AGR Steering install and thoughts
Weekend before last I installed the AGR Series 2 steering box and the Borgeson heavy duty u-joint shaft. I got both parts from BJ's.
I went with the AGR box since it is all new construction. Replacement boxes from your local auto stores will be rebuilds. I decided a while back that I would 'commit to the Jeep' which means I do things as if I expect to drive it another 150K miles. For me the extra expense of a new box and the upgrade to the shaft made sense.
Needless to say, the box and the shaft are both beautiful to behold. The parts appear to be high quality and everything fit perfect.
Install wasn't too bad. The agr came with full instructions, the shaft didn't. The shaft didn't feel like it wanted to go on the steering box. That turned out to just be a tight fit that was easily fixed by a partial diassemble of the shaft and a slight tapping with the hammer to get it into place. I left the rod portion off of the shaft to aid in the box install.
The box is easy to install but it's a pain. The pitman arm has to come off (duh), the two hoses and the four bolts. There is also a bolt for the rag joint that is hard to see. I ended up just disconnecting the shaft from the steering column and taking it all out as a unit.
To install I put a stud on one of the lower bolt holes in the box. This allowed me to slip it into place. It's heavy and you don't want to be holding it while trying to get a bolt started. I then swapped out the stud with the original bolt. One top bolt was easy, the other was a PITA. It just didn't want to 'start'. After a little coaxing it finally went into place.
Before tightening it up I put the hoses back on and finished installing the shaft. I then put the pitman arm back on.
I followed the agr instructions for bleeding.
First Drive: I was suprised at how 'hard' it was to turn the wheel. With the old box I had the ability to turn the wheel with 'one finger'. The new box takes a little more effort. This is probably due, in part, to the fact I still have a stock power steering pump. However, after finishing up we took the wife's Jeep Liberty out ot dinner and I noticed that it has stiffer steering too.
More driving: After a week of regular driving, a 100 mile road trip, and a short trip on a dirt road I find I like the steering better this way. My steering actions are more direct and require less adjustment. I think if I had to make a 'panic' move either on or off road I would be less likely to over correct.
I certainly get more feedback from the road. There is no longer 1/4 turn of play in each direction. The truck doesn't wander around as much as it did and, like I said, I spend less time 'adjusting' the steering wheel while driving.
Overall I am very happy with this upgrade.
82 Cherokee WT – SFwith Alcan/agr box/Borgeson shaft/ 401/performer/Holley TA/HEI/BeCool/727/ALTAS(2.0/2.72/5.44)/D60 Snofighter(Yukon Zip,hubs,stubs,4.56)/14 Bolt (FF,BF shave,Discs, ARB,Artec Truss)/MTR 37/Corbeau Moab Seats /Hella/tuffy console/sliders/custombumpers&roll bar/WARN 8000/steering brace/CO2 Tank/dual batts/custom TCskid plate