pitman arm for a MANUAL box and guess what? THEY DON'T MAKE ONE FOR THE MANUAL BOX!!!!! They make one for the POWER boxes (DIFFERENT diameter shaft than the MANUAL shafts).


I did my research and found out that some have combined the Toyota spline from a Toyota pitman arm and the Ford end for the drag link. I ran into 2 issues: 1. I don't have the stock Toyota pitman arm and 2. I cannot find any welder/fab shop willing to undertake the liability of welding up a hybrid pitman arm if I did find the right pieces. The best I came up with was a suggestion from a local machinist. Here was his suggestion. Take the stock Ford pitman arm and use it on the Toyota pitman shaft. While the splines are not exact, they are close and the stock arm seems to fit the tapered shaft well. He is recommending milling a "flat spot" unto the Toyota pitman shaft similar to the stock Ford shaft. Then placing the Ford pitman arm unto the shaft and driving a hardened bolt through it like the stock. According to him the bolt and the flat spot will prevent the arm from "spinning" and the shaft and will lock everything in place. Does that sound like something that would work or is that asking for other issues?

Because of various issues I don't not want to switch to a POWER Toyota Steering box and my fab skills are not such to try a pitman hybrid.

Stock Ford Gear Box
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Toyota MANUAL Gear Box
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Proposed milling to drive a bolt through the center.
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2012, 09:16 AM
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Have the machinist mill out the Ford pitman arm and the splined end of the Toyota arm to make a plug for the Ford arm. Take it to a certified welder or race car chassis builder and have them welded together. Your machinist's suggestion would be my second choice Providing the Ford arm bottoms out before it rubs on the housing or frame. I'd be sure to use the Toyota nut as well. The major concern I see is that you would have not any adjustment of the pitman arm position so you'd need to be sure the pitman arm is perfectly vertical with the box centered and mounted at the correct angle in the frame. I'd mock assemble it all before marking the arm and shaft for machining. Last thing you'd want is to have the steering wheel cocked at an angle when the wheels are straight ahead. Not clear as to why you wouldn't want to use the power box tho.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:36 AM
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Thanks AxRacer for the feedback. My machinist did suggest welding it solid but that would make things permanent and I agree it would be a nightmare if the alignment was off. The steering wheel I am using isn't stock though so it would be less noticeable if it wasn't just right. I think he suggested milling the shaft out because I could still remove pitman arm if I had to. I was just wanted to make sure that that would prevent the shaft from turning inside the pitman arm. Since Ford only relied about 10 splines and the pinching action of the bolt and flat spot on the original setup, I didn't see why it wouldn't work. Of course I don't know all the unknown factors and just wanted some ideas. When people say smashing the splines is bad, what do they mean? If the bolt is there to prevent spinning and the toyota nut is there prevent it from coming off, it should work, right?

The reason I don't want to go with power steering box is this: I have already spent the money on the manual box and I still haven't found a good way to mount the pump on a 223 motor. Some people have claimed to do it but I can't find a good bracket/setup that works. I would prefer to use what I already have, safely of course.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:55 AM
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The bolt in conjunction with the Toy nut should work. I definitely wouldn't weld the arm to the shaft. The heat would destroy the seals in the box and you'd never be able to remove the box again.
When they talk about "crushing the splines", They are talking about using the Ford arm on the PS box. The fit is close but the spline count is slightly off so some have forced them together with the pitman shaft nut. It's kinda like beating an SAE socket onto a metric bolt, it might work, but then it might also break.
I'm sure a bracket could be fabbed for the PS pump.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:27 AM
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You could use a PS box without any hydraulics...

I would have assumed Ford cars with the 223 had power steering as an option? Here's an FTE'ers install of a pump: 1954 Ford F100 4x2 - Power steeering on a 223 ci
Here's the car setup: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/87...ml#post9158686


For such a critical piece, I wouldn't consider mismatched or "close enough" splines. A properly welded Ford/Toy pitman would be OK, but the heat of welding might distort the splines enough to make assembly difficult.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALBUQ F-1 View Post
You could use a PS box without any hydraulics...
How can a PS box be used without hydraulics? Do you just cap off the PS ports?
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:16 AM
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Yes, the only issue would be keeping it lubed. I can't speak for the Toyota box, but some PS boxes depend on the circulating oil for all lubrication. You'd probably want to fill the box and connect the inlet to the outlet. Sorry, no experience with this kind of box.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:23 AM
50t5an50t6f100 50t5an50t6f100 is offline
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i thought the steering box was supose to be from a toyota 4x4.that was what i was told an what i used on my 56 but went with the power steering box .used the pitman arm from mid 50..everthing went ok .just not got it on road yet still got more things to go befor its back on the road..also has the 292 in it ...
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 50t5an50t6f100 View Post
i thought the steering box was supose to be from a toyota 4x4.that was what i was told an what i used on my 56 but went with the power steering box .used the pitman arm from mid 50..everthing went ok .just not got it on road yet still got more things to go befor its back on the road..also has the 292 in it ...

The box is from a 82 Toyota 4x4 but it is manual box not power steering. Mid50 does sell the pitman arm for the Power Steering boxes but not the manual steering boxes. Both are 4x4.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okedokeno View Post
The reason I don't want to go with power steering box is this: I have already spent the money on the manual box and I still haven't found a good way to mount the pump on a 223 motor. Some people have claimed to do it but I can't find a good bracket/setup that works. I would prefer to use what I already have, safely of course.
Uh . . . OK okedokeno . . I hesitate to ask this . . . but wouldn't it be easier (and safer) to have your machinist help you fab some brackets for the PS pump vs trying to re-engineer critical parts to work together that were not intended to work together?

As for the manual box just sell it. Don't throw good money after bad. I would bet that each of us has a few parts that we spent money on and then found that it wasn't the right way to go.

Sorry, just playing the devil's advocate . . .
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by petemcl View Post
Uh . . . OK okedokeno . . I hesitate to ask this . . . but wouldn't it be easier (and safer) to have your machinist help you fab some brackets for the PS pump vs trying to re-engineer critical parts to work together that were not intended to work together?

As for the manual box just sell it. Don't throw good money after bad. I would bet that each of us has a few parts that we spent money on and then found that it wasn't the right way to go.

Sorry, just playing the devil's advocate . . .
I respect your advice. I realize how critical the pitman arm is and just seeing if someone has invented a better (safer) mousetrap. I still wonder why no company (maybe CPP?) hasn't produced a pitman arm that works with the manual boxes. I have been offered a pitman arm from a manual box and am leaning towards taking AXRacers advice and taking the plug and having a certified welder weld things up like other members here have had done.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:41 PM
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I'd bet (based on machinist's costs around here, if you can even find one) that a good used PS box costs less than making the manual work. Especially if you can sell the manual box.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:04 PM
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First question I have is what year and model of ford truck that you have are we talking about? If everything else matches up between the Toyota power and Toyota manual box, then I would find out how much the machinist would charge to mill the the Toyota at the same point as it is on the OEM steering box. but I would also already have trimmed off the edge of the Toyota box so it would be ready to mount when you get it back and it also give him a constant point to measure from. once he has found the center of both center of the turning radius of the boxes.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:21 PM
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I have seen similar things done to what you are suggesting with the flat spotting. We had a couple of tractors done that way. As far as I know the bolt is pinching and preventing the shaft from slipping inside the pitman arm. When I did my conversion I researched the manual box and everyone kept pushing me towards the PS box. I finally went that direction.

My fear on something like your truck is how much torque would be produced by the sector shaft on the pitman arm. I am all for making stuff work. What about finding a fab shop willing to fab a new pitman arm? Does anyone know of a machine shop that would make a new arm? That might be cheaper than buying a PS box, new pitman arm for the PS, power steering hoses, fittings, pump, brackets and double pulley. Maybe it's time to come up with a new, safe pitman arm that works with manual boxes? Just a thought. Let us know how things turn out.
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:19 PM
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Manual box pitman arm is just a matter of supply and demand. Very few going thru all the effort to change to the Toy box opt for the manual version, they are doing it specifically to get PS, otherwise it would be simpler and cheaper to rebuild the OEM box. There are a couple dozen on here that have done the Toy PS swap, and AFAIK only two that have opted for the manual box, present company included.

Unfortunately I think you are getting some advice from well meaning people who aren't really hands on familiar with the problem. The "flat spotting" is a misnomer, you want to run a round end milling cutter through the bolt hole with the shaft in place to produce a clear round hole all the way across just like the Ford pitman shaft. Use the Ford locking bolt. You can't just match the notch to the old shaft location since the Toy box sits at a slightly different angle. I would suggest dummying up the steering completely including the mount, box, column and drag link to the pitman arm. Set the wheels straight ahead and turn the column until the box is centered. Place the pitman arm on the shaft and use a sharp small cold chisel to put a witness mark on the end of the shaft and the pitman arm. Take them both to the machinist to be notched. As long as the pitman arm is a snug fit on the Toy shaft it will work fine and be safe, especially if you add the nut.
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:19 PM
 
 
 
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