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Sector shaft swap write up

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 85mudblazin, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    If you are looking to go crossover you will need either a 2wd box or a 2wd sector shaft (the shaft that the pitman arm bolts to). You need one of these because it has 4 different spots to index the pitman arm and for crossover you need it pointing to the rear of the truck.
    Here is what the 2wd shaft loosk like[​IMG]
    The 4x4 shaft has one way to put on the pitman arm, is splined only half way around the shaft, and has a notch on the back of it for the bolt that is used in the 4wd pitman arms.
    Here is what the 4wd shaft looks like[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I decided to swap sector shafts because my box is in good condition and I know that it works good.
    1: So to swap the shafts firstjack the truck up and pull off the drivers side tire.
    2: Pull out the cotter pin that secires the nut onto the draglinkend that goes into the pitman arm.
    3: Take off the nut that connects the draglink to the pitman arm.
    4: now some people have there own methods for this part but to get the draglink end out of the pitman arm I take a 2lb hammer and beat the crap out of the pitman arm around the draglink end. It will pop out once you hit it enough.
    5: Next unscrew the bolt that is on the back of the pitman arm and remove it.
    6: you should know be able to wiggle/tap the stock pitman arm off.
    7: now you are ready to pull the sector shaft out.
    8: open up the hood and look at the top of the steering box. you will see 4 bolts and a stud/locknut in the middle of them. Remove the 4 outer bolts.
    9: Pull up on the cover or you may have to tap the bottom of the shaft with a hammer to get it out but it will just slide right out.
    10: Remove the 2 nuts/bolts that connect the steering shaft to the ragjoint and pull the steering shaft to the side.
    11: I ended up pulling the box because it was easier and I was tapping the box, so to do this unscrew the 2 hydro lines and the 4 bolts that bolt the steering bo to the frame.
    So at this point this is where you are at. Be sure to have a bucket handy when you pull out the shaft be cause alot of fluid will come out.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Here is the 2wd shaft on the left compared to the 4wd shaft on the right [​IMG]
    And the 4 bolt holes with the stud/locking nut in the middle [​IMG]

    So now you are ready to install the 2wd shaft.
    1: Make sure the o-ring is seated correctly into the groove of the cap.
    2: simpily slide the shaft into the box makeing sure that the gears mesh, may need a light tap to get it in there.
    4: Install the 4 bolts that hold the shaft into the box.
    5: now comes the tricky part, time to adjust the shaft. I looked at my 4wd shaft to see how far out the stud was from the locking nut, this will get you pretty close. GM states that you should use a torque wrench to find all these measurements but I found it easier to do it by feel. grab the rag joint and turn it lock to lock like you would with the steering wheel. If you do not feel any resistance when your steering is in the middle. Loosen the locking nut and using a allen in the top of the stud turn it a few turns clockwise, tighten back down the lock nut. Turn the rag joint again from lock to lock until you feel it get tight in the middle. Once you feel it get tight back off the stud just a little at a time locking down the lock nut after each adjustment test until you cant feel it get tight anymore. This is when you know you have it adjusted correctly. Make sure all of the bolts are tight and you are ready to go.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Just bolt the box back up to the frame and reconnect your hoses and steering shaft.
    You are now ready for crossover.
    Hope this helped some of you some.
    See yall on the trails!!!
    -Chris
     
  2. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Good job fella! :waytogo:
    I'll be doing mine soon I hope. Thanks for the write up. :D
     
  3. BozoWise

    BozoWise 1/2 ton status

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    Another key here might be to add that if you have the box centered in it's steering cycle to remove and install the shafts or the gears will not mesh.
     
  4. MNorby

    MNorby 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    You might also explain how to use a picklefork and pitman arm puller. Good job.
     
  5. idf_johnny

    idf_johnny Registered Member

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    Great stuff, I need to do this also. One question for all, I know the boxes changed slightly, o-ring or flare fittings, is the sector shaft the same for all years? thanks.
     
  6. MNorby

    MNorby 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    From all my experience they are all the same.
     
  7. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    NO they are not. I learned this before I went to swap mine. There is a variable and a non-variable shaft. they will not interchange with each other. However in my 85' the shafts were the same (I cant remember which shafts work and dont work).
     
  8. BozoWise

    BozoWise 1/2 ton status

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    I took a 2wd shaft out of the newer o-ring metric box and dropped it right into my old flare fitting 4wd box. Direct replacement.
     
  9. MNorby

    MNorby 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I see. I swapped a shaft from a late 70s truck into a 91 box and a 81 shaft into that late 70s box.
     
  10. idf_johnny

    idf_johnny Registered Member

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    Thats all I needed guys, thanks. There is lots of 79 to mid 80's stuff at the local pickn pull yards and my box is around '78.
     
  11. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for this thread.
     
  12. makovai

    makovai 1/2 ton status

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    Excellent thread,
    I'd like to add. If you go with the entire 2WD box the diameter of the steering shaft spline is smaller, this is a great thing if you plan to swap the steering shaft for a cherokee u-joint steer shaft.
    I just finished my cross steer and replaced the entire box with a 1978 suburban 2WD box and a 1991 Jeep cherokee steering shaft and a trailmaster ford drop pitman arm and i didn't make a single mod. Everything bolted up like it was meant to go together.

    Just my 2¢
     
  13. 85-m1028

    85-m1028 1/2 ton status

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    If your gonna pull the box don't you think it would be a good idea to do a rebuild, with a master kit?? Would that just be a pain in the arse?? I rebuilt my turbo 400 couldn't be much harder than that. Is there book that covers this?

    great write up by the way!!!!!
     
  14. walla2k5

    walla2k5 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the write up. Plans are to do the same thing this winter.:waytogo:
     
  15. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks, I figured it would help someone:D

    I dont have crossover anymore but if you have any questions feel free to ask.
     
  16. PeteH

    PeteH 1/2 ton status

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    i thought 78 had larger shaft and mid 80's and up have smaller. you also say you didnt have to do a single mod? i thought you had to do some work to the shafts? i'm gonna try this mod soon... me so confuuused :confused: :D
     
  17. 88$PIT

    88$PIT Registered Member

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    Thank you for the how-to and pic's. I've been wondering how the shaft swap was done since I've been hearing about it around here alot lately.
     
  18. DavidB

    DavidB 1/2 ton status

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    Isn't there a thread on tapping=porting the box? Gotta have the guts out?
     
  19. ChickenRammit

    ChickenRammit 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    thanks for the thread, i needed this info.
     
  20. JDNobodi

    JDNobodi 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Here is a picture of the differance.[​IMG]
     

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