In this issue we'll be picking up where we left off last issue. Now that we have the steering box and column mounted, it's time for the real fun part – making the bracket for the power steering pump. In the building of these trucks I really enjoy making the brackets and stuff required to mount all the various things that need mounting. Wiring them is another part I really enjoy.
The instructions from Mid Fifty said any commonly run pump will work fine. I chose an early '70s GM (Camaro) pump. It has a tapered shaft with a keyway and will accept all the different pulleys available. It's the same pump Bill's Brackets advises to use with his kits – inexpensive, good quality, and readily available. Don't forget to grab a reservoir cap for the pump as well since they usually don't come with the pump.
Another good choice would have been the GM X-car pump that is commonly used these days. You can use it with its stock plastic reservoir or go with a remote one mounted somewhere. Mounting the X-car pump is pretty easy too. You can either mount it solid using another accessory A/C compressor or alternator to adjust the belt, or fabricate a mount with an adjustment slot and have it adjust the belt.
For the GM pump I'm using, I basically start by holding it where I want it to go and make some quick reference measurements. Using those I can come up with a pattern and then make the bracket. In this case I am going to use the area where the fuel pump usually mounts. This truck had an electric one so this worked out well. Adjustment will be with a threaded ½-inch steel rod with 3⁄8-inch male Heim joints. The Heims are left- and right-hand thread so you can adjust the belt by turning the bar. The bar attaches to the pump and then to a small bracket at the water pump.
In this case, finding which groove in the pulley to use was easy. The engine already had two belts driving the alternator and only needed one. The outer belt won the honor of still powering the alternator and the inside belt is going to be used to drive the power steering. Installing the hoses was a snap also. I like to use a touch of antiseize on the flare part of the male fitting. Let a little get on the threads too. Then install the hose fitting and tighten. The antiseize will help the flare area seal. Trust me, it works. I always use it when working with aluminum or steel AN fittings.
My hoses fit fine without cutting them so I just made the connections at the pump and tightened everything up. Filled the reservoir with fluid and started her up to check for leaks and see how easy it turned.
It does have a power assisted feel to it and is a whole world better than the stock box. Lock to lock is just over four turns so it still steers like a truck in that aspect, not the two-and-a-half that a Mustang II is, but when driving it you definitely feel the improvement.
All in all, I think it's a great kit. Easy to install, as long as you don't run into clearance problems, and it looks great. It's all quality stuff that should work well until you finally decide to switch to IFS.
Swappers note: the compactness of the Toyota box and the way in which it mounts, it could easily (by fabricating any kind of mounting bracket) find its way into a lot of different applications – trucks being the most common. In fact, any type of front axle using a drag link to activate the steering might be able to use this box.