Custom Steering Setup for 1946 CJ2A

We had a customer bring their 1946 CJ2A to us because the steering was so sloppy that it was nearly undrivable.  You could get a 1/4-1/2 turn out of the steering wheel before the wheels turned at all.  Originally, we thought we were going to replace the stock style steering with new components to tighten it up, but instead we decided to swap in the latest and greatest 1970s technology: a manual steering box.

First we had to remove all the stock steering components.  We also had to figure out how to adapt the stock steering column to something that we could use to change directions and point to where we planned to hang the new steering box.  We did this by stepping to 3/4" solid bar.  We fabricated a custom bracket that bolted in place of the original steering box that supported the bottom of the steering column and incorporated a heim joint and a universal joint so that we could change directions from the steep angle of the steering column.

The next hurdle was to get the steering shaft through the motor mount for the stock 4 cyl. engine and modifying the exhaust header to allow for clearance.  While we probably could have made it squeeze through we opted instead to modifying the motor mount to allow for more clearance.  After making it's way through the motor mount we added another universal so it could mate up to the splines on the manual steering box out of a CJ7.

To hang the steering box in the new location we had to make a mounting plate and weld it to the front frame horns to box it in.  Spacers were added behind the mounting plate to reinforce the frame along with gussets for rigidity.  A small drop pitman arm was added for clearance and attached to that was our custom made steering linkage.

We made that out of DOM tubing, double adjustable bungs, and CJ7 tie rod ends for ease of adjustment, durability, and serviceability of the ends over time with parts that are readily available off the shelf.  After a few test drives we took it all back apart, painted it, and reassembled it.
While we had it we upgraded the shocks to the correct length so that the suspension could cycle correctly and added the beefy shackles from M.O.R.E. in Delta, CO.

The difference in drivability is night and day!  They customer was excited to be able to once again drive his Jeep in parades and around town.  Want a custom steering solution of your own?  Send us a message!

Customer steering setup on a 1946 Willys CJ2A


  • I would be interested in bringing my rebuilt 46 Willy’s to y’all and y’all do the work. About what would that cost me and where are you at

    Dan bane
  • The Jeep looks great! I have a 48 Jeep that could use a steering upgrade like that. Do you plan to sell a kit for it?

    John Poulias

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