The Jackson Power Steering unit for my Ford 8N was well worth it. It developed some steering problems that had to be dealt with, and after eying this upgrade for years, those issues were the incentive (excuse?) for me to do it. Driving the 8N with the loader was always about steering. Good tires in the front, and weight in the back helped, but with a full loader, steering became a chore. That isn’t a problem now.
I had replaced a few parts behind the dash and under the hood and had redone some of the loader hydraulics on my 8N before, so this was work I felt comfortable with. Roland emailed the pdf instructions before the kit came. Not being in the midst of a farm community, it took me a few stops to find hoses, fittings, pipe sealant, etc. that I needed to customize my installation. Every installation is going to be different. I built the manifold that would collect the hydraulic oil, send it to the filter, and then into the reservoir. I chose to lubricate the steering gear box with StaLube engine assembly lube, which is a light grease, similar to the corn head grease that is often used, and available in auto parts stores.
When the kit came, it was pretty straight forward installing the steering and diverter valves. I connected the hoses paying close attention to where each went. The only hitch I had was when I went to attach the rear steering cylinder brackets to radius rods. These are the large fixed rods on each side that go to the front axles. The brackets did not fit around the rods. But it turns out that my tractor has oversized radius rods from a Ford 300 tractor that are a little beefier than the stock 8N. Fortunately, Roland was able to ship larger brackets which worked like a charm. I had to play around with positioning some so that the steering didn’t rub against the loader cylinders in low position. The big issue was that my loader wasn’t on straight, so once that was resolved, attaching the cylinders was easy.
Obviously steering is easier now. I was happy to play around with the steering and loader and find that they both could work at the same time. The loader may be a bit slower now in general, but in a good way. I suppose a bigger pump might be necessary in some cases, but in my case, the existing pump was probably oversized for the loader, and is now about right. Overall, I really happy with my power steering. It’s going to last for years. Roland was very helpful, and available by email and phone when I needed him.