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Power Steering Pump Upgrades (1966-1977)

Power Steering Pump Upgrades

  ***Power Steering Pump Upgrades***


This is an easy power steering pump upgrade. This pump is supposed to be identical internally to the Saginaw 'canned ham' pump that's so popular, but with a different style reservoir.

Parts Required:

Napa - Part # 20-6244 Power Steering Pump Napa - Part # 1563 Pressure hose fitting adapter

The pump cost me about $110 including core charge, and the fitting was about $9.

Remove the old pump and you can compared them side by side. The new pump is about half the size of the old one. The new pump as a 90 degree fitting for the pressure hose and the return line points down instead of up. The horseshoe shaped bracket that comes on the pump makes it look like the front of the original pump. This allows it to bolt right onto the original bracket.

Remove the 90 degree fitting off the new pump by removing the 1" bolt.

Replace the 90 degree fitting with the fitting adapter. Make sure you put the end into the pump that matches the end you take out.

Remove the pulley from the old pump using a pulley puller. Do not attempt to do this without the proper puller. You may be able to borrow one from an auto parts store.

Install the pulley on the new pump using the proper tool. Do not beat the pulley on with a hammer or you may damage the new pump. The new pump comes with a bolt, a washer and a nut that can be used to press on the pulley. Put the nut and washer on the bolt, then screw the bolt all the way down into the shaft on the pump. Then tighten down the nut while you hold the pulley to keep it from spinning. Pressing the pulley down until the front of it was flush with the end of the shaft gave me good belt alignment, but you'll want to use a straight edge to check yours.

Install the pump into the original brackets and put it on the engine. You may need to make some modifications to get the hoses to work. My pressure hose worked fine without modification. Since the return line comes in from the bottom instead of the top I had to make some changes. I bent the line coming out of the steering fluid cooler so it pointed down instead of up. The line going into the new pump was interfering with the oil pressure sending unit, so I bent it out a little bit.

Once you've got it all back together, fill it up with fluid and start your engine and check for leaks. Then jack your front end up in the air and turn your steering wheel back and forth, lock to lock to bleed the air out of it. Then you should be done. Test drive it and enjoy your stronger pump.


A popular steering upgrade solution is to convert over to the Saginaw, or "canned ham" style pump. This pump seems to take off road torture better than other pumps and I've heard few stories of dead Saginaw pumps. (My Saginaw pump out of a junkyard has lasted quite a bit longer than both of the "new" Ford pumps I had on previously)

The only problem with the Saginaw style pump is that it is mostly found on Chevys and the few Fords it can be found on don't seem to have the right engine. Most Ford Saginaw pumps seem to be found on 351's and don't have the same bolt pattern as the Bronco's 302. So even if you find a Ford with a Saginaw pump, bolting this up to your Bronco becomes a challenge. While there are aftermarket brackets to accomplish this, they are fairly expensive (for what you get) and you'll have to wait for them to be shipped. Aside from all of that it's just more fun to make up your own solution than pay someone for theirs. The following should show how a little time looking through your local junk yard mixed with some minor grinding can allow you to upgrade to the stronger Saginaw style pump.

The donor vehicle I found for my pump and bracket was a 1978 Country Squire station wagon with a 351 M engine. I took both the pump bracket (aluminum bracket that bolts directly to the pump) and the engine bracket (steel bracket that the pump bracket bolts to and usually pivots off of) but ultimately I only used the pump bracket on the vehicle. These are the two pump brackets. The one on the left is the stock Bronco bracket compared to the Saginaw bracket on the right.

Both the stock Bronco system and the 351M Saginaw system use very similar mounting methods. So similar in fact that I was convinced I had found the perfect bolt up until I got home and could compare the two brackets side by side. Both use a pivot bolt that slips through the pump bracket into the head and an adjusting bolt that keeps the pump from pivoting once the belt is tight.

The only thing keeping the 351M pump bracket from bolting directly up to the stock Bronco engine bracket was the distance between the pivot hole and the adjustment arc. By simply using the 351M engine bracket as a template for the correct position and length of the curved slot I spent 15 minutes with a die grinder and cut a new adjustment slot in the Bronco engine bracket. In the photo to the left the bottom slot is factory cut for the stock pump bracket. The top slot is the new adjustment slot needed to mount the 351M pump bracket. Notice the very small portion of metal left between the two slots. The lower slot was later filled in with a welder to increase strength of the bracket.

This was the finished system before being mounted in the truck. The only thing left was some minor shimming to align the Saginaw pulley with the crank pulley. By putting various size washers between the brackets and the head the pump should align easily. Because the fittings on a Saginaw pump are a little different from the stock Bronco pump, some fittings or line extensions must also be made up. The Saginaw pump I used (and these will vary between models) had a 3/8" male flared fitting at the pressure side instead of the 3/8" female flare on the stock Bronco pump. This was a simple fix using a short length of hard brake line with 3/8" female flared fittings on both ends to connect the pressure hose and the pump. An added advantage to this was that I could bend the hard line close to the body of the Saginaw pump so that it cleared spark plug wires and the dipstick. Other Saginaw pumps may have different fittings, but special fittings or hoses can be made to connect almost any size flared fitting

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