1988 - Volume #12, Issue #4, Page #23[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Add On Power Steering For Old Model Tractors"This conversion works perfect and it was so easy to do I'll never again hesitate to buy a used tractor just because it doesn't have power steering," says Ken Craven, Byars, Okla., about the "do-it-yourself' conversion he figured out for his hard-steering 1972 Ford 4000 diesel tractor.
Before tackling the job himself, Craven first contacted his local Ford dealer. "I was quoted a price of $1,900 for parts alone so I got in touch with a tractor salvage outfit. They wanted $950 for used parts. That's when I decided to do it myself."
He rounded up a power steering pump and transmission cooler from a 1978 Ford pickup and the cylinder and sending unit from a 1971 Ford Torino. To drive the pump he fashioned a "double groove" pulley by welding spacer bushings to a 7-in. pulley and bolting it to the original damper pulley.
"Then I cut the steering rod on the tractor and fitted it with the sending unit from the car. There was a problem in that when you moved the steering wheel, the unit would start to roll over. To solve the problem I mounted a driveshift spline and slip yoke on the steering arm to get the back and forth action needed. The last step was to mount the cylinder and transmission cooler. The cooler keeps the power steering fluid cool even on the hottest days," says Craven.
"Now the tractor is extemely easy to steer. There's no steering wheel whip in rough ground and, if you ever have to tow the tractor without running the engine, the original mechanical steering still works. .
"Total cost of the project was $170 including $60 for the pump, cylinder and sending unit, $73 for hoses, belts and fittings, and $20 for the transmission cooler."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Craven, Rt. 1, Box 43, Rosedale, Okla. 74831 (ph 405 469-4326).
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