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'86 CJ7 - '91 Wrangler Power Steering Box swap

Discussion in 'CJ' started by studiobill, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Jul 24, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    studiobill [OP] New Member

    Jul 24, 2017
    First Name:
    1986 CJ7
    w/1994 Wrangler 4.0 liter, Dana44's (from IH Scout)
    Hi all, I'm a brand-spankin' new member from Denver....I have a question re: the power steering gears on the '86CJ7 and the '91 Wrangler, concerning the differences in the boxes...I was under the impression from some service manuals that they were identical part#'s, turns out they are not. I suspect the difference might be the mounting bolt configuration...and here's the tickler: the '91 Wrangler gear came out of a 4.2 liter carbeurated engine, NOT the 4.0 liter fuel injected model; I didn't even know that any 91's were shipped with 4.2 liter carb engines, but I guess they did...The boxes look pretty much identical, the worm gear preload and pitman adjustment measurements are different, which I would guess reflects the difference in wheel base and width, other than that they appear to be identical.
    My question is, can I use the 91 gear in the 86 CJ7? I think it will bolt right in, as far as I can tell without actually pulling out the old gear. The CJ7 has a beefier aftermarket mounting plate and brace that it looks like will work without any modifications or fabrications necessary...Anything I should know before I make this swap to bring my CJ steering into the 21st century? The drive to work on the freeway is....let's just say...exciting..! I've cut way down on AM caffeine, my wandering CJ keeps me awake and on my toes (if not the edge of my seat!) better than any cup o' morning Joe ever could. Wandering, specifically, is the issue, with a taste of "following the grooves" thrown in.
    Couple more bits of info, the linkages all look to be pretty tight, the old gear is leaking pretty good, (looks like the seals), and I'm running 35" tires and 3" lift, 1.5" body lift, although the steering geometry looks pretty good...(tie rod and drag link very nearly parallel, dropped Pitman arm, etc).
    Thanks very much for any help with this question. I've owned several Jeeps in the past ('73 CJ5, another '86 CJ7 that got stolen from me) but haven't really done any building on them till this last CJ7, so any advice is very much appreciated.
    Bill Wilkinson (StudioBill)
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  2. Jul 24, 2017 at 11:07 PM

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2016
    First Name:
    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    I tried newer CJ parts into my older CJ and had a really hard time. Some stuff was metric when I had standard etc. the real plblem came in the power steering lines. The lines from the 85 pump would not match up to the 79 gearbox. There are many was to skin a cat I just didn't want to drop the dollars to make it all work. Sorry I can't really answer your question but . . .

    My 79 cj drives really well at hwy speeds. I replaced all of the bushings in the springs and hangers, replaced th ball joints and drag link ends and centerlink ends (tie rod ends). I also replaced the steering box. I have 37s on 7 inch of lift. It gets a little hairy on uneven pavement. I feel comfortable driving 1 handed holding coffee in the other hand. I did ad a steering stabilizer which the 79 did not come with.

    Do you have an anti-sway bar? Many people remove this for some reason. It is needed. Good luck
  3. Jul 25, 2017 at 7:40 PM
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2017
    First Name:
    Jersey Shore, NJ
    2016 JK Wrangler Sport
    2 hands on the wheel OFFGRID. 10 and 2 is what is recommended. Safety first....just saying. Lolll.:sorry:
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