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Project Buckshot – Power Steering Conversion / Upgrade

Once we shod Buckshot with 35” tall tires, we knew that the aging, stock power steering system wouldn’t hack it. One or two good off-road runs would send the power steering gearbox to an early grave. To cure our substandard steering system sickness, we put a call into the experts at BC Broncos in Ingram, TX. After explaining our Bronco’s needs, they suggested their comprehensive power steering conversion kit.

The BC Broncos conversion kit (part # 48-41012) incorporates a much stronger F-series 4X4 steering gear with 4X2 internals, a heavy duty Saginaw power steering pump, pulley, Borgeson u-joint, hoses and brackets. They also suggested a few other upgrades to ensure we had the safety and strength we needed for Buckshot, such as a power steering box frame reinforcement kit (part # 48-20011), a 24” telescoping steering double-D shaft (part # 43-00500), and two DD-to-splined u-joints to fit our IDidit steering column (part # 45-10030).

With the BC Broncos 4X4X2 power steering conversion kit in hand, we began our installation.

 

Installation – BC Broncos Power Steering System Conversion / Upgrade
Time: 7 hours
Tools Needed: Assorted wrenches, assorted ratchets and sockets, pulley puller/installer, line wrenches, allen wrenches, grinder (if you have bracket clearance problems), welder (optional if using reinforcement bracket), loctite, power steering fluid
Difficulty:

Installation

Early Bronco power steering conversionMake note of the items and parts in your BC Broncos power steering conversion kit and pre-read the instructions before beginning. Make note of any special tools you might need such as a pulley puller / installer and source them as needed.
Early Bronco power steering upgradeStart by fitting the Saginaw power steering pump (without the pulley) to the bracket. We had to grind some of the bracket away (see photo) to clear the pump adequately. We removed about ½” of material with a grinder, which will not compromise the bracket in any way.
Early Bronco power steering upgradeEarly Bronco power steering upgradeUsing Loctite, coat the threads of the bolts and secure the pump to the bracket. There are four bolts that attach the pump to the main bracket, around the insider perimeter of the bracket.
Early Bronco power steering upgradeEarly Bronco power steering upgradeNext, attach the adjustment bracket to the main bracket as seen in the picture. Then install the power steering pulley to the pump using a pulley puller / installer tool. This can be rented for a few bucks at your local auto parts store.
Early Bronco power steering upgradeEarly Bronco power steering upgradeWe then moved on to weld the reinforcement plate kit to the driver’s side frame and painted it after it cooled. We then lowered the new power steering gear box into place and bolted it with the supplied grade 8 nuts and bolts.
Early Bronco power steering upgradeEarly Bronco power steering upgradeNext, bolt the power steering pump and brackets to the driver’s side head and engine block using the supplied hardware. Some adjustment may be necessary to get proper horizontal alignment of the belt (ours did). Leave the adjustment bracket loose for now.
Early Bronco power steering upgradeInstall the power steering pressure and return lines to the pump and gear box and leave them loose for now.
Early Bronco power steering upgradeEarly Bronco power steering upgradeEarly Bronco power steering upgradeMeasure and cut your new double-d (DD) steering shaft and install the u-joints. Collapse the shaft and then attach it to the steering column shaft and then the gear box shaft by extending the steering shaft into place. Check the general alignment of the tires and the steering wheel and adjust as necessary. Using Loctite and the locking nuts, secure the shaft in place.
Early Bronco power steering upgradeOnce everything is installed and appears to be good, tighten the power steering lines, tighten the gear box nuts and bolts, tighten the power steering belt and then you can install the pitman arm to the gearbox.
Next, add power steering fluid to the pump, purge the system of air and you’re ready to hit the trails.

The Verdict

Early Bronco power steering upgrade and conversionBC Broncos provides a great power steering conversion kit that takes the hunting and guess work out of upgrading your stock manual or existing power steering system. They supply everything you need to bolt in a heavy duty power steering pump that will easily steer 35” tires in the nastiest of terrain. The quality of the parts they provide in the kit are excellent.
The instructions left a lot to be desired, so if you’re not mechanically inclined, you should find someone who can help you. The instructions lacked step-by-step details and photos needed to make this an easy installation. The power steering pump bracket will need to be clearance-ground to get the pump to fit to it and the main bracket will need a few washers between it and the head to align the power steering belt.
Overall, this is a very comprehensive kit that provided all of the parts we needed, unlike some of the other Bronco specialists. The quality parts should last a lifetime, even in abusive environments. If you’re looking to convert to a stronger power steering system in your early Bronco, be sure to give BC Broncos a call.

 

BC Broncos
110 Business Drive
Ingram, TX 78025
Tech line: (830) 367-1300
Order line: (888) 304-2945
Fax: (830) 367-1304
Web: www.bcbroncos.com

 

About Rick Webster

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