1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2023.07.30

I completely spaced on taking photos before this particular project, but I had to find and restore the original power steering box brackets. I purchased this beautiful heavy duty bracket from M.O.R.E., but it requires modification to the front frame crossmember and I just wasn't willing to do that since this will not be a wheeling machine. At best I'll drive some rough roads, but I will never rock crawl with this classic Jeep. So, I decided to remove it and use the original.

The M.O.R.E. bracket moves the steering box forward 1" and requires part of the front crossmember to be cut out for clearance.

This was a bitch to install. First of all, the steering gear box is pretty heavy. I think it weighs about 30 pounds, which isn't that bad, but it's tough to hold when trying to align 5 holes and start bolt threads to get it in place. Second, the front leaf spring shackle mount moves and twists in weird ways when loaded and unloaded. On top of this, the frame has moved a bit after installation of the powertrain, so not everything lined up. Third, part of the bracket aligns with the bolts that attach the front leaf spring shackle to the frame. Nothing was lining up at first. I had to play with the spring loading, then move things with a pry bar while trying to get the threads started.

Anyway, I think I got it 90% correct. I say this because the very front bolt in the shackle bracket may be cross threaded and I am not sure if it's sitting flush. I'll take a closer look tomorrow. It's currently at 85 ft-lbs of torque and it should be at 55 ft-lbs. It's a grade 8 bolt, so I'm not worried about the bolt. I'm more concerned with the threads in the frame, but if I can get it flush, that thing ain't going nowhere as long as nothing breaks.

New power steering gear box mounted with the original brackets.

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