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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Discussion Starter #1
So, I was just curious... Can u do a rack n Pinion Swap on my 82 instead of having steering gear box n linkage? I know I see it done all the time on these classic restomods on like bitchin rides... But... Would it really give u that much better steering like you'd have in say a 2000 or newer rig? How much do u think it would run?

Also... And again just curious, but... Can u add abs to my braking system? I know it's a stretch but...🤷 Idk why, just always felt better having it stopping in the snow...
 

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ABS, maybe... R&P... not on a TTB
Agreed. You could probably make the abs from the 92-96 models work with some part swapping and fab work.
Rack and pinion won't work with ttb. Recirculating ball can be great though, drive an old Mercedes and you'll see what a properly designed Recirculating ball steering system can do... the ford system for the ttb was not the greatest design. The single swing steering set ups from solo, desolate, threat, etc are probably the best systems for the TTB.
 
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I did done broke it
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Look into the saginaw swap, makes the steering system 100% better
 

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Look into the saginaw swap, makes the steering system 100% better
Makes it better, but still not a R&P... the Saginaw Swap isn’t a miracle upgrade... you probably won’t ever feel the difference in your arms, you will however feel the difference in your pocket book from having a more robust, and superior quality pump... but in the end it’s still just a traditional gearbox with levers.
 

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I did done broke it
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Makes it better, but still not a R&P... the Saginaw Swap isn’t a miracle upgrade... you probably won’t ever feel the difference in your arms, you will however feel the difference in your pocket book from having a more robust, and superior quality pump... but in the end it’s still just a traditional gearbox with levers.
I noticed a difference, it's definitely a stronger, smoother pump
 
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1987 Bronco 351W, C6
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The new trucks have rack n pinion steering, and independent(ish) suspensions, but I'd think the TTB moves too much to have rnp steering without a bunch of expensive cv joints and junk.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Not all R&P swaps are created equal...IMO on a big bronco, i think the factory setup is pretty good as long as it's all tidy and tight. Red top box maybe, good rod ends, ball joints, linkages, pittman arm. If you are running tires bigger than a 35 steering is gonna suck no matter what you put in it.
I drove an old little bronco with an R&P swap in it and i was just as terrified as driving one with a worn out original. It was SOOO touchy i felt like i was going to roll it over in a ditch over 55 MPH. Guess what im saying there is whatever you decide to do, see if you can find someone else who has done it and give it a test first.
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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Look into the saginaw swap, makes the steering system 100% better
Makes it better, but still not a R&P... the Saginaw Swap isn’t a miracle upgrade... you probably won’t ever feel the difference in your arms, you will however feel the difference in your pocket book from having a more robust, and superior quality pump... but in the end it’s still just a traditional gearbox with levers.
I noticed a difference, it's definitely a stronger, smoother pump
I feel the difference too. It doesn't change any looseness or help with any wander, but sure makes it easier to turn the steering wheel. It will very easily turn 35x12.50 15 M/Ts on pavement while sitting still. And no more pump whine.
 

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I feel the difference too. It doesn't change any looseness or help with any wander, but sure makes it easier to turn the steering wheel. It will very easily turn 35x12.50 15 M/Ts on pavement while sitting still. And no more pump whine.
i'm only running 32x11.5s at the moment, but I can turn my wheel with my pinky, literally, I have to show someone how easy it is. Even my 82 on 39x15.5s it is easy to turn with a stock power steering pump and box. Granted, I am not sure exactly what pump and box are in each truck, I have not touched whatever was in them when I got them, but they aren't saginaws, I know that.
 

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i'm only running 32x11.5s at the moment, but I can turn my wheel with my pinky, literally, I have to show someone how easy it is. Even my 82 on 39x15.5s it is easy to turn with a stock power steering pump and box. Granted, I am not sure exactly what pump and box are in each truck, I have not touched whatever was in them when I got them, but they aren't saginaws, I know that.
I’m running 32’s as well, and I notice no difference between my 1900 psi Saginaw pump and the OEM Ford pump... I can turn the wheels with my pinky with either pump. If you’re having that much problems turning with the old pump, it was worn out and even putting in the OEM pump would have been an improvement.
 

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78 & 92
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So what else are you willing to change?
I think if you go as far as swapping the front frame section to also include the a-arms and everything else the rack and pinion vehicles usually have, yes it will work better.

I agree that the Stock Linkage, is decent for what the TTB is and does. Not sure how a rack would work, without separating the mounts on the ttb as so the pivots where at the ends of your rack. This is why they do the double/single swing steering setups, it puts the steering linkage on exactly the same arcs and the suspension arms (or tries too), therefore when it cycles it does not get toe change. Which is the bad part of the stock design (though not bad on street).

you maybe able to get a mini rack, like they would use on a long travel sand car, and then do something that looks like the super runner steering, but even that setup still gets toe change as the ttb cycles.
 
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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Discussion Starter #13
I noticed a difference, it's definitely a stronger, smoother pump
I've read most of the Saginaw and red head swaps. Seems for the price, mixed reviews.
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the useful info everyone. Sorry in the delay in commenting. I never got any notices in alerts that anyone commented 😠
My steering is a bit sloppy (but I guess not terrible compared to some) especially with the new tie rod ends and alignment. It's very easy to turn, like some of yas said, could turn with a single finger if I wanted. Guess next summer I'll look at just a less tired steering gear box, bushings ect to tighten things up a bit.
@smeans92 has my curiosity peaked on that recirculating ball system. Like a worm gear, yes?
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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i'm only running 32x11.5s at the moment, but I can turn my wheel with my pinky, literally, I have to show someone how easy it is. Even my 82 on 39x15.5s it is easy to turn with a stock power steering pump and box. Granted, I am not sure exactly what pump and box are in each truck, I have not touched whatever was in them when I got them, but they aren't saginaws, I know that.
It was night & day on my 90. The whiny stock pump turned 33s ok, but when I installed the sag pump it became noticeably easier & quieter. I tried it today to confirm that it's 1 finger steering sitting still on pavement with 35s. I don't know what all pumps they've used on different years, but that's how it went on my 90.
 

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Thanks for all the useful info everyone. Sorry in the delay in commenting. I never got any notices in alerts that anyone commented 😠
My steering is a bit sloppy (but I guess not terrible compared to some) especially with the new tie rod ends and alignment. It's very easy to turn, like some of yas said, could turn with a single finger if I wanted. Guess next summer I'll look at just a less tired steering gear box, bushings ect to tighten things up a bit.
@smeans92 has my curiosity peaked on that recirculating ball system. Like a worm gear, yes?
Our steering gears are a recirculating ball system. And yes they use a worm gear to operate. Fords system is a decent design but has some short comings. The ford boxes tend to get play in them rather quickly at 150k or so miles they tend to have some slop.
Mercedes used recirculating ball for ages and their systems are phenomenal. They use a system similar to the single/double swing systems that the prerunner shops build. It incorporates a factory steering stabilizer and equal length tie rods. Not to mention they're steering gears don't seem to age, I have a 87 300d with 355k miles, all original steering gear with 0 play.

Obviously it is an apples to oranges comparison but my point is, recirculating ball steering is good enough to be used on high end luxury cars for a long time. It can be made to function pretty well on our old trucks too!

Ok end of rant lol
 
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Man of endless projects
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saginaw pump is always a good option. there is a reason people recommend them all the time along with 3g alternator swaps. however at this point i would probably use a junkyard pump instead of a reman pump. been having a ton of reman saginaw pump failures yet still have some OEM junkyard units working great. this goes for reman stock pumps also, at this point all the reman pumps are worn to crap and they dont actually 'rebuild' them as much as they 'reseal' them. same reason reman gearboxes are junk and Redhead/Bluehead are always recommended. i put saginaws in all my trucks and seen some trucks with big tires have no issue at all with steering using them. also there are threads out there for modifying the saginaw pumps for even better performance

problem is that 82 being V-belt with different accessories than the EFI trucks most of us have. idk what the options are for saginaw or other style pumps. i think PSC made an adapter for converting CII pump mounting to Saginaw/Delphi pumps

i believe ive seen some threads in past about going rack steering. not sure exactly how well it would work or if anybody did it. the way i see it the bumpsteer issue would be terrible. but on a daily driver it might not be that bad. but it would be intresting to see it done. doing a tie rod flip to raise tierods, mounting a rack at the right height to get proper angles and it might work ok. actually thinknig about it, would probably work in an F250s TTB since there is so little wheel travel. otherwise it would probably need some custom swingsteer setup like the prerunner builds do

an issue with ABS is not having any rear axle VSS since its a 9" axle. i bet somewhere out there, there is a aftermarket ABS kit to retrofit into older vehicles. could possible get true 4wabs even.
 

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88 + 96 broncos, 96 F250
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Before id even try to adapt a rack & pinion, id look into the Superrunner steering setup from Superlift. It uses an idler arm similar to what chevy did with their early IFS systems, and apparently works pretty good, but it only works for lifts of at least 4". But, it might help to design your own. Personally, i wouldnt even consider rack&pinion on a TTB truck due to the way the suspension moves.

Getting the steering tighter is not just one thing. Its a bunch of small items that all add up to a good handling vehicle.

New pivot bushings & radius arm bushings, if theyre 10 years old. Sway bar bushings too. Tie-rod flip if the angles are severe, or a drop pitman arm. Even a stock pitman arm from a F250 or F350 can help level out your tierods, which will help a lot. Definitely a Redhead steering box (ive got 2, theyre amazing) or a Bluetop. Either way, you want a better steering box than what youll get at the parts stores. Saginaw pump helps too. Then, you either rebuild your stock steering shaft, or buy a Borgeson. (That rag joint doesnt last forever!) Also, how is your steering column? Tight, or are the bearings getting sloppy? That will help as well.



As for your ABS question:
@Kingfish999 brings up a very good point: the Ford 9" rear doesnt have the provision for the ABS sensor. Yes, there are kits out there to adapt one. No, theyre not cheap. It would be cheaper to put in a 8.8 rear. Then you can get the HCU (hydraulic control unit, aka the RABS module) & the ABS ECM out of a RABS truck, plumb it in, and wire it up. The harness is fully integrated into the vehicle so youll have to cut the pigtails out of a donor truck, and then wire it yourself. It is standalone (it doesnt need the ECM to work), so it would definitely be possible.
If you wanted 4WABS, you will need to switch to the knuckles & spindles from a 94-96 truck, because they are 5 bolt spindles instead of 6, in order to make room for the wheel speed sensor. The wheel bearing hubs as well of course, since thats where the tone ring is. Then, same thing as before: get the HCU, all the sensors & pigtails, and start wiring! its also standalone, but fully integrated into the truck harness so youll have to wire it all yourself.

Either way i do think its possible to do, but its gonna be a lot of wiring to do it.
 

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85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Want ABS? Buy a 96 and swap your 82 body on it... It would be cheaper and easier!

Steering...

All sorts of fixes, but as pointed out, none are miracles. The best solution is what @NickOille did. Kind of like the superrunner kit from superlift. A dual swing arm type. With everything else being factory, that will offer the best steering. Add in a Saginaw and a 4bolt or Red/White/Blue top steering gear and you will be set.

Modern IFS suspensions can use R&P because the suspension arms are much shorter and move in a smaller arc. But thats why they dont flex like a TTB (enter the ol muscle man smiley we had)

Btw if you wanna talk saginaws and v-belts, let me know. They are rare but not too bad. I have one on the shelf but its the "ugly" version. Or is that for a 351M? Hmm ill have to check that.
 
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84 Bronco, 351w, c6, custom doubler, np208, 5.13’s, TTB44, 9”, locked f/r
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Here are a few pictures of my swing set steering. It's all custom made. As you can see, the linkage follows the arc of the beam as it travels










 
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