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Old 03-27-2008, 09:21 PM   #1
Johnny1290
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Default Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

Thanks to Texabilly71 for letting me hog his driveway, Brickster for his tech that inspired me to do it, and a Reggie for all his patience and help with all my questions! Another thanks to all on shoeboxford.com that are too numerous to list, and Jamco for helping me out in a pinch.


After going through many threads, including this excellent HAMB tech install by Brickster

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...o+steering+box

and this thread for different places to get the box

http://www.shoeboxford.com/members/f...&ThreadID=9842

I got my Volvo 140 manual box from here for $100 delivered-it does a search of yards country wide-I probably paid a little too much.
Fatman says to use a 67-78 Volvo 140 series manual steering box.

http://car-part.com/



Fatman has the Volvo manual steering mount here

$70-bracket only
http://fatmanfab.com/catalogpage.php?page=18

and Jamco has a complete kit for $295 for the Volvo 160 power steering box. That includes everything but a splined volvo shaft to weld
to your Ford steering shaft, seems like a good deal. The 160 box is bigger though, so it could be a tight fit.

http://www.jamcosuspension.com/products_steering.html


One of the things you'll need to locate is a nylon locknut like this one to fit the Volvo box, if you're going to use the Ford pitman arm as it's bigger than the Volvo one.
Even if you choose to modify the Volvo pitman, you should still consider a new nut, as I've read that the stock one is a single use item.
I just took the box into a pro nut and screw store that gave out flyers at the LBC swapmeet, and they took the time to figure this out for me.
While you're there, get a few 3/16" diameter roll pins, the kind that are a spiral on the inside. Also take the bolts from your Fatman bracket and get longer bolts since the
ones supplied don't fit.



COMPARED TO THE STOCKER


Other parts you need-left to right-volvo mount from Fatman, 1 x steering column bushing, either of these will work, I found the Jamco to fit easier-
the bottom one is from dennis carpenter (PN 51A-3517-A Upper Steering Bushing P. 14, $6 each), the top one from Jamco.
You also need either Volvo-volvo steering u joint from Jamco, or the double u joint from Borgueson PN D16N-748R, which is a 3/4" 48 spline to 3/4" smooth($140 from Borgueson)



I used the Autozone loan a tool pitman arm and tierod end puller, #27016 and 27022, or buy from Jegs for around $15 each.
There's not much to say about the beginning, pages 130-132 of the green bible will be help you here. The smart(fast) way to
do this is to start out from square one, and take a sawzall and cut the steering column/shaft right at the steering box here.


This will save you a ton of grief associated with taking the whole steering box apart to get the steering column out.
You need to cut the column anyway to fit the new volvo box, this is a good way to kill two birds with one stone.
Now just disconnect the column from the dash and pull the whole thing out, steering wheel and all. Saves you from removing the steering wheel, too.

I didn't know this at the time, so I went the green bible route and removed the steering wheel, removed the column,
then disassebled the steering box and removed the steering shaft through the front of the car. Do the smart thing, make the cut and save yourself the trouble.

I should also mention that I soaked all the bolts in PB blaster, then vibrated them with an air chisel pressed against some angle iron that I leaned on the nut. I got that from the HAMB I think. I believe it helped, as none of them were really any problem at all to remove. Maybe my suspension has just been apart more recently than some and that's why it was easier, I don't know. I'm not complaining.

Also, you could do this without air tools, but it sure wouldn't be easy.

Regardless, here's some pics of the long way:

WHEEL REMOVED


STEERING COLUMN REMOVED


REMOVING TIEROD FROM PITMAN


USED AN IMPACT ON THE PITMAN ARM/STEERING BOX NUT


REMOVED THE PITMAN WHILE ON THE CAR-YOU CAN DO THIS ON A BENCH IF YOU WERE WISE ENOUGH TO CUT THE SHAFT-
PS THE RATCHET DIDN'T DO IT, I ENDED UP USING THE IMPACT AND IT MADE SHORT WORK OF GETTING THE PITMAN OFF


THE KEYS TO SUCCESS!


NOW I CAN UNBOLT THIS


DROP THIS


AND YOU GET THIS-TO BE REMOVED THROUGH THE FRONT, UNLESS YOU HACK UP THE FIREWALL


NOW REMOVE THESE 3 BOLTS AND TAKE OUT THE BOX-DOUBLE CHECK THE TOP BRACKET TO MAKE
SURE IT ISN'T CRACKED OR WEAKENED, AS THIS IS COMMON


There! Now do you see why I said to just cut the shaft?!? plus you'll also have a box that's all together and ready to sell,
instead of one in pieces that you gotta take the time to put back together. Less messy, too!

Now file the hell out of those 4 flat locating splines in the Ford pitman arm if that's the way you choose to go.
Some people say it isn't safe, some say it is, I know people that have run their box this way for many years without problem.
I resigned from the debating team so if using the volvo pitman works for you, all the better. I've heard of people cutting it at the first hole,
heating it with a torch and bending it to match the stock ford arm, then you can either use a taper to make the hole match the ford tie rod end
or heat it red hot and just bang it over the tie rod end till it fits. Not recommending, just for completeness I'm including the info.
Here's the Ford pitman after some grinding. I used a drill press and an aggressive US made bit I got at a swap meet, not sure what it's
called but it's got kind of a diamond cutting pattern on it and it's cylindrical and flat on the tip. Used for grinding welds and whatnot.
I *don't* necessarily recommend this, I'm sure there's way better/faster ways with a die grinder or what have you. I was just making do, and it took a while .
I tried just using a hand file, and that got me *nowhere*, I really don't suggest that!



Now something they don't tell you is that even though you've filed the splines out, it doesn't engage the Volvo
shaft very far since the Ford isn't tapered. Here's how it looks:



All is not lost, however. What I did is put the box on the bench, heated up the arm with propane, and used a big socket as a driver.
I tried to position it so that it had give when I hit it, to protect the box from damage. I'm sure there's a better way to do this, this is just what I did.



and the result is this:



Quite a difference!

I slathered the pitman/threads in red loctite after cleaning them up a bit with a very small file, and used the impact on the nut, getting this.
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Last edited by Johnny1290; 03-28-2008 at 10:59 PM. Reason: formatting
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:29 PM   #2
Johnny1290
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford the easy way

I slathered the pitman/threads in red loctite after cleaning them up a bit with a very small file,
and used the impact on the nut, getting this. I tried to remove it to see if I could get a full
size nut on there since I had the extra threads, but the impact wouldn't budge it.
I check it regularly but I don't think it's going anywhere.



Now I put the new box in the car with the adaptor, using the longer bolts I mentioned earlier.

I used a 3 ft or so prybar to get the pitman hooked up to the centerlink.



Now back to that steering shaft. I think it's a very wise idea to do a mockup with a wood dowel or broomhandle to get the correct length.
I cut it with room to spare, so I thought. Wrong! This is too short, at least for my application.




If you kept the steering wheel on, don't forget to put the column/bushing over it before you put the u joint on. Guess how I know?

I ended up needing a new column/shaft anyway due to hammered splines, so I just used the one a generous HAMBer helped me with that had
already been cut close to the box with a sawzall. Looked good to me! So off to the machinist's house...found him on craigslist, and Hans is real cool.
Some nice equipment in his garage!!! I had him turn down the end of the shaft just enough to get the Borgueson u joint on.
I tried using emery cloth on this thing for an hour probably...no dice, it needed turning.



Then he drillled and pinned the u joint to the shaft like Borgeson suggests on their website. Their quote

http://ww2.borgeson.com/CATALOG/Catalog.html
"Pinning
Common practice is to use two 3/16” diameter roll pins in each
yoke at right angles to each other and approximately 3/8” apart.

An even stronger connection can be made by using hardened
shear pins. Pinning can be used when the shaft can be removed

from the vehicle and supported properly when inserting the
pins. Driving pins in while the assembly is in the car could cause

damage. The major drawback to pinning is that a 3/4” diameter
shaft is weakened by 30%, smaller shafts are weakened to an

even greater extent."



Not perfect, but close. They also say don't weld on it, and use a clamp around the pins to make sure they don't accidentally fall out.
Some have been known to run a tack every 90 degrees, thinking it better to possibly shorten the life of the u joint and have more
peace of mind.

This is another controversial area, I don't want to debate, I resigned from the debating team, remember? There are other ways, maybe
better ways, this is just how I did it. One way is to graft on the splined shaft from a Volvo to the Ford shaft and use the stock
volvo coupler. This is the gold standard IMHO, and nobody has a better description of what's involved than Brickster in his tech.

Ultimately I think its much ado about nothing. As pointed out to me by an engineer, a steering box is a torque reduction box after all.
The Volvo box takes hardly any torque at all to turn the wheels, so there's just hardly any stress on that u joint when the wheels are
turning. Parallel parking is the worst stress, and even that isn't bad.

Next I put the column on the shaft and added the bushing at the end to center it.



My roof is chopped and I prefer a lower wheel, so I cut out a bit of the floor to get the column drop that I wanted. This also helped my
u joint angles. I kept the car up on jackstands and adjusted
everything until I got the u joint angles I wanted with no binding.






Next is time to re-enforce the floor and make or bolt in the steering column floor mount. There's a variety of these you can buy. They
start at $30 for the one pictured up to $100+ for a billet special.



I bought this exhaust clamp for $15 at jegs
http://www.jegs.com/i/Dynomax/289/35979/10002/-1



I'm still in the process of getting mine where I want it in terms of bracing and triangulating with the pedal/firewall-master cylinder
mount/dashboard.

Here's an example that I like, mine will be similar.



Here's a few torque figures from the green bible:
steering wheel-50 ft pounds
steering gear arm to idler arm-50-60#
steering gear to frame-30-35#

I hope this is of help to someone and I can give a little back to the HAMB

JOHNNY! GET OUTTA THERE!
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Last edited by Johnny1290; 03-28-2008 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:26 PM   #3
SlowandLow63
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

Nice tech man. About a week after I talked to you about the swap I came across an S10 frame for a good price locally. That was enough to make my mind up for me. But thanks for all the info. Looks good.
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:56 PM   #4
Outlaw Bender
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

What year is that steeringbox from?
Since they changed the diameter of the splined axel.
If you got an early one, it is smaller, then you could use an piman arm from an old VW Bus.
I did the other way on my T-bucket.
Took an old steeringbox from Vw bus ,and mounted the pitmanarm from the Volvo(early Volvo 140, the VW pitmanarm is very short).
Cheapest way to do it, at least over here.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:35 PM   #5
Johnny1290
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

Thanks Slowandlow63 and Outlaw Bender!

I updated to show the right box to use as told by Fatman. It's the 67-78 volvo manual steering box according to their website.

I've never heard that before about the VW pitman arm! I'm sure it'll help somebody. I found a link here to buy them for $5, price is right
http://www.bus-boys.com/bb41556.htm

Congrats on the S10 score Slowandlow. After seeing that tech post on installling one on a shoebox, it sure looks like a great way to go if a guy has the facilities. Solves a *LOT* of problems and hopefullly for a lot less than the 2 grand or so on parts you'd' need to bring a stock Ford frontend even close to the same performance, and you'd still have kingpins, add another grand to change those to balljoints from Jamco.
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Last edited by Johnny1290; 03-28-2008 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:25 AM   #6
Brickster
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw Bender View Post
What year is that steeringbox from?
Since they changed the diameter of the splined axel.
If you got an early one, it is smaller,

Damn, you learn something everyday. I must have used one from what ever year had the smaller spline because the Ford arm was WAY different.



Jonny, I have seen you mention that you would like to upgrade to balljoints. Well I'm going to fab my own tubular control arms. (I might make more than one set) They will work with the stock frame and the Volvo steering box. I am also going to look at the "trick tierods" style of center link and do something like that if it's beneficial.

Later

Brick
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:02 AM   #7
Johnny1290
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

You know what, now that you mention it maybe that's why Fatman says to get a 40 spline u joint from Borguson on their website, when the people I've talked to(and myself) have used a 48 spline. Who knew?!

I've been thinking about those trick tie rods myself, and talked to a few people about them on shoeboxford.com Sounds really neat. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for the parts to see if it's worth trying to make it myself or not.

Your control arms sound really great! Are you going to use the stock sway bar or adapt another one? I've got one from a wagon but i'd love to get a bigger one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickster View Post
Damn, you learn something everyday. I must have used one from what ever year had the smaller spline because the Ford arm was WAY different.

Jonny, I have seen you mention that you would like to upgrade to balljoints. Well I'm going to fab my own tubular control arms. (I might make more than one set) They will work with the stock frame and the Volvo steering box. I am also going to look at the "trick tierods" style of center link and do something like that if it's beneficial.

Later

Brick
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:27 AM   #8
d2_willys
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

Dude you did good on the steering shaft coupling. Looks professional.

I didn't really agree on how you did the pitman arm shaft. The heating and pounding thing is kinda the wrong way to do that, using the Volvo arm and heating and bending it is better and not that hard.

Like your dog!

Did you find the cars up in EP area? Haven't heard much about that!
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Old 03-29-2008, 06:04 PM   #9
Outlaw Bender
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1290 View Post

I updated to show the right box to use as told by Fatman. It's the 67-78 volvo manual steering box according to their website.
Good, that i could at least help someone.
As far as i know, Volvo started to use steering rack from -75.
But there are a posibility to find power steering box to the 140 model. (pretty rare, at least over here).
"Living in the Country of Safety cars"
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:53 PM   #10
paul bisler
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

can someone out there tell me which is the pressure port on a 160 volvo power steering box? Thanks Paul Bisler
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:03 PM   #11
stephenVB
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Default Re: Tech: Volvo steering in a shoebox Ford made EZ

I got here because I need a pitman arm for my 69 Volvo and can't seem to find one. I did find this thread. As I understand it, when you use a Volvo steering box you use the Ford arm. Does anyone have a Volvo pittman arm?

Thanks
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