351 - What a magic number
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Central Queensland Coast
The steering columns themselves are the same. The difference in length is achieved by adjusting the length of the actual steering shaft. There is a piece at the coupling end that just slides up inside. As for the steering wheel being closer to the dash, all you need is an XE wheel, and the plastic assembly that holds the top bearing of the column. You will find this is the same piece that the wiper and indicator switches bolt on to. There is no need to remove the whole column from the car. The bearing unit is a cinch to change, and the column adjustment is best done while you are changing the steering box over, and have it removed from the car.
I ran 32 psi in my 351 XE wagon. The tyres were 235's, and I never had any wear problems.
The actual pump I used was the saginaw type, if you have a 6 cylinder, you'll just need the correct bracket, as each pump has a slightly different bracket. For the V8 aluminium bracket, a minor amount of fabrication work is required to adapt the saginaw pump to that bracket. It is worth the effort, as the steering won't be no where near as light as that found with the standard V8 pump. You will have much better raod 'feel' and the luxury of reduced steering effort at low speeds.
As stated above, there is no real need to change to power steering, just find a decent wheel alignment shop that will set up the front end with slightly reduced caster angle.
Also ensure that you fit a good quality pitman arm assembly to your steering box, as the cheaper ones will chew out in no time. TRW make a very good product. You will need a very good quality pitman arm puller to change it, as they are usually a bloody tight fit.
Any play in the steering box can be adjusted out with the adjustment bolt /s on the box, but you must be careful to only adjust them while the steering is pointed straight ahead. If not, the steering gear will bind internally, and you will have all sorts of problems. Once again, a reputable steering / alignment shop will be able to take care of this if you're unsure.
Original XD 351 Ute - I got one!!
HSV - I just don't want one....EVER!
My XF 3 on the tree ute is ALWAYS stuck in third......