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Steering Modifications


Power Steering Cooler

A few months after I bought my Trooper the power steering return line started to leak. The hose was original and getting tired. I went to replace the hoses but I did not like the location or size of the stock power steering cooler. When off roading there is often a lot of steering input with little forward movement which will quickly overheat the oil. So taking what I have leaned from my S-10 I knew of a cooler that would fit well and is easy to hook up. So I went to the junkyard and for $5.00 I got a good condition power steering cooler from a second generation S-10. All I had to do to make it fit was cut back the lines, turn it upside-down, bend one of the mounting tabs and drill one hole. The lines were then run and a filter was installed inline just for extra insurance.

Heavy Duty Tie Rod Ends

In the summer of 2013 I finally got a solid week where I could tackle a bunch of things in the front end. One area on the front end known to fail under heavy use is the factory tie rods. Isuzu missed the ball on this area. The stock threads on the body of the tie rod are only 14mm. This works just fine for stock tires off road or even large tires on road. However if you have large tires, say 31" or larger and like to take your truck off road, then this is an area you should address. Aftermarket companies sell a heavy duty tie rod set that uses a custom adjuster sleeve with factory style 70's Ford tie rods. While it is a nice set it is a little pricey. I figured it was worth spending a bit of time to try and figure out a solution that uses all factory replacement parts that would be very easy to find at any parts store that anyone could reproduce. So I spent an hour or so with a MOOG tie rod and adjuster sleeve chart and came up with a couple possible solutions. The first was nice big set of tie rods for a Ford van that used massive M22 threads on the tie rod body. They fit the knuckle and center link like factory and they would have worked great. However if I wanted to run the shocks in the stock location they were not going to work. They rubbed the shock as the steering got close to full lock. So I had to find a different joint with a smaller thread size and a smaller sleeve in order to clear the shock.

I came up with MOOG P/N ES3370T and ES3369T these are a left and right hand pair which work together to provide an adjustable set when paired with an adjuster sleeve. I chose to use sleeve P/N ES3201S this is a solid metal sleeve with left and right female threads and matching jamb nuts included. The tie rods were a perfect fit in the knuckle however, the threads on the body were just too long. Approximately 1" had to be cut off each tie rod in order to fully bottom out in the adjuster sleeve and be short enough to get the alignment in spec. A grinder with a cut off wheel made quick work of that and a quick belt sand cleaned up the rough end. If you do this just measure carefully and then test fit the tie rod end in the adjuster sleeve, with the jamb nut, and be sure it fully bottoms out. With the minor amount of fabrication done I set the length as close as I could to the old tie rod ends and installed everything in the truck. This was good enough to get to the alignment shop. Keep in mind that these items can be cross referenced to any other parts brand. So this project could range from less than $100 to more than $200 depending on your preference. This gives nice flexibility versus the fixed price of an aftermarket set.

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