Power Steering on Ford 801? (part 2)
12/16/2010 - by Travis
(this is a part 2. Click here for part 1

Well, I ordered PSKF1, the aftermarket power steering system for a Ford 3000. This is really power-assist steering. I ordered mine from Glemco Tractor Parts, but many other sellers carry the same kit (Tisco dealers). It is apparently built in Turkey.

Well, a couple days later, a Fedex truck pulled into our driveway as I was leaving for work. Normally they drop their package and are gone in seconds. Well, this time there was a knock on the door by a desperate looking driver who spoke little English. He waved me around to his truck and showed me the crate. It wasn't all that large, but quite heavy. So, I grabbed an end and we got it to the house no problem. The crate probably weighs around 80+lbs.

From 861 Power Steering

So, what does it contain? Well, the picture from Tisco is this:

Shown in the picture are:
  • Actuated Cylinder
  • Fluid Reservoir
  • Pump
  • Mounting Bracket
  • LH Steering Arm
  • RH Steering Arm
  • Steering box arm
  • Tie Rod
  • Actuator Rod
  • Tie Rod Ends
  • Misc bolts and clamps

Now, what did I actually get? Well, it was similar. The cylinder, pump and reservoir is as shown. The mounting bracket is quite different. The one I received is clearly drilled to fit behind the radius rod socket but is shaped differently from the one in the picture. The arm for the steering box is not included at all (and isn't needed). The tie rod that I received is similar but is composed of 3 pieces: 2 tubes and a center rod to make the length adjustable. Overall, similar enough. What struck me about this kit is how stout everything is. I was pleasantly surprised by how heavy-duty it all appears to be.

Bracket I received

At this point, I have to point out the instructions. There are labels and such on many of the components -- mostly in Turkish. There is a 1-page sheet with some very crude instructions. Basically, you better be fairly mechanically competent or this kit will be a horror story. Since the instructions didn't really apply in my case, I didn't care.

So, what applies to the 801. Well, I knew from the start that the steering pump is NOT compatible with the 800/801/4000/etc. The fluid reservoir and pump will not be used. Also, the mounting bracket is probably of little use without some modification. It would fit the radius rod socket studs, but would then interfere with the clutch (may work for SOS models?). The tie rod will fit, but needs some coaxing. There is a small open space forward of the oil pan where it needs to go. With the current front configuration , it's not quite a straight shot for it to fit. The tie rod does have an offset in the center, but it's not quite enough with the adjustment brackets. I found that by welding it instead and then tweaking it slightly so there is a bow to the rod makes it fit just fine. I also found that the cylinder fits almost perfectly to the end of the radius rod. Models with power steering had a mounting hole near the socket end. So, next up: get a radius rod with the mounting hole. One could also weld a mounting plate to the radius rod, but I wanted to leave mine in a state that I could easily revert to the original manual steering.

Now, how are we going to get power to this thing? I decided against purchasing a power steering pump and reservoir due to expense. Instead, I decided to use a priority valve (3GPM) off of the loader hydraulics. One could also use the tractor's hydraulics with the $60-ish power beyond block (model # HV4902). Here is one place that sells them. I believe a relief valve would also be a good idea (although I believe the actuated cylinder also contains a relief valve -- better safe than sorry). I am told that the cylinder needs about 3 GPM to work well.

So, I placed an order for the priority valve and the radius rod (after narrowly missing one on eBay). I found the priority valve from Surplus Center and the radius rod from Walt's Tractors. I really wanted to go with a used radius rod, but the cheapest used I could find was $100 + $20 shipping vs $140 shipped for new.

The idea I'm shooting for is to use the new arms that mount on the front spindles, the tie rod, the rod from steering box to cylinder actuator, and the cylinder (of course). The cylinder will mount to the left-side steering arm in the front and the new radius rod in the rear.

One thing I have already learned with the tie rod is that it's going to be tight. The tie rod I received is a 3-piece unit with a steel rod that connects 2 steel tubes together. This is then connected together using some special clamps. The rod has an offset in the middle of a couple inches to clear the oil pan. It's tight enough that using the clamps definitely will no fit on my tractor (scrapes on oil pan). Instead, I found the correct length and welded the tubes together. The rod ends are threaded so there is still room for some minor adjustment if needed.

Go to Part 3