Durango Steering Gear in a Late Model TJ (03-06)

1. Remove stock box.
2. Remove steering shaft, drill plastic pin from both sides, reinstall collapsed shaft.
3. Use 1″ hole saw to cut front box mount sleeve out of frame.
4. Bolt durango box using 2 back bolts and determine if sleeve will fit or if frame needs to be clearanced. I needed to grind about 1/8″ from the front lower corner of hole.
5. Bolt the box back in with 3 stock bolts, tack weld the sleeve. Remove box and weld up sleeve.
6. Use a stock 97-02 TJ pressure hose, reinstall box (shaft, 3 bolts, hoses).
7. Install Pitman arm.
8. Bleed system.

Some additional information.

First, unless you have a body lift you absolutely must buy both the supply and return lines for the older TJ (I went with 2002 year). I assumed I only needed the supply line and no matter how much tweaking/bending we did it would hit the bottom radiator support area of the front grill. The lines on the Mercedes box basically just make a right angle turn back to the rear of the vehicle whereas those on the Durango box loop around the side and then head back. I bought the lines from Advanced Auto and their part numbers were Powercraft 80293 ($30) and 80291 ($20) respectively. Note the pic with the stock return line and 2002 return line on the bench and how the bends differ. There’s also a pic of how the lines route down around the box like Jeep had intended with that style box.

Secondly, I used a 1.25″ hole saw and found that if you offset the hole saw properly all you have to do is rotate the sleeve to get it into alignment for welding. I held the pilot bit at the 7 o’clock position (when looking at the outside of the frame) of the sleeve. You’ll see what I’m talking about in the pic below. I also captured a couple pictures of how little the sleeve has to move with the box bolted in place.

Third, if you reuse your pitman arm then it will be a bit lower than it was on the Mercedes box. I had to shorten my drag link a bit to accommodate.

Steering Box: 98-99 Dodge Durango/Dakota 4×4 V-8.

Write up and pics are from JeepForum

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