Project Power Steering: 1976 Ford F250 Highboy Part 1

For some time I have been collecting parts to convert my 1976 Ford F250 4×4 to integral power steering. Over Christmas 2023 I finally decided to take on the project and get it underway.

First of all, why? This truck originally came with the Garrison power assist steering. Though it works, it is starting to have its challenges. Namely, leaking, lose, and generally not awesome.

Parts I had been collecting
– Integral PS gearbox from a 1978/9 Ford F150 4×4
– Plate kit for this conversion. got it from eBay
– Various ball joints and pitman arms

1. Place front end on jack stands and remove front wheels
2. Drain radiator
3. Remove grill and core support
4. Remove all of the Garrison power assist steering stuff. Leaving the PS pump.
5. Determine placement of gearbox and mark areas to notch the frame and front cross member
6. Rough cut frame and cross member
7. Fit plates and trim frame / cross member as needed
8. Weld plates into place
9. Mount PS gearbox
10. Trim inner fender to clear PS gearbox
11. Modify steering shaft. In this case I had other shafts I could shorten and weld to fit
12. Connect pressure and return lines between PS pump and gearbox
13. I removed the PS pump belt and using a drill and a large easy-out, spun the pump when adding fluid while also turning the gearbox lock to lock
14. Check for leaks
15. Reassemble core support and grill

Photos of my conversion project.

Gallery of photos I had collected prior to starting the work. I do not claim ownership of these photos and do not know who the original owners are.

In Part 2 I will go over the pitman arm and building the drag link.

Tales of the Amiga 500 project

In my teen years, for a brief time, I had a Amiga 500 with monitor, sidecar for HD and extra ram, software and accessories. It was a great system and really appealed to me for it capabilities. When I had my fill of the fun, I sold it.

Recently I started gathering hardware to build up another Amiga A500 rig. Why a A500? Well, cost is a huge factor and much of the vintage computer hardware is ridiculously expensive.

The A500 that I picked up has a hardware issue and I discovered I had no way to connect it to a color display due to its DB23 RGB connector, making troubleshooting harder. When powering on the A500, the power light flashes 10 times and then a long flash (reset?) then the cycle repeats. Some internet searching suggested it was the Fat Agnus chip. We’ll see.

Next challenge was video. I ordered an unbuffered DB23 to VGA cable. I was able to connect the display to an old Dell U2410 display due to its support for 15khz frequency.

Troubleshooting continues…. With the monitor connected, I get a green screen which possibly indicated bad RAM. Now I have replacement RAM inbound along with sockets.

Couple other items I am waiting for.
– HDMI out using a RaspberryPi Zero and a custom board for a pure signal
– USB mouse adapter
– DiagRom 1.3 for troubleshooting
– Workbench 1.3 disks

2002 BWM 530i e39 Heating issue

Since I picked up this car just over a year ago, I noticed it ran a little cool. The other day the temperature dropped down to 9F and the car took forever to warm up.

The car
– 2002 BMW 530i e39
– M54 Engine
– 140,000 miles

The issue
– Warm or cold days the engine max temperature would go to approximately 160
– Heater would blow mildly warm air

The fix
– Drain existing coolant
– Remove the fan and clutch
– Remove the thermostat
– Installed new Wahler Thermostat Assembly with Housing ordered from Amazon
– Refilled cooling system with Pentofrost NF
– Bleed the cooling system according to the Bentley service manual

The outcome
– Engine maintains temp between 198F and 202F
– Heater blows nice and hot