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Old 02-27-2018, 08:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sidekick power steering in samurai issues

I am in the process of adding Power Steering to my 1990 1.3L 4WD Samurai, stock height. Using a 1998 Sidekick PS pump. I mounted the PS pump to engine using OEM 8 valve Sidekick ps pump bracket. The Sidekick gearbox will be mounted to the frame using the PetroWorks wedge. Everything is working out fine fitwise, BUT I noticed there is a difference in the Sidekick vs Samurai pitman arms! I also noticed their is a substantial difference in the lock to lock number of turns of the gearboxes!

The OEM Samurai pitman arm has drop of 2", hole to hole length of 5 3/16".
The OEM Sidekick pitman arm has drop of 1/2", hole to hole length 4 15/16"!
I cannot use the OEM Samurai pitman arm as it will not fit the larger spline of the Sidekick PS gearbox. The slightly shorter Sidekick arm will result in a larger turning radius.

The bigger issue is the lock to lock travel of the different gearbox shafts.
The OEM Samurai manual gearbox makes 4 full turns lock to lock and the pitman arm outer end moves 6 7/8" (full left to full right turn)!
The OEM Sidekick ps gearbox makes 3 1/4 full turns lock to lock and the pitman arm travels only 5 1/8" (full left to full right turn). This is a 25% reduction in the total travel of the pitman arm end and will result in a much larger turning radius!

These measurements were taken on the bench. The gearbox actual full travel may be different when "installed" and the normal steering stops are in play?

Any comments of those who have installed the Sidekick PS in a Samurai would be welcome! Did you notice a huge reduction in your turning radius? Did it really matter? I only drive in town on the street and the beach. No extreme 4 wheeling!

It appears the easiest cure would be a longer pitman arm (calculated to match full stop to stop travel of the manual Samurai pitman arm end. It would need the OEM Sidekick larger spine 'head' section only, welded onto an OEM Samurai remainder of the arm. This would maintain the OEM 2" drop of the Samurai, and with proper length added, result in the same stop to stop travel of the OEM Samurai manual gearbox! The Sidekick ps gearbox would still only travel 3 1/4 turns stop to stop and results in a higher steering ratio, BUT with the power steering assist, that should not be an issue. This should restore the overall steering geometry to OEM Samurai....correct?

Does anyone know if both the Samurai and Sidekick pitman arms are forged and weldable to each other?

Thanks in advance for your comments! I do not want to change to any other gearbox. I desire to maintain 100% Suzuki parts!

Last edited by jbwilli; 02-27-2018 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 03-21-2018, 08:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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UPDATE *** After exercising the Sidekick PS gearbox a little more, it now turns a full 4 1/8 turns, stop to stop! I assume the small amount of PS assembly fluid I used, eventually moved around inside and lubricated the roller balls in the track and it now moves full travel (it was too dry unserviced)! This now means I will get full stop tp stop travel of the steering system. I guess this answers my own question! I will post all the 'correct' technical numerical data after I take new measurements!
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